Who was it that said “…your eyes are the window to your soul…”?
No wonder we place so much emphasis on eyes and eye color, particularly that of a baby as we spend countless hours gazing into their eyes.
We dream away the hours wondering who they will become, what they will look like, what kind of person they will be and what eye colour will they end up with.
When do babies eyes change color?
Human Eye Color
Even if both parents have blue eyes, they can produce green or brown-eyed children.
Eye Color Genetics
The eye color of a human can range from blue, in its lightest shade, to the darkest shade of brown and is determined genetically. Genetic research indicates that eye color is determined by more than one gene, so the once understood theory that blue eyes were a recessive trait no longer stands. The eye color of parents and their children therefore can be one of many combinations.
Particular genes are understood to account for the common eye colors of brown, blue and green. Other eye colors such as hazel and even grey (or those with combinations of any) are understood to be related to another gene altogether.
The theory still stands however that brown eye genes are dominant over green eye genes, which in turn are both dominant over blue eye genes. However, because more than one gene is required to ultimately form the final eye color, you can end up with green eyes or even brown eyes if your parents both have blue eyes.
Baby Eye Color Changes After Birth
When a baby is born their body is still developing at an alarming rate. The pigment that controls hair colour, eye color and skin color is also still developing. During the first 12 months baby’s eyes develop and melanin is produced. It is the melanin that controls the baby eye color. It can take up to three years before the final eye color is determined.
Melanin comes in one shade only and that is yellow-black.
Baby eye color is not technically determined from the color of the melanin per se, but from the amount that is produced. The more melanin that is produced, the more we see the baby eye color change from light blue through to green, to hazel or even to brown.
If you have low levels of melanin in the front part of your iris, you have blue eyes. An increasing proportion of the yellow melanin, in combination with the black melanin, results in shades of colors between brown and blue, including green and hazel.
Why are newborn baby’s eyes blue?
So why do we commonly see a newborn baby with blue eyes?
Well the answer lies somewhere in the same region as the question as to why the sky is blue.
The reason is because the iris in a newborn baby’s eye is not yet developed and therefore does not have color, albeit a small amount of melanin only, and anything that does not have color commonly appears blue because blue is the most easily reflected color of light in the spectrum. You could also call it nature’s default color.
Before our irises produce melanin, they don’t reflect any color, so, like the sky, they look blue, too.
A total absence of color is the rare condition of albinism.
Did you know?
It has been said that African-American, Hispanic, and Asian babies are almost always born with dark eyes that remain dark.
Can your eyes be a different color?
As rare as it may be, some people are have different eye colors. One may be brown, the other green. I actually know someone with different eye colors. Naturally. It is quite a sight to see. (pardon the pun). This is generally caused by a genetic malformation in the pigmentation.
Inflammation of the iris can also cause this, in addition to being affected by Horner’s Syndrome. In a baby, this syndrome will cause a difference in eye color between each eye.
When you next sit and gaze into your baby’s gorgeous eyes, as I have on many occasions, enjoy their color as they could change. To what color exactly is anyone’s guess.
Just as their hair may fall out and grow a different color, or simply change over time, and their skin will take on a different shade as they grow and are exposed to the sun, so too will their eyes.
A small amount of melanin will result in gorgeous blue eyes. A a touch more and you will see green eyes or maybe hazel. Throw a lot more into the mixture and your gorgeous baby will be staring back at you with adorable large brown eyes