New babies are just the best! After counting fingers & toes one of the next thing parents look at is eye color. When your baby is born their eye color will be gray or blue, as they have spent their whole life in the dark. We have specialized cells in our bodies called melanocytes whose job it is to go around secreting melanin where it’s needed, including in the iris.
Over time, if melanocytes only secrete a little melanin, your baby will have blue eyes. If they secrete a bit more, his eyes will look green or hazel. When melanocytes get really busy, eyes look brown (the most common eye color), and in some cases they may appear very dark indeed. It takes about a year for melanocytes to finish their work so you won’t know your baby’s exact eye color before their first birthday. The color change does slow down some after the first 6 months of life, but there can be plenty of change left at that point.
Eye color is a genetic but it’s not quite as cut & dry as you might have learned in biology class.
- Two blue-eyed parents are very likely to have a blue-eyed child, but it won’t happen every single time.
- Two brown-eyed parents are likely (but not guaranteed) to have a child with brown eyes.
- If you notice one of the grandparents has blue eyes, the chances of having a blue-eyed baby go up a bit.
- If one parent has brown eyes and the other has blue eyes, odds are about even on eye color.
- If your child has one brown eye and one blue eye, bring it to your doctor’s attention; he probably has a rare genetic condition called Waardenburg syndrome.
So enjoy the process and all the developmental milestones your baby will have!