Eye color is often the genetic trait that most delight parents as a child develops. Will the child’s eyes be black, brown, blue, gray, green, maroon, or some combination?
What a child looks like depends on the genetic material that each parent contributes to the child. But parental genes can mix and match in different ways. The effects from each parent are not known until the child is born.
The eyes are often described as a window into the soul. They’re also a very defining feature so it’s little wonder you’re keen to know if and when baby’s eyes will change colour and what they will look like when they grow up.
Wait, their eyes change ?
They sure do! Most babies are born with brownish colored eyes but this is not certainly the color they’ll keep. Parents will usually find that their baby’s eyes change quite a few times over the course of their first year.
Why does eye colour change?
One of the biggest causes is the pigment melanin. This is the same pigment that directly affects your skin and hair colour. Each person has special cells in their eyes and skin called melanocytes. These cells actively respond to light and begin to produce melanin. You could kind of think of it like your irises getting a tan.
The next consideration is genetics. Genetics dictate how much melanin a person has in the first place. The more melanin you have, the darker your eyes are going to be – so people with small amounts of melanin have blue eyes, those with more tend to have green, hazel or brown.
But shouldn’t they be the same colour eyes as mine?
Not necessarily. Genetics are quite complicated and there’s up to sixteen different genetic codes that can dictate eye colour. These genes come from not only you and your partner but also both of your parents. That’s quite a few options!
When do they settle ?
Doctors suggest that the biggest changes will usually occur between three and six months of age. Your baby’s eye colour will not completely settle until closer to their first birthday.
If your adult eye color changes dramatically or if one eye changes from brown to green or blue to brown, it is important to see an eye care professional.
Changes in eye color can be a warning sign of certain conditions, such as Fuch iridocyclitis, Horner’s syndrome, or pigmentary glaucoma.
For some individuals, it can still shift slightly all the way up to three years of age.