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When and Why Babies’ Eyes Change Color

Here’s why babies’ eyes change color, and when you can expect your baby’s eyes to turn into their true color.


If you’re a Caucasian mama, chances are great that your baby arrived boasting blue eyes. Those sweet baby blues might not stick around though. Here’s why babies’ eyes change color, and when you can expect your baby’s eyes to turn into their true color (if they aren't going to stay blue!).

Why Babies' Eyes Change Color

The iris is the part of the eye that contains the color. Irises get their color from pigment called melanin, which also affects skin and hair color - more melanin means darker pigment. The melanin in newborns hasn’t reached full levels, which is why most white babies are born with blue eyes, and also why African American babies are born with skin a shade or two lighter than it will eventually be.

As melanin levels increase, a baby’s eye color can change. Brown eyes are the result of a lot of melanin; medium melanin yields green or hazel eyes. Blue eyes mean low levels of melanin.  A baby’s eyes usually change color by six months but may take until age three, according to Mental Floss. The change in color tends to be gradual.

Where Eye Color Comes From

Experts used to think that a baby’s eye color could easily be predicted based solely on the parents’ eye colors, and that a dominant color like brown would generally reign over a recessive color like blue. We now know there is more to eye color than just genetics and patterns, though. Researchers have discovered that there are multiple genes involved in determining eye color, meaning that predicting your baby’s eye color is not as simple as we used to think.

According to All About Vision, children’s eye color can vary from their parents. It’s still the case that if both parents have brown eyes, the child will likely have brown or dark eyes as well. But they also have a chance of having a blue, green, hazel, or grey eyed baby, depending on the many factors affecting eye color. Two blue-eyed parents are far more less likely to have a brown-eyed baby, however.

Was your baby born with blue eyes, and have they changed in color since birth?

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