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When do babies eyes change colour?

My first daughter had deep brown eyes when she was born and to be honest, I was shocked as I was expecting them to be lighter, my second born had the brightest blue eyes. Now, aged 5 and 2 (almost) they both have bluey/green eyes. They obviously changed colour at some point but I can’t remember exactly when. Here is what the experts say:

What determines eye colour?

Eye colour is determined by our genetic make up long before we are born, and whilst you may expect 2 blue eyed parents to have a blue eyed baby, it really isn’t as simple as that. As a rule, the brown eyed gene is the most dominant and this is why children born in Asia are typically brown eyed, we don’t carry just one eye colour gene though. Someone with hazel eyes could have a brown and grey gene whilst someone with blue eyes could have the blue and grey gene. In this instance, it could be possible for your baby to have any of the above mentioned colours, it depends what the dominant gene is. If the brown gene is inherited, your child will most likely have an eye colour that is a shade of brown (hazel for example). If two brown genes are inherited, it is likely your baby will have dark brown eyes.

Why do they change colour?

Caucasian children are usually born with blue eyes, it is only when cells develop and produce melanin that eye colour can be determined (as well as skin and hair colour).

When will I know my baby’s true eye colour?

Most experts are of the opinion that eyes only get darker over time and not lighter, this depends on the levels of melanin being produced (more melanin equates to darker eyes) . Generally speaking, by 12 months you can expect the eye colour your child has will be what he/she has for life (although it is possible for other events such as a trauma to affect eye colour). In some very rare cases your child’s eye colour could change up to the age of 36 months.

My view: Researching information for this post has been very interesting but has also highlighted to me that we still have lots to learn about the role genetics has in determining eye colour. I was surprised to learn it is more likely for 2 brown eyed parents to have a blue eyed baby than it is for 2 blue eyed parents to have a brown eyed baby, in simple terms; as we all carry two eye colour genes and brown is the most dominant, it is unlikely that a blue eyed person will carry the brown gene but, two brown eyed parents could carry the less dominant blue eyed gene. So, what colour eyes will your baby have? Who knows! Let me know if you have been surprised by your baby’s eye colour!

References: eye doctor guide