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Eye color change in babies

Updated July 19, 2017

What the colour of a baby's eyes will be is difficult to determine at birth. The pigment in the iris, called melanin, increases with age and true eye colour may not be set until many months later.

Melanin

Light-skinned babies are generally born with blue/grey eyes, while darker-skinned babies usually have brown/black eyes. Lighter-skinned individuals have less melanin, the pigment that gives eyes and skin their colours.

Time Frame

A baby's body will produce more melanin over time. It may take up to three years for eyes to reach their permanent colour, although the normal time frame is six months.

Genetics

A baby born with blue eyes may eventually have brown eyes. Some people even have changing eye colours into adulthood. The colour is based on a combination of genes from both parents.

Expert Insight

According to paediatrician David Geller, children of African and Asian descent are usually born with brown eyes that stay brown.

Misconceptions

A child's eyes will not get lighter or bluer as he or she grows older. Melanin does not decrease but increases. This means eyes will only get darker.

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About the Author

Rebecca Sundt began writing in 2009. She won first place in the Story Institute's 2009 Short Story Contest and has self-published two novels, "Class of ..." and "The Manuscript." Sundt received her Bachelor of Arts in writing from Ramapo College of New Jersey. She works as a manufacturing coordinator at John Wiley and Sons, Inc., in Hoboken, N.J.