What Color Will My Baby's Eyes Be?
Eye color is a fascinating topic that mystified researchers for centuries until science provided us with a better understanding of eye color and how it is inherited. When it comes to predicting a baby’s eye color, one can almost be sure the baby will be born with blue eyes. Newborns often have blue eyes, which generally darken with increased exposure to sunlight. By the age of three, a child’s eyes will usually settle into their permanent, adult color – be it blue, green, hazel, amber, grey, dark brown or even blood red.
You and Your Partner's Odds of Having a Brown, Blue or Green-Eyed Baby
Below is a simple baby eye color prediction chart, based on heterozygous (the most likely) odds.
Interested in learning how baby eye color predictors work? That’s the tricky part: explaining how eye color is inherited.
The Science behind Eye Color Inheritance
The question of eye color, and how it is passed from parents to progeny, has been a topic of debate among geneticists for decades. It has long been thought that eye color follows a simple Mendelian inheritance pattern.
Generally speaking, by Mendelian inheritance rules, eye color is inherited very similarly to the way we inherit hair color: genes for darker colors are dominant – meaning that the traits (or phenotypes) they code for take precedence over the traits coded for by genes for a lighter color.
Parents with dark hair will, in all probability, produce a child with dark hair; light-haired parents will produce light-haired offspring; and parents with differing hair colors will produce children with a hair color in between the two parental colors. Of course, there are exceptions, but these are the same guidelines described by Darwin, Lamarck, and Mendel over a century ago and are the rules that describe the coding and inheritance patterns of most genes.
Take Home Message: Normal Rules Apply, Unless They Don’t
It is the hope of this author that expecting parents will use this article as a guideline for predicting the eye color of their baby. Whether you are into the science behind baby eye color or not, the tips within are meant to be a way for expectant mothers and fathers to get a ballpark idea of what their baby’s eye color will be.
Think of it as a roadmap for making an educated guess, gleaned from hours of research.
Some Fun Facts about Eye Color
- You probably knew that brown is the most common eye color worldwide, but did you know that green is by far the rarest? In fact, less than 2 percent of the global population possesses green eyes. As a country, Turkey has the highest percentage of citizens who have green eyes, at 20 percent. There are a number of countries – generally located in Asia, South America, and the Middle East – where green eyes are almost completely absent among the population.
- Did you know that blue eyes are the most common eye color for Caucasians, over amber, hazel, grey, and green? In fact, over 80 percent of the population of Iceland has either blue or green eyes.
- A not-so-common, but very noticeable condition called heterochromia can result in people having eyes of different colors. Actress Mila Kunis, of That 70’s Show and Family Guy fame, for instance, has one blue eye and one green eye. Kate Bosworth, from Blue Crush and the new Superman, has blue eyes, with a hazel blotch at the bottom of her right eye. David Bowie, of Ziggy Stardust and Labyrinth lore, is perhaps the most well-known celebrity with mismatched eye colors. Most people don’t know that Bowie’s condition is the result of a traumatic soccer injury suffered as a teenager, and not heterochromia.
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