Why Do Babies' Eyes Change Colour?

Posted: Updated:
Print

Parents are always fascinated by their baby's eye colour, not just because it's a genetic trait, but because it can change as their child grows.

But why does this happen? The answer has to do with melanin.

Melanin is a type of pigment that not only affects eye colour, but the colour of your skin and hair. According to Douglas Fredrick, a pediatric ophthalmologist at Stanford Children's Health in California, "The amount of melanin in the iris, the coloured part of the eye, determines what colour a person's eyes will be."

The more melanin you have in your eyes, the darker the colour. For instance, brown eyes have a lot of melanin and blue eyes have very little. Green or hazel eyes have a medium amount.

If a baby is born with light-coloured eyes, this can change if melanin levels increase over time. Mental Floss host Craig Benzine explains: "Newborns don't have the levels of melanin that they'll eventually have; the amount increases over time, which is why eyes often start blue then change to another colour."

This change usually happens when a baby is around six months, but the change can occur up until the age of three.

Watch the clip above for a more in-depth explanation.

Also on HuffPost:

Close
10 Things All New Parents Should Know
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide


Around the Web

Baby's Eye Color | What to Expect | What to Expect

When Do Babies' Eyes Change Color? - Parents

Baby Eye Color Calculator Predictor | BabyMed.com

Newborn Eye Color - HealthyChildren.org

Eye Color - All About Vision

Q&A: Will baby's eye color change? - New Parent - Newborn Basics

Baby Eye Color - New Kids Center

Will my baby's eyes stay this color? | BabyCenter