Wondering when your baby's eyes are likely to change colour? All your friends have their own ideas, and everyone thinks they know the science behind it - but we've got all the information you need right here.
First things first, what actually is eye colour? The answer is, it's all got to do with something called melanin, a type of pigment which also determines the colour of your skin and hair. Simply put, the more melanin you have in your eyes, the darker your eyes will be.
What factors determine eye colour?
It's fascinating learning about the physics behind what determines eye colour. It's all to do with something called the 'Tyndall effect', which is about the scattering of light and how it can make eyes appear different colours. It's similar to what is called 'Rayleigh scattering' which is what makes the sky look blue! So the colour of your eyes is determined by the amount of melanin in your eyes, which means they are able to absorb more or less light. Those with more melanin won't be able to absorb as much light, making their eyes appear dark brown, whereas those with blue eyes will have a tiny amount of melanin, meaning that all the light that enters them is scattered back into the atmosphere, creating a blue hue. Green or hazel eyes are somewhere in the middle! Interesting right?
What colour are caucasian babies eyes when they are born?
The majority of Caucasian newborns have blue eyes, but by adulthood it's only 1 in 5.
What about African, Hispanic, and Asian babies?
Typically, African, Hispanic, and Asian babies are born with brown eyes, which don't change colour over time.
Why do babies eyes change colour?
Because newborns don't have the levels of melanin they'll eventually have. The amount increases over time, which is why eyes often start blue, but change to another colour in a few months.
When do babies eyes change colour?
The majority of the time, this change happens around six months. However, eyes can change colour up to about three years old. The reason this only happens for Caucasian babies is because they tend to be born with less pigment than other ethnicities.
How can you tell whether your baby's eye colour is likely to change?
Supposedly, there is a way to tell whether or not eye colour will change by looking at a baby's eye from the side so that there's no light affecting your view. If there are hints of gold in the iris, it means their eyes will probably become brown or green over time. Whereas if the eyes are still very blue, they are likely to stay that way.
When does eye colour become permanent?
The most dramatic eye colour changes occur when your child is between the ages of six and nine months old. By that point, the iris has enough pigment for you to be able to better predict what the final hue will be.
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