I come from a blue-eyed, brown-haired family. Every person in my immediate lineage —cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents — has blue eyes and curly brown hair. So, you can imagine our surprise when my baby cousin’s blue eyes slowly started turning brown as his first birthday came up.

Though his eyes were light, sky blue upon birth, they were completely brown by the time he was one and a half. While he was still a beautiful and healthy baby, my Aunt was slightly shocked that she had accidentally broken the family pattern. The cause was her brown-eyed husband, and we learned that each baby you have is a roll of the genetic dice. Unless she had married a blue-eyed man, her chances of having a blue-eyed baby were 50/50. But, the change that had occurred was the most surprising part.

Most Caucasian babies are born with light blue eyes because the iris has not yet been exposed to sunlight. Even if your baby might have brown eyes eventually, they will likely stay blue until he or she has been exposed to more light. You’ll likely be able to predict your baby’s final eye color by the time he or she turns one, but you also might notice some subtle changes until age three. However, the biggest changes occur between the ages of six and nine months, so there’s no telling what color will show up until then.

A simple understanding of genetics will also help you predict your baby’s eye color though. If you and your partner have blue eyes, there’s a very good chance your baby will also. If either of your parents has brown eyes, that chance slightly decreases. If your partner has brown eyes and you have blue eyes, there is a 50/50 chance your baby will have one or the other.

No matter what color your baby’s eyes are by the time he or she is one, you’ll think that they’re beautiful. As long as vision is no impaired and eye function is working properly, the color won’t matter, even if it broke the expectations of the rest of the family. So, if you and your partner have brown eyes but your newborn has blue, don’t get too used to them, because they’ll probably change soon.

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