Do you know what the rarest eye color is? How about the six colors eyes can be? Will your baby have a rare eye color? Parents-to-be may have a lot of those questions swirling around in their minds. So, how do you know what color eyes your baby will have? Think back to those high school biology lessons. Scientists now know that what determines a baby’s eye color is a bit more involved than those dominant and recessive genes we learned about in biology. A pigment called melanin is what gives a person his or her eye, hair, and skin color. Green and gray are considered the rarest eye colors. Only 2% of the population has green eyes, with around 1% having gray.
Brown is considered the most common eye color. Around 1 in 4 people have blue eyes. Hazel eyes are a mixture of brown and green while amber is a lighter shade of brown eye. With a baby on the way, parents are of course super excited to know what color his or her eyes will be. Today, thanks to baby eye color predictors, parents-to-be can get a glimpse into what color eyes their baby may have. What exactly is a baby eye color predictor though and should you use one?
A baby eye color predictor is an online calculator predicting the likelihood of your baby’s eye color based upon the eye color of each parent. An online baby eye color calculator is much like a high school biology lesson where eye color is predicted based on parental eye color. Are baby eye color predictors accurate? An eye color calculator cannot tell you your baby will definitely have blue eyes or brown eyes. What it can predict is the percentage surrounding the possibility of a baby’s eye color.
For example, according to MomJunction’s baby eye predictor, if both parents have brown eyes, there is a 75% chance their baby will also have brown eyes. There is also an 18.75% chance the little guy or gal will have green eyes and only a 6.25% chance the baby will have blue eyes. Two blue eyed-parents are most likely to have a blue-eyed child as well with little or no chance the child will have brown eyes. If both parents have green eyes, there is a 99% chance baby will, too. The same is true if both mom and dad have hazel eyes. Whether or not a baby has hazel, amber, or gray eyes tends to remain a bit of a scientific gene mystery.
It’s true that many babies are born with blue eyes. That is because the melanin which determines a baby’s eye color is produced over time. The iris begins manufacturing melanin after birth. A baby’s eyes start to change color at around six months of age when the melanin begins to take hold. By age three a baby’s eye color will have changed to its permanent color. The baby’s eyes will typically remain blue if both parents have blue eyes.
Determining eye color is based upon the genes of the parents just like you learned in high school biology. A baby gets 50% of their genes from his or her mom, and 50% from his or her dad. Homozygous and heterozygous are two types of genes. If two genes are homozygous, they match, and if they are heterozygous, the two genes are recessive. Brown and green are thought to be dominant genes while blue is recessive. A genotype is how two genes combine to form a trait. Eye color is a trait as is hair color. Once a trait is formed, it is considered a phenotype, or in this case the color of your baby’s eyes. Baby eye color predictors take into consideration the gene factors of dominant and recessive genes to come up with the probability of a baby’s eye color. Scientists now know that there are more than just those dominant and recessive genes at work when it comes to determining eye color. That’s the main reason why baby eye calculators cannot predict a baby’s eye color with 100% certainty.
Yes, it is rare, but a person can have two different eye colors. When this happens, it is referred to as heterochromia. Heterochromia can happen at birth and is often attributed to certain medical conditions. If it happens later in life, it is usually because of an illness or injury.
Most people have temporarily experienced red eyes caused by allergens or an infection like pink eye, but some people can be born with red eyes. Red eyes can occur with albinism. A person with albinism is missing pigment in hair, skin, and eye color. In this case, the eyes have a light shade of red or pink because of the absence of pigment.
BabyMed and MomJunction offer online baby eye color predictors. Both rely on the color of the parents’ eyes to predict the probability of your baby’s eye color. PregnantChicken adds in the color of the maternal and paternal grandparents to try and predict a baby’s eye color. Whether or not you use a baby eye color predictor is totally up to you. They’re fun and can give you a glimpse into what your baby’s eye color might be. Just remember, the result won’t be 100% accurate and only time will actually tell you what your baby’s eye color will be.
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