In the Genes: Where Baby's Looks Come From

The Eyes Have It

Like many babies, our son was born with bluish-grayish-not-sure-what-color-that-is eyes. Unless a baby's eyes are very dark at birth, they'll typically change. "The color-producing cells in the iris need exposure to light to activate," Dr. Starr explains. Keep in mind that it will take at least six months before an infant's eye color stabilizes.

At least two genes influence the shade that develops, and each can come in two forms, or alleles: one that has brown and blue versions, the other with green and blue versions. Your baby's eye color will depend on the combo of alleles he inherits from you and your partner. If you have dark eyes and your partner's are light, Baby is likely to end up with dark eyes as well. The brown allele is dominant, so if he gets one, he'll develop chocolate eyes no matter what else is in his code. Still, even two brown-eyed parents can produce a light-eyed kid if they both carry recessive blue genes. If there are blue eyes on both sides of the family tree, your peanut may get them too.

AB Poll: Whom does your baby look like? 63% of our readers said Dad and 37% said Mom.

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