What will my baby look like? This is perhaps one of the first questions you’re asking yourself after finding out you’re pregnant. And even though there are so many traits to analyze, genetics is one of the biggest and the most ancient lotteries, and even if this is not your first pregnancy, your new baby can be different from the first or second one.
From the color of their eyes, body characteristics, hair, and up to psychological and behavioral traits – the baby is going to be full of surprises for parents as their personality and looks remain in mystery while in the womb. However, with the help of science and modern knowledge, parents can make some guesses concerning certain traits their babies are going to possess. And though infants may look like one parent or both at the same time, they might also resemble neither. And it’s totally ok.
What Will My Baby Look Like and What’s Behind Their Looks?
When a baby is conceived, a plethora of genes is mixed. The DNA cells (which are responsible for inherited traits) are organized into specific shapes which are called chromosomes.
Every person has 46 chromosomes. And your baby will also have 46 chromosomes that they will inherit from parents – 23 from mom and 23 from dad. The X and Y chromosomes are responsible for the sex of the baby. Other mixes of chromosomes (approximately 30,000) will determine your baby’s hair, eye color, body shape, voice, and so on. And they mix and match in countless combinations, therefore, nobody can really know and predict what your baby will look like. However, some predictions may be rather accurate if you know how certain genes work.
What Will My Baby Look Like: Eye Color
In genetics, there are two types of each gene – one is dominant and one is recessive. The baby inherits both parents’ genes and some of them are dominant and some are recessive. Let’s see how this applies to your baby’s eye color.
If both you and your partner have brown eyes, this means that you have a dominant version of genes. And this may point to the same eye color in your baby. However, it’s still difficult to tell at once what eye color your child will get – brown, green, or blue – because two brown-eyed or green- and brown-eyed parents can give birth to a child with blue eyes. How is that possible? The reason may be the following: both parents possess a recessive gene responsible for the blue color of the eyes, and an infant may just inherit it.
Many white babies are born with gray or blue eyes while BIPOC babies mostly have brown eyes which stay brown afterward. The eye color of white babies may change a range of times before the first birthday because of the pigmentation of the iris.
What Will My Baby Look Like: Hair Color
Genes determine the color of your baby’s hair. There are several genes the baby gets from each parent that determine the hair color, and it is also influenced by other genes that control the amount of melanin pigment your hair has.
Two types of melanin pigment that are contained in hair get mixed and arrange the hair color. If you possess lots of eumelanin, which is one type, you’ll get brown or black hair. If the amount of eumelanin is little, your hair will be blond. People with red and auburn hair possess another melanin type – pheomelanin. It determines what hues the color of your hair is going to be: light or dark blonde, red or auburn, brown or black.
If the baby was born with blonde hair, it may become darker as the baby grows because the production of the pigment has slowed down.
When trying to predict such characteristics as the color of the eyes or hair, we have to take into consideration the skin tone as well. If one of the parents has light skin but dark hair, there is a possibility that the baby will get a light hair color.
What Will My Baby Look Like and Who Will My Baby Resemble: Mom or Dad?
When the child is born, everyone starts looking for the similarities with their mom and dad. But is it possible to predict the looks? There was a theory that newborns resemble their dads just because fathers had to be sure the child is theirs to have more incentive to provide for the family. However, two Evolution & Human Behavior studies have shown that most newborns look like their moms in the first three days of their lives.
Often, the baby’s looks are a complex combination of their parents, and family traits can be added here as well. The work of genes is amazing here as traits may skip a generation and you might give birth to a baby who resembles your grandma or aunt.
What Will Determine My Baby’s Height, Weight, and Build?
If you have given birth to a 10-pound and 21-inch child, it really doesn’t mean they are going to be that huge for the rest of their lives. Actually, the weight and height at birth strongly depend on how much weight mom has gained during the nine months of pregnancy and what diet she has kept.
Just to estimate the approximate height of your baby, follow this equation:
Add dad and mom’s height in inches or centimeters.
What about weight? It’s a bit complex. The study conducted by the University of Essex has concluded that the child inherits 20% of weight predisposition from mom and another 20% from dad.
What will my baby look like? To answer this question is like playing a guessing game. You can take time and have fun predicting your baby’s looks until the big day comes, but you’ll know the truth only after you look at your bundle of joy for the first time.
Your baby is unique. One-of-a-kind. So it really won’t matter what hair or eye color you have predicted because you’ll find yourself truly, madly, and deeply in love.
All the recommendations and tips listed here are based on the information provided by a range of highly respected institutions, among which are CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and AAP (the American Academy of Pediatrics).