How Come You Never See Babies With Green Eyes?

Why is it that you only hear about babies having blue eyes or brown eyes, but never green eyes?

I know plenty of adults with green eyes. Did they have green eyes when they were babies? If not, what caused the color to change??


i’ve always heard that babies are all born with blue eyes. i used to know when they change, but i can’t remember.

Babies are born with blue or grey eyes. They change to their adult color beginning at about six months of age.

Eye color is a function of pigmentation. Blue (or grey) eyes lack pigmentation; green or brown eyes have it. As the baby gets older, the pigmentation starts to develop. Some babies lack pigmentation; their eyes stay blue or grey. Some have it, so their eyes turn brown or green. To give an example, my own son, Aaron, was born with slate-grey eyes. When he was about six months or so old, they started turning brown. They’re still turning brown, and he’ll probably end up with dark brown eyes like his father. (In case you were wondering, brown (or green) eyes are the dominant gene and blue (or grey) eyes are the recessive.)

As for what causes it, it’s like teething. It just starts happening at that time.


Because babies are almost all born with some shade of blue eyes. Some are darker, some are lighter, but almost all are some kind of blue. As the child ages, the eyes will darken (unless they’re going to be a blue-eyed adult, that is). For some kids, this seems to happen relatively quickly, but for some it doesn’t happen until they’re well into the toddler years.

This article (scroll down for the relevant Q&A) suggests that it’s because newborns lack melanin in the stroma. Exposure to sunlight stimulates the production of melanin, which then causes the baby’s eyes to change color to their final shade.

i always heard that blue, grey, or green eyes were recessive and brown or hazel were domnant.

All babies are born with blue eyes. There is a chemical which adds to the existing pigment to make brown a little later. It is absent at birth. I have an Advanced Biology book which explains this in regards to genetics. Although most of us study blue-brown eyes as an example of classic Gregor Mendel genetics, there is something more at work here.

I will see if I can locate the section in the book which addresses this issue. There is a very specific term for this, but I cannot recall offhand. IIRC, a baby with the genes which should make brown the dominent color can be overridden by the lack of the chemical which must be present to make brown - as an added step to the process. It’s going to bug me; I must find the term!

I’ll be back …ASAP, Ahnold! (Hasta La Vista!)

  • Jinx

Correction: Most Caucasian babies are born with blue eyes. But not all. My nephew was born with dark brown eyes – so dark you could hardly distinguish the pupils. And I believe that non-Caucasians, and many of Mediterranean ancestry, also have dark eyes at birth.

I heard the same thing, that green eyes atre recessive. To go even further, I heard that green eyes = blue eyes + lipid that gives yellowish tinge.

I think it’s only the Caucasian babies that are born with blue eyes. I’ve never heard of an Indian or Chinese baby born with anything but black-brown irises.

I think it’s only the Caucasian babies that are born with blue eyes. I’ve never heard of an Indian or Chinese baby born with anything but black-brown irises.

Japanese babies are born with very dark eyes, like previous posters have pointed out about Indian or Chinese babies.

When my “half” (as they like to call biracial kids here) babies were born, nurses and visitors alike came flocking to see their eyes, which were a very dark slaty blue.

Both boys now have brown eyes but they are not quite as dark as the almost black eyes that many Japanese people have.

What about eyes getting lighter in color over the years? When I was born (I’m Vietnamese), my eyes were nearly black, and now they’re a light brown color. My sisters’ eyes are the same way.

Must read more slowly - Started googling up “Barbies + green eyes” to rebut the OP until I started reading the thread and wondered “What’s all this about babies?”

My daughter has green eyes now, but they were blue when she was born. Actually, they still seem to be getting darker (she is almost seven years old) so they might be considered hazel or even brown when she is an adult. Right now, though, they are quite green.

And, there are green-eyed Barbies. I bought one for my daughter, as a matter of fact. IIRC, it was the Corduroy Cool Barbie…she has green eyes and dark brown hair.

Cats steal all the green eyes.

I had blue eyes until I was about 9 or 10, then they turned green. Now they are a very greenish/hazel. I hadn’t heard of this happening to anyone else before…very cool!

Not according to every biology class I ever took. Green eyes are like red hair: the incomplete expression of a dominant trait. Eye and hair color are controlled by multiple gene loci, and those loci are differentially expressed. That’s why there are so many shades of hair and eye color. A dishwater blond, for example, isn’t purely homozygous recessive. There are a few loci with dominant genes. Different dominant-heavy balances give you red, auburn or brown hair, while pure dominance gives you black. Same for eyes. Green, hazel, and brown are all expressions of dominant genes.

I’m Caucasian and when I was born my eyes were dark brown. I’ve got the baby pictures to prove it. They are light green now.

The Master Speaks.

“Green eyes” are actually any dark color eyes with streaks of fat in them. Sounds gross, but it looks pretty cool.

Same with my son, whose father is full-Okinawan. The “ex” questioned paternity because my son’s eyes were the same dark slate blue you mentioned. Within a year, my son’s eyes were the most beautiful chocolate brown color and still are. The “ex” is no longer in the picture!