What Will My Baby Look Like?

Carrying a baby in your womb is a big deal. The 9-month task comes with many physical and hormonal changes that can take a toll on you. But you do it anyway because it’s magical to bring a baby into the world. What is more exciting is that "What will my baby look like?" Most parents start to wonder this question once the pregnancy is confirmed.

What Determines My Baby's Look?

DNA is responsible for what your baby will look like. DNA is a system of holding genetic information that determines an individual’s traits. The system is made up of genes, with each person having about 30,000 of them. Genes are carried in chromosomes and each person has 46. To form the embryo that grows into a baby, the woman’s ovum provides 23 chromosomes, while the man’s sperm provides another 23 chromosomes. The X and Y chromosomes will determine your baby’s sex. The mix of genes in the chromosomes will determine other physical traits such as:

  • The body shape
  • Eye color
  • Hair
  • Dimples or lack of them
  • Near or far-sightedness
  • Voice

Since many genetic combinations are at play, it is difficult to predict what your baby will look like. Your child will inherit traits from both you and your partner while other traits may be passed on from previous generations, so don’t be surprised when you notice some similarities between your little one and a close relative.

What Will My Baby Look Like?

1. Eye Color

Genes are either dominant or recessive. Although the difference between the two is not a simple explanation like the dominant T gene is more powerful than the recessive gene t or vice versa, the knowledge of how they work is useful in predicting eye color of your baby.

If you have brown eyes and your partner has blue eyes, your baby will likely have brown eyes since brown eyes result from a dominant gene. Latest research confirms that it is a little more complicated than that, since up to 16 genes determine how much melanin you get. Melanin is the pigment that is responsible for eye color. 

To further complicate the issue, eye color can change as your baby grows into a toddler. A baby born with blue eyes can eventually end up with brown eyes. This happens to at least 10 percent of people. Scientifically, Black, Asian and Hispanic babies are born with dark brown eyes that remain the same, while Caucasian babies are born with gray or blue eyes that change over time.

2. Hair

Hair color is basically divided into two: dark and light. Dark hair color is a dominant genetic trait, while lighter or blond hair color is a recessive genetic trait. Eumelanin is the name of the pigment responsible for hair color, and the more you have of it, the darker your hair color is likely to be. Red hair is dominant to blonde hair but recessive to black or brown hair. If both of you have the same color of hair, your child is likely to follow suit although with slight variations. 

3. Skin Color

The higher the amount of melanin (pigment responsible for skin color) is, the darker the skin will be. A child of a black father and a white mother may fall somewhere in between, although there are cases where the child’s skin color falls heavily on one side. Generally, lighter skin is the recessive gene. 

4. Height

If you are imagining "What will my baby look like in terms of height?" you need not wonder anymore. To determine a boy’s adult height, double his height at 24 months, and do likewise at 18 months for a girl. You will also find this formula quite useful and interesting:

  • Get both the parents’ heights in centimeters or inches and add them.
  • Subtract 5 inches or 13 centimeters and divide by 2, for a baby girl.
  • Add 5 inches or 13 centimeters and divide by 2, for a baby boy.

You can also make use of online height predictor calculators. It is, however, worth noting that height is a physical trait that is 70 percent determined by genes and 30 percent by other factors such as nutrition, hormones, health and environment.

5. Weight

A baby weight at birth is directly related to its parents’ weight at birth as well. The mother’s weight seems to hold more sway.

Women who are underweight tend to give birth to smaller children than their plumper counterparts. Teenage mothers tend to have low birth weight babies, unlike women who are 35 years and above. An ultrasound can predict a baby’s birth weight quite accurately.

6. Facial Features

What will my baby look like? Traits like dimples or freckles are dominant and your baby is likely to inherit them if you or your partner possesses them. Other features like gap teeth, cowlicks and widow’s peaks can be inherited since they are a strong feature. There are also features that skip several generations before reappearing. That is why your baby can bear resemblance to your great grandparent, for instance. 

The fact is that it is nearly impossible to determine what your baby will look like accurately. It is a gamble with countless possibilities. But whatever the outcome is, your baby will be the perfect he/she should be.

 
 
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