Predicting what your baby will look like
What will my future baby look like? This is a question that many parents ask themselves when they are trying to predict what their child will look like. While we cannot tell what your child’s exact appearance will be, we can give you some general information about how genes are passed on from parent to offspring and what might affect what they end up looking like. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the science of genetics and what it means for your future family member.
What will my future baby look like?
Here’s what to expect in the moments your baby is born. Newborns, generally speaking, have large heads with short necks, long legs, and a distended torso. Their heads can sometimes look a little prickly because they have spent sometimes 12 hours pushing through the birth canal. Cesarean babies often have a beauty advantage because their heads are not squeezed through the birth canal. But with any baby, their heads will go back to normal as they were designed to do this.
The soft spots on the skull of your baby are not to be worried about. They are known as fontanelles This allows the head to shrink enough to fit through the birth canal. It takes approximately four months for the rear fontanelle to close. A front one takes nine to 18 months. The extra dose of hormones that your baby received from you before giving birth can cause swelling. Also, the face and eyes may appear puffy. For the first few hours, his skin may appear bluish on his palms and soles of feet.
What will the skin look like for my baby?
The appearance of newborn skin is affected by how long you were pregnant at the time your baby was born. Premature babies may have a more transparent-type skin that is thinned and covered with lanugo (a fine, downy hair). Premature babies will still have vernix, which is a greasy, white substance that protects their skin from amniotic fluid. Only a small amount of vernix will remain in the skin folds of full-term babies and later babies. Late babies might also appear slightly wrinkled and have very little lanugo.
Birthmarks are little splotches that can range from temporary, off-colored patches to more permanent ones. About half of all babies are born in this condition. Milia appear like small pimples and have white spots on their faces. They disappear over time. Freckles are controlled by the MC1R gene, mostly. The amount of freckles and size of them depends on the environment you live in.
What color will the baby’s hair look like?
Your hair color is dependent upon how much melanin you have in your hair. The melanin in your hair is often controlled by the MC1R gene that has two copies but there are about 20 other genes that influence hair color. However, if one of the MC1R genes is turned off it can result in a strawberry blonde or auburn/red hair color. If both of these copies are turned off or deactivated this will result in a very prominent red hair color in your baby.
A darker hair color is associated with the dominant allele and lighter or redder colors are associated with the recessive allele. While both you and your spouse have dark hair doesn’t mean your child will as well. It’s more likely your child will have the same color as you and your spouse but many genes are at play. It’s especially hard to guess with dominant and recessive genes that are at play from you and your partner.
Be prepared for surprises, regardless of your hair color or that of your partner. You both inherit genes from previous generations. When their children are born with dark hair when both parents have light hair, it leaves parents sometimes confused. Then there are those parents who complain about their baby’s lack of hair. The truth is that newborn hair does not have any bearing on the final outcome of your child’s hair. Babies with a ravine hairstyle can become blondes as they grow up, and blondes can often become brunettes.
Your baby might be completely bald at birth. In that case, you will not know their hair color until a bit later. The male pattern baldness gene is found to be passed down through second or third relatives. It typically is those who share 25 to 12.5 percent of the gene. If your baby will have curly or straight hair isn’t easy to predict either due to many genes. Although curly hair is more dependent upon where you live.
What about their eyes?
Are you curious about the color of your baby’s eyes? Your baby’s eyes can be blue, green, brown, or hazel, and may not become apparent for several months. Your baby’s first few minutes of life won’t necessarily be the same color as their eyes later on. Exposure to light can change a baby’s original eye color slightly.. Children of mixed heritage may have different eye colors. Although it is not common, babies can be born with eyes of different colors.
There are about 8 genes that contribute to eye color. In eye color it’s more complicated than the recessive and dominant genes. The OCA2 gene is responsible for almost three quarters of the brown and blue color spectrum. However in some cases other genes can override this. If you and your spouse and each other’s parents all have blue eyes there is a good chance your child will too. But nothing is ever certain!
The best way to predict the gender of your unborn baby
When you get a positive pregnancy testing result, the first thing that comes to mind is when you are due to give birth. It’s likely that you will start to wonder about the sex of your baby. Some people find it a great way to bond with their baby before they even arrive. People will be interested in your baby’s sex, whether they are family members, friends, coworkers, or strangers. You will likely be asked “Do you know what you’re having?” On a regular basis. If you answered no, the next inquiry is “Are you going to find out?”
In certain cases, it may be medically necessary to know the sex of your unborn child. This could be because you have genetic diseases that are gender-specific. Parents-to-be are not uncommon to begin looking for ways to predict the sex gender of their baby before they can confirm it at a prenatal visit. It is not easy to find answers, especially if they are quick and simple. Expectant parents are often taken on a journey of discovery that leads them to a variety of tricks they can try. There are many stories about telling your baby what to do. These tales can be found everywhere, from your great-grandmother and the internet.
Some “theories”, while sounding scientific and even legitimate, lack hard evidence. These “tips and techniques” are usually considered entertainment by parents, as long as they’re safe for their child. Science has developed many reliable, accurate, and medically sound methods for determining the sex of a fetus during pregnancy.
Everyone’s family history can play a huge role in the physical appearance of your child. Many genes can skip a generation or several. Others may lay dominant and suddenly show up. No one will know exactly what their baby is going to look like until they are born. Hopefully the information above can give you a little piece of mind on what traits your child may or may not take from you. Of course babies change so much in their first year so embrace the change and the joy of being a new mother!