Have you ever used one of those apps that claim to predict who your baby will resemble? You upload two head shots: your photo and your partner’s photo. The software uses face recognition technology to morph these two pictures together. The result is (supposed to be) a probable image of your future baby.
The creators of these apps claim that you don’t have to wait 10 months to see your baby. Despite their claims, my results were totally off. My virtual baby looked nothing like my daughter. The image didn’t even look like a real person. It looked like an alien mashup of two faces superimposed on each other. Even the facial hair from my former husband transferred to the generated picture. Thank goodness the app was made for entertainment purposes only.
Baby photo generating apps cannot accurately peek into the future, but experts in genetics can provide clues to better predict what your baby may look like. If you’re eager to get a glimpse of your future offspring, check out the physical traits your child will probably inherit from you.
7 Eye Color
In high school biology class, most of us learned about dominant and recessive genes. These terms describe the traits we can inherit from our parents. In other words, there is a likelihood that certain characteristics will pass from parents to their children.
For instance, brown eyes are a dominant gene. So if your dad has blue eyes, and your mom has brown eyes, you’re likely to have brown eyes. Newer research shows that it’s more complicated than that.
Melanin is a pigment that gives the eyes their color. Up to 16 genes determine how much pigment you inherit. Dark eyes have a lot, and blue eyes have a little. Green, hazel, and other eye colors have varying amounts. Since it’s not determined by one or two genes, eye color is not as easy to predict as we think. In fact, two blue-eyed parents can have a brown-eyed baby, although that scenario would be unusual.
Also, eye color can change significantly in the toddler years. Some babies are born with blue eyes, but then they change to brown, green or hazel in the first few years of life.
Generally speaking, Black, Hispanic and Asian babies are commonly born with dark brown eyes that usually stay dark. Caucasian newborns almost always have dark blue or gray eyes that can change over time. And 10% of people will experience eye color changes into adulthood.
The science of genetics is complex, but there are factors that can determine hair color. Basically, hair can be divided into two shades: light and dark. Dark hair is a dominant gene which is why it’s the most popular hair color in the world. Blonde and lighter colors are less common.
The color of your hair is determined by the amount of eumelanin in your genes. Hair with large amounts of eumelanin become dark, and fewer amounts become light. A baby girl with mostly brown genes will be a brunette, but a little girl with no brown genes will be a blonde.
Parents that have the same hair color can have a child whose hair is similar but slightly different. Usually, light hair is not dominant. Yet, if a dark-haired mother has a blonde recessive gene, and the father is blond, it’s possible that their son could be blond at birth. Red hair is dominant over blond hair, but recessive to black or brown hair.
5 Skin Color
Again, skin color is an inherited characteristic that is determined by multiple genes, including melanin. As a general rule, the higher the pigmentation, the darker the skin will be. This is why the skin color of mixed-race children fall somewhere in between their parents. But like we said, genetics and heredity are quite complicated, so there are always exceptions.
For instance, a father who is Black and a mother who is White can have a baby who looks White. Such is the case with actor Wentworth Miller. Even if you can trace back your ancestry for several generations, it would be hard to determine which of your relatives had recessive genes.
Usually, lighter skin is recessive. Skin color, like any other gene, is passed on randomly. This trait in particular, though, is the most complex.
Do you ever imagine how tall your child will be as an adult? There no need to wonder because there are a few ways to provide a reasonable guess.
You can assess a boy’s adult height at two-years-old. When he reaches this age, double his height. To estimate a girl’s height, double her height at 18 months.
To predict a baby’s height, you can also use this formula:
- Calculate mom’s height and dad’s height in inches or centimeters, and add these numbers together
- For girls, subtract 5 inches or 13 centimeters, and then divide by 2
- For boys, add 5 inches or 13 centimeters, and then divide by 2
Child height predictor calculators are also available online. Whichever tool you use to estimate your child’s height, remember that these calculations may not be entirely accurate. 70% of height is determined by genetics, but 30% is based on other factors, including nutrition, hormones, health, and the child’s environment.
How much did you and your partner weigh at birth? These figures will have a direct correlation with your baby’s birth weight, but the mother’s stats seem to hold more weight.
Birth size is also determined by fetal growth. The average birth weight ranges from 5 pounds, 8 ounces to 8 pounds, 13 ounces. But women who are underweight tend to have smaller babies, just as overweight women are more at risk for a higher birth weight infant.
Other factors in this equation include age. Teenagers are likely to have low birth weight babies while mothers over 35 tend to have bigger babies. Also, boys typically weigh more than girls.
Generally, a baby’s birth weight is predicted with an ultrasound. But according to researchers, weight predictors can estimate birth weight just as well as an ultrasound.
2 Facial Features
There are certain things that run in a family. Traits like dimples and freckles are dominant. If you or your spouse have these features, it’s likely you will pass these on to your kids. Similarly, your kids stand to inherit strong features such as cowlicks, widow’s peaks, gap teeth, big noses, and thick lips.
Facial features can skip several generations and reappear. So even the physical characteristics of your grandparents and great-grandparents can be passed on to your baby.
Obviously, your baby will look like a combination of you and your partner. But there are also the infinite possibilities handed down from generations. How all of these traits are blended becomes hard to predict.
1 Body Features
There are certain dominant body features that trickle down through the generations. The shape of hands, fingers and nails can run in families. Fingerprints are also genetically determined.
Experts believe that a child’s walk or a quirky physical characteristic is a learned behavior. Kids mimic their parents, whether consciously or unconsciously. Just like accents and mannerisms, families will develop similarities that are not genetically inherited.
The truth is, your child’s genes will appear out of a biological lottery. With all of the imaginable combinations, the possibilities are endless. The bottom line: they will look exactly how they are supposed to be.