How do genetics influence your baby’s looks and personality? When you’re pregnant, you’re probably imagining what your baby might look like. Will he have your looks or his fathers? Is he going to have his grandfather’s intelligence? Experts say that there are 60,000 to 100,000 genes (made up of DNA) in a human being’s 46 chromosomes. A baby gets 23 chromosomes from his mother and 23 from his father. With these, one pair of parents has the potential to produce 64 trillion different children. Therefore, it is impossible to predict what your baby will look like.
Since a baby gets half chromosomes from mother and half from father, does it mean they’ll half personality of each parents? It isn’t as simple as that. This is because:
- Genetic science teaches us that a child takes the dominant gene from among the two. There are dominant genes and recessive ones.
- Environment in which a child grows up has a stronger influence of his personality than the genes.
As of now, the correlation between genetics and hereditary traits is not clear. However, role of genetics in your baby’s physical features cannot be denied.
ROLE OF GENETICS AND YOUR BABY’S PHYSICAL FEATURES
Genetics influence a baby’s physical features to a great extent. Let us take a look how:
- Eye Color – Even with one pair of genes involved while selecting the eye color, there would be a maximum three shades of eye color. Human eyes come in a spectrum of different shades, because of their polygenic trait. Eye color is determined by the amount of melanin present in the iris. Different genes are responsible for how much brown pigment you inherit and where it shows up in the eye.
- Facial Features – Facial characteristics such as dimples, crooked teeth and high eyebrows are believed to be a dominant trait and filter down through the generations. Hand and finger shape, toenail shape and fingerprint patterns have been shown to run in families and passed on through generations.
- Height and Weight – This trait is slightly predictable. Studies have indicated that if you add your height with that of your partner’s and divide by two, you will get your child’s average height. Add two inches for a boy or subtract two inches for a girl. Of course, there is no guarantee that this will hold true and nutrition plays a big part in determining your child’s height. Also, weight of the child is determined by that of the parent. If both parents are obese, the child will likely be overweight too. The family’s eating habits also play a role.
- Hair Color – Like eye color, this is also a polygenic trait. This means that your child may end up with a hair color that is a shade of your color, your husband’s color, or a mix of both.
- Personality – According to experts, personality tendencies are hardwired in the baby from the time they’re born. But they also agree that environment factors play a huge role in their behavior. For example, children who are creative or have a good voice (also a genetic trait) will bloom in an encouraging environment. If they are not exposed to art materials or musical instruments, their talent may not prosper. Therefore, environmental factors play a big role in shaping their personality.
A lot of research is being carried out in genetics and scientists are still trying to come to conclusions about their influence in building a child’s physical and emotional character. If you need to understand more about genetics, talk to our experts at KIMS Cuddles.
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.