What Will My Baby Look Like?

Published on August 5th, 2020 and Updated on April 8th, 2021

Your small bundle of joy will start changing in appearance from the moment you first meet. His hair might change colors in the first few years. Her eyes might twinkle differently after the first few months. And growing is definitely on the to-do list.

It makes you wonder, what will my baby look like all grown up?

Peeking Into My Future Child Using DNA

What will my baby look like? Will he have his father’s toes? Will she have her mother’s nose? The answers begin with the biological code that makes up the fabric of each person: DNA. DNA—if you remember from biology class—contains the information for the development and function of every cell. 

So, yes, DNA is the secret to the shape of your nose and toes. Your features are confined within this string of polynucleotides, as well as eye color, hair color, dimpled cheeks, cleft chin, and so much more.

A baby’s appearance will have part of his DNA from mom and part of his DNA from dad. But it’s not as simple as taking the “average” between the two parents. It’s also not as simple as “dominant” and “recessive” traits.

The Role of Genetics: A Complex Combination of Parents

The role that genes (or, strings of DNA that code for proteins) play in your child’s looks is incredibly complex. Take hair color, for example. 

Say mom has dark brown hair and dad has bright blonde hair.

The average between the two parents would mean that the child would have dirty blonde or light brown hair. But this isn’t always the case. 

Dominant vs. Recessive Traits

The theory of dominant and recessive traits uses a Punnett Square technique to determine the outcome of the offspring. Dark hair is considered the dominant trait, blonde hair the recessive gene. If mom has a recessive blonde hair trait, then the child could have a 50% chance of turning out blonde like dad and 50% chance of turning out brunette like mom. If mom doesn’t have a recessive blonde trait, then the child would have a 100% chance of turning out brunette. Yet, if you know any blonde and dark hair couples with children, you know that this also isn’t the whole story. 

So, what’s going on in this common example? Where’s the missing link? 

Polygenic Traits 

Most physical traits are not determined by one gene—instead, they’re polygenic, determined by many genes. For instance, hair color is determined by dozens of genes. Adult height is determined by thousands.

Each physical attribute of a child is determined by the parents, but in a multi-faceted way. If you want to identify what your baby will look like as an adult, the most comprehensive method involves looking at his or her unique DNA.

DNA Tests and How They Can Determine Your Baby’s Look

DNA is found in every cell of the human body—except red blood cells which lack a nucleus to house DNA—and nearly all cells have identical DNA. Which means you can use any human cell to perform a DNA test. Have you ever wondered “will my baby’s eyes stay blue” or “how tall will my child be?” Easy-to-collect skin cells can tell you about eye color, saliva can determine height, blood can tell you about freckling. They all contain the DNA needed to determine the genetic code of the entire person. Even tears contain “shed cells” which hold DNA (though tears don’t make for the easiest sample to test or collect!) and could tell you if your newborn baby will have an inherited trait such as red hair or green eyes.

As a parent, you want to know what your baby will look like as she grows up. And while there’s something to be said about the element of surprise—there’s also the fun and joy in discovering now how your child will look when she’s older, as well as the excitement of comparing her traits with yours.

That’s why the SneakPeek Traits Early DNA Test is launching this fall. 

With this type of NIPT test, you’ll be able to determine the physical attributes of your child by simply rubbing a swab on his or her inner cheek and sending in the sample in a pre-paid envelope. It’s pain-free, scientifically-validated, and with the fast results, you’ll know your infant or child’s:

  • Adult height
  • Hair color, shape, and thickness
  • Eye color and iris pattern
  • Skin color/pigmentation and freckling
  • Nose size
  • And so much more

Using cutting-edge research and gene-identification techniques, SneakPeek Traits determines which genes are present and active, then compiles this information together to form a comprehensive picture. If you’re wondering “what color hair will my baby have,” you can get your answer with SneakPeek Traits.

How many genes contribute to each physical characteristic?


There are more than 3,000 genes that go into adult height—each one having little effect on their own. Dr Jian Yang, a researcher at Queensland Brain Institute, estimates that even the largest effect from one gene is measured to be as little as 5 millimeters.

Hair Color, Texture, & Shape

Hair color, shape, and thickness are all controlled by different sets of genes. So don’t be surprised if your baby has curly hair or wavy hair when both parents have straight hair and vice versa. Hair color, for example, has more than 20 genes that affect the production of eumelanin and pheomelanin, the two types of melanin (or pigmentation) of hair. These genes regulate color-producing cells called melanocytes which can put your baby’s hair color on a spectrum from black to brown or red to blonde, etc. Hair texture is determined by more than a dozen genes. Four of those influence hair shape (e.g., curly or straight). 


Similar to hair, eye color and iris patterns are determined by different sets of genes. Eye color, for example, has two primary genes, HERC2 and OCA2, that heavily influence the pigmentation of eyes (however there are 14 other genes that also play a role). At birth, your newborn baby could have a lighter eye color compared to their sixth month. This is because the melanocytes in their irises need to be cellularly activated through light exposure for their color to stabilize. 

Skin Pigmentation and Freckling

The mc1r gene plays a large role in skin pigmentation and freckling (as well as hair color). However, it is only 1 in 378 genes that affect a person’s skin complexion, according to the International Federation of Pigment Cell Society. Freckling is also impacted by one’s exposure to the environment, which can affect the number and sizes of freckles. 

Nose Size

Scientists have found four different genes that play a role in the pointedness and width of nose size. Those genes include: DCHS2, RUNX2, GLI3, and PAX1.

Other Factors That Change Looks

While genes play the primary role in the physical attributes of each person, there are other factors that can change how your baby will look, such as:

  • Nutrition – Malnutrition can negatively affect a person’s health, whether it’s not enough food or an unbalanced diet. This can prevent a child from reaching his maximum potential height.
  • Fluctuating hormones – As your baby becomes a toddler, his hormones fluctuate, potentially causing his hair to change color. This fluctuation in hormones is not caused by genes; it’s a symptom of aging. The change in hair color is often seen in blonde haired babies turning into brunette youngsters.
  • Environmental factors – A baby’s eyes can change from blue to hazel, green, or to brown eyes as they acquaint themselves to the UV rays of the sun. This change often happens between the ages of six months and three years.

Putting This All Together: Genetics and Other Factors

While there are additional factors that contribute to your baby’s looks, genetic inheritance is the one with the largest impact, and the most accurate way to get a glimpse into the future.

Think of the journey of your baby’s growth like a map. It shows the starting place and the destination. These are his genes. Barring any significant life event, he will end up at the destination and grow up to be the person his genes identified him to be. 

There can, however, be roadblocks on this journey that cause a detour. Maybe your child’s genes determine that she should have dark brown hair, but due to a love of swimming and surfing, her hair is always bleached to a light brown color. Or if you live near an airport and it causes disruption to sleep over a long period of time, this could affect your child’s height. Because growth hormones are primarily secreted during sleep, this could prevent her from growing to her full potential.

Genes, then, determine the boundary of physical attributes. If genes determine the tallest a child can grow is six feet, then diet and environmental factors won’t allow him to extend beyond that limit, they can only negatively detract.

Will My Baby Look More Like Mom or Dad?

Because 50% of a baby’s genes will come from mom and 50% from dad, you might think the baby will look like an exact mix of both of you. But it’s more likely that she will have a blend that causes her to look more like one parent or the other, or she inherits different traits from each parent. She might have her father’s mane and her mother’s button nose. Or he might have his mom’s chin and his dad’s eyes. 

Only with a DNA test will you be able to see how your future baby will look as he or she ages—or, of course, you can wait patiently all those years

The SneakPeek Early Traits DNA Test: Discover More Than The Physical

While it’s incredibly fun to discover what your baby will look like as he ages, the SneakPeek Early Traits DNA Test also empowers you with the information needed to give your child the best life possible. 

Beyond physical traits like height, eye color, and hair color, you can also learn about your child’s nutritional profile. You’ll know whether your child is likely to have low, average, or above average vitamin levels which allows you to better prepare meals for her. You can also learn about her sleep profile to ensure she gets all the zzz’s she needs to grow up healthy.

Give your child the best life possible by sneaking a peek into her future. 



Genome News Network. DNA. http://www.genomenewsnetwork.org/resources/whats_a_genome/Chp1_4_1.shtml 

Palomar EDU. Probability of Inheritance. https://www2.palomar.edu/anthro/mendel/mendel_2.htm 

NIH. Is hair color determined by genetics? https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/traits/haircolor 

ScienceDaily. How Red Blood Cells Nuke Their Nuclei. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080210145839.htm 

New York Times. The Telltale Part. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/science/02qna.html 

University of Queensland Brain Institute. Genetic building blocks of height revealed. https://qbi.uq.edu.au/article/2014/10/genetic-building-blocks-height-revealed 

NIH. Is hair texture determined by genetics? https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/traits/hairtexture 

NIH. Is eye color determined by genetics? https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/traits/eyecolor 

GB Health Watch. genes and me. https://www.gbhealthwatch.com/Trait-Skin-Color.php  

Science Daily. Genes for nose shape found. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160519081832.htm

NCBI. Differences in Dietary Intakes between Normal and Short Stature Korean Children Visiting a Growth Clinic. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3572808/

Live Science. Why Do Some Blond Kids Go Dark? https://www.livescience.com/34827-towhead-blond-kids-blondes-go-dark-brunette.html

Parents. When Do Babies’ Eyes Change Color? https://www.parents.com/baby/development/physical/when-do-babies-eyes-change-color/

Tuck. Sleep and Human Growth Hormone https://www.tuck.com/sleep-hgh/

SneakPeek aims to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information to help our readers make informed decisions regarding their health before, during, and after pregnancy. This article was written based upon trusted scientific research studies and/or articles. Credible information sources for this article are cited and hyperlinked.

Why is SneakPeek Gender more accurate now?
Why do I need to wait until 8 weeks, when there are 7-week women in the study?
What if I can’t hear my baby’s heartbeat?
Is it safe to use a Fetal Doppler?
How does a Fetal Doppler work?
I used last menstrual period (LMP) to calculate 8 weeks into pregnancy. Are my test results reliable?
Can I purchase SneakPeek early and take it when I’m at 8 weeks?
If I can’t enter a post office due to social distancing or limited hours, are there other ways to return?
Is COVID-19 impacting SneakPeek shipping or results timelines?
In light of COVID-19, is SneakPeek Labs still accepting return samples?
Are SneakPeek products safe from COVID-19?
Why has the results email changed to show a check mark instead of a percentage?
How do I activate my SneakPeek At-Home test kit?
Can I buy the SneakPeek test kit now and use it later?
Influencer Collaboration
Is SneakPeek a pregnancy test?
My blood sample was taken at a participating location. What is the status of my results?
Is shipping free?
Does taking progesterone or other hormones affect my results?
Do blood thinners affect my results?
Do you ship to APO/FPO/DPO addresses?
I’ve seen gender predictor tests that use urine samples. How is SneakPeek different?
What is the difference between SneakPeek At-Home and SneakPeek Clinical?
Can I take the SneakPeek Test if I’m breastfeeding?
Do hormone disorders such as PCOS affect my results?
How is my privacy protected?
Is the test safe?
How quickly will I receive my refund?
When is SneakPeek Customer Care available?
What do I do if I have a question about my order?
I’m having twins. Can SneakPeek determine the gender of each one?
What is SneakPeek’s guarantee?
I’ve previously had a boy. Will that affect my test result?
Does a previous miscarriage affect my test results?
How do I ensure an accurate test result?
I can’t find my results email, what do I do?
When will I receive my results?
How are my results given to me?
How will I know you received my sample?
I don’t want my gender results to be sent to my email address. Can I have them sent to someone else?
What email address should I provide during checkout?
Can I track my sample?
What is the shipping timeline?
How long does my sample stay stable after collection? How long can it stay stable during shipping?
What is the difference between SneakPeek Standard and SneakPeek FastTrack?
Can I use SneakPeek if I am having a multiple-birth pregnancy?
How is the DNA blood sample taken?
How accurate is the SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test?
When can I use the SneakPeek test?
When in my pregnancy can I take the SneakPeek Test?
Do you have a pregnancy calculator that tells me when I can take the test?
How does the SneakPeek Test work?