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What Will My Baby Look Like?

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Chin chin is a Christian stay-at-home mom with five children. She' been a Sunday School teacher for about 30 years now.

What will my baby look like? This is one of the exciting questions that soon-to-be dads and moms ask. I asked this question myself when I was pregnant and even dreamed about it. Will my baby look like mom or dad? Will they be beautiful or handsome? Is it really possible to know what babies look like even before they are born?

We can all make educated guesses about what the baby will look like before they are born. We can even use one of the virtual baby makers available online. But there are a lot of factors that go into determining what physical features a baby will have.

How Will My Child Look?

There are a lot of generators out there that will take photos of you and your partner to try to give an approximation of what your child would look like. See two sample pictures of what my baby looks like below after trying out a virtual baby maker.

All I did was upload my photo and the photo of my partner—if you try it, your partner could be your spouse, a boyfriend, or even a celebrity—and the virtual baby maker program did its magic. By merging the two photos, poof, out comes the virtual baby, it doesn't have to take 9 months.

The software claim to use facial recognition technologies. It carefully analyzes the two facial features and applies sophisticated mathematical transformations to these facial features to obtain a totally new face. I just tried using a free online virtual baby maker for fun.

However, genetic inheritance is so complex and includes so many different aspects. The virtual baby generators are not very accurate when it comes to predicting how your baby will look. Instead, you can use a little bit of genetic inheritance theory to figure out what the chances are that your child will have certain physical characteristics.

Baby's Looks and Genetics

Did you know that a pair of parents has the potential of reproducing 64 trillion different children? That's what experts say based on the estimation that there are 60,000 to 100,000 genes in a human being's 46 chromosomes. And that is what happens when a baby gets 23 chromosomes from mom and another 23 from dad. So statistically speaking, it is quite impossible to predict accurately what your baby will look like.

Furthermore, Kate Garber, Ph.D., director of education in the Department of Human Genetics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, says that "Most traits are actually determined by many genes working together, rather than a single gene."

What that means is that the interplay of genes can create all sorts of unexpected traits. As an example, eye color, which is determined by the amount of melanin or brown pigment in the iris, can result in a wide variety of hues. Therefore, it is possible for two blue-eyed parents to have brown-eyed offspring and vice versa.

There is also something called a dominant feature. This means that only one parent needs to have the feature to potentially pass on the gene through generations. Examples of dominant features are dimples, freckles, cleft chin, hairy earlobes, and widow's peak.

To get an idea of what facial features your child may inherit, look at photos of family members and relatives over generations. If most family members have dimples or a prominent chin, then there is a fairly strong indication that these traits will likely be passed on to the child.

Another scenario would be, if the dad carries only a dominant gene for brown hair and mom carries only a recessive gene for blond, all children should have brown hair. But when the children marry a blond spouse, some grandchildren could have blond hair.

Dominant and Recessive Genes

In genetics, the terms dominant and recessive are used to describe different alleles (gene variations). A dominant allele is one that shows its effects even if the individual has only one copy of the allele (everyone gets one copy of an allele from both parents).

A recessive allele is one that requires two identical copies of the allele. For example, blue eyes are a recessive trait, so for someone to have blue eyes, they need to have identical alleles for blue eyes from their parents. Brown eyes are dominant, so someone who inherits one allele for blue and one for brown would still have brown eyes due to brown being dominant. However, for many features, there are actually multiple genes that influence that particular trait. Even eye color is influenced by more than one allele.

Mendelian Inheritance

Much of what we know about genetic inheritance and how it influences visual traits comes from the work of a 19th-century Moravian monk named Gregor Mendel. For many years, Mendel bred pea plants at his monastery, documenting the interactions between different breeds and how the offspring developed based on their heredity. His studies became the backbone of modern genetic inheritance.

You can observe how some of this occurs by using a Punnett square. A Punnett square is a simple representation of the probabilities of offspring having a certain phenotype. While genetics is rarely ever as simple as a Punnett square, it is a useful tool for looking at the interplay of genetic inheritance.

An Example of a Punnett Square

A basic example of a Punnett square, with the parent's alleles on the outside of the square with the potential offspring's alleles on the inside.

A basic example of a Punnett square, with the parent's alleles on the outside of the square with the potential offspring's alleles on the inside.

As you can see in the above example, one parent had a dominant copy of an allele, and the other parent had two recessive alleles. While this Punnett square is a simplification of human genetics, it can be useful for determining the probability of a child having a particular trait. Blonde hair and blue eyes are both recessive traits so, in order for a child to have either, both alleles would have to be present in the family's genetic history and the child would have to inherit both recessive alleles.

3D and 4D Ultrasound

For couples expecting a baby within a couple of months, it is possible to know the gender of the baby as early as 16 weeks using 2D ultrasound. Now, with the advances in technology, it is also possible to see a clearer picture of how the baby looks like while still in the mother's womb using 3D and 4D ultrasound.

2D ultrasound produces the classic black and white images many are familiar with. 3D ultrasound produces a three-dimensional image of the fetus, and it is typically colored with a brownish hue, and 4D is constructed from multiple 3D ultrasounds. So if the baby is sucking their thumb, crying, yawning, etc. you will see their movements and gestures using 4D ultrasound.

This new technology is amazing. It is possible to capture baby's first images in photos and videos and preserve the memories for the whole family to enjoy. However, the safety of this ultrasound baby scan is still in question, though generally the technique is considered safe. Doctors recommend that parents try to avoid doing too many "souvenir" ultrasounds as there are still some questions as to how safe the procedure is.

Newborn Babies

Another thing to keep in mind is that a newborn baby looks different from how babies are portrayed in the media. The way a newborn looks depends on a variety of factors, such as how far along your baby is at birth, and if they were delivered vaginally or via cesarian section among other factors. Your baby has spent a long time in the cramped confines of the uterus so many of their features will appear smushed.

Additionally, some features such as eye color and hair color can change in the few days after birth. Just because a baby is born with a particular hair color, that does not mean that later on, their hair will be the same color. Same goes for eye color: many babies will be born with pale blue eyes, with the color changing to brown in a few days.

As your child develops and grows, their features will begin to change, making it hard to determine how your child will look just based on how they look at birth.

What Will My Baby Look like When They Are Older?

Many parents wonder how their child will develop after birth as many features and visual characteristics are not apparent when they are still a newborn. While some features are apparent in an infant, many of their facial features do not become distinct until later on in their development. Their face may appear squished and small after birth, so it is difficult to tell what features will become more prominent as they grow.

Links of Reading Sources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2010 Chin chin

Comments

kaylee on June 13, 2018:

i want my baby to look like me

Albino Freakish on February 27, 2013:

There is a cool app called Who's My Baby? which will tell you exactly this information.

kelleyward on January 02, 2012:

Interesting info. Thanks so much!

amber on December 17, 2011:

make my baby cute

nenytridiana from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia on November 16, 2011:

I've never heard about this before. It is too late now, I have five children now. But It is still a useful information for me, I will share it with my children when they are ready. What a hub! Vote up! Thank You Chin chin!

sam on October 09, 2011:

wow that's nice information chin chin

dipsmi from Plymouth, Minnisota on September 11, 2011:

cool hub!!!

dana on September 11, 2011:

i dont no

laisaa on September 05, 2011:

i love it.

jdael.com

PSKeville on August 17, 2011:

For those of you who can't wait to see how close the Baby Maker software comes to the end results of that fetus.... gather photos of YOUR mom & dad and perhaps a baby picture of yourself. See how accurate it is with your parents photos. :o) I think that over-all, it is for entertainment purposes anyway.

Sun-Girl from Nigeria on May 18, 2011:

Amazing and intriguing info which i so much enjoy reading,thanks.

ellahall2011 on May 05, 2011:

Hahaha i love it.

Ingenira on April 10, 2011:

Wow, this device is cool and fun ! Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Carlsley from Minnesota on December 28, 2010:

Very cool hub! I love it.

DeBorrah K Ogans on November 19, 2010:

Chin chin, Interesting informative hub! Life is a precious gift from God it is amazing to see how each child is uniquely formed and has their own distinct temperaments and characteristics! Each child is really a miraculous creation of God created for a purpose!

Thank you for sharing this most thought provoking hub! In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

CorMack on September 22, 2010:

Babies are really nothing THAT special, except in the eyes of the parents. Any couple, without existing medical issues, can create one -- doesn't take some special gift or require some talent. If only the gifted or talented could have children, then our race would be doomed (as those numbers are severely limited in the scheme of things). The world mostly swells with 'Average Joes' and 'Plain Janes'.

Of course parents will think their kid is the best, but they shouldn't expect the rest of the world to follow suit. There are a lot of unattractive people out there who were all babies once, and I am sure they were the apple of their parents' eyes too.

Just being realistic.

WhatWillMyBaby on September 18, 2010:

Great article.

Free Baby Coupons on September 02, 2010:

Hi Chin chin,

Thank you for sharing this article with us. It sounds pretty interesting.

I especially liked the baby maker page, just for fun:)

EatLovePray from Canada on August 31, 2010:

Wow! Thanks for the nice article!

Devara from Indonesia on July 05, 2010:

Wahahha...both of us, me and my wife laughed so badly when we tried to use the software on makemebabies.com. Both of us cannot determine whether the baby is she or he..lol

Jennifer Maldonado from West Palm Beach on July 03, 2010:

Great Hub. It would be very interesting to see. I think I want to check that out. Thanks for the great read.

coolmompublishing from Georgia on July 01, 2010:

Very interesting and curiosity piquing hub! I had to try it for myself because I have a 5 month old, and I wanted to see if it would be close. It actually did look like a less chubby version of my son. I used morphthings.com. It's free and doesn't require a membership.

pinkhawk from Pearl of the Orient on June 25, 2010:

..wow this is interesting,cool and fun! I'm excited to try the free software for fun..^.^ Thank you for sharing ma'am!^.^

garethjones10 from North Yorkshire on June 25, 2010:

Excellent

Scott on June 15, 2010:

Lots of fun. Tried it and one was the spitting image of our daughter! Works great.

adorababy from Syracuse, NY on June 09, 2010:

This is a great tool. It's fun to see what your baby might look like.

Beth Arch from Pearl of the Orient Seas on May 18, 2010:

This is interesting! I'll try this. Eager to see what will my baby look like using this free online virtual baby maker. Thanks.

infant bedding set on May 17, 2010:

My husband and I are childless wonders but often joke around when we see adorable little kids. He likes to say, "Where's our love child?" Now we can even take it a step further. :)

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on May 17, 2010:

beccas90, you are absolutely right. My daughter has my diligence and my son got my shyness. And now that I'm a mom, I think I'm beginning to be like my mom even more. Thanks for reading this hub, beccas90.

beccas90 from New York on May 16, 2010:

Of course in addition to looks they do seem to take on some our traits as well don't they. My kids have my witty humor and wisdom and take after their father for clothes everywhere and ability to turn the kitchen into a garage - just kidding.

angel4todd from louisiana on May 15, 2010:

this was a really interesting read. Thank you.

selena on May 15, 2010:

wow amazing

ineveryoneheart on May 15, 2010:

woh great

Zreeves11 from Kent on May 15, 2010:

super stuff good info and one of the best hubs ive read...

Debbie Gee from California on May 14, 2010:

always neat to ponder :) Neat Hub!

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on May 13, 2010:

GojiJuiceGoodness and Grills Guy, I think sometimes the virtual baby maker will come up with a good combination of the parents photos. But it will not be really accurate. For me, it's also worth some fun.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on May 13, 2010:

Norah Casey, not only you are interested in inherited appearance traits, a lot of people are. Isn't it that whenever there is a newborn, people often ask who does the baby look like? But you'll never really know until they are a little bit grown-up. As for my siblings and I, I used to say that I'm different from them because my cousins tease me that I'm dark-colored compared to them. Anyway, I like being unique also.

nothando on May 13, 2010:

ohh no i cant resist this one. da baby is determined by the number of sexual wet dream of father. if he did a lot da baby will absolutely look like mother. or and alcohol.but the acual fact is genes, dat what dertemine a baby. thando ziqubu

obasi on May 13, 2010:

In meditation, the individual is encouraged to give up his attachment to his separated self concept…the separated self is always conceptual,is very possible

Grills Guy from Santa Cruz on May 13, 2010:

Well I don't think that virtual baby maker is all that accurate, yet it still is a funny gimmick to try out.

GojiJuiceGoodness from Roanoke, Virginia on May 13, 2010:

Great hub! I found it very interesting. In the photos up top with baby & parents, I think the baby somewhat resembled the mother.

Norah Casey on May 13, 2010:

Interesting hub! I've always been interested in inherited appearance traits. While all of my siblings and I are unmistakably related, I'm the only person in my immediate family with green eyes. One can guess what their kids will look like, but who knows how it will actually turn out! :)

hot cars on May 13, 2010:

What an interesting topic! Very fun and entertaining hub. thanks for sharing your thoughts

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on May 10, 2010:

FashionFame, I have tried the virtual baby maker, posted the photo above. Though I have tried it over and over again, trying to see if the baby photo results would look differently. Thanks for dropping by.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on May 10, 2010:

Polly C, thanks for sharing your thoughts. People do say that most of our children got the looks from their dad, only the 4th one looks more like me. Maybe that's one reason we got 5 children. I want one more that looks like me. Ha ha!

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on May 10, 2010:

Thanks lender for dropping by.

Surely borge_009, your baby will inherit the looks either from both of you. Hope you have a wonderful-looking baby.

FashionFame from California on May 10, 2010:

Wow !! I just loved it. I would surely like to try it. Have you tried it????????? Let me know!!Joining your fan club and would like to invite you too.

Polly C from UK on May 10, 2010:

Interesting hub - when I was pregnant I used to wonder all the time what my babies would look like. An interesting factor for me is this - my first child is the spitting image of his dad, whereas the youngest definitely looks more like me. However, both of the children look alike - there is no mistaking that they are brothers! It's fascinating...thank you :)

borge_009 from Philippines on May 05, 2010:

You have some interesting informations here. I just hope if me and my partner will going to have a baby, he/she will just be beautiful as her mother or handsome as me. LOL

lender3212000 from Beverly Hills, CA on May 05, 2010:

What an interesting topic! Very fun and entertaining hub.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on May 02, 2010:

Glowz and hubpageswriter, you can try the virtual baby maker too. I had some fun when I tried it in making the image to compliment this hub. Thanks for dropping by.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on May 02, 2010:

CarpetDiem, you're absolutely right. I think the same way about our 5 babies. Thanks for answering the question.

CarpetDiem from Southern California on May 02, 2010:

Chin Chin,

"What will my baby look like?"

Sorry, but I can't resist answering this question. For almost all parents, in their eyes, their new baby will look like the most beautiful baby in the whole wide world! :)

I know our two babies looked like that!

Great title and hub.

Steve

hubpageswriter on May 02, 2010:

This seems like fun. Great hub.

Glowz on May 02, 2010:

Wow! your rite belliot that would be interesting and it would create a lot of curiosity don't you think to all that would want to be first time parent's to those or those that fantasize about having a baby with their dream boy or girl!

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on May 01, 2010:

For curiosity's sake, you can have fun to try the Virtual Baby Maker software. However, the resulting photo does not come that close yet to the real baby when he comes - well, not yet. Thanks belliott for leaving your thoughts.

belliott on May 01, 2010:

Interesting information. I would be curious to see a photo from the Virtual Baby Maker software before a baby was born and then see how close it was to being right. Thanks for sharing.