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baby skin color


This post started as a question from a worried mom about her baby’s skin getting darker and what to do about it.

Worrying about the skin color of your child can seem wrong in the 21st century, but it is a very real issue for parents in some cultures. Passing judgment will not help. Talking about it might. 🙂

I’ve answered the mom here and a lot of people have commented. Feel free to join in!

Let’s empower each other to focus on the inner and outer beauty of our children no matter the color of their skin!


Mom’s Question:
My baby is 4 months old. At birth, she had a fair color but within 2 months her color is now dark. Why has my baby’s skin color changed so much and is there anything I can do to make her fair again?

Rina
(Giridih, Jharkhand, India)


Baby Helpline:

Development Of Babies’ Skin Color

What a beautiful baby girl you have! Congratulations!

Regarding her skin color, it is completely normal that she has become darker with age. Most babies are relatively fair, even pink when newborn, but depending on race and genes, the baby’s skin then changes during the first year to its real color. So there is no need to worry at all!

I would guess since you are from India, that you are affected by the idea that fair is in some way better than dark. The best you can do is try to ignore these old traditions that say absolutely nothing about the qualities of your daughter. Our children need us to love them just the way they are; not wishing for them to be something else.

Also, there isn’t much you can do about it. I know there are old recommendations to massage babies with milk or powder, for example, to make the skin fair, but that doesn’t help at all; these recommendations are all pure myths. Keeping your daughter out of the direct sunlight is good of course, not the least for protecting her from being burnt.

The way a baby’s skin color develops over time is the following:

  • At birth, most babies, regardless of race, are to some extent purple-reddish.
  • After a day or two, the purple becomes more pink, due to blood vessels being visible through the newborn baby’s very thin skin.
  • At this time, some babies get a yellowish skin color due to physiological jaundice; common in newborn babies.
  • The newborn baby’s feet might be purple for a while, due to blood circulation not yet mature.
  • Over the coming six months, the baby’s true skin color will develop, which is entirely controlled by genes, and not something we can control at all.

To empower yourself to fight old values regarding skin color, I recommend the book Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color. It does not specifically deal with skin color values in India but on a broader level.

Warm wishes,

Paula

Update: This question has received a lot of comments, join in below! 🙂

Comments for “My Baby Is Becoming Darker!”

Mar 26, 2016 colour
by: Anonymous


My baby boy is 5 weeks old.when he was born he was white but now he is black. His father is white but my color is not.


Jul 12, 2016 help! I make my baby fair
by: NishaHello doctor, I am from Punjab and my name is Nisha. My baby is just 10mnth old. When she was born she is so fair and beautiful but now she is so dark in color. My color is fair but my husband is also dark in color. So doctor pls tell me some homemade tips then I make my baby color again fair and beautiful.

Jul 12, 2016 About a little girl’s skin color
by: Paula (Easy Baby Life)Nisha,

I know very well how fair is perceived much more beautiful than dark in India. But since skin color is inherited, there really is nothing to do about it!

Instead of mourning your daughter’s color, make up your mind to be her fighter – she is just as beautiful as any fair child! This is the 21st century and no child anywhere should be judged by skin color, in my opinion. So stand up for her and yourself and accept and love her just the way she is, even if it is against the common views where you live.

Warm regards,

Paula


Nov 15, 2016 baby colorby: Anonymous


My baby is dark when he is born. Will he gain color after a few weeks? I and my husband is fair.


Feb 27, 2017 niku
by: MayuriMy baby boy 3 months was too fair when born.bv gradually his only face color is getting dark. I’m fair bv my hubby is dark… What can I do to stop it

Mar 24, 2017 preconceived beauty issue
by: AnonymousWhat is wrong with you all? Skin color is not important in life. The fact that you are lucky enough to be able to have healthy children of any color is amazing.

Surely you know if you are light and your partner is dark that or vice versa there is a 50/50 chance your child will be dark

Take your little miracles, give them a big hug and get over yourselves. You are the ones with the problem, not the baby as they have no preconceived ideas of what beauty is until society fills their head with rubbish.


Apr 05, 2017 babies face fair n body darkby: Anonymous


hi , I’m Leela. when my baby born she is fair but her ears were dark. who ever c her told she will become dark. now she is 6mnths old her face is fair but her body is dark why is it?


Apr 25, 2017 Seriously people
by: AnonymousThere is nothing wrong with your kids whether they have fair or dark completion thank God at least you are able to have kids, there are many people who want to be able to have kids but can’t, so be thankful and stop hating yourselves. Beauty is inside not outside. My husband looks like a model and I am not “great looking” and people always ask how come he choose you? My husband says I care about your brain, not your looks… so try to spend the time in making your kids inside beautiful not their outside. Break the Taboos!! FOR GOD’S SAKE WAKE UP and STOP SELF HATRED!

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This Post Has 33 Comments

  1. Avatar

    It’s really sad that dark complexions in a baby can make the parents sad. Every child is created just beautifully, in every shade and color, and should be celebrated and loved just the way they are.

    We shouldn’t burden our children with OUR issues and these old traditions of beauty which are colonialist and completely shallow.
    Children are a blessing and are ALL beautiful! Make sure you love them and celebrate them just the way they ARE, not mourn who you wish they were.

  2. Avatar

    My baby is very dark like charcoal, while I have very light skin. But the dad is charcoal too, I feel like crying.

  3. Avatar

    Hi!! I had a baby girl born 24 weeks 1 pound 5 ounces. She had a lot of complications and is currently in the hospital after 4 months. She had jaundice but that was taken care of early in life. Her body has darkened but her face is still lite. Some days she looks light and some days she looks olive. When is her complexion going to set in and why her complexion still changing?

    1. Paula @ EasyBabyLife

      Hi Niomi,
      I am sorry to hear that your girl was born so early, but it is fantastic that she survived and is making progress.

      Regarding her complexion; Still being almost premature or at least has just now reached the age when she should have been born, she is probably still very small and skinny. During the months to come, she will put on weight and then probably start to appear more in line with her true skin color.

      But regardless of her color – she is a fantastic fighter and a small miracle. So try not to worry about her appearance at all, instead cherish every moment with your little darling.

      My daughter was almost born in week 25, but with medical help and bed rest for three months she was just a little bit early when she was born. But I did learn some about the risks and problems of born so early.

      Take care of yourself and your little girl. Soon enough she will be a chubby, giggling little baby girl.

      Paula

  4. Avatar

    Hi! My baby was born with a very fair skin tone. She has just completed her 6th month and now I noticed that her skin is turning a bit dark in colour, except for the face which is still bright. I was worried that she might have some undiagnosed condition. But I’m glad that it’s pretty normal. More than her skin tone, her health is more important to me.

  5. Avatar

    It is because of parents like these, the white race is snobbish and egoistic even in the 21st century. These parents (especially Indians) should get some life and thank almighty atleast 100 times a day for blessing them with a child first and then for a healthy child. Not surprised so many Indians commenting here, they are unusual people with such double standards. They are amazingly thankless and always dissatisfied with life. May God bless them with some sanity.

  6. Avatar

    hello
    my daughter is 3 month old and have reddish brown hair color…she was fair when born but gradually her skin is getting dark…what could be the reason for that????
    Is it building of melanin causing it??? will it also change the hair color

  7. Avatar

    As an Afro Caribbean woman I honestly feel like you’re feeding these women’s foolishness by even continuing to answer so many questions after having already fully explained in your initial responses. These women are ridiculous. If you are BLACK or dark skinned….why on earth would you be sad or shocked if your child gets a dark complexion? So backward. And yes I am judging. Silly.

  8. Avatar

    Hi, me and my husband are fair but my little one turned really dark. He was born at 35 weeks and really red. Even scalp was also deep red. Third day redness was gone but after few days he turned really dark now he is 13 weeks old but on his face some light spots are there but cheeks are dark, nose under the skin is also dark that means skin above the upper lip. But body hands and legs are really dark. Anyone experienced this problem. What color he would get? Any suggestions?

  9. Avatar

    Hi, same problem here, me and my husband are fair my son turned very dark whole body looks very dark don’t know the reason. Everyone started asking why he looks so dark. Now he is 3 months old but no change. When did she started getting lighter i mean in which month?

  10. Avatar

    Hi Paula,
    This is anusha. My baby was born pink. At 10th day she became black and slowly she gained her color again in few months. But her legs are very black than her whole body. She is now 20 months. Also her legs are little dry than her whole body. Is there any skin issues or nothing to worry about. I’m not bothered what color is she. I love her a lot. But scared whether it would be a skin problem.

    1. Paula @easybabylife

      Hi Anusha! So sorry for the late reply, I somehow missed your question. If your daughter still has very dry legs, try a lotion or organic oil. If the skin is dry it can certainly appear to have a slightly different color than the rest of her body. If you are very concerned, show it to a doctor! But I have never heard about a worrying skin condition that would just be concentrated to the legs. Good luck!

      1. Avatar

        Hi Paula, me and my husband are fair but my little boy is 13 weeks old and he turned very dark color. What is the reason. His hands and legs looks very dark. Will he change that color please advise.

  11. Paula @easybabylife

    Hi Deepak,
    It takes a while before a baby’s “true” skin color appears. I wouldn’t worry or do anything if I were you. Even several kinds of birth marks disappear or fade over time. The only reasonable to be concerned would be if you believe that your baby is ill in some way – then talk to a dockor. If it is just a worry of a beauy flaw – let it go! Best, Paula

    1. Avatar

      You fool

      Nobody in India hates their skin tone
      The males all marry their females anyways

      Talk about the amounts of plastic surgery and almost deadly diets that westerners do even for minor issues.

  12. Avatar

    Hi doc, my baby is 7 weeks old and when she born her skin was fair but my husband said because I’m breastfeeding her she taking my color. I’m not fair but husband is fair skin .is breast milk can change my baby’s color ?

    1. Avatar

      I can’t believe

    2. Paula Dennholt

      Hi there,
      A person’s skin color comes from his or her DNA. Nothing else. The only thing your breastmilk will do to your baby, is to make her healthy. Don’t worry about your daugher’s skin color, just enjoy her and think of her as perfect just the way she is.

    3. Avatar

      I have three children all for my husband. The first two boys are light in complexion but my daughter is darker. I expected her to be as light as they are. What could be the cause for her being darker?

      1. Avatar

        Seriously what is WRONG with you people? Go take care of your kids and stop asking dumb vain questions. There are so many women out there who wish they could be blessed with one child much less three!!!

  13. Paula Dennholt

    Hi Faria,
    This is a good question. I know this is a common belief and a lot of parents say that it’s been true for their children. But quite a few state the opposite too. I have searched high and low to find any kind of research to back it up. I’ve found nothing though. This doesn’t mean that it is wrong, but to honest, I can’t say. Anyone else having thoughts on this? How about YOUR child?

  14. Paula Dennholt

    Well, I hope and think you are wrong, Evet! There are so many children with parents of different origins, there are adopted children, foster care, all sorts of reasons why a child may not look exactly like one or both of their parents.

    My experience is that children are often more open-minded than adults. They ask, you answer and then they get on with their life.

    Of course the child may get questions or comments, but if the parents are open and cool about it from the start, chances are much higher that this will never be a problem at all.

    1. Avatar

      You are delusional. I was teased mercilessly as a child for my nose. Other kids I knew had it much worse. The 6 fingered boy was eventually removed from school. Kids are horrible to those who are different. It’s inborn tribal mentality.

  15. Paula Dennholt

    Hi,
    Skin color is all about genes. A large number of genes contribute to skin colour in a number of different ways which results in a complicated process influencing a child’s skin color. If your baby has a much darker skin color than any of you, then he or she most likely got color from your parents or grandparents or even generations before that. Due to this it is entirely possible, but unusual that white parents give birth to a dark baby and vice versa. I think that is quite exciting! Enjoy parenthood and your baby and don’t worry about his or her color.

  16. Avatar

    Paula, thank you for the kind and compassionate way you answer worried mothers. You are a blessing and a great role model for providing supportive knowledgable answers. Thank you!

  17. Avatar

    Thanks Paula for such sharing great advises with everyone,

    My 3 month old daughter has little dark legs but her face color is fair.
    Anything we should try to make body complexion same over face and legs.

    Regards,
    Vaibhav

    1. Avatar

      My baby is also soo dark, i want a immediate solution yo get fair

      1. Avatar

        Give the child to someone who will love and cherish her, dark skin and all. You’re unfit. Your focus is completely wrong. Coming here to ask this outrageous question. It’s sad to think you will treat this child poorly because of a skin colour that YOU and her father have her, through genetics. Some of you Should not have kids.

        1. Avatar

          Girl. I’m feelin’ the same way. IDK what is wrong with the women who are sayin, “My baby was real light, or light brown skin, or brown skin medium light caramel brown and now is dark skin after a few weeks or months. WOW. smh. My mother is cocoa dark brown. Not dark skin. My father? Real light skin P.R.male. still married, and i came out and stayed real light skin. with thick black lovely hair coarse THICK hair, love my blackness black people and lighter black and hispanic. dark skin hispanic blk brother. We love for inside beauty.
          My niece is now real light, at 1 minute old, she came out REAL WHITE TO FAIR SKIN and was then DARK skin only at 8 weeks, and then by pre-k, kindergarten in 2005 she was light skin,

          to light medium-brown skin halle perfect shade or janet jackson brown . she changed, and she is now permanent teen years brown skin and healthy most important. just love the child and if not? Give it up.

          For real ….

          for GOD’s sake, give her to some 1 who will adopt her love her and raise her happily, the same way you ALL would want to be raised wit’ most important LOVE NURTURE GUIDANCE, in a lovely safe drama free happy home. LIDDY i agree chica.adios.

  18. Avatar

    doctor, my son age 3 and half month. his body is deferance color. me and my husband both fair but my sone face is fair bout body is darker. ear below lighter up is darker.even his body same places lighter than other should i worry about it.why my baby is become dark skin as me and my hasband has lighter skin.i am thing about it too much.

  19. Avatar

    doctor.

    me and my husband both fair but my son is body is darker and face is fair now he is 3 and half month. i am worry about it.his ear half lighter.even body some areas lighter should i worry

    1. Paula Dennholt

      Hi,

      It is quite natural that the body color varies a little bit over the body. It just shows more if someone is darker. Unless he seems to have some skin condition, making it dry, raw, with very definded color differences in certain areas or something else, I wouldn’t worry. I hope your son is just fine!

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