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My Baby’s Skin Is Becoming Darker! – What To Do & Is It Normal?

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 judgement 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!

baby's skin is becoming darker

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?

(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 ideal that fair is in some way better than dark. The best you can do is to 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,


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

Comments for “My Baby Is Becoming Darker!”

Feb 11, 2012


by: niomi

Hi!! I had a baby girl born 24 weeks 1 pound 5 ounces. She had alot of complications and is currently in the hospital after 4 months. she had jaundice but that was taking care of early in life. her body had darken but her face is still lite. Some days she look light and somedays she look olive. when is her complextion going to set in and why her complexion still changing

Feb 17, 2012

It takes time
by: Paula

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 fair.

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 the risks and problems if born so early.

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


Mar 01, 2012


by: Anonymous

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

Mar 05, 2012

Children are ALL beautiful…

by: Dana

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.

Mar 26, 2012

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, 2012

help ! i make my baby fair
by: nisha

Hello 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 home made tips then I make my baby color again fair and beautiful.

Jul 12, 2012

About a little girl’s skin color
by: Paula (Easy Baby Life)


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 anywere 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,


Nov 15, 2012

baby color

by: Anonymous

My baby is dark when he is born. Will he gain colour after few weeks? Me and my husband is fair.

Feb 27, 2013

by: mayuri

My baby boy 3 months was too fair when born.bv gradually his only face colour is getting dark. I’m fair bv my hubby is dark…. What can i do to stop it

Mar 24, 2013

preconceived beauty issue
by: Anonymous

What is wrong with you all? Skin colour 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 vica 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, 2013

babies face fair n body dark

by: 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, 2013

Seriously people
by: Anonymous

There 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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  • chintha


    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

    • 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!

  • chintha

    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.

  • Vaibhav

    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.


    • Madhuri Kollipara

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

  • Brittany

    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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Jag

    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 ?

    • Deepti

      I can’t believe

    • 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.

    • Denese

      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?

  • 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

  • narayanan

    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.

    • 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!

      • rajasri k

        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.

  • rajasri k

    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?

  • rajasri k

    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?