All you want to do in the initial days after delivery is hold your baby in your arms and look at his beautiful eyes. Wait a minute – did his eyes looked crossed? Are his eyes misaligned? Is your baby cross-eyed? Do not panic! It is normal for an infant’s eyes to appear crossed or misaligned. It happens in a lot of babies and usually goes away on its own by the time your baby is four months (or much before!). Still not convinced? Read on to understand more about the newborn baby cross Eyed.
Why Do Newborn Baby Cross Eyed?
First, newborn eyes are commonly cross or look that way, so there is no need to panic as yet. There are three reasons why your baby might newborn baby cross eyed appears
- Extra skin: Some babies are born with few extra folds of skin around the eye, especially in the inner corners. This extra skin in inner corners can give the appearance of crossed eyes. However, as babies grow, these extra folds of skin will disappear and so will the appearance of a crossed eye
- Lack of coordination: Let’s face it. Your baby is just born. He does not yet know many things, including how to coordinate his body parts. Just like he doesn’t know how to take his hand and put it in his mouth yet (he will master this in few months), he does not yet have a hang of working his eyes together. Do not worry, and he will learn this soon enough
- Weaker eye muscles: There are six tiny muscles around each of our eyes that work in sync to get our eyes to move around. In newborns, at times, one or more of these muscles might be slightly weaker than others, thereby restricting the movements of the respective eye. This is why even if they do not have crossed eyes, you notice their eyes do not move in perfect sync. Again, all the muscles will become stronger by the time your baby is 3 or 4 months old
That being said, by the time your baby hits the 3-month milestone, he should be able to follow objects and people with both his eyes, thanks to better coordination. However, if the eyes never seem to align, it would be best to take the advice of your pediatrician.
Symptoms of Newborn baby Cross Eyed
Most children with strabismus, or crossed eyes, don’t notice any changes in their vision or complain of problems with their eyes. Generally, parent, family members, teachers, or doctor who notices that they don’t have straight eyes or that their eyes appear crossed.
Some kids may complain that they see two objects while only one object is present, and it is called the double vision problem, while others have difficulty seeing different things in general. Your kid may also have uncoordinated eye movements and have difficulty in aiming or focusing their eyes in the same direction. For a newborn baby, cross-eyed symptoms may continue and also affect the classroom learning and reading skills of your kids.
Newborn babies who haven’t started speaking may display symptoms like excessive squinting and tilting or turning their heads to see things more clearly.
Strabismus is quite noticeable sometimes, while at other times, you may notice it only when your kid is looking at a particular object closely or is feeling tired.
Should I Talk To The Doctor About My Child’s Crossed Eyes?
In the initial few months, your doctor will tell you exactly what we told above – that it is normal for the newborns to have a crossed eyes appearance. You would also notice that during each of your routine doctor visits, your doctor would shine a small torch into your baby’s eyes. He is checking if the eyes are developing as it should be, and the eyes are responding to the light as is expected for your baby’s age group. If the results of this small test are satisfied, you have nothing to worry about it. Just wait it out.
That said, if your baby’s eyes look crossed all the time, of you feel particularly concerned, then it is a good idea to talk to the doctor to rule out any other problems.
When Can Newborn Baby Cross Eyed Be A Problem?
Although not very common, the newborn baby cross-eyed can be an indicator of bigger eye problems. There are two issues that can happen:
- Strabismus (crossed eyes): This refers to a newborn baby cross-eyed that does not resolve itself in 4 months. The eyes appear uncoordinated. It would appear as if the child is looking at different points with each eye and never focus on the same point. Unlike in infants, when newborn baby cross-eyed is a problem with the “eye,” in older kids, strabismus is the result of the way “brain” communicates with the eye muscles. It can be corrected through various strabismus treatment options.
Strabismus treatment options:
various strabismus treatment options include Eyeglasses, Eye drops, Eye patching, Surgery on the eye muscles. But if left untreated, it can deteriorate the vision of one eye.
In some cases, it’s enough to have your baby wear the eyeglasses to straight out the eyes. It doesn’t improve by using eyeglasses, and then the doctor may suggest an eye patch that the baby has to wear on the straight or normal eye for a couple of hours each day. This allows the baby to see only through the crossed eye, and, as time passes, the vision and muscles in this eye improve and become stronger and get to the correct position.
Instead of a patch, the doctor may recommend eye drops (atropine drops) as one of the strabismus treatment options. The eye drops temporarily blur the vision in the straight eye, forcing the crossed eye to work harder, so the vision and muscles improve within time.
If your baby’s strabismus doesn’t improve with eyeglasses, eye patching, and eye drops, then their final one is eye muscles may need surgery. Surgery will loosen or tighten the eye muscles, which causes crossed eyes. Always this is not the cause of the condition. Some diseases can also cause strabismus rarely and are treatable without surgery. This is why it’s important to have a medical professional to examine your kid before considering a surgical option thoroughly that surgery is necessary or not.
If diagnosed in the early stages, the condition is treatable by your doctor more easily. For this reason, early diagnosis and treatment are key to solve it easily.
- Amblyopia (lazy eyes): If the child’s eyes are misaligned, or if there are any vision problems like near- or farsightedness, or there is a block in vision due to cataract, then in some cases the brain will shut down the vision of one eye. This condition is called amblyopia. By fixing the underlying problem, lazy eyes can be managed. But identifying it is very difficult as kids are often not good at telling you that their “one eye does not work.”
There are other vision problems also like the two above that the doctor will screen your child for if his crossed eyes remain persistent after 3-4 months. The most important thing to remember is that most vision problems can be corrected, through surgery, medicine and glasses. And as we said before, the infant’s crossed eyes in newborns are quite normal, and more often than not, it will resolve itself.