Taking Care Of Your Baby’s Eyes

4 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Taking Care Of Your Baby’s EyesA newborn baby is fragile and delicate and his eyes are even more so. Hence, they need special care and attention. To take care of your baby’s eyes, we must first have some basic knowledge about their vision. For the first few weeks, a newborn baby is shortsighted. Anything that is closer or farther than 20 cm would appear blurry to your little one.

Babies do not really look straight ahead for the first few weeks of their lives, but are more interested in what is happening to their right and left. Their vision develops over the course of three months. Though a baby’s eye clean themselves, at bath times, or if the baby has an infection, you need to be extra careful while cleaning a newborn baby’s eyes.

In This Article

Why Does My Baby Seem To Have Crossed Eyes?

A newborn’s vision takes some time to develop. Hence, in the initial stages, you might notice that your baby has crossed or uncoordinated eyes. This is nothing to be concerned about. Your baby’s vision will develop and correct itself over a period of a few weeks.

Initially, your baby won’t be able to produce any tears either. As your baby nears its one-month birthday, he will be able to produce tears. If your baby isn’t able to produce tears even after the first-month benchmark, it is suggested you consult your doctor. If your doctor says that your baby has blocked tear ducts, you might have to take special care of the eyes and clean them often.

How To Clean Your Baby’s Eyes?

cleaning newborn's eyes

Below are some easy-to-follow steps to clean your baby’s eyes:

  • A baby is quite receptive to allergies and infections, hence made sure you are absolutely clean while handling the baby. If you have traveled or are coming from outside, do change into fresh and clean clothes and wash your hands before holding the baby
  • If the baby is irritated or quite active it is better that you clean his eyes later. You want the baby to be relaxed and calm while you are cleaning his eyes to avoid any injury
  • Take some lukewarm water in a bowl and some fresh cotton pad or a clean soft cloth to clean your baby’s eyes
  • Soak the cotton pad or the cloth in the water and squeeze off the excess
  • With gentle hands, clean your baby’s eyes with the soaked pad or cloth
  • Use a fresh pad for another eye
  • Do not vigorously rub or scratch
  • Do not clean the inside of the eye
  • Do not rub the eye incessantly; just gently clean it once or twice

Blocked Tear Ducts Of The Baby

blocked tear duct

So you see your baby cry without tears? Well, a baby does not produce tears after being born, and he will start to produce tears once he is around 3 weeks old. One or both tear ducts may be clogged in about 30% of the babies, and yellowish mucus may accumulate in the clogged eye.

You can wipe away mucus with a sterile cotton pad. These clogged tears generally need no treatment and will clear on their own by the time your baby. With cleansed hands, you can gently massage the inner corner of your baby’s eyes in the upward direction, (towards the nose) as many times as you can remember. Try to do this every time you make a nappy change and you should be done.

How Can I Clean My Baby’s Eyes If They Are Infected?

If your baby has sore eyes or an eye infection, you need to be extra careful while cleaning his eyes.

  • If your baby’s eyes are infected, you must clean them more often and regularly. Cleaning them 2-3 times a day will help the eyes to heal faster
  • Use a separate bowl of lukewarm water for both the eyes
  • Use disposable cotton pads to clean the eyes and do not use the same pad twice or on another eye
  • Do not put the cotton pad inside the eye. Just clean the eyes externally
  • Make sure you also clean the tear ducts gently
  • If there is a sticky discharge from the eyes, clean the eyes twice or thrice a day
  • The baby may cry while cleaning the infected eyes, but make sure you still clean them

When To Contact The Doctor?

If your baby’s vision hasn’t corrected itself, even after 4-5 weeks you must consult your doctor. Also, if you observe mucus even after the baby’s first birthday, it means your baby’s ducts are still blocked and hence you must visit your doctor at the earliest. If there is persistent redness and irritation in your baby’s eyes it is better to consult your doctor in such cases as well.

Is Kajal Safe For Your Baby’s Eyes? Find out!

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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