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Newborn Baby Not Opening Eyes? When to Worry

baby not opening eyes

You are a new mother who just got home from the hospital. Your baby is not opening his eyes from birth until you get home. You get to think they might be tired from the long labor hours and are still too tiny. However, you are still anxiously waiting for the time the baby will open his eyes. Days go by, and nothing is yet to happen; finally, worry sets in, and you are thinking about the worst possibilities. If your baby is not opening his eyes, there are some factors you have to know, as you shall see here.

When will my baby start opening his eyes more?

Babies are born with their eyes closed, typically opening their eyes more at around two weeks. However, it is not uncommon for babies to have periods when they keep their eyes closed for longer stretches, even up to a month after birth. Every baby is different, so it is difficult to predict when your baby will start opening their eyes more. If you have concerns about your baby’s development, it is always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider.

How do you know if something is wrong with your baby’s eyes?

There are a few signs that may indicate that something is wrong with your baby’s eyes. These can include:

  1. Excessive tearing or discharge from the eyes
  2. Redness or swelling of the eyes
  3. Sensitivity to light
  4. Crossed eyes or eyes that appear misaligned
  5. A white or cloudy appearance to the pupil
  6. Persistent eye rubbing
  7. Poor vision or difficulty tracking objects with the eyes

If you notice any of these signs, you must consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Your healthcare provider can perform an eye examination and determine if an issue needs to be addressed.

When should a baby’s eyes be checked?

It is generally recommended that babies have their eyes checked shortly after birth as part of their newborn screening. This is usually done by the healthcare provider who delivers the baby.

After the initial screening, babies should generally have their eyes checked at their well-child visits when they are between 6 and 12 months old and again at around three years of age.

Is the newborn baby not opening one eye fully?

Try gently cleaning your baby’s eye with a damp cloth to remove any discharge or debris blocking the eye. Be sure to use a clean cloth for each eye to avoid spreading any infections. Do not try to force the eye open or apply any ointments or drops without consulting a healthcare provider.

If you have concerns about your baby’s eye health, it is always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider. They will be able to provide you with the appropriate guidance and treatment.

What does glaucoma look like in babies?

Glaucoma is a condition that affects the optic nerve and can cause vision loss. In babies, glaucoma can be difficult to detect because they cannot communicate their symptoms or report changes in their vision.

Two main types of glaucoma can affect babies: congenital and primary infantile glaucoma. Congenital glaucoma is present at birth and is often caused by abnormal eye drainage system development. Primary infantile glaucoma develops in the first few months of life and is thought to be caused by an increase in the production of fluid in the eye.

Signs and symptoms of glaucoma in babies can include:

  1. Excessive tearing
  2. Sensitivity to light
  3. Cloudiness or haziness in the pupils
  4. Swelling of the eyes
  5. Crossed eyes or misalignment of the eyes
  6. Poor vision or difficulty tracking objects with the eyes

Timeline since birth

If you just gave birth, you don’t have to worry about your baby opening his eyes. When most babies are born, some take longer to open their eyes. How fast your baby gets to open his eyes depends on how puffy his eyes are. In some situations, we have babies who take up to six days to open their eyes, and they are still acceptable as a parent worrying is okay. Motherhood involves being anxious sometimes. Also, you have had the baby in the womb for nine months; you want to have them look at you. If your baby has been here for a few hours or days, there is no cause for alarm. You can relax, heal, and wait. They will eventually come around, and your baby will look at you.

Premature birth

Babies born prematurely will take some time to open their eyes. For example, if you have given birth to your baby at week twenty-four, you will have to wait until around week twenty-six for them to open their eyes. You will realize that when the baby reaches the age of twenty-six weeks, the eyes opening comes automatically. Therefore if you gave birth to your baby prematurely, give him some time. He will come around. Also, your baby’s opening eyes are among the information you will be given if your baby is born prematurely.

Continuous development

The baby does not stop developing after birth. Babies continue to develop to achieve most of their senses right after birth. As the days go by, the eye muscles of the baby get more muscular. If your baby has not opened his eyes yet, always know his muscles are weak. Babies are not the same; while some get to open their eyes immediately after birth, others have to wait longer. Your baby could be in the latter category, and their eyes will be open with time.

The level of happiness when his eyes will finally open is immense. Also, you need to note even those babies who open their eyes immediately after birth; their eyesight is still minimal. Babies generally have poor eyesight and will need time to put their sight to use. The thought of your baby might cause lots of impatience, but there is strength in waiting unless you have something to worry about.

Hold the baby in an upright position.

Hold your baby upright against your chest and support his head. Some newborns will keep their eyes shut because of their position. Most babies, always in the sleeping position, will keep their eyes shut. You will end up feeling like your baby’s sight is at risk. Before you head out to the hospital, ensure your baby is in a position that contributes to him trying to put his eyes to use.

Monitor the family history on eyesight

Some families have a long line of history, the part of eyesight. If you have an eye condition you have been battling since birth, your child might be taking after you. Also, even immediate family members with eyesight problems can form part of your statistics or assumptions. At the same time, each baby is born differently and faces life. Differently, some hereditary issues might come by. The steps you take might make a difference between you and your baby. Therefore, if you suspect your baby might be a victim of hereditary diseases, the faster you move, the better. Call your doctor and ask to meet up as soon as possible.

Schedule an eye test

Too much worry about your baby’s eyesight might stress you. After childbirth, you require a good rest and not stress. Therefore instead of spending your days and night waiting for your baby to open his eyes. You can schedule an eye test with a pediatric optician to look into the baby’s eyesight. Until the baby opens his eyes, there will be some difficulty in determining whether his eyesight is typical or needs some help. The eye specialist will help you rule out any eye sickness. Some eye problems, when dealt with early enough, can heal. Prolonging treatment might end up being put into a treatment program that can restore the baby’s eyesight. Generally, as a parent, you can monitor your baby’s eyes the entire time he cannot open them.

A baby with weak eye muscles may not be successful when raising his eyelids. Therefore you will often note a great struggle whenever they try to open their eyes. Such situations will have the eyelids on the baby’s eyes, and he won’t be in a position to open the eyes. For such a condition, the earlier, the better for your baby; otherwise, they will have impaired vision.

In general, a baby not opening its eyes results from various aspects. While some situations are worrying, others are just periodical. However, the best advice is if you are uncomfortable waiting for your baby to open their eyes. Don’t keep waiting. Take the trip to the doctor and find out why.

Is puffiness the reason your baby won’t open his eyes?

If your baby is a newborn and isn’t opening his eyes, don’t panic. All newborns can see, but focusing can be difficult. Check out how puffy your baby’s eyelids are, especially if your baby is an infant. It’s normal for infants not to be able to open their eyes immediately.

How long is your baby keeping his eyes open?

Before panicking, how long is your baby keeping their eyes open? If your baby is not keeping their eyes open, see a pediatrician.

However, suppose your baby usually keeps their eyes open but only refuses to open them sporadically. In that case, this may be less of a cost for concern, but to make sure, definitely talk to a pediatrician.

The world is bright!

Just remember that the world is bright for your new baby. They were used to living in a dark room for nine months, and suddenly he’s in your loving arms but in a bright environment. So it’s natural for your baby not to open his eyes right away in such a bright place.

But once the brightness of the world starts to become normal to your baby, she should start opening up their precious eyes for you to look into and smile, knowing that you made that beautiful life that’s staring back at you.

How can help?

It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional if your baby is experiencing difficulty with opening their eyes or if there are any other concerning symptoms. offers a comprehensive sleep program that can help create a soothing and peaceful environment for your baby to sleep in, which may improve the overall sleep quality of your baby. Additionally, our program includes techniques and strategies for regulating sleep hormones naturally, which can help your baby fall asleep more quickly and soundly. While our program may not directly address the issue of a baby not opening their eyes, creating a conducive sleep environment and improving overall sleep patterns may indirectly improve any issues with eye-opening.

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