Your Newborn Baby’s Eyesight After Birth, Plus What Sticky Eye Is
Your baby’s vision develops a lot in the first year. After birth, your pēpi may close their eyes to avoid bright lights as they adjust to life outside the womb. You’ll notice that they are most attracted to faces.
The colour of your baby’s eyes may gradually change over the weeks and months following birth.
Some babies have a birthmark, called a stork bite, on their eyelids. It can look redder when they’re hot or crying but it usually fades by the time they’re one year old.
Sticky eye is a common condition in newborns that occurs when their tear ducts become blocked, usually because their tear ducts are tiny and too narrow to drain the fluid properly. It can affect one or both eyes.
Their eyes may appear wet and have a sticky white or clear fluid that collects in the eye. You can help them by carefully cleaning their eyes with a cotton wool ball or tissue. Moisten the cotton wool or tissue with sterile water (boiled water that has cooled) and gently wipe from the inside corner to the outside. If the eye still looks sticky, repeat the process. You should use a new tissue or cotton wool ball each time you wipe the eye, and use a new one for each eye. Use a clean tissue or cotton wool ball to pat the eye dry.
Usually by three or four months – when their tear duct is bigger – they will grow out of the condition. A small number of babies will need to have treatment if the sticky eye hasn’t improved on its own by 10-12 months.
If your baby’s eye/s appear red or inflamed, or the sticky eye discharge is yellow or green, book in to see your GP for an appointment.