How to clean your baby’s eyes

If eyes really are the window to the soul, then your baby’s eyes should truly reflect their innocence. They gaze out to the word with so much awe and new wonder, and these irreplaceable organs need as much loving care as your little one. You might not have previously considered the how-to’s of baby eye care, but you baby’s eyes will need a regular cleaning routine. By the age of six months, your baby has reached an important visual milestone. At this age, the eyes are fully developed, so you do not want to take any chances when it comes to baby eye care.

It does not require much effort to clean your baby’s peepers, only gently patience. You don’t have to bathe your newborn every single day, but you should wash his face, hands and bottom daily in a process loosely referred to as “topping and tailing” – quite self explanatory. All you will need is a warm, damp sponge or soft cloth, and a few pieces of cotton wool at hand.

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Before you get started, make sure your baby is awake and happy. A fussy baby does not appreciate a good scrub down. Also check that the room temperature is just right, and get everything ready before hand.

How to follow a proper baby eye care routine

If your baby is still too small to enjoy his daily tub-time, lay him down on your knee or on a changing mat. If you’re “topping and tailing”, you will start with your baby’s head and eyes first.

  • Dip a cotton ball in clean warm water, and without using any soap, gently sweep it across your baby’s closed eye. Start from the inner corner and work your way out. Sometimes, you will have to swipe more than once to make sure the eye is properly cleaned, but use a clean cotton ball for every wipe so that you don’t spread any of the dirt you’ve already removed.
  • Use a soft damp washcloth to gently wash your baby’s face, and avoid the eye area after you’ve cleaned it with the cotton balls.

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Despite the notion of using baby shampoo to wash your baby’s face, resist the urge. Your little one’s skin is extremely sensitive, and even the supposedly tear-free shampoo will burn and sting the lights out of your baby’s eyes.

Usually babies don’t really like having their eyes cleaned, but the process only takes a few seconds at worst. Clean quickly and properly, and move on.

Baby eye care for blocked tear ducts.

At least twenty percent of babies are born with blocked tear ducts, so if you notice a white or yellowy discharge from your baby’s eyes, this is probably the case. You will first notice this about two weeks after his birth. The problem should rectify itself, but if you notice a build up, consult your paediatrician, who will educate you on how to gently massage the tear ducts to unclog it.

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Follow the same basic baby eye care routine to get rid of the mucus before your massage the tear ducts. If they are really clogged, you will actually feel a small bump in the inner corner of the eyes, close to the nasal corner. Some doctors even suggest applying a little bit of expressed breast milk to the inner corners of the eyes, as each drop of breast milk boast millions of infection-fighting antibiotics.

If the condition does not clear up in spite of your best efforts, your doctor may suggest additional treatment in the form of antibacterial ointment or drainage in more extreme cases.

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