Understanding Why is My Babies Eye Watering: Causes and Solutions

why is my babies eye watering

As a parent, you may have noticed your baby’s eye watering excessively and wondered what could be causing it. Excessive tearing in infants can be caused by various factors, from blocked tear ducts to allergies and eye infections. Understanding the reasons behind your baby’s watery eyes is crucial for identifying the problem and seeking appropriate treatment.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the most common causes of excessive tearing in babies and provide tips on how to care for your baby’s eyes. We will also discuss potential remedies for watery eyes and offer advice on how to prevent future occurrences.

Key Takeaways:

  • Excessive tearing in babies can be caused by blocked tear ducts, allergies, foreign particles, and eye infections.
  • Blocked tear ducts are a frequent cause of watery eyes in newborns and young infants.
  • Allergies can trigger excessive tearing in infants.
  • Foreign particles can accidentally enter a baby’s eyes, causing irritation and watery eyes.
  • While most cases of watery eyes in babies resolve on their own or with simple remedies, there are instances where medical attention may be required.

Common Causes of Excessive Tearing in Babies

Excessive tearing in babies can be caused by a range of factors, including:

Possible CauseDescription
Blocked Tear DuctsWhen a baby’s tear ducts are blocked, tears can’t drain properly, leading to watery eyes. This is a common cause of watery eyes in newborns and young infants.
AllergiesBabies can be allergic to a range of substances, including pollen, dust, and pet dander. Allergic reactions can cause excess tearing and eye irritation.
Foreign ParticlesBabies are naturally curious and may get debris or particles in their eyes, causing irritation and watering.
Eye InfectionsInfections such as conjunctivitis can cause excess tearing, along with redness, swelling, and discharge.

It is essential to identify the underlying cause of your baby’s watery eyes to determine the most appropriate treatment. The next sections will explore the causes and solutions in more detail, so you can better understand how to care for your baby’s eyes.

Blocked Tear Ducts: A Common Culprit

Blocked tear ducts are a common reason why your baby may be tearing up. It occurs when the tear duct that carries tears from the eye to the nose is obstructed, making it challenging for tears to drain properly. As a result, tears overflow and accumulate, causing excessive tearing.

Most babies are born with tear ducts that are not yet fully developed, resulting in a higher risk of blockages. However, blockages can also occur later in life due to factors such as infections, inflammation, or injury.

It is crucial to identify the blocked tear duct early to prevent complications such as infection and damage to the eye. Treatment options depend on the severity of the blockage and may include:

  1. Massage: gently massaging the tear duct can help to unclog the blockage and promote drainage. Your pediatrician can demonstrate the correct technique.
  2. Warm Compresses: applying a warm, damp cloth to the affected eye can help to relieve discomfort, reduce blockage, and promote drainage.
  3. Antibiotics: if an infection is present, antibiotics may be necessary to clear the infection and prevent further blockages.
  4. Dilation: in severe cases, a tiny probe or balloon may be inserted into the tear duct to widen the opening and promote drainage.

Most cases of blocked tear ducts resolve on their own within a few months. However, if the blockage persists beyond six months, surgical intervention may be necessary.

Consult with your pediatrician or eye care professional if your baby’s tearing persists, or you notice any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or discharge. With early detection and proper treatment, blocked tear ducts can be effectively managed, and your baby’s eye health can be restored.

Allergies and Watery Eyes in Infants

Allergies can cause teary eyes in infants. Your baby’s delicate immune system may react to foreign substances such as pollen, dust, or pet dander. Exposure to these allergens can trigger an allergic reaction, leading to excessive eye watering, itching, and redness.

If you suspect that your baby has an allergy, it is essential to consult your pediatrician. Your doctor can perform an allergy test and help identify the specific allergen that is causing the reaction.


Allergic reactions in infants can manifest in different ways. Some common symptoms of allergies are:

  • Red, itchy, and watery eyes
  • Runny nose and sneezing
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Skin rash or eczema

It’s important to pay attention to these symptoms, as untreated allergies can lead to more severe allergic reactions or asthma.


If your baby is diagnosed with an allergy, there are several remedies to help alleviate the symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe antihistamines or nasal sprays to reduce the allergic reaction. Additionally, you can take the following steps at home to help manage your baby’s allergic reactions:

  • Keep your home clean and dust-free
  • Avoid exposing your baby to known allergens
  • Use a humidifier to keep the air moist
  • Cool compresses can provide relief for itchy and watery eyes


While some allergies cannot be prevented, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of a reaction.

  • Eliminate known allergens from your baby’s environment
  • Consider breastfeeding, as research suggests it may help prevent allergies
  • Introduce solid foods slowly and one at a time to identify any reactions

By staying vigilant and taking proactive steps to manage your baby’s allergies, you can help prevent excessive tearing and promote healthy eye development.

Foreign Objects: Irritants for Baby’s Eyes

Babies have a natural curiosity and a desire to explore the world around them. Unfortunately, this can sometimes result in foreign particles accidentally entering their eyes, causing irritation and excessive tearing. It is crucial to identify and remove foreign objects safely to prevent further discomfort and potential eye damage.

Foreign particles that may enter your baby’s eye include dust, dirt, sand, and small insects. While some particles may be visible, others may be too tiny to detect. Without proper removal, these particles can cause inflammation and lead to infection.

Signs of Foreign Objects in Baby’s Eyes

Detecting the presence of foreign particles in your baby’s eyes can be challenging. However, some common signs to watch out for include:

  • Excessive blinking or rubbing of the eyes
  • Increased tearing
  • Redness or irritation in the eye
  • Difficulty opening or closing the eye

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is crucial to check your baby’s eye for potential foreign objects immediately.

Removing Foreign Objects from Baby’s Eyes

Removing foreign particles from your baby’s eye requires a gentle touch to avoid further irritation. Follow these steps:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly to avoid introducing bacteria into the eye.
  2. Sit your baby in a well-lit area and tilt their head back.
  3. Use a sterile saline solution or clean tap water to flush out the eye. Tilt the baby’s head towards the affected side to allow the water to flow out of the eye.
  4. If the particle is visible, use a damp cotton ball or swab to gently remove it from the eye. Avoid using forceps or other sharp tools to avoid causing additional damage.
  5. Once the particle is removed, continue to flush the eye with water or saline solution for several minutes.
  6. Monitor your baby’s eye for any further irritation or redness. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention immediately.

Preventing Foreign Objects in Baby’s Eyes

Preventing foreign particles from entering your baby’s eyes is the best way to avoid discomfort and potential eye damage. Follow these tips:

  • Avoid exposing your baby to areas with high levels of dust, sand, or other irritants.
  • Keep small objects and toys out of reach to prevent accidental insertion into the eye.
  • Use goggles or protective eyewear during outdoor activities.
  • Practice good hygiene and wash your hands regularly to prevent the spread of infections.

By following these precautions, you can help maintain your baby’s eye health and prevent foreign particles from causing irritation and discomfort.

Eye Infections in Babies

Eye infections are common in babies, and they can also cause watery eyes. Understanding the types of eye infections that affect infants, their symptoms, and necessary precautions can help you identify the problem and seek appropriate treatment.

Types of Eye Infections

There are several types of eye infections that can cause watery eyes in babies. Some of the most common ones include:

Infection TypeDescription
ConjunctivitisAlso known as “pink eye,” it is a highly contagious infection that causes redness, itching, and discharge from the eyes.
StyeA small bump that forms on the eyelid, often caused by bacteria and can cause watery eyes, swelling and pain in the affected area.
CellulitisA bacterial infection that affects the skin around the eye, causing redness, swelling, and pain.

If you suspect your baby has an eye infection, it’s important to seek medical attention promptly.

Symptoms of Eye Infections

Symptoms of eye infections can vary based on the type of infection. However, some common signs that your baby may have an eye infection include:

  • Redness in one or both eyes
  • Tearing
  • Discharge
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Sensitivity to light

Precautions and Treatment

Eye infections can be highly contagious and spread easily, so it’s essential to take precautions to prevent further spread of the infection.

As a responsible parent, you should:

  1. Wash your hands regularly, especially before and after administering any eye drops or medications.
  2. Avoid touching your baby’s eyes unnecessarily.
  3. Discourage others from coming into close contact with your baby while they have an eye infection.

Treatment for eye infections in infants typically involves prescription eye drops, and, in some cases, oral antibiotics. These medications can help alleviate the symptoms and eliminate the infection. However, you should always consult with your pediatrician before administering any medication to your child.

When to Seek Medical Attention

While watery eyes in babies are often temporary and harmless, there are instances where medical attention is needed. It is essential to monitor your baby’s symptoms and seek professional advice if you notice any of the following:

  • Redness or swelling: If your baby’s eyes appear red or swollen, it may be a sign of an infection or inflammation that requires medical treatment.
  • Pus or discharge: If you notice any discharge or pus coming from your baby’s eyes, it may be a sign of an infection that needs prompt medical attention.
  • Excessive tearing: If your baby’s eyes continue to water excessively, despite home remedies and care, it may be a sign of an underlying condition that requires further investigation.
  • Changes in vision: If you notice any changes in your baby’s vision, such as blurred vision or difficulty focusing, it may be an indication of a more severe eye condition that needs immediate medical attention.

If you have any doubts or concerns about your baby’s eye health, it is always best to seek the guidance of a healthcare professional. Your pediatrician or eye care specialist can conduct a comprehensive examination, diagnose any underlying issues, and recommend the appropriate treatment required for your baby’s specific condition.

Home Remedies and Care for Baby’s Watery Eyes

If your baby’s eyes are watering excessively, there are several safe and straightforward home remedies you can try to help alleviate the symptoms. Here are some effective infant eye watering remedies that you can implement at home:

  • Use a clean, damp cloth to gently clean your baby’s eyes. Always wipe from the inner corner of the eye outward to avoid spreading infection.
  • Apply a warm compress to your baby’s eyes for a few minutes daily. This can help soothe the eyes and unblock clogged tear ducts.
  • Massage your baby’s tear ducts by gently rubbing the area just below the corner of the eye. Do this several times a day.
  • Keep your baby’s face clean and dry, especially after feeding and before bedtime.
  • Make sure your baby is protected from smoke, dust, and other irritants that can trigger watery eyes.
  • Avoid using any harsh chemicals or soaps near your baby’s eyes. This can cause irritation and inflammation.

These infant eye watering remedies can provide relief for mild cases of watery eyes. However, if you notice persistent symptoms or signs of infection, it’s essential to seek medical attention.

Note: Never attempt to use any over-the-counter eye drops or other medications without consulting your pediatrician or eye care professional.

Prevention Tips for Healthy Baby Eyes

As a parent, there are several steps you can take to promote healthy eye development in your baby. By implementing these prevention tips, you can reduce the risk of excessive tearing and ensure optimal eye health:

  • Practice Proper Hygiene: Keep your baby’s eyes clean by gently wiping them with a clean, damp cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or perfumes near their eyes, as this can cause irritation.
  • Minimize Exposure to Irritants: Smoke, dust, and other pollutants can irritate your baby’s eyes. Keep your home clean and smoke-free to reduce exposure to irritants.
  • Protect from UV Rays: When spending time outdoors, protect your baby’s eyes by using sunglasses with UV protection and a wide-brimmed hat to shield their face.
  • Ensure Good Nutrition: Proper nutrition is essential for healthy eye development. Include foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens, in your baby’s diet.
  • Establish Healthy Sleep Habits: A well-rested baby is less likely to experience eye strain or fatigue. Ensure your baby gets enough sleep by establishing a consistent sleep routine.
  • Get Regular Eye Exams: Regular eye exams are crucial for monitoring your baby’s eye health. Talk to your pediatrician about scheduling routine eye exams.

By incorporating these prevention tips into your baby’s daily routine, you can help maintain their eye health and reduce the risk of excessive tearing and other eye-related issues.

Understanding Eye Drops and Medications

If your baby’s watery eyes persist despite home remedies and care, your healthcare professional may recommend the use of eye drops or medications. These treatments may be prescribed according to the underlying cause of the excessive tearing, and it is essential to follow the instructions carefully for optimal results.

The Different Types of Eye Drops and Medications

There are several types of eye drops and medications that your healthcare professional may prescribe. These include:

Type of Eye Drop/MedicationDescription
Antibiotic drops or ointmentsUsed to treat bacterial infections that cause watery eyes.
Astringent dropsHelp to reduce inflammation and dry up excess tears.
Anti-allergy eye dropsUsed to alleviate symptoms caused by allergy-induced watery eyes.
Steroid eye dropsHelp to reduce inflammation in the eye and alleviate symptoms caused by various conditions.

It is crucial to understand the type of eye drop or medication your healthcare professional prescribes and how to use it correctly. Some drops may require a specific storage temperature or need to be shaken before use, while others may have side effects, such as blurred vision or sensitivity to light.

Using Eye Drops and Medications Safely

Proper usage of eye drops and medications is crucial for effective treatment and avoiding further complications. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Wash your hands before and after administering eye drops or medications.
  • Make sure the eye dropper or other applicator does not touch your baby’s eye, eyelashes or any other surface before use.
  • Administer the prescribed dosage and follow the recommended frequency of use.
  • Store the medication according to the instructions provided by your healthcare professional and do not use expired medication.
  • Do not share medication or use any eye drops or medications that are not specifically prescribed for your baby’s condition.

While eye drops and medications can be a safe and effective treatment option for watery eyes in babies, it is essential to follow the guidance of your healthcare professional and report any side effects or concerns immediately.

Dealing with Persistent Watery Eyes

If your baby’s excessive tear production continues despite implementing home remedies and care, it may be time to consider seeking medical attention. In some cases, persistent watery eyes may be indicative of underlying conditions that require professional treatment.

Common underlying causes of persistent watery eyes include:

  • Allergies
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Blocked tear ducts
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Corneal abrasions or ulcers
  • Foreign objects in the eye
  • Glaucoma
  • Other eye conditions

It is essential to recognize the signs that warrant a visit to your pediatrician or eye care professional. Symptoms such as redness, swelling, discharge, or pain in or around the eyes may indicate a more severe condition that requires prompt medical attention. Likewise, if the excessive tears are accompanied by fever, lethargy, or other concerning symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.


It is critical to avoid self-diagnosis or self-treatment because it can lead to serious complications.

Your pediatrician or eye care professional will conduct a thorough examination, which may include taking a detailed medical history, a physical examination of the eye and its surroundings, and additional tests to determine the underlying cause of the watery eyes. Based on their findings, they may recommend a course of treatment, which may include:

  1. Prescription eye drops or ointments to clear up infections or inflammation.
  2. Warm compresses and massage to unclog blocked tear ducts.
  3. Antihistamines or decongestants to alleviate allergies.
  4. Surgical intervention in severe cases, such as cases of glaucoma or structural abnormalities.

Remember, if you suspect that your baby’s excessive tears may be due to an underlying condition, seek medical attention immediately. Any delay in treatment may exacerbate the condition and lead to complications.

Lifestyle Factors Affecting Baby’s Eye Health

Ensuring your baby’s eye health requires a holistic approach that considers various lifestyle factors. By following these practical tips, you can help maintain your baby’s eye health and prevent excessive tearing:

  • Nutrition: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and essential nutrients can help support your baby’s overall health, including their eye health.
  • Sleep: Proper sleep is essential for eye health, as it helps prevent eye strain and fatigue. Ensure your baby gets sufficient sleep based on their age.
  • Hygiene: Maintaining proper hygiene can help prevent eye infections and irritants that may cause excessive tearing. Keep your baby’s face clean and avoid sharing towels or other personal items.
  • Environment: Minimizing exposure to harmful substances, such as smoke or pollution, can help keep your baby’s eyes healthy. Additionally, use protective gear when engaging in activities that may cause eye injury, such as sports or construction work.

What to Avoid

While certain lifestyle factors can promote healthy eyes, others can have negative effects. Avoid the following to promote optimal eye health in your baby:

  • Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays without proper eye protection, such as sunglasses or hats
  • Excessive screen time that may cause eye strain and fatigue
  • Harsh chemicals or irritants that may cause eye irritation
  • Poor air quality or exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Overuse of eye drops or other medications without consulting a healthcare professional


By implementing healthy lifestyle habits and avoiding potential irritants, you can help promote optimal eye health for your baby. Remember to seek medical attention if your baby’s watery eyes persist or you have any concerns about their eye health.


As a parent, it is essential to keep an eye on your baby’s eye health. Excessive tearing in infants can be caused by a range of factors, including blocked tear ducts, allergies, foreign particles, and eye infections. By understanding the underlying causes, you can better identify the problem and seek appropriate treatment.

If your baby’s eyes are watering excessively, there are steps you can take at home to alleviate their discomfort. Simple remedies such as gentle cleaning, warm compresses, and maintaining proper hygiene can make a significant difference. However, it’s always best to consult your pediatrician or eye care professional if you have any concerns or the symptoms persist.

Prevention plays a crucial role in maintaining your baby’s overall eye health. Ensure your baby is getting proper nutrition, enough sleep, and minimize exposure to harmful substances. By implementing healthy eye care habits and seeking medical attention when necessary, you can help ensure your baby’s eye health and wellbeing.


Why is my baby’s eye watering?

Excessive tearing in babies can be caused by various factors, such as blocked tear ducts, allergies, foreign particles, or eye infections.

How do I know if my baby has blocked tear ducts?

Signs of blocked tear ducts in infants include excessive tearing, discharge, and redness around the eye. If you suspect a blocked tear duct, consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.

What are the common causes of watery eyes in babies?

The most common causes of watery eyes in infants are blocked tear ducts, allergies, foreign particles, and eye infections.

How can I treat my baby’s watery eyes at home?

Home remedies for baby’s watery eyes include gentle cleaning with a warm, damp cloth, using a warm compress, and ensuring proper hygiene. However, if the symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical advice.

When should I seek medical attention for my baby’s watery eyes?

While most cases of watery eyes resolve on their own or with simple remedies, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional if your baby’s symptoms persist, worsen, or if you have any concerns.

Are there any prevention tips for maintaining my baby’s eye health?

Yes, you can promote healthy eye care for your baby by protecting their eyes from common irritants, maintaining proper hygiene, and establishing healthy lifestyle habits such as proper nutrition and adequate sleep.

Can eye drops or medications help with my baby’s watery eyes?

In some cases, healthcare professionals may prescribe eye drops or medications to treat specific conditions causing watery eyes in babies. It is important to follow the prescribed usage instructions and be aware of potential side effects.

What should I do if my baby’s watery eyes persist despite home remedies?

If your baby’s watery eyes persist, it may be necessary to consult with a healthcare professional for further investigation and additional diagnostic tests or treatments.

How can lifestyle factors affect my baby’s eye health?

Certain lifestyle factors, such as nutrition, proper sleep habits, and minimizing exposure to harmful substances, can significantly impact your baby’s overall eye health. It is important to prioritize these factors to promote optimal eye health.

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