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Healthy & Safety Info
Soothing Baby’s Cries
Your baby might have wailed a lot during the first few weeks, but those cries weren’t accompanied by actual tears since her tear glands weren’t fully developed. Now that the glands are up and running, she’s able to turn on the waterworks — unless she has a blocked tear duct. You’ll know because your baby will have watery, goopy-looking eyes, or a crust on her eyelids and lashes when she wakes up in the morning. Although it looks a little icky, it shouldn’t be painful for your baby, and the best solution is simple: Gently wipe your baby’s lids with a warm, damp towel or tissue. If the problem doesn’t resolve itself within a few days, talk to your pediatrician, who might prescribe an ointment and instruct you to massage the tear duct in the inner corner of the eye. For some babies the problem lasts a while, but most blocked ducts will improve by baby’s first birthday or earlier, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
What looks like a blocked tear duct could also be conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye. Caused by a bacterial or viral infection that might affect one or both of her peepers, it’s notoriously common among babies and has a yucky list of symptoms, including redness in and around the eye, and green or yellow mucus that practically seals the eyelids shut, particularly first thing in the morning. It’s usually not a big deal to treat; your pediatrician will likely prescribe eye drops that will help it go away in a few days. But it is super contagious, so make sure to wash your hands well after you touch her face, and pop any sheets, blankets, or towels she’s used recently into the washing machine to keep the infection from returning.
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