Blocked Tear Duct

Newborn babies don’t usually shed tears when they cry. But many babies have continually watery eyes instead as their tear ducts have not yet fully opened so any tears cannot drain away properly via the nose. The bacterial or viral infection conjunctivitis can also cause watery eyes but is usually accompanied by a sticky discharge and redness around the eyes.

What to do

  • Check out the problem with your GP in case something else, such as a foreign body, is to blame – most blocked tear ducts unblock themselves by the end of the first year
  • Ask your GP or health visitor to show you how to massage the area gently to help clear any blockage
  • Keep your baby’s eyes clean by bathing them in cooled, boiled water and wiping from the middle of the eye outwards. Always use a clean piece of cotton wool for each eye and wash your hands before and afterwards
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