Newborns Gunky Eyes – Is it normal?

Newborn babies especially those born by C-section often have gunk/ excess sleep coming from their eyes and this is something they do not tell you anywhere before you have a baby.  I am not sure that the medical term is Newborn Gunky Eyes, but I am not a medical professional so I am going with that!! 

Newborn Gunky Eyes

Is it normal?

So the short answer is that it can be normal, but it can also be a sign of a bacterial infection.   See the NHS Website for more information on what to look out for with conjunctivitis.  With newborn babies I am not sure you can ever be too careful so I would always check with your GP or Pediatrician to be sure. The tips I am giving in this post are based solely on my experience as a mum of 4 and I would suggest that these should only be tried once an infection has been ruled out.  

My Experience with Newborn Gunky Eyes

With my first baby I was convinced he had conjunctivitis or some other eye infection.  I saw the gunky eyes after each nap and started to worry, but the midwives explained that this was totally normal for the first few days. Sure enough it just went away. 

I then totally forgot about the whole thing and so when our second child one was born I again thought there was something wrong.  He had so much excess sleep that his eyes were stuck together completely after each nap and it looked very yellow to me so I was convinced it was an infection.  I did take him to the doctor and I was assured that there was nothing to worry about.  For him this was just the combination of a blocked tear duct (often babies are born with them not quite opened up) and the baby getting rid of fluid that would be forced out during the birth process with a natural birth. The c section process does not achieve this so section babies can take longer to clear fluid and some it will be through tear ducts.  

How can you solve Newborn Gunky Eyes?

  • Use cooled boiled water and cotton wool to remove any stickiness from the baby’s eye
  • Put a few drops of breast milk in the corner of the baby’s eye
  • Leave it alone and it will get better on its own usually within a few weeks (if not you should visit your GP)
  • Massaging the side of your baby’s nose from the top to bottom making sure just to use light pressure.  This helps with draining the fluid

What worked for me?

Personally I found that the breast milk option worked for amazingly me.  There was honestly an improvement almost immediately.  It was one of those things that I had read on the internet and I was very skeptical indeed.  I couldn’t believe that breast milk could have any impact in this scenario.  My poor little boy’s eye was so stuck together though that I figured it was worth a try.  Interestingly my doctor also recommended to use breast milk so I gave it a whirl and it totally worked; making my little baby more comfortable and able to open his eyes!

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