One pediatrician explains why newborns don’t shed tears
His little face turns red as he lets out a heartbreaking cry. But no matter how upset your newborn gets, he won’t shed any tears. And that’s totally normal, says Jennifer Shu, M.D., coauthor of the American Academy of Pediatrics’s book Heading Home With Your Newborn.
While newborns are born with working tear ducts and glands, they only produce enough tears to lubricate and protect the eye — which means there’s no excess to roll down your baby’s cheeks, says Dr. Shu. You’ll start to see teardrops when your baby is between 1 and 3 months old. As his glands develop, they’ll produce more and more. If your baby’s eye tears when he’s not crying, he may have a blocked duct. Most of the time it will correct on its own, but have your doctor monitor it. Call your doctor immediately if the inner corner of his eye is red, swollen, or pussy; the duct may be infected.