For many parents, baby rubbing eyes would be one of the cutest things to see. It is so amusing to look the way her face and nose get pink when he rubs his eyes. However, if you only stare at him and do nothing, then it might not go well with your baby because he is trying to communicate his condition through this action.


The followings are some common cause for baby rubbing eyes:

1. Babies are sleepy:

If the baby yawns and rubs his eyes, it would mean that he is tired and sleepy. But how could rubbing eyes help the baby?

In general, when a baby is tired, his eyes are fatigued. Therefore, just as a massage to relieve sore muscle, rubbing eyes would help to alleviate his tiredness. By doing this, he would be relieved from the tension and soreness appeared in the muscles of his eyes, in his eyelids and around his eyes.

How to prevent: Watch your baby for any signs of fatigue and sleepiness. In general, yawning and rubbing are common indications that mean your baby need to take a nap. Therefore, if you see those, immediately put him to sleep to prevent fatigue and also eyes rubbing.

Understand the sleep routine of your baby. Once a suitable routine is arranged, make sure that he sleeps at a particular time even when you are not at home. By doing this, you baby would never be triggered by tiredness, so there would be no eyes rubbing.

2. Dry eyes:

Your baby might also rub his eyes when they become too dry. In fact, the eyes are covered by the tear film, which will evaporate when being exposed to the air for a long time. As a result, it leads to dry eyes, causes discomfort to the baby and make him instinctively try to comfort himself by rubbing the eyes. This is simply because rubbing his eyes would stimulate tears, which helps to restore the moisture in his eyes.

3. Babies are curious:

Apart from tiredness and sleepiness, there are other potential causes for rubbing eyes in baby. Most parents would notice how curious the baby is when he develops his motor skills. Therefore, if his motor skills have recently been developed, he might experiment by touching most parts of his body, including the eyes, to know how his body would respond.

4. Babies are amazed or wondered:

When you see that your kid is not tired but still rub his eyes, then it might be because of the wonderful visual pattern he gets while doing that. In general, he could love the feeling of shutting and rubbing his eyes, then repeat that see all these visual stimulation.

You might also see that when closing and rubbing your eyes, there would be lights and patterns in your closed eyelids. And this would be the cause for rubbing eyes in your baby.

How to prevent: Show him something more exciting and interesting to divert his attention (when he is rubbing his eyes). Since the attention span of your baby is quite short, he would be distracted easily.

5. Something in the eyes of your baby:

The baby might also rub his eyes when there is something annoying in them. There would be a bit or fluff of dust in his eyes, or crustiness around the eyes. Those particles would annoy him so terribly that he might need to rub is eyes strongly. However, rubbing in these situations could result in more harm to the eyes of your baby mainly because the particles would scratch the eye’s surface.

If you notice red eyes as well as crying after rubbing, it is often considered that there are some particles in the eyes of your baby. In this situation, you should put a cotton ball into cold water and then squeeze slowly over his eyes to remove the particles or use a clean cotton clothing to remove any crustiness. If your kid is still irritated, you need to take him to a doctor.

How to prevent: Do not allow your kid in any areas with a lot of dusts flying around in the air. However, if this is unavoidable, try to protect his eyes while you are working a dusty place.

How to prevent your baby from rubbing his eyes?

To minimize scratches and injury to your baby’s eyes, you have to prevent him from rubbing his eyes until he grows maturely enough to learn the negative impacts of rubbing his eyes.

  • If your kid often rubs his eyes as a habit, try to cover his hands. It is highly recommended to put on the shirts of your baby with baby mittens or full sleeves to completely cover his hands. By doing this, you would help to protect him when he is scratching his face or rubbing his eyes. You could also pull the long sleeve shirts of your baby to cover his hands, thereby avoid rubbing his eyes.
  • You could hold the hands of your baby away from his face in case you think that he might rub his eyes.
  • Another way is to distract him by playing music or giving him a toy so that his mind would get off from rubbing the eyes.

To sum up, there is no need to worry or panic when you notice your beloved baby rubbing his eyes.

Nancy D. Richardson

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