Eye Care: The Wonders of Technology

How Can I Tell If My Baby's Eyes Are Crossed?

by Stella Robinson

Babies begin life with eyes that are not nearly as coordinated and developed as the eyes of an adult. Just like the other parts of their body, newborns are still learning to use their eyes. Their eye muscles are not as strong, and their brains aren't as adept at using those muscles. Up through about four months of age, some eye-crossing is normal. At times, your baby's eyes may look crossed, and at other times, they may seem to be in line. This is not necessarily a problem. Knowing how to tell if your baby has a problem can help you get the services your baby needs early on, and that may allow him or her to have improved vision later in life. 

Your Baby's Eyes Might Look Crossed When They're Not

Baby faces aren't like adult faces. Their noses are flatter, their eyes are proportionally wider apart and they can have extra folds in the skin around the inner corners of their eyes. Some of these features help your baby to breast feed effectively, and they go away with time. However, these differences can give the appearance that your baby's eyes aren't lining up properly, even when they are. You may notice a slight crossing effect when you look closely at your baby's face, in pictures and in person.

Pay Attention to the Light in Your Baby's Pupils

You can tell whether or not your baby's eyes are actually crossing by paying attention to the reflections that appear in your baby's pupils. Study close-up pictures of your baby and look for the reflections in your baby's eyes. The reflections should appear in the same spot in both pupils. If the reflections appear in different locations on each pupil, then your baby's eyes aren't lining up properly.

Know When to Contact an Eye Doctor

Remember, even if your baby's eyes actually are crossing, this can be developmentally normal as long as your baby is under four months of age and the problem isn't happening all the time. However, if your baby's eyes are crossing more often than not, it's a good idea to take your baby to the eye doctor. It's never too young to take a baby to an eye specialist. He or she will be able to examine your baby's eyes and advise you on the best methods for treatment. 

With a little professional help, many babies are able to grow out of their early childhood vision problems. If you suspect that your baby has a problem with his or her eyes, take your baby to see the eye doctor such as Jacobson Eyecare, so treatment can begin right away.