When Do Babies Start Shedding Tears?

When Do Babies Start Shedding Tears?

Newborns cry right from the moment they take their first breath outside the mother’s womb. While the crying is both memorable and endearing for the parents, did you know they don’t shed a tear while crying?
At birth, their lacrimal glands can produce tears sufficient enough to lubricate the eyes. However, the glands are not adequately developed to produce a quantity of tears that can roll down the eyes while crying. Therefore, you are unlikely to see a newborn shed tears while crying.

Most babies begin to shed tears sometime between the ages of two and three weeks. By this age, the lacrimal glands are developed enough to produce a significant amount of tears noticeable while crying.

It’s unlikely for a newborn to shed tears up to three weeks after birth. If the baby does have teary eyes soon after birth or up to three weeks, it could indicate an underlying problem such as:


– Blocked tear ducts
– Infections
– Glaucoma


Visit a pediatrician if the baby sheds tears before three weeks of age. Most of the conditions that cause early tearing have symptoms noticeable to the parents and the pediatrician during regular check-ups.

See a doctor if the baby has:

  • Pus in the eyes
  • Redness of the white of the eye
  • Eye irritation
  • Swollen upper or lower eyelid
  • Cloudy appearance of the pupil

If your baby is growing well and has healthy eye development, there is usually nothing to worry about the lack of tears. The tear glands in some babies may take several weeks to develop enough to produce tears that shed. Nevertheless, if your baby does not shed tears even after attaining the age of one month, consult a pediatrician.

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