When Do Babies Start Crying With Tears?

When Do Babies Usually Start Crying With Tears?

As parents, you will try your best to keep your baby comfortable and happy, but your efforts may seem useless if the baby cries for some reason or the other. Your baby may not always cry because of pain or discomfort; sometimes, it could be just to get your attention. He may also not shed tears while crying, but you may not have noticed that. If you did, then you will perhaps consider ‘no tears’ as a sign of fake cries or tantrums, but that may not be the case always. To know more, read the following article.

Video: Why Do Babies Cry With No Tears?

Is It Normal for Newborns to Cry Without Tears?

Yes, it is very normal for a newborn baby to cry without tears. This is because, sometimes, a newborn’s tear ducts are not fully matured. Hence, he is unable to produce actual tears. A baby generally starts shedding tears when his tear ducts open up, which happens as the baby grows.

When Do Babies Start Crying With Tears?

If you notice your newborn baby crying with no tears, it may concern you as a parent. But you need not worry as this happens with almost all babies. Your baby may start shedding tears around the second week of his birth when the tear ducts open up. Sometimes, a baby may not shed tears for one to three months of age, which is also considered normal.

Some babies cry without tears because of blocked tear ducts, while other babies may cry because of some underlying medical condition. So, if you are wondering when do tears develop for babies? The answer is, it usually happens a few weeks after birth, but in some babies, it may take a bit longer. However, you may get in touch with your doctor to check if your baby has some problem with his tear ducts or other medical condition that hampers his tear production.

An infant crying without tears

Eye Conditions That May Affect An Infant’s Tear Production

There are certain eye conditions that may hamper the production of tears in your baby. Here are some of them:

1. Conjunctivitis

This condition may occur due to irritation, infection, or because of clogged tear ducts. In this case, your baby may have red or swollen eyes, and thus this condition may affect your baby’s tear production.

2. Blocked Tear Ducts or Dacryostenosis

Blocked tear ducts can also make tear production difficult. This condition occurs when the passage that helps in draining the tears get blocked. Hence, it may cause watery eyes, but no visible tears.

3. Lazy Eyes

This is a condition which may lead to vision problems in a baby. The treatment may involve adjusting the vision of the weaker eye to match the vision of the stronger eye by using eye drops or patching. This condition may also affect your baby’s tears.

4. Strabismus or Crossed Eyes

Sometimes, due to poor eye muscle control or farsightedness, tear production in babies gets impacted. This condition could get better on its own when the baby grows.

5. Cataract in Babies

Cataract can affect babies too. This condition may sometimes be present at birth, or it may develop in the later stages. Whatever the case is, surgical intervention will be required for its treatment. However, a cataract can affect your baby’s tear production too.

6. Retinoblastoma

This is a kind of cancer that affects the retina. In this condition, the retina of the baby looks pink or white when the light is flashed on the pupils. The other symptoms of this rare condition may include vision problems, redness, and pain. This condition may also affect tear production in babies.

7. Glaucoma

Sometimes glaucoma may be present at birth, and in some cases, it may develop later. The symptoms of this condition may include light sensitivity, cloudy eyes, fussiness, etc. It could also create problems in your baby’s tear formation. If you register any such symptoms in your baby, you should seek medical help at once as this condition may lead to serious complications, such as damage to the optic nerves and loss of vision.

8. Dehydration

Babies could also be dehydrated because of which the tear ducts could go dry. A proper breastfeeding schedule is, therefore, a must to keep your baby hydrated.

9. Blocked Puncta

Puncta is the eyes’ inner corner openings to the tear ducts. Underdeveloped or closed puncta makes it impossible for tears to drain.

When to Consult a Doctor?

You must not hesitate to consult your child’s doctor if you have any concerns regarding your baby’s eyes or vision. The sooner you visit the doctor, the better. Even if you think it’s a simple problem like blocked tear ducts, let the doctor assess your child’s condition and recommend the best course of action.


1. Why Does My Baby Burst Into Tears When Crying?

Babies cry when they have to communicate their needs. It’s their basic survival instinct that they are born with. Babies may cry because of hunger, tiredness, dirty diapers, boredom, etc.

2. Is Shedding a Tear Different From Crying?

Shedding a tear is perhaps only a few tears, whereas crying is with lots of tears.

3. Why Is My Baby Having Tears From One Eye?

If your baby is crying from one eye it may be because of blocked tear ducts. The problem might resolve on its own, but if not, consult your child’s doctor.

It is very common for babies to not shed tears for a few days or weeks after birth or until their tear ducts mature completely. However, if you notice any eye condition such as those mentioned above or you have any concerns regarding your baby’s tear production, you should get in touch with an ophthalmologist immediately.


1. What to Do When Babies Cry; kidshealth.org; https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/babies-cry.html

2. Blocked Tear Duct (Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction); my.clevelandclinic.org; https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17260-blocked-tear-duct-nasolacrimal-duct-obstruction

3. Tear-Duct Blockage; kidshealth.org; https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/tear-duct-blockage.html

4. Blocked tear duct; mayoclinic.org; https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/blocked-tear-duct/symptoms-causes/syc-20351369

5. Blocked Tear Duct (Dacryostenosis) in Children; cedars-sinai.org; https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions—pediatrics/b/blocked-tear-duct-dacryostenosis.html

Also Read:

Understanding Baby’s Cry
Is Crying Good for Your Infant?
How to Soothe a Crying Baby
Baby Crying While Breastfeeding

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Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.