We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Different Types of Eye Drops for Babies?

By Maggie J. Hall
Updated Feb 10, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are not too many different types of eye drops for babies that are considered safe by the medical community. Parents should check with the child's physician if eye infections or irritations occur. Health care providers generally prescribe antibiotic preparations in dosages that will eliminate infection while producing the smallest number of adverse effects. Even eye drops for children contain formulations that are too strong for the small bodies of young infants. Some pediatricians suggest applying a couple of drops of mother's milk to the irritated eye.

In the hours shortly after birth, health care professionals use antibiotic eye drops for babies as a safeguard against any possible infections the infant might have contracted in the womb. Silver nitrate was the medication of choice for decades, but physicians changed to erythromycin because it has fewer irritating effects. Occasionally infants develop what appear to be eye infections, commonly called pink eye, that cause redness and crusty drainage. Parents should consult with a physician prior to putting any substance into a baby's eyes, as many medications overwhelm small infants. A health care provider may prescribe tobramycin or other antibiotic solutions deemed safe for use in babies.

Many ophthalmologists offer baby eye exams to evaluate whether the child's eyes function together and accommodate for changes in light. The ophthalmologist might use eye drops that dilate the pupils, allowing the physician to examine the inner eye for signs of astigmatism or nearsightedness. The effects of the eye drops usually include blurred vision, which lasts for up to 90 minutes following the examination. Occasionally infants develop cataracts or glaucoma, but there are no safe prescription eye drops for babies that treat these conditions, and infants may require corrective surgery.

Over-the-counter allergy eye drops are generally formulated for use in children aged six and older. If an infant develops eye irritation that does not seem to be related to a respiratory infection, parents should not use eye drops for babies unless advised by a physician. Special prescription eye drops might be used for allergies, or health care providers can suggest other methods of soothing irritated eyes. Medicinal eye drops containing cortisone or steroid derivatives are not recommended, as the formulations may cause bone, joint or tendon weakness, and deformities.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Rundocuri — On Jan 11, 2015

When doctors do prescribe eye drops for babies, it can be very difficult to put them in their eyes. A good tip for putting this type of medicine in a baby's eyes is not to try to hold them eyes open. Instead, distract baby's attention by getting him or her to look at an object, and quickly apply the drops.

By Ocelot60 — On Jan 10, 2015

When my kids were young, they had a lot of eye irritations. However, I would never have used any eye drops in their eyes unless a doctor had prescribed them. I found that warm or cool cloths worked very well for soothing irritated eyes.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.