Is it normal for my baby to sleep with his eyes open?
Most babies close their eyes when they are asleep. This stops light from stimulating the brain and keeps the eyes moist during sleep. A small minority of babies sleep with their eyelids partly open. This has a medical name: physiological lagopthalmos. For most babies with lagopthalmos, the eyes are only partially open by a few millimeters when they sleep.
Note that our eyes move when we are asleep – flicking back and forth rapidly in dream sleep and rolling more slowly as we drop off to sleep. Although this looks odd, it is harmless and despite appearances: your child is sleeping! Sometimes another family member has the same condition, and it is known to be more common in people from certain ethnic groups in Ethiopia!
Assuming your baby can close his eyes normally when he is awake, is visually alert and does not have dry, irritated, or red eyes, this is unlikely to be problem. However, if you have any concerns about your baby’s eyes or vision do ask your baby’s health care provider to check this out.About Dr. Catherine Hill