Is it normal for babies to sleep with their eyes open?

Ever noticed your baby's eyes flutter and remain open during deep sleep? Find out if this is harmful for your child and which steps you should be taking to help!

It may seem strange when you first notice your baby sleeping with their eyes open, but it is perfectly normal. Open-eyed sleeping is normal for many babies and should not be considered a sleeping problem. Most babies will grow out of this by the time they are eighteen months old.

What causes it?
This harmless condition is called nocturnal lagophthalmos in medical terms. It is perfectly harmless and will not hurt your baby. Many experts have not fully discovered why this happens. Since many babies are seen sleeping with their eyes open during REM sleep, experts believe it is because babies’ minds are so active. Babies will spend fifty percent of their time sleeping and since their minds are still growing, they can be very active in their sleep.

Related Article: How to establish a bedtime routine for your child

What can I do about it?
While there is no way to stop your baby from sleeping with their eyes open, you can gently close them after they are asleep. This will not bother them, and you may even notice that they will sleep more calmly. This condition has not been associated with any sleep problems, so your baby should grow out of it before long.

sleeping with their eyes open

Read more to find out how you can help your baby if they are sleeping with their eyes open

What if it continues?
If your baby is over eighteen months and is still sleeping with their eyes open, you may want to consult your paediatrician about it. There are a few very rare cases of this happening that have been diagnosed as malformation of the eyelids. This is very rare and in no way should be self-diagnosed. Any concerns you have should be discussed with your paediatrician.

Related: Are baby girls better sleepers?

Many experts have discovered that a baby sleeping with their eyes open can be hereditary. So if you have happened to notice your baby doing this, you may want to check out family history to see if they also had this problem when they were babies.

You should never be alarmed by this behaviour. It is very rare for a condition like this to indicate that there is some neurological problem with your baby, especially if their eyes stay shut when you gently close them. But if it concerns you that much, then make sure to discuss it with your paediatrician. Never leave anything to a guess, getting professional help and information is the safest route.

Have you ever worried about your child sleeping with their eyes open?