If you have ever watched a new baby cry you may have noticed that they do not have tears. Most babies do not start shedding tears until they are at least two months old. While babies are equipped from birth with the ability to produce tears, most newborns will dry cry. For the first few months of life babies only experience basal tearing. This means the tear ducts only produce enough tears to keep the eye moist and healthy. They also experience reflex tearing. This occurs when something irritates the eye such as a stray eyelash.
The development of real tears is thought to depend on one of two reasons. Either the neurons in the babies brain develops sufficiently to send the signal required creating tears or a baby develops the emotional intensity needed to create tears. The average age for a baby to begin crying tears is 2-4 months. At this age babies are able to physic cry, meaning that an emotional feeling will trigger tears. At this age babies cry as a way of communicating and they will not always cry tears. Real tears most often occur when baby is feeling deep distress, frustration or pain. Whereas a dry cry is still most common for communicating hunger, tiredness, discomfort. Most babies will not start producing emotional tearing until between the ages of 6 to 8 months.
It is important to remember that every baby is different and will develop tears at different times. Unless your baby’s eyes are red and dry the lack of tears is not a concern. If you are worried that your baby is not even basal tearing it is best to take your child to see a medical professional.