sleeping baby with very long and thick eyelashes

When Do Babies Get Eyelashes? What to Expect and How to Care for Them

Baby eyelashes. Is there anything better than to look down on your sleeping baby and gaze lovingly at those long eyelashes? Sweeping their cheeks as they dream peacefully? And is there any mom that isn’t jealous of their baby’s eyelashes? Especially as most of us are going through postpartum hair loss?

But when do babies get eyelashes? Are they born with them or do they grow in later? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and more!

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Baby Development and Eyelashes

Did you know that babies grow their first set of eyelashes in the womb? At about 20 weeks pregnant, your baby will start growing in its eyelashes and eyebrows. That means your baby will most likely be born with eyelashes! Hooray!

Don’t cheer too much yet. If you dreamed about your baby having dark and long lashes, this may not happen immediately after they are born. Most often, it can take a few weeks for them to grow out after birth. Thus, you may not see any lashes on an infant immediately after coming into this world.

Look very closely the next time your baby is sleeping. You may be able to see very fine and light-colored lashes. There they are! But what if you don’t see anything at all? Let’s go over when babies are born with no eyelashes.

sleeping baby in woman's arms

Babies Born with No Eyelashes

Like the hair on the head, there may be instances where a baby can be born with no eyelashes. This could happen when a baby is born prematurely so the eyelashes have not had a chance to grow and develop. In this case, patience is key, and know that it will take time for your baby to catch up.

A baby may be born with no eyelashes for other reasons. For example, mom’s hormones could have delayed hair growth while baby is still in the womb. A diet that is lacking in zinc, biotin, and iron can also slow down hair growth. 

If there is any concern for an underlying medical problem, be sure to check in with your pediatrician.

sleeping baby with no eyelashes

Growth Cycle of Baby Eyelashes

As mentioned before, eyelashes start to develop on a baby in the womb at around 20-22 weeks. But it will take some time for those same eyelashes to become visible after the baby is born. Rest assured that as your baby grows older, hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes will also grow.

The amount of time for these hair follicles to grow can vary on many things, such as diet and genetics. It can be as little as a few weeks to a few months.

And yes, your baby’s eyelashes will fall out just like any other hair on the body.

smiling baby boy with blue eyes and eyelashes

Importance of Baby Eyelashes

Eyelashes are important for eye health to everyone, including babies. They help keep your eyes moist and free of dust, dirt, or other particles that could get into them. Eyelashes also act as a defense when you blink – they sweep away any irritating matter from the surface of your eyeball.

Eyelashes are also very sensitive to touch. This helps signal to your baby if something is getting dangerously close to their eye. The immediate reflex is to shut their eye to keep the bad stuff out!

Because eyelashes play such an important role, extra precautions should be taken if your baby has no eyelashes or very fine ones. When cleaning or dusting, move your baby to a separate room. But keep them close enough so they can still be supervised. Also, avoid going outdoors during windy days or where construction is taking place.

Outside of protecting eyes, eyelashes also play a role in our appearance. Eyelashes can make you look more attractive by framing your eyes and making them pop! There’s a reason why mascara is such a huge deal in a beauty makeup routine for adults.

baby girl with thick eyelashes

Caring for Baby Eyelashes

To care for your baby’s eyelashes, there is nothing special that you have to do outside of normal hygienic practices when it comes to the eyes. Make sure to always have clean hands when handling or touching baby’s face and eyes.

To routinely clean baby’s eyes and eyelashes:

  1. Soak a clean cotton ball with warm water. Squeeze out extra water.
  2. Clean your baby’s eyes, wiping the cotton ball gently from the inside corners to the outside corners.
  3. Use a new cotton ball for the second eye.
  4. Gently pat dry with a soft towel.

If there is any worry about an underlying medical problem or an eye infection, always contact your pediatrician.

woman wiping smiling baby's face

Final Thoughts on Baby Eyelashes

With so much to learn about your baby’s development, it can be hard to know when exactly those little eyelashes will start growing. The good news is that most babies already have lashes on their eyes at birth! It just takes a few months for them to grow long and thick enough to become visible – usually around 3-6 months of age.

Have you been able to see your baby’s eyelashes yet? If not, don’t worry–we’ll keep waiting with you until they do show up. Let us know how old your baby was when you were able to see their eyelashes!

Check out these other articles on newborns!

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