My 6-month-old son just started rolling his eyes up in the back of his head yesterday. It looks scary and I don’t know if something is wrong. I have never seen him do it before and he had done it at least ten times yesterday and 4 times already today.
Please help, I’m scared that something is wrong.
Easy Baby Life:
Baby Is Rolling Eyes – Possible Causes
In this article…
Rolling Eyes Because He Can?
I can truly understand that you are worried if your baby has just started rolling his eyes! However, keep in mind that babies can do all sorts of strange things just because they’ve figured out how to do it.
One of my children stuck their hands so deep into their mouths that they choked, etc… My youngest kept poaching his eyes with his fingers…
Chances are that your baby is just rolling his eyes because he can!
Anger and Frustration
Just like babies can do odd things basically because they have figured out how, they sometimes also use these types of behaviors to soothe their own anger. Here is a Q&A with a toddler that both rolls eyes and throws tantrums.
Other common behaviors related to anger are to bang their heads against the floor or hit themselves.
Rolling Eyes as Newborn Movements
A newborn baby may roll eyes simply because his eyes are not really developed yet. This is especially true when a baby is sleepy or sleeping, and in these cases, it is considered normal that a baby is rolling eyes upwards.
Injuries and illnesses that can cause eye-rolling in babies
But there are cases when infant eye-rolling is a matter of concern.
Some reasons why a baby may be rolling eyes are head injuries, seizures, low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.
Your baby hasn’t fallen off the bed or something similar? In such a case, you should definitely take your baby to the ER immediately. You can find more warning signs after a fall here.
Neurological reasons for eye-rolling in infants
If some neurological problem is causing the eye-rolling, then there are usually other symptoms as well, such as trembling or shaking for example. Does it seem like he is doing it intentionally or not? Is there anything at all more going on that is unusual or could indicate illness?
Some examples of conditions sometimes found in babies rolling their eyes are Paroxysmal tonic upgaze, Paroxysmal downgaze, and infantile spasms (IS), also called West Syndrome.
The two first are usually benign, but infantile spasms are more severe. IS can affect the development of a baby’s body and mind, and early diagnosis and treatment is very important. I’d suggest you read more about infantlie spasms here at Epilepsy.com, to hopefully rule it out, or to discuss it with a doctor asap. Remember that IS is rare, but again, incredibly important to diagnose.
This video shows an example of paroxysmal tonic upgaze – is it similar to what your baby is doing?
You can read more about unusual eye movements in babies and possible diagnoses in this article by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. (Opens in new windows)
What to Do if Your Baby is Rolling Eyes
Talk to a doctor, that is my best advice. But don’t be too worried, if your baby seems to be fine, he probably is.
While waiting for the doctor’s appointment, takes notes of both how often and when the rolling occurs (before sleep, after sleep, while eating et cetera), as well as of any other signs of illness.
You should also try to catch the rolling on film and bring along.
I really hope your baby is well. Good luck!
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