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When a baby is rolling their eyes back, upwards, or in different directions, it can really look scary and make parents wonder if it is normal baby behavior or a sign of a problem.

Here, we will distinguish normal versus worrisome eye movements in babies, from newborn to toddler.

baby is rolling eyesPin

Mom’s Question:

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 has done it at least ten times yesterday and four times already today.

Please help; I’m scared that something is wrong.

Baby Is Rolling Eyes: Possible Causes and What Parents Should Do

I can certainly understand that you are worried! Rolling eyes doesn’t look normal, and I remember clearly when one of my babies did the same. He was actually a newborn at that time, but I thought he had some sort of seizure.

The truth is, eye-rolling can be normal, or at least without concern, but there are also causes of abnormal eye-rolling that may require medical attention. To thoroughly answer your worries, we have asked one of the pediatricians in our medical team to provide an in-depth guide to eye-rolling in babies and toddlers.

Normal Eye Movements in Babies and Eye-Rolling Without Concern

1. Newborn Eye Rolling and Eye Movements

At birth, infant visual acuity is quite limited. Babies can detect movement, shapes, and patterns but cannot see clearly. Instead of 20/20 vision, newborns see in the range of 20/200 to 20/400. Because of this, the baby’s eyes may occasionally converge and appear to lose focus. This newborn eye-rolling and other eye movements are expected and completely normal. It is also considered normal if your newborn baby is rolling their eyes upward when sleepy.

As the baby’s vision gradually improves over the first few months of life and they strengthen their eye muscles, parents should notice that their infant begins to make eye contact and follow objects moving across the vision line.

By six months of age, infants have better distance vision and can detect colors. They effortlessly focus and follow objects, and their eye movements are well coordinated. By this time, the newborn eye-rolling should have disappeared.

In addition, infants begin to learn new eye movements from interactions with others, such as blinking and, yes, situational eye-rolling:

2. Rolling Eyes Because He Can

I can truly understand that you are worried if your baby has just started rolling his eyes. However, remember 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! He might be trying to mimic people around him, or he enjoys the attention he gets when rolling his eyes. These types of intentional movements are simply examples of normal (but odd) developmental milestones.

3. Being Sleepy or Asleep

Before sleeping, eye-rolling can appear along with tired, droopy eyes. Eye-rolling can also occur during active sleep (also called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep or ‘light’ sleep). In addition to the eyes moving rapidly back and forth, newborn babies in active sleep may groan, cry, open their eyes, and have irregular breathing.

All humans vary shift between deep sleep and active sleep, but particularly newborn babies have shorter periods of deep sleep and tend to wake up more often.

4. Anger and Frustration

Some very expressive infants can roll their eyes while giving a frown or a look of displeasure. In this case, the eye-rolling is a normal developmental phenomenon.

Just like babies can do odd things basically because they have figured out how to do them, they sometimes also use these types of behaviors to soothe their own anger; here is a Q&A with a toddler that both rolls their eyes and throws tantrums.

Other common behaviors related to anger are banging their heads against the floor or hitting themselves.

The key thing to remember in all of these scenarios of situational eye-rolling is that the eye movements are coordinated and purposeful.

13 Causes of Abnormal Eye Movements in Babies

In some situations, however, eye-rolling is a sign of a medical problem. Any rolling of the eyes that is associated with decreased or loss of consciousness warrants immediate evaluation. Other abnormal eye movements may indicate specific eye problems.

1. Nystagmus

There are two types of nystagmus: infantile nystagmus (previously called congenital nystagmus), which occurs in very young infants and acquired nystagmus, which occurs in older children. Infantile nystagmus is characterized by “back and forth” motions of the eyes, either together or independently. It may be apparent as early as six weeks of age or develop at six months, when vision should begin to normalize. Nystagmus occurs because of a nerve signal “block” between the eye and the visual cortex of the brain. Congenital cataracts, for example, can cause this problem. Children often also have vision problems and poor balance.

The below video will show you two examples of nystagmus.

Congenital Nystagmus

2. Strabismus

In this situation, one eye drifts or rolls in a different direction than the other. It is usually due to a problem with one or more of the extraocular muscles. The affected eye is commonly referred to as a “lazy eye”. The lazy or weaker eye will not develop focus to the same extent as the stronger or straighter eye. The types of strabismus include those where an eye drifts either toward or away from the nasal bridge. Infantile esotropia (where one eye drifts towards the nasal bridge) often affects premature babies. This is thought to happen because the preemie’s brain is not yet developed enough to allow control of the eye muscles.

This video explains strabismus, how it is diagnosed, and how it is treated (if needed).

Misaligned Eyes (Strabismus) and Treatment Explained. What is Strabismus?

3. Eyelid Myoclonia

Something called eyelid myoclonia could be mistaken for eye-rolling. This condition is characterized by involuntary twitching or jerking movements of the eyelids in infants. Eyelid myoclonia is typically benign. Some signs of eyelid myoclonia are upper eyelid movements and involuntary contractions and twitches that are intermittent (they may come and go). The twitching may occur in only one eyelid or both. Sometimes, the twitches can be triggered by stimuli, such as bright light, stress, or being tired. The baby’s vision is normal, as is the baby’s eye movements and development in general.

Babies tend to outgrow eyelid myoclonia without any medical treatment.

4. Infant Eye-Rolling due to Seizures

If eye-rolling occurs along with a change in behavior or unusual body movements, it is likely a sign of a seizure and, thus, underlying medical conditions. There are several scenarios where such abnormal eye movements may occur.

It is important to be aware of the signs of seizures since they may sometimes be subtle. Movements related to seizures are involuntary, repeated, rhythmical, and can’t be stopped. They involve a random pause in whatever activity the baby is engaged in.

1. Febrile Seizures

The most benign seizure type is one that is solely caused by a high fever. When the body temperature rapidly increases, it triggers a brief episode of eye-rolling, full-body shaking, and a loss of consciousness. These seizures commonly occur during mild viral infections from ages six months to five years old. Although febrile seizures are quite alarming, they do not cause damage to the brain or impair cognitive development.

2. Meningitis/Encephalitis

Severe bacterial or viral infections can irritate the brain and its surrounding tissues. Such illnesses can promote seizures with eye-rolling and body stiffness or jerking. These infants appear very ill, exhibiting low or high body temperatures, bulging of the fontanelle, and decreased responsiveness. They require medical care, hospitalization for intravenous seizure medication, and antibiotics or anti-viral medications.

After the infection has resolved, these infants require follow-up with a neurologist to monitor for persistent seizures and developmental deficits.

3. Infantile Spasms (West Syndrome)

The first signs of this type of seizure may be a repetitive rolling upward of the eyes. Along with these are brief episodes of the head dropping with jerking of the arms and legs. Infantile spasms are caused by some sort of brain abnormality and warrant evaluation by a neurologist. West syndrome usually begins during a child’s first months of living.

You can read more about infantile spasms here at

4. Juvenile Myoclonic Spasms

This type of seizure is characterized by rapid blinking or upward rolling of the eyes. A variety of body-jerking movements is possible during the episodes. Although the onset of these seizures is typically around puberty, developing them at a younger age is possible.

5. Electrolyte Abnormalities

The kidneys of infants do not fully mature until around six months old. Before this age, infants are prone to electrolyte abnormalities if given inappropriate fluids. For infants who are formula-fed, it is very important that the formula is prepared according to the package instructions. If not, low blood sodium or glucose could trigger a seizure.

For this reason, giving an infant water during the first six months of life is not recommended.

Similarly, ingestion of excessive amounts of water can cause electrolyte imbalances. For this reason, swimming lessons are to be used with caution, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, until the age of 12 months.

Electrolyte imbalance caused by excessive water intake (called hyponatremia) is the most common imbalance in general. It can happen both due to too much water intake and due to dehydration. In addition to seizures and eye-rolling, other symptoms of neonatal hyponatremia include vomiting, apathy, headache, hypothermia, weakness, and coma.

4. Additional medical reasons and conditions

A baby may be rolling eyes due to head injuries, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), or paroxysmal tonic upgaze or downgaze.

If your baby has recently fallen and is now rolling eyes, you should take him or her to the emergency room immediately, as a head injury may be the reason for the eye-rolling. You can find more warning signs after a fall here.

Two generally benign conditions that also involve babies rolling their eyes are 1. Paroxysmal tonic upgaze and 2. Paroxysmal tonic downgaze (source).

This video shows an example of paroxysmal tonic upgaze – is it similar to what your baby is doing?

Paroxysmal Tonic Upgaze

What to Do if Your Baby is Rolling Eyes

baby is rolling eyes call doctorPin

As a parent, seeing your baby roll his or her eyes may create feelings of worry and concern. The best thing to do is to ask your healthcare provider for a physical examination of your child. Taking a video of the episodes is helpful since they may not occur during the office visit.

While waiting for the doctor’s appointment, note how often and when the rolling occurs (before sleep, after sleep, while eating, et cetera) and any other signs of illness.

If your infant is less playful, seems excessively sleepy, and is not feeding well following an episode of eye-rolling, you should contact emergency services.

I really hope your baby is well. Good luck!


Read Next

Find comments below.

Research References

The information in this article is provided by Pediatrician Leah Alexander. The purpose is to provide examples and knowledge to help parents dig deeper into their baby’s situation, not to offer a complete picture or a possible diagnosis.


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This Post Has 60 Comments

  1. liz

    My son started rolling his eyes to the back of his head in March. It happened a lot and scared me. I took him to the dr, he said he was fine and to keep eye on it, but that evening he had over 15 episodes in 3 mins which I managed to record. He wasn’t responsive, he looked like he was daydreaming and didn’t seem to notice he was doing it.

    Before they happened, he cried for about 3hrs so he must have felt it. I took him hospital they sent him home without doing anything. I went back to doctors, they still wouldn’t do anything, and was told to go back if happed again.

    2months later it happened again. He was referred this time he saw dr and had EEG last month and is now waiting for the results. Still worried to hell cause he is still doing it. Want something to show on results so it can be treated? Feeling lost for another 3wks a long time.

    Good luck to all of you, I hope you get your answers!

  2. Em

    Hi, I looked at the video about Paroxysmal tonic up gaze. The example looks very much like what my baby is doing. I’ll probably suggest this to the doc at the hospital. It’s just strange because developmentally (at the moment), she seems to be doing well… She’s started walking and will say ‘hiya’. Also when she has these episodes, she doesn’t display any other symptoms. The situation feels quite stressful. I hope it’s something that most of our babies will just grow out of. Thank you for the link on infant spasms… It’s useful to feel as informed as possible. As a worried mum, I intend to request all the tests possible. Also, my little girl had plagiocephaly and was under the hospital for this… Does anyone know if there are any links? X

  3. Suzanne

    Infantile spasms were the culprit for our son’s eye-rolling.

    1. Donna

      Good luck to all our beautiful babies… Your boy had infantile spasms; how is he now? Developing normally? I am still in the hospital and scared.

      1. Suzanne

        Donna,I understand. It is scary. Our son is catching up developmentally but is still behind and probably will be for a while. He qualifies for free therapy through our county and has PT and ST every week. He’s making great strides. He pulls himself up to a standing position, cruises, is starting to make animal sounds when asked, and climbs the stairs. He’s probably at about a 12 month level at 17 months old. But some kids have that even without IS, so we feel blessed. Prayers for your little one!

        1. Donna

          Thank you for your quick and positive reply. If you don’t mind me asking, was he totally developmentally on target before IS? I had some concerns about my son beforehand, just wondering if your baby was fully on target before. Thank you so much. I am so happy your baby is making such great progress.

          1. Suzanne

            You know, he was definitely not ahead developmentally, but not far enough behind for our doctor to be concerned. At his 6 month appointment, our son wasn’t sitting up yet (but not all babies do). So I would say he was enough on track to not concern anyone, but he also wasn’t pushing the limits, either. He’s also our firstborn and quite large (26 inches and 16 lbs. at 6 months), so we attributed his delay in sitting up, etc., etc. to that. However, IS may have been a contributor since he was diagnosed with it about a month later.

  4. Donna

    Hi. It’s great you are taking care of it right away. Note if your child is making jerky arm movements at the same time. If so, get an EEG. My baby was having infantile spasms :( but we caught it early. I don’t know if the downward gaze, or right eye gaze was related. But he started doing something different where he was rolling his eyes and raising his arms up at the same time. I really am not writing to scare you, just to make you aware. God bless all our babies.

  5. Em

    Hi, my 10-month-old has just started rolling her eyes towards the top left… It really scared my husband and me; I’ve never seen anything like it. The doc has referred us to the hospital so I have to wait for an appointment – the waiting is awful. It’s hard not to let your imagination run away with you and think the worst. I’m so grateful to have found this blog and heard your stories. I’m not writing for anything other than just to relate to you all, really. I hope all the little cherubs are ok. X

  6. momma

    Hi all,
    I am a mother of a 3-year-old boy,he had his first seizures when he was 18 months… and 2nd when he was 26 months and from then every now and the whenever he is having fever he is having seizures … it so trifling… am not able to sleep its worrying me a lot..have been to many doctors but everyone says its common… but its scaring me more and more that I am not able to do anything.. please suggest if anyone is going through the same phase ..

  7. gill

    My sons eyes have started rolling to the top of his head and he has a rare neuroligical disorder called hyperexplexia
    but i dont think the 2 are related

  8. May

    I have read through these threads and noticed my daughter has a lot in common with some of your children. She is 7 months and has been rolling her eyes upward for about a week.

    The eye doctor said no problems were found but is referring us to a neurologist. She has an EEG scheduled on Mon.

    Does anyone have any updates for me? How did it turn out for everyone? My baby mostly do it lying on her back and sometimes rubs her eyes when it happens. She is otherwise a normal and healthy-acting baby when she’s not doing this.

  9. Suzanne

    I was on this thread about a month and a half ago when my baby started rolling his eyes up. Though my pediatrician’s office was not alarmed, we took our son to the ER when his eye rolling progressed to his body going rigid at the same time.

    He had seizures and was diagnosed with Infantile Spasm Syndrome.

    This disorder (present in 1 in 2,500 babies) is best treated right at the onset! It does not hurt to see a neurologist, get an EEG and clear the possibility of seizures as they interfere with your baby’s development.

    I recommend going in right away if your baby is rolling its eyes and getting seizures ruled out!



  10. D O

    My son rolled his eyes back into his head 2days ago; he was eating & he started rolling his eyes and shaking a little, did it like 3 times, I called his pediatrician, she said to keep an eye on him; if it continues, to take him to ER. She said it is probably nothing, but he did it again today.

    I can’t sleep because I’m just watching him at night, I don’t want to leave his sight. I told my boyfriend, but he thinks I’m imagining things.

    He thinks the baby is just playing with his eyes. Somebody help, I know I should go to Dr, just to be sure.

  11. Carol

    My son can’t control his eyes since he was 2 weeks old. He is now 8 months old. I took him to an eye doctor and to a neurologist. They did an EEG, a cat scan, and everything came out well. I don’t understand why he still rolls them back. What’s weird is that he wakes up fine when he goes to sleep. My mom says I did the same as a baby, so maybe he got it from me. I need advice; please help.

  12. Alexa

    My son will be two in a week, and for the past two months, when he runs past things, he puts his eyes to the side of his head. Sometimes he stands still and does this too, which is starting to worry me. If he is looking at the television, I have also seen him putting his eyes to the side of his head and making a strange facial expression. Does anyone have any idea why he is doing this?

  13. Lorna

    Please help me. My little 9-week old girl is having the exact problem some earlier writers list. Down to the changing table, being able to be called out of it and everything else. Can anyone please tell me what the diagnosis was, as the doctors I am seeing cannot help me? I am at my wit’s end as I do not know if this will progress into a full seizure at any point.

    Alternatively, does anyone else have any ideas that fit this bill? As my girl can be called out of it, what is it? Thank you so much.

    1. Donna

      Hi Lorna,
      I am having the exact problems. Did you find any answers???????

      1. Lorna

        Hi Donna,
        In a nutshell, after a week in hospital, ECG tests and a visit to Gt Ormond St they diagnosed her with a benign disorder. meaning it had now gone away and even with videos of it they couldn’t really say what it ever was. Although it was the most awful thing I’ve ever seen my baby do – I never want to see her do it again.

        1. Donna

          Thank you for the quick response Lorna. Is your baby doing it anymore? I am hoping he will outgrow it. When was the last time she did it? Was that the only symptom? My baby does that downward gaze a few times a day and has a strong right eye gaze. He can make eye contact when on his back, but he automatically goes toward the right once he is upright. Has anyone had this issue?I am really hoping this is all developmental and he will outgrow this. If anyone has a similar story and a success story, I would love to hear it. Thank you!

          1. Martyn

            Dear DONNA AND LORNA

            Right now today my 9 week old is in hospital exactly the same symptoms as mentioned, eyes roll down and flickering while she is on her back, so far we have had CT scan, ECG Scan, blood tests, urine tests, and also a lumber puncture (removal of spinal fluid for testing), all have came back ok and normal, also they ran a course of anti-biotics on her as a precaution, I’m worried sick and convinced that the doctors just cant diagnose it, also an eye specialist has done a full check with results back as ok, im told not to worry, and babies can do things like this, did you have similar experiences?

          2. Lorna

            Martyn, this is the same. One year on and there is no sign of it anymore for us. Both, It went after a few weeks but one of the nurses said simply that we should try to prevent it from happening in order for her to ‘forget’ how to do it . crazy but it worked . we put a pillow on the change table and had her nap in her bounce chair during the day and fall asleep in our arms before going in her cot at night. When she played on her back, we had a v shape pillow to prop her up. Without being on her back she very rarely did it. In her bounce chair she did it a few times but during this time I watched her every minute. The moment she went into the flickering, I leapt and called her out of it. I didnt know how long it would go on for or what it might lead to so I was always on her?

            We also had all the tests and antibiotics in case of meningitis but we refused lumbar puncture for various reasons. We also had an mri scan but that showed nothing unusual. Can you call your baby out of it? Is the baby shaking/seizures or just the eye problem that you see?
            Both – are you Uk based or US?

            Hope this helps a bit. Lorna

          3. Donna

            Hi ladies. I feel thankful for this blog to know we are all experiencing the same thing. It is so great to hear that your daughters symptoms have dissappeared, Lorna. Martyn, I am so sorry that you are going through this. I was so sick with worry for so long. I looked up Paroxysmal tonic downgaze, which was very close to what I saw. My son also has a strong right-eye gaze. He couldn’t (getting better) make a left-eye gaze. I went to the ophthalmologist, then the neuro-ophthalmologist then got him an MRI ( I was dying!!!!) and MRI came back normal and the neuro-ophthalmologist said he hopes it is something he grows out of. Based on what I read about Paroxysmal tonic downgaze, it looks like he should outgrow it. I am feeling optimistic today (yesterday, not so much) that it is developmental.

            Martyn, keep us posted! Good luck. Lorna, so happy it is better!!!

          4. Donna

            Ps Lorna, I am US-based. Also, did anyone experience a right (or left) eye gaze too?

    2. Donna

      Lorna (or anyone else that has this same experience) did your child show meet all developmental milestones on time? I am wondering most about smiling and other social developments.

    3. Lorna

      Update! My daughter’s diagnosis was a benign paroxysmal eye movement disorder. I forgot to say that we also had an eye consultant check her over and he said it wasn’t eye-related.
      I would recommend trying to call your child out of it and also trying to keep them off their backs, as indirectly laying down. This is what a pediatric nurse suggested to us and the team at Great Ormond street also agreed this helped her to stop doing it.
      There were no side gaze issues.
      A v-shaped pillow at this early stage works a treat.
      We have had regular developmental checks; she always scores very well, has started cruising, and is now walking quite early. She was picking up little things very fast and feeding herself well too.
      Does this help at all? I hope knowing that after 2 months it was all over does help a little bit.
      Martyn, what is the latest? We were also in hosp for a week without a diagnosis. If you have no dedicated pediatric neurologist there then ask to be referred to one. Xx

  14. Parents in deep love with their children

    I went to my daughters room to make sure she was tucked in nicely, as I did I noticed she was burning up with a fever at 39, she started having muscle twitches in her arms and fingers, and I knew someone wasn’t right. I took her out to the living room because she was awake and I turned on her favorite movie. She at first started to watch it; her body started to tense, her eyes started rolling back, she started vomiting, she was unresponsive to her name, unresponsive to us screaming and panicking, and her breathing was all over the place. We called paramedics they checked her out, and she became responsive again. The paramedics had told us she had gone through a FEBRILE SEIZURE. I strongly suggest that those who are reading this read up documents on the FEBRILE SEIZURE and please, please see your family doctor, a pediatrician. This was the worst, scariest moment of my life, and I will never forget it. I hold my daughter more tight than ever. Its a pain I will never lose.

    Yours Truly,

    Parents in deep love with their children

  15. Chandler Mom of three

    I reported recently that my one-year-old’s eyes started randomly darting several times a day. I read that tics can be allergy-related. So I immediately took my son off of dairy, as his tics coincided with introducing him to cow’s milk. His ticks stopped 100% and immediately.
    I also took him to his neurologist, and she told me that there is new evidence that 90% of tics are related to allergies.

    I would still take your child to their doctor as well. I am just thankful that my son was just allergic to dairy. God Bless!

  16. leanne

    hi everyone! I stumbled on this article while doing research. After reading everyone’s comments, I am very concerned. Eye rolling downward or side to side can be a sign of a neurological problem; this can happen when there is an increase in pressure in the brain. For example, tumors or fluid. Please go to your pediatrician immediately because time is of the essence. However, eye-rolling is NOT always emergent but it should always be investigated! I hope this helps!

  17. Chandler Mom of three

    My 14 month old just started rolling his eyes up about a week ago. Happy or sad, it doesn’t make a difference, his eyes will sporadically look up quickly, sometimes 3 times in a row.
    He had a CT scan, and two ultrasounds of his brain after he was born, and just found two cysts which had formed from two small brain bleeds during birth, very common and we were told would not affect him.

    He actually has a follow-up appt. with his neurologist in February, and they will look further into this “tic” then.

    My now 8-year-old had eye blinking tic’s when he was 4, and I took him to a chiropractor, and they went away within 3 weeks. I am taking my 14-month-old to the chiropractor on Monday to see if this will also help.

    If anyone else has any input, please pass your wisdom on. :-)

  18. Mina

    My 8-month-old baby girl has been having these episodes for about a week. Thought she was having a seizure at first. Her gaze was up and to the side/or rolling back. We were admitted for observation and had an EEG and MRI both are normal. The peds Neurologist is referring us to peds Opthalmology. Now just waiting and praying all will turn out well.

  19. new mom

    Hey guys and parents worried about your kids, Please go search ‘upgaze’. And consult a doctor. It may be it.

  20. Mick

    My son was born on Sept 2nd and he rolls his eyes downwards randomly. It was a concern to his doctor and me, we are going to do an MRI to see if there is something they can find that might be causing it to happen. The doctor did say he might have tonic downgaze. Right now, I don’t know too much, but hopefully, all goes well.

  21. Grandma

    Hi there, I am sure this does not apply to every child but eye-rolling can be a sign of Autism. My Grandson has been eye-rolling since he was born, he is now nearly 2, the eye-rolling has not stopped and now he walks on his tiptoes, body rocks for ages, and spins around with his eyes rolled up. The Health visitor has, at last, referred him to the hospital.

    The only problem is it’s hard to diagnose Autism before 18months of age.

  22. Moe

    I have a 1 week and day old baby. The doctor says she is healthy and is growing well. My concern is the fact that she is rolling her eyes downward and not upward. She does it often than usual. This is my first and it worries some. The doctor thinks she fine, but it is still a concern. Looking for advice.

    1. Nadine

      Our daughter started rolling her eyes downward at approx 3 1/2 months. It started one day out of the blue and then started getting more frequent. Her eyes would go downward for a few seconds and often you couldn’t see her eyes. Very scary and stressful. Our GP recommended we see a pediatric neurologist. The neuro defined the condition as ‘Tonic Downward Eye Deviation,’, which is a very rare condition in which infants generally grow out with no neurological problems (you can find some case studies online). He did, however, suggest that we have a scan to ensure that there was not something else causing the downward gazing. We decided to do a cranial ultrasound which came back completely normal, and now our daughter is nearly 6 months old and has we have not seen her roll her eyes downward for a few weeks. If your baby is rolling their eyes downward, it is important to see a specialist. But be reassured that in most cases, if this is happening (without a loss of upward gaze), it is usually a benign condition that will self-correct over time.

  23. Davy

    My little boy displays the rolling back of his eyes. And my research has taken me to this: The condition is called PTU Paroxysmal Tonic Upgaze. Good luck….

  24. Fia

    my baby’s eyes going down not up or backwards. he recently started doing this. I’m scared; I want it to stop. I don’t know what to do, the doctor said he’s ok, but really is he fine!!! anyone know what I’m talking about? Let me know what I should do!!!

  25. skinny

    Yes, worry about your child and take him to the doctor immediately. Don’t ignore what makes you uncomfortable because bad feelings are not always good. Don’t listen to those that give different opinions; just take your baby to the doctor. That’s you’re the best answer you will find.

  26. Ano

    the baby fell down from the couch 3 weeks ago, and since then, he has rolled his eyes about 2 times a day, especially when lying on his back, i took him to a doctor, who said he’s fine, but I am scared. baby is 7 months old

  27. m b

    My 2 and a half-year-old has possible Rett syndrome, but not confirmed she has a severe developmental delay, she suffers from absent seizures and I was wondering if eye’s rolling up is a symptom of a seizure

  28. Carona

    My daughter is almost 6 years old. Four days ago, My family and I noticed she started rolling her eyes upward and sideways. The first day was very minimal with only 2 episodes noted. On the second day, the episodes were slightly more. By the third day, she was rolling her eyes about every 40 seconds. I ended up in ER, labs were drawn, and a CT scan of the head w/ iv contrast was done to rule out neuroblastoma. Fortunately, everything was normal. In ER, two pediatricians examined my daughter; not sure what could be causing this. They did mention the possibility of a tick bite. Today we saw an ophthalmologist, and her eye exam was normal again. Seems like no one really knows what causes rolling of the eyes. My next step is to see a neurologist.

  29. Sarah

    My son is nearly 15months old; his eyes have been rolling to the back of his head for a few weeks now, I didn’t think much of this at first as I thought he was looking up at me and at the lights and fans, etc..also my sister is a nurse and sees him every few days she said I should just keep an eye on it and see if he does it more often and to try and catch it on the video camera and get an appt to the pediatrician asap. As the video shows exactly what he does.

    She said it was not normal, and he is doing it a lot more; I was very worried and still am. I’ve been to see my local doctor and have a referral to Westmead hospital; my doctor doesn’t want to worry me but said it needs to be checked out asap as it’s not normal but could be a number of things like he could be just repeating something he started doing and it could be that he is looking at things up high often, she also asked if he blacks out or shakes, he doesn’t, it’s just the head back, and his eyes roll, and it happens at all different times of the day and when he is angry or happy, sitting and lying down.

    It is just best to get them checked out asap, doesn’t matter what age, as it’s better to be safe than sorry, I now have an appt next week and will come back to this site and write up the results, fingers crossed it’s nothing???

  30. Tim's mom

    My baby is six weeks old and has just started rolling his eyes down (not up and back), so that the whites are showing and some of the pupils. They sort of zig zag a little for a moment but when I touch him or call him, he immediately snaps out of it.

    This has only happened while he’s lying on his back and I’m changing him. I don’t know if he’s trying to look down at me and his eyes get stuck or what? Does this seem like a seizure or just lack of eye control?

    1. Paula @ EasyBabyLife

      At six weeks, it could be a lack of eye control or that he is trying to focus on you. But I think it could be wise to film it and show his health nurse.

      Good luck!

  31. Linn

    My baby does this she is 5 months but she cries when this happens to her and jerks her body can anyone give me any advice?

  32. Worried

    Hi, My daughter who is 5-month-old daughter has started to roll her eyes back recently, this is really making worry about her.

    She did a few times at first and was fine with it and now she does it and starts crying with it last night it happened and she started to cry they were a couple of seconds apart. when it happens she jerks her body as well she seems to be in pain or is she just feeling scared.

    It really worrying me. I took her to the doctor but she is fine there, the doctors seems to think she is fine but he has not seen her when her eyes roll back. I really need advice please can anyone help?

  33. Cheryl

    We first noticed my daughter doing this when she was 9 yrs old. They misdiagnosed her with epilepsy and put her on increasing amounts of depikote for the next 5 years, which had horrible side effects on her personality and never stopped the eye rolling. Another Neurologist diagnosed her with a form of Tourette’s syndrome and put her on Lexapro.

    Though this has curbed her anxiety from all her peers and teachers making fun of this problem, it still hasn’t stopped the eye-rolling episodes. She is now driving a car and we are concerned

  34. Worried

    My baby who is 8 months has started to do this too. He did it a few times today and it was really scary. I am sssooo worried. Has anyone been to the doctor and found out something about this?

  35. John

    my son rolls his eyes back every two to three min and loses his balance and falls. It doesn’t seem to hurt him, only when he fall hard

  36. Erin

    My nephew (8 months) has been doing this too. It happens whenever we lay him on his back. His legs and arms begin to stiffen straight out and his eyes roll way in the back of his head.
    I will try to call to him and get his attention but he doesn’t come out of it. It only lasts a few seconds. He sometimes laughs a little when he does it and hes smiling the whole time but its just scary and weird. Any advice?

  37. Lilly

    I have a 20-month-old son who has those symptoms and it has happened twice. Each time it is as if he was dying the first time it happens.

    I took him to the doctors they said he had an ear infection the I read a medical book which said that the baby tends to have problems but can’t tell us as we can so they show fever type symptoms then when the baby rolls the eyes back it is as if they are having a fit the best thing to do is make sure the mouth does not close ie.

    Make sure you put some of your fingers in it there might be time they will bite hard don’t worry this is helping don’t let go and also they tend to have a high temperature then try pouring cold water on their head this will bring that down then they should cry hard once you have done this that them to the doctors next day it may be they have an infection .

  38. missi

    Hi my 10 week old son rolls his eyes to the back of his head when I lay him down or pick him up, his body and arms go rigid, it lasts a few seconds but has happened several times already. He only started it today. He’s rather jumpy when he sleeps too. Any ideas? He always lays on his left side of head too…please help as its freaking me out… My Gp surgery is closed …

  39. SM

    My daughter is two years old and started rolling her eyes back several months ago. I am concerned because I am not sure whether or not she is having a seizure. She might be doing it on purpose for fun.
    I read everyone’s comments and I can see that no one knows what it is. Tomorrow I am going to the neurologist to find out. If I find out, I will let everyone know.

  40. Dan

    My baby is only 3 weeks old and has started rolling his eyes quite a lot when asleep. Is this normal? Is it wind?

    1. Paula @ EasyBabyLife

      How do you know that your baby is rolling eyes if asleep? If it is simply that you see movement under the eyelids it is completely normal and called REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement sleep). A newborn baby spends more than 80% of total sleep time in REM, while adults only spend around 20-25% of their time asleep in REM.

      Hope this helps!

  41. Hollywood

    Praying for your baby girl Holly. My 18 month old son just started looking as though he is spacing out, then his eyes roll up and tot the left, almost completely in his head, and then he st frightens them back out, remains dazed for afew more seconds, and then snapsbout of it. Called the on call nurse today and she said tot tryand capture it on video and call for an appointment tomorrow. Thinking it might be absence seizures.

    1. concernedmama

      Can you tell me what your son had?

  42. Anon (Dr)

    Our daughter started rolling her eyes at about 5 months, and then began to do this with little jerks as if she was being shocked. She was diagnosed with West Syndrome (infantile spasms) and is still being treated for this now.

    I would recommend that anyone whose child is both i) eye-rolling, and ii) exhibiting involuntary movements (however small) is checked out by a neurologist ASAP as time is of the essence. Make sure you take a video of the behaviour to show to the medical people. If the eye-rolling looks involuntary, keep on the lookout for any accompanying jerks. The key times of day are transitioning from sleep to awake (and vice versa) and during feeding.

    If your concerns are not being taken seriously, press for a second opinion. Our paediatric consultant missed the diagnosis and it was spotted later by a neurologist.

  43. Holly (mum to honey)

    I’m currently in hospital with my 7.5 month old baby girl. She started rolling her eyes (eye lids twitching and head sometimes tilted upwards) one day she only did it once but as I was unfamiliar with it it looked as though she was going to sneeze but didn’t, then the second day I saw it again but they only last one second so again thought that maybe the sun was in her eyes or something. The third day she did this twice in a minute so got in to see go straight away as it is scary to see. We got referred there & then to hospital. She is completely normal in herself… No crying when it happens, she just looks as tho she’s not noticed. She’s had short EEG so far and bloods which came back normal. She had a lumber puncture yesterday which unfortunately didn’t work!! Poor baby.
    We are now stuck in hospital not knowing what is causing this to happen to our girl. It happens so quickly but very frequently. Sometimes just seconds apart. She’s on all the anti viral & antibiotics drugs in case there are infections causing it. We may have to do a 24hr EEG too as the short EEG did not capture anything.
    Please pray for our gorgeous girl, that its nothing too serious.