The eyes should be cleaned at birth and once every day using sterile cotton swabs soaked in sterile water or normal saline.
Each eye should be cleaned using a separate swab.
The cultural practice of instillation of human colostrum in the eyes has been found to be useful in reducing the incidence of sticky eyes.
The practice of applying kajal in the eyes is not recommended because it may cause trauma, transmit infections like trachoma or may even cause lead poisoning.
If the eyes are sticky they can either be managed by frequent cleaning using sterile cotton swabs soaked in normal saline or by instillation of 10% sulphacetamide eye drops every two to four hours.
Some neonates may develop persistent epiphora due to blockage of nasolacrimal duct by epithelial debris. The mother should be advised to massage the nasolacrimal duct area (by massaging the outer side of the nose adjacent to the medial canthus) 5 to 8 times a day, each time before she feeds the baby.