When newborns cry they don't actually shed tears, this is because the baby's tear ducts have yet to mature (tear ducts tend to mature at about 6 weeks). Because of this, irritants cannot be washed away causing baby's eyes to become more prone to infection.
Cleaning Your Baby's EyesWash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and wipe them dry before handling your baby (make that a routine). Pour some cooled boiled or room temperature sterile water into a clean container. Using clean cotton balls or washcloth, dip them into the water and squeeze out the excess. Very gently clean baby's eyes from the inner corners toward the outer corners in ONE stroke. DO NOT rub or wipe in a back and forth motion. Repeat the same process with the other eye using a fresh clean cotton ball or an unused section of the same washcloth. This cleaning should be done daily for the first 6 to 8 weeks of life, and after that at each time you bathe your baby.