How to get eye drops in a 3 year olds eyes

It has been a while since we have had to atropine drop.  Last week, the ophthalmologist had us use the drops in both eyes for 3 days to get the most accurate measurement that they could.  These days were a reminder of why we ended up switching back to patching.

So, you may ask, how in the world do you get the eye drops in.  Well, we line up all the babies who are also getting their eyes dropped (for pretend)  Then we practice on them, telling them it will hurt a little and praising them for holding still.  When I get to the end of the line (Elly)  I hop on, hold her arms down with my knees, pry her eyes open with my left hand and drop with my right.  This is all done swiftly and in less than a second all the screaming, huffing, puffing, kicking, thrashing, you name it, is over.  I then tell her how brave she was and life moves on.

She really hated her glasses for about a week and a half until the atropine wore off, was a bearcat in her disposition, and expressed her distaste in the drops.  The good news is that the reading was the most accurate so far and resulted in a prescription changed.

Yeah eye drops and yeah no more eye drops.

6 responses to “How to get eye drops in a 3 year olds eyes

  1. It’s always hard to give little ones medication, especially when it makes them uncomfortable. You handled it well and your tip will be very useful for first-time parents! You might also refer to eye drops as “tickle drops,” as one of our doctors does to alleviate the stress. See more tips here:


  2. Thanks for the link about first time visits. We dropped every day for 4 months and went back to patching for a year. Not sure if I could convince a seasoned dropper that they were tickle drops – but it is an awesome idea as it is an unusual sensation and changes their vision afterwards. Her friends all wore the patches when we did and all have some sort of glasses that come on and off too.


  3. I love that picture, too. Hooray for no more eye drops (for the time being) and for accurate readings! Your story reminds me a little of trying to do eye ointment with Zoe after her surgery. I’d tell her it was time for her eye medicine, she’d go get it out of the drawer, bring it to me sit on my lap nice and still. Then as soon as I’d get the cap off and try to get it in, she’d bury her face in my shoulder and cry and refuse to move.


    • Ann – we had the gel after surgery and it was SOOOO easy. I would just put a small drop on my finger, pull her eyelid down with my left hand and dab the gel in the corner of her eye. I could do this in less than a second and we had no tears or screaming about the special “lotion” to help sooth her eyes.


  4. It’s hard enough trying to get most 3-year-olds to take regular medicine orally, let alone get they to take eyedrops in peace. I commend your style and patience.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.