There’s been a lot of good advice on help on a lot of the posts and comments on this blog, so I’m compiling them into one page full o’ help. I’ll keep updating this page as we go. Please feel free to leave comments with more thoughts, or if you have a question you’d like to see answered here, leave a comment and I’ll post it on the main blog page and see what help we can get.
If you just found out that your child needs glasses, and you’re looking for some information and reassurance, you may want to take a look at our post on just starting out.
- Reasons for going to get your child’s vision checked out
- Making the trip to the eye doctor easier
- Things to look for (and ask about) in a place to get glasses
- Choosing glasses
- Getting them to wear glasses in the beginning
- Keeping the glasses on once they’re (at least a little bit) used to them
- Eye patches and patching
- Recommendations for doctors and shops (goes to the recommendations page)
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Reasons for going to get your child’s vision checked out
- Pictures of her with flash show the flash reflection in different parts of the eye (example picture).
- Problem identified at 3 year old (or any) vision screening
- Family history of needing glasses at an early age
- ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity)
- Noticed his eyes were ‘jiggly like a sunny side up egg’ and ‘wobbly like jello’
- One eye is bigger than the other (example pictures)
- Both eyes appear to be growing larger and bulging
- Extreme aversion to sunlight (“photophobia”)
- No red reflex in her eye (caught at 2 week check up)
- Excessive tearing
- Eyes are crossing or wandering, even if only occasionally
- Squinting at TV and computer, books, and anything else he tried to see details on
- An unusually large pupil or white reflection in one of the pupils
- Eyes that are red, watery or irritated
- Closing one eye during tasks such as reading or watching TV
- Avoidance of detailed near-work such as reading, writing or drawing
- Needing to use a finger to keep place while reading (after learning to read)
- Frequent headaches, especially if during school or while reading
- An unexpected difficulty with reading
- Complaints of seeing double
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Making the trip to the eye doctor easier
- If you’re bringing your child in because of misaligned eyes, bring photos that show the misalignment, particularly those that were taken with flash that show the flash reflection in different parts of the eyes. This way, even if your child’s eyes seem aligned on the day of the exam, the doctor can still see the misalignment.
- Don’t schedule the visit for nap times or times when your child is tired.
- Reassure your child that it will be fun. Mostly it is like playing games (really).
- Try to fill out any paperwork and information online or in advance
- Bring toys and snacks
- Almost every child is afraid of eyedrops, but don’t lie to them and say that they aren’t going to get them. Some doctors use a special spray that is less scary for kids.
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Things to look for (and ask about) in a place to get glasses
- A policy that allows you to replace the lens if the prescription changes within 30 (or some reasonable amount) of days.
- The staff should know how to deal with small children, and should be comfortable working with kids even when they’re crying and/or squirmy.
- The staff should be knowledgeable in fitting glasses to small children, and be able to do it quickly and accurately.
- Warranty against scratches on the lenses, especially if you pay for scratch resistant coating.
- They should offer, and be happy to provide, free adjustments to the glasses whenever you need them. Your kid will be hard on the glasses, they’ll get bent, the screws may fall out, or whatever the reason, they’ll stop fitting nearly as well. You should feel comfortable stopping back in, a lot, to get them re-adjusted.
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- Make sure that the lenses you buy are polycarbonate or Trivex for your children, not plastic or glass. This is a safety issue. You can read more about children’s lenses at A Child’s Eyes.
- Don’t be afraid to consider brightly colored and fun. Your child will have plenty of time for understated, sophisticated glasses when they’re grown. Bright colors look good on kids and reflect their fun side (also, brightly colored glasses are easier to find in the grass).
- Go when they’re well-rested
- We have two frames for C because we had to get a new frame when her prescription changed for the first time. (We didn’t want her to be without her glasses for a week.) The last time her prescription changed, I only purchased new lenses and re-used one of the existing frames. Saved some money that way by recycling through two frames until she outgrows them. (Probably not as cost effective if her prescription doesn’t change as much since I would have an extra pair of frames hanging around.)
- Thinking of ordering glasses online? Check out our guide to ordering glasses for your children online.
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Getting them to wear glasses in the beginning
- Talk about how nice he or she looks in the glasses
- When putting glasses on your child, do it with a smile. While we were trying glasses on Zoe, she was crying and we were getting upset, too, and we kept apologizing to her. The person we worked with recommended that instead, we show her how happy we are when we put glasses on her (even when we aren’t). It didn’t completely stop her crying, but she definitely calmed down a notch once we started acting happier.
- If your child keeps taking off their glasses, simply put them back on with a smile. If they don’t let you put them on, don’t make a big deal, simply set them aside and try again in a few minutes. It took about 2 weeks for Zoe to get to a point where she leaves the glasses on most of the time.
- Take off your child’s glasses when they’re in the car – at least at the beginning. It’s likely they’ll take off their glasses and throw them somewhere where they might fall out of the car or get smushed when you open the door.
- When she put on her pair of glasses, I rewarded her with stamps and explained that each times she wears her glasses we’ll show her how proud we are by giving her a stamp. She seems motivated by this and put them on 4 more times before dinner.
- Show them glasses-wearing characters (like Arthur, or Harry Potter for older kids). See our page of books for kids for more ideas.
- We bribed him with a new Thomas toy if he would put them on and leave them alone, so he did, and Daddy let him pick out the most expensive Thomas set that Target had.
- 1. We read the books from the recommended list before and after the Ophthalmologist visit.
2. On glasses pick up day, we stopped and got a cherry ICEE treat (something we never had before) and said we were celebrating being able to see better. We did this late afternoon and started letter her “practice” wearing them. Letting her take them off whenever she wanted. We also talked about glasses rules.
TAKE GLASSES OFF WITH 2 HANDS
ALWAYS GIVE THE GLASSES TO MOM OR PAPA
3. On Day 1, we invited her best friend over and watched Arthur gets glasses together. We then had her best friend give her a toy Arthur. He has glasses and the manufacture does a good job securing them on. Elly, has tried many times to get them off and has not succeeded.
4. We also set up a glasses-free zone. I wanted her to have the freedom to take them off at anytime, so we set up her room as a glasses-free zone. This worked well because she has to take them off for naps and bedtime. Anytime she took her glasses off, we told her it was time to play in her bedroom and moved her there. By the 2nd day, she would stand at her doorway and scream “glasses please”
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Keeping the glasses on once they’re (at least a little bit) used to them
- If they’re taking their glasses off during tantrums, perhaps quickly taking them from your child before the expected fling while saying “you’re mad, give mommy your glasses”. At least you validate the feeling, and give a reasonable action to follow.
- Use a glasses strap to keep the glasses on and in the right spot
- A commenter (Megan Inge) designed an inconspicuous strap that is easy to attach and detach. She wrote, “I hope this will help other kids with glasses to look cool and not NERDY!” http://www.inconspecuous.com.au
- Have your child wear their glasses to the playground or area where there are more kids so they get used to being around kids and see that they (the other kids) probably won’t care about their glasses.
- At school, ask if their teacher would be willing to wear glasses (if they have contacts), or choose books about kids wearing glasses.
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Eyepatches and patching
Check out Amomofelly’s Patch Challenge series! She and her daughter test and review a different patch each Friday and rates them on Cuteness Factor, Durability, Full Eye Occlusion, Performs with sweat, and Patching Support. She also provides pricing and contact information. Amblyopia Kids also has a great series of patch reviews, too!
- When he’s obviously disturbed by the patch, dad wears one too, as does mom. Not to mention his favorite stuffed animals, Tiger and Monkey.
- When we started the patching he really fought it and dad had to wear a patch too and carry him around the block so that he wouldn’t take it off.
- He seems to wear the patches when we go places more than when we are in the house.
- We have been calling it ’sucker patch’ the past few weeks and he gets a sucker when he wears it to distract him to leave it on. He usually doesn’t even finish the sucker, but when he knows he is going to get a sucker he’ll leave it on his face until he gets used to it.
- We point out raccoons, pirates, ’super why’ cartoon wears a disguise that I tell him is a ‘patch’ over his eyes.
- The patch we use goes over her glasses, and she is used to wearing her glasses, so does not fight the patch.
- Although she doesn’t like the patch, she knows that it is helping her see better and as a result she is doing much better with it. While she does get comments (are you a pirate? what’s wrong with your eye? etc.), she has gotten to the point of explaining about her “bad eye” (her words) and how she is strengthening it with her patch.
- I try to give him as much power over decision making as I reasonably can – do you want to put your patch on in the morning and get your time in, or in the afternoon? You may have to wear it to the park if you choose afternoon. / What pattern would you like today?
- The best patches for kids are the opaque adhesive patches.. you can find fun patterns or you can get the nude color ones. These are best for children so they can’t take it off as easily.
- Try putting down medical tape first around the area (it doesn’t hurt as much when you take off the sticky) and place the patch on top of that.
- I made her a tree poster, with lots of empty branches. Every day, when we take her patch of after six hours, she attaches it to a branch because after all a tree cannot be naked. Every time she fills up a branch with patches (about every week to 10 days), she gets a special treat. See a picture of the patch tree in this post.
My 12 month old has just been prescribed glasses. Though you can’t tell by looking at him he has a lazy eye, Amblyopia. I have been to two different places to try on glasses for him, but just can’t decide. Our doctor says that his percription will probably change again when he comes back in 6 months. So, I don’t know if I should just get the ones that fit him the best now or if I should try to by a little bigger so that we can simply change the lenses in December. What do you suggest?
I read one members story and it included a bit about keeping her sons glasses on with a ‘nerd strap’. I didn’t want my daughter wearing a ‘nerd strap’ so I desinged an inconspicuous strap that is easy to attach and detach. I hope this will help other kids with glasses to look cool and not NERDY!
Thank you so much for inventing the Inconspecuous strap. My son is 3 and I just bought it today after watching your video. We have not had success with other straps because they are too large. His current strap gets too tight and creates indents next to his nose. I can’t wait for the Inconspecuous to arrive!
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Hi try Rec Specs glasses my daughter loves hers an are very well worth the money your child will love theme to they come in many different colors an designs here’s the link to the sight where I bought my daughter’s Rec Specs thank you.https://www.rxframesnlenses.com/product1.php?productid=20192
My kinderdgartener will not wear her glasses at school (she will for speech only). We have tried everything I can think of. She is fine wearing them at home, but she refuses to wear her glasses in her class and in front of her teacher. She is very strong willed and I can’t even bribe her with something from Build-a-Bear. I am thinking about giving her consequences, but I really not sure that will work either. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Have you asked the teacher for help? I am crossing my fingers that the teacher may have glasses, “reading glass,” or even sun -glasses and can talk to her about how cool it is to wear glasses and that glasses are helpful and will help her learn better in school. Reading books, like “Princess Peepers” at school may also help. It’s worth a shot. I’ve had many parents buy me books when I was a teacher to help teach the students about their culture, going through something, or to support a local author. Keep us updated!
Thank you for all of these wonderful ideas. We are currently going to pick up my daughter’s first pair of glasses. She is 2 and is farsighted (+6). She seems very excited, as she loves accessories.
I love the idea that mom and dad wore the patches as well to help their child transition. kudos. That may be in our future. Thanks for the website the information you have gathered has been very helpful.
Hi Kendra, I wanted to reply to this because my son’s situation is the same as your 2 year old daughter’s. He is 2.5 yrs old and is also farsighted +5. I know you wrote that response in 2008, but have a couple of questions. My son’s case is that he has good vision, but difficulty focusing which causes his farsightedness. If this is the same thing your daughter went through, I’m curious if she still wears glasses, did her prescription lessen as she grew older, and anything you did to encourage her to wear them. Thanks.
Thanks Kendra! Good luck with your daughter’s glasses. Sounds like she and Zoe would have a lot in common (also 2, also farsighted, also LOVES accessories).
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If my little guy is anything like yours…I’m gonna take a guess that you’ve made your way through several pairs of glasses by now. (No? well, wait a bit…) Anyway, after many a face plant, an encounter with a coffee table, couple of invincible-two-year-old-leaps-of-faith…we’re now the proud owners of several pairs (or parts) of broken or otherwise beat up glasses. (not to mention spare lens or two). My suggestion…become your own optician…at least for those minor tweaks, bends, etc.
So far I’ve managed to salvage cable temples, nose pads, replace a lens, and even bend, unfold, or otherwise straighted folds that were not, should not, be present…
Couple of peeks at our optometrists tools…couple of visits to ebay…presto…home-repair-shop.
You never know when trouble strikes. For us it always seems to be 5 minutes after the opticians have closed…
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Eyepatches and patching:
My son’s doctor recommended something awesome for eyepatches/patching. He suggested that we use swimming floaties. This will prevent your infant child from taking off the patch. We are currently implementing this method on our 20 month old (former 29 wk preemie) and it’s doing wonders. He is starting to use his left eye (lazy eye) more when he’s not wearing the patch. Therefore the treatment is working amazingly. I would recommend this method versus the eye drops.
Can you explain what you mean by swimming floaties??
I’ve heard them called “water wings” (here’s some examples http://pooltoy.com/swimmies1.html). The idea is that they go around your baby’s arms, and are inflated so your baby can’t actually touch her eyes or the patch.
My sons doctor recommended playing video games while wearing the patch for an hour a day. All the colors and fast movements help strengthen the muscles because everything is constantly changing on the screen. My son wasn’t a baby though, he was 5.
I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned before, but I think investing in even a cheap tape recorder would be helpful for parents to take to the doctor’s with them. Even the afternoon after an appointment I can barely remember everything that gets said – I just remember the general gist of it.
Also, amomofelly just commented on another topic that sometimes she puts on her husbands glasses to remember what it’s like to live a blurry life. I think that’s something all of us should do once in a while if we can. Not for hours, just for a few minutes (we don’t need to be messing up our eyesight). But it would help understand what our little guys are going through and their frustration.
This is my first post here, I have two kids with glasses. (5 1/2 year old Charlotte; nearly 3 year old Sam) We have been patching Charlotte since she was nearly 3. We had a bad experience with the sticky patches for Charlotte — the Coverlet brand stuck too hard and gave her break-outs around her eyes, and the Ortopads didn’t stick well enough to stay on.
Once we started with cloth patches that slip over the glasses, we have been doing great. We’ve used the felt style and the foam backed soft cloth style.
The best trick to getting our daughter to patch consistently, has been saving up daily “patch stickers” for a reward of some kind. She picks the reward at the beginning of the period. We started with things like a trip to the farm to feed the animals, a trip out to get an ice cream cone, a packet of stickers, for 3-4 days in a row, and progressed upward.
Since she’s 5 1/2 and has some ability to plan ahead, she likes to save her “points” for 3-4 weeks and get a bigger reward, like a trip to Build A Bear for accessories 😉 or a doll. Our doctor has been so pleased with the improvement in our daughter’s vision. Patching every day really makes the difference.
That is great advice, to take a tape recorder with you to appointments. Wrangling two kids with the drops and everything, frequently I don’t catch everything the doctor needs to tell me. (luckily, our opthalmologist is very responsive by phone with follow-up questions!)
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I just found out a week ago that my 13mo old son, Noah, needs glasses. A wave of emotions have been going through my head. At first..I was angry, upset, and sad that I was going to have to cover up my baby’s sweet face with glasses. Is he always going to be referred to as “that kid with glasses?” Now, I’m more anxious than anything. How am I going to get him to wear his glasses? I can’t reason with him…can I? Will he even understand? I’m hoping that just being able to see better will be the incentive for him to keep them on.
Another concern is when he’s with his babysitter. I can’t be there to regulate and with all the other kids…I’m just imagining all the ways his glasses will get lost, broken, and most of all…removed.
I found a pair of fisher price frames that fit him pretty well. We got cable temples which should help keep them up on his face. We should get the glasses today and can start the process tonight. Most of the tips that are on this website are for older kids. What do you do when your child is too young to get it?
Ugh…sorry for venting. This is the first website I have found that has actually made me feel like I’m not alone in all this.
Don’t worry at all about venting Emily. I could have written this exact same thing when I learned that Zoe needed glasses at 14 months. He will get comments and be known as the kid with glasses, but the glasses aren’t going hide his eyes, and they won’t take away from that sweet face.
Getting him to wear them will probably not be easy, it’s going to be more of a matter of wearing him out, and getting him used to the idea of the glasses, and hopefully he’ll begin to realize that he’s seeing much better. I know some kids that age put them on and never want them off. Zoe wore hers well for the first hour and then fought them for a couple of weeks. But now she wears them and asks for them and it’s not a problem at all. And I love how she looks in them. Just (ha ha, no “just” about this) stay positive and consistent as you put them on him and keep him entertained until he forgets they’re on. Don’t get too frustrated when he throws them off, it’s a totally new thing for him to get used to.
We made sure that Zoe’s daycare had a glasses case, and told them that if they could put them on her to do that and to praise her (and to keep the other babies from pulling off her glasses), but that if she was giving them a hard time, the glasses should go in the case for a bit and they could try again later. I think that being in daycare probably slowed down how quickly she took to the glasses because I know they couldn’t devote the time and attention to getting her to wear them in the beginning, but they were happy to work with her and do what they could.
Good luck and keep us updated!
We got glasses for my 14 month old son a few days ago. So far, I can’t get him to leave them on his face for more than 3 seconds at a time. I have tried games, distraction, and a new toy. I’ve even tried holding his arms while his dad reads to him, but then my boy just shakes his head violently and throws a total fit.
Thoughts? I’m tempted to stop trying for a bit, and then pick it up in a week or two. Or is it better to plough through? Could this be a sign that they don’t actually help him see better?
Oh, that’s so rough Zoe was the same age when she got her glasses and I really remember not knowing how to get her to wear them. Try to keep putting them on, but don’t make it a power struggle – if he’s fighting you, set them aside for a bit and let everyone calm down. And as terribly hard as it is, try to keep a smile on your face and don’t let him see how much it upsets you. I know that is easier said than done – I was horrible at it, and my husband had to step in a few times and remind me not to try to force it and not to get upset in front of Zoe.
I’ve heard some people have had great luck taking their kids that age to some place new, so that they have a lot to look at. I do remember that when Zoe first got her glasses, she left them on a long time (well, like 10 minutes) at the optical shop, but then once we got home, she wouldn’t leave them on. So a completely new place might distract him more than games and books at home are.
Do you wear glasses? Zoe got hers at 14 months, too, and at that age was really into mimicking. I had some luck with having her put my glasses on my face (with a lot of assistance to make sure I didn’t lose an eye), and then she was more willing to let me put them on her face.
Can you get to the eye glasses shop or eye doctor to have someone check and make sure that the frames aren’t hurting his ears or nose and that they’re sitting correctly?
I know that it took a couple weeks before Zoe would leave hers on reliably, though I think we had an easier time in those first few days than it sounds like you’re having. But I wouldn’t assume that this means he’s not seeing well with the glasses.
Please keep us updated on how things go. It does get easier, but it really can take a while for kids that age to accept the glasses.
Thanks for the fast reply! I do wear glasses and will try your suggestions – I think particularly going to a new place could help. Also, I’m not thrilled with the actual glasses. I went to the people my ophthalmologist recommended to find a pair, but they only had a couple of frames in his size. I wish I had checked the net first b/c there’s much more to choose from than what I was shown, and I bet a more rubbery pair would help us now…
Agreed that it’s a terrible age to introduce glasses – I’ll keep you posted!
Okay, so I’m new to this whole world of glasses. So new in fact, we haven’t even recieved our glasses yet. We were informed just today that our three year old, who also suffers from Neurofibromatosis (which is the reason we were there in the first place_),is farsighted. I’ll be honest, I wanted to cry!!!!!! I know there are worse things, but as you all know, when it comes to your children, a scraped knee makes you want to cry!! Then we went to try on glasses, the whole time I’m making it seem so fun, telling her how beautiful the glasses are. I’ve been telling her all day how lucky she is to get new glasses, the whole time I want to cry!!!! Then I used the simulator link found on this sight, and I can’t believe how bad my baby’s eyes are!!!!!!! You will probably be seeing a lot of me on here so, I will just say thanks in advance for dealing with my madness!!!!!
Me again……I read a response about mimicking…..I don’t wear glasses, nor does my hubby or 11 year old daughter, but, do they sell frames with just glass in them???? I’d be willing to invest in a pair just so my girl doesn’t feel awkward.
Dollar store frames pop out very nicely!
My 15th. mn old was just dx. with amblyopia and vision of 6.50 L and 2.50 R. I dont know what these numbers mean, I’m familiar with 20/20 type #s. Our OP only prescribed glasses, no patching, does this sound right?
Welcome Stacey! The numbers show that your 15 month old is farsighted (has hyperopia), the left eye is quite a bit worse than the the right. You can read more about what those numbers mean here: http://littlefoureyes.com/2010/01/25/understanding-your-childs-glasses-prescription/
Since your child is still young, it sounds like your PO is starting out with just glasses to see if providing the correction will help both eyes see clearly. If your child still is only using one eye (probably the right, since that one has the weaker prescription), then you might need to move to patching.
Our 15 month old is in the middle of his first day with glasses at daycare. He wore them on and off this weekend and is rapidly adjusting to them, as long as he is distracted! We do have to hold down his arms to get them on, which is never fun, but once they are in place he leaves them alone for awhile.
He has the flexible Miraflex glasses but I am wondering about if I need to take them off when he goes to the playground? He is very, very active and I am nervous about the glasses hurting him if he falls with them on and if other parents have experience with this? He is +5 in both eyes.
Hi, my 21 month old son just got glasses a couple of days ago. Right now the only way to get him to wear them is with bribes (usually chocolate)… I’m already feeling guilty about this as i don’t want him to think wearing his glasses is a chore. I know it’s not the right way long-term, but is it ok to start off like this hoping that eventually he’ll wear them without being bribed? Thanks…
Hannah, I think it’s fine. You really want him to realize they help him see, but he won’t get that unless he wears his glasses for a while. Besides, I used chocolate bribes to get Zoe to use the toilet in the beginning, and we were able to stop those after a bit. I think you’re right that it’s not a long term solution, but I think in the beginning with glasses you need to take the short term approach to get him used to them.
Good luck and keep us posted.
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I wanted to share with other parents the new doll I recently bought for my two and a half year old daughter Amélie. Amélie wad diagnosed with very poor long sight in both eyes and amblyopia in her left eye aged two after I noticed in flash photography that one eye reflected red while the other was white. It was only by chance that is watched a tv show advising parents to go to the doctor if they saw this. I have tried to buy as many patch/glasses books and dolls as I can (many from looking on here). However I found there was much more available for boys (pirates etc) that although we could still read them Amelie wanted something more girly. I recently bought a Barbie, a fashion fairytale doll named Marie-Alecia. She is a pretty brown haired princess Barrier doll with glasses on her head (not sunglasses)! I simply moved the glasses down over her eyes and cut her a little patch to go underneath. Amélie absolutely loves her princess Amélie doll with glasses and patch 🙂 I thought other parents or girls with glasses and/or amblyopia would like to know about this doll.opt
HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We just returned for our appointment for our 18 month old son. He needs to wear a patch for 6 weeks, 4-6 hours a day! He hates bandaides and hates anything covering his face. I would greatly appreciate any tips or tricks you guys have one keeping them on or the best kind to buy. I am terrified that the next 6 weeks are going to be a nightmare, and we will be spending A LOT of time at home.
I just picked up my daughter’s glasses yesterday and have been racking my brain trying to figure out what will be the best way to keep them on her. First, she is 10 mths old and we found out at 8 mths old that she has a bulge on her lens which has caused her to have a lazy eye. At first she did awesome with patching, after the last dr appt she figured out how to take the patches off and things have been insane since. The dr gave us a Rx for her glasses, but they are just poly lenses (no strength to them). We are mainly concerned about protecting her “good eye”. She quickly figured out how to pull her glasses off (I got Miraflex). I have seen that someone mentioned using swim floaties to keep their kids from pulling off their patches. Do you think it would be wise to try this with my baby and her glasses? Any other advice would be greatly appreciated!
OK the floaties do not work! LOL She can still reach. I have found that she does leave them alone more when we are out and about, so I am starting there.
HELP! My 16 month old was just prescribed glasses. He HATES the sight of them. i can’t get them on for even half a second. Everyone around him is wearing glasses, even the stuffed animals. i tried giving the stuffed animals stickers as a reward to motivate him – he just throws the stickers. Everyone gets excited and happy trying to entice him to put them on. He won’t have it for even a second. He screams, arms flailing and his shirt gets soaked with tears. Can someone tell me how to do this??? Do I pin him down and force him? I’m afraid he will hate them if I do that. Ive shown him other kids, books, I tell him they’re fun, I get happy if he holds them….not sure what to do. I’m worried about his eyes (they’re crossing) and need him to get them on asap. Any step by step suggestions out there how to handle this and how long it will take for him to start accepting them?
Oh yikes! I’m sorry it’s been so difficult, I have so much sympathy for you, this is so hard, especially when you know how important it is for him to wear his glasses. Here’s a few thoughts though I can’t guarantee that any will work.
I think i might try making less of a deal out of them. Put them on him, and when he throws them off, try again without getting upset or trying to talk about how happy they make you. If he screams or cries, take s break, and don’t talk about them. Are there any activities that really, really interest him, or things that he just loves to look at? I’d try to have those activities around for him to do, maybe even get him engaged and then try to slip the glasses on. Some parents have had luck taking their kids somewhere outside the house where things are more interesting. One thing that worked for us was having Zoe put glasses on my face first, then she was more willing to let me put hers on her face. I would definitely not force them on him (though believe me, when we were struggling to get Zoe to wear hers, I was tempted to try to hold her down and force hers on, too).
If you’re still struggling, you could ask your doctor about eye drops to go in his eyes before he puts on the glasses. The drops make it so he can’t focus without glasses, the theory being he’ll realize that the glasses help him see and will wear them. Problem being that eye drops are not easy either, and might just upset him even more, and they make him much more light sensitive.
Good luck to you, know that you’re doing a good job, even if it doesn’t seem like it, and please keep us updated.
Thank you so much for your encouragement! My son loves to go outside….I have to say, I have the most awesome babysitter! She took him outside and told him to put on his sunglasses (he has transition lenses). He put them on and never took them off…wore them for hours!!! Now the test will be to see if i can get them on tomorrow morning when he wakes up…let’s see. i think you were right Ann….I stopped making a big deal of them…didn’t even acknowledge them when I saw them…I think he forgot he had them on!! I was so hopeless yesterday! …… Let’s see what happens tomorrow. Thanks for the advice. Nice to know that even though I’m a single parent struggling with this alone at home, I am not completely alone. 🙂
Hooray!! I’m so glad it’s getting better and he’s left them on better today. Your story just reminded me of how stressed I was when Zoe got her glasses, they came the day after Christmas, and I had hoped to have her wearing them by the time she went back to daycare after the new year, but she just kept taking them off. I started really stressing out, and making a much bigger deal out of them. I’ve definitely been there, and I know many of the other people here have as well.
Keep us updated! And good luck!
Yeah! I did feel hopeless there for a bit but he actually took to them so much better than I thought. I do have one more question…..my son was prescribed glasses b/c his eyes were crossing and one eye was worse than the other so he was using the dominant eye more…..his eye still looks like it’s crossing with the glasses…I realize its only been two days but curious about how long it should take to see his eyes begin to align? should it be immediate? his eye has been crossing for about a month…i’m concerned that we have to do patching next….that won’t be fun either! Anyone out there do vision therapy to help with a problem like this? Thanks for your quick reply and words of encouragement and support. I am so happy to have found this website.
This is probably a bit of a vent and also a cry for help. My four year old daughter just got glasses and refuses to wear them. She’s so strong willed. I can’t bribe her at all. I’ve tried making it fun and explaining why she needs to wear them. I’ve been wearing my glasses for a week to show her it’s ok. She just refuses to wear them. She has strong astigmatism and far sightedness so she needs to wear them all of the time. I don’t know how to stay positive anymore and I’m out of ideas. -Kayla
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Oh Kayla, I’m so sorry to hear you’re having trouble. This is such a hard thing, I know how hard it is to stay positive! It sounds like you’re doing the right things, but here’s a few ideas:
1. Does she say why she won’t wear them? If it’s because they hurt or feel weird, try going back to the shop and see if they need to be adjusted.
If she doesn’t like how they look, is there any chance at all of getting a second back up pair that she can pick out? Having two pair of glasses has really helped us with Zoe – she’s able to choose each morning while glasses to wear – that gives her some choice and some control in the matter.
2. Would she respond at all to someone else who she knows, likes, and trusts, who already wears glasses, talking to her about it? What about enlisting friends and relatives to talk about how excited they are to see her new glasses and really talk up how lovely and exciting they are?
3. One parent I know set her daughter’s room as a “glasses-free zone.” That meant that if her daughter needed to take a bit of a break from her glasses, she could, she just needed to be in her room to do so. Again, that gave her daughter some control in wearing her glasses, and let her know that it was ok to take short breaks (her daughter stopped using the room for breaks pretty early on, if I remember correctly).
4. You could ask your eye doctor for eye drops, they dilate the eyes and make it impossible for your daughter to focus without the glasses (with farsightedness, you can use eye muscles focus even without glasses, it just causes eyestrain and pulls eyes out of alignment, but that’s why it can be so hard to get kids who are farsighted to wear glasses, because they don’t see an immediate improvement in their vision with glasses). So the drops can make it so your daughter sees the difference in her vision when she puts them on.
Good luck to you and your daughter and please keep us updated on how things go!!
This is a fantastic resource. Thank you!! We just got a strabismus diagnosis and I’m pretty overwhelmed so I decided to start a blog to chronicle our experiences: http://toddlereyesinterrupted.blogspot.com/. Please check it out — would love to hear from others going through something similar or from parents who have BTDT and can offer support.
Thanks Eyes! What a great blog you have, too! May I add it to our list of blogs?
Yes, ma’am — thanks! 🙂
I have been enjoying this website a lot, and scouring the posts for advice. My one year old has just received his glasses. He is nearsighted and has a prescription of -5 in both eyes. We’re working with him to get him to wear them more often. I had hoped that once his eyesight improved with the glasses that he would want to keep them on, but it is difficult. He’s doing pretty well and will usually wear them for half an hour periods a couple of times a day. I’m wondering how long it took for others with kids this age to get them to wear them regularly? Any advice specific to one year olds (or close to it) would be appreciated – unfortunately he’s too young to reason or bargain with 🙂 We’re trying to keep it fun and we’re trying to be consistent about putting them on over and over again for an hour and then giving him a break. He does seem to do well when we’re out for walks, etc.
Luckily it’s Christmas holidays and so there are lots of family members around to help us, but any advice would be much appreciated!
Do you know if the Miraflex glasses can be worn in water or while swimming? I have s 19 month old true water baby who spent much of last summer at the waterpark–pre-glasses.
We have fisher price glasses nOw but are considering Miraflex for the summer. She definitely still riddles as she walks and I’m worried about how she can play in the water activities with or without glasses.
What do you think? (she is +5 farsighted in both eyes)
My concern would more be for the lenses. I feel like I remember hearing that being in the water for a long period, especially chlorinated water, isn’t good for them.
How does she do without glasses? Zoe currently doesn’t wear glasses or prescription goggles when she takes swim lessons, she’s a +4.75.
We’ve been in water..both chlorinated and salt…and emerged none the worse for wear. Only one persons opinion…but..nothing a wash n rinse wont fix. beads of water on the lenses may distort slightly, so consider wiping frequently….or maybe go without for a short while if feasible….
My 23month old little girl has a lazy right eye and we have been patching now for ten days. What a nightmare. She has even learnt to hide the patch. I am so encouraged by all the posts here and will be trying all the advice. I do know that floaties don’t work for Caitlin as her arms are thin and she just pulls them off. We are in South Africa and I have not seen all the types of patches mentioned but will be searching the net for some options. Thank you for al your reassuring comments. I’m glad we are not alone.
I have today just picked up my 14 month old daughters glasses… She let the optician put them on her in the shop and kept them on for a few minutes but since then i haven’t been able to get them back on her even once.
I have been told to just keep trying and that hopefully in a few days she will wear them. Some one has mentioned about getting a strap for her as well. My fear with the strap is that i don’t want it to become a double whammy for her to deal with (strap around the head, glasses on her face).
I’m feeling totally stressed out even thinking about the drama tomorrow when i try and put them on her again.
I wasn’t expecting to be told she has to wear glasses when we went to see the opthalmologist. I thought they would just put a patch on as she is so young. Does anyone know how long i have to persist with glasses before they patch (not that i am giving up on the glasses front just yet!).
Any thoughts, advice or tips would be really great! Thanks, Karlie
Hi Karlie, that sounds exactly like my daughter’s first day in glasses ;she was 14 months when she got glasses, too). Staying consistent and positive is what eventually worked for us, though it took about 2 weeks before she’d leave them on reliably.
We’d put them on her with a smile, and try to immediately distract her. When she took them off, we’d put then back on with a smile and try to distract her again. If she got upset, we’d set them aside for a few minutes until she calmed down. It was frustrating and tiring, I won’t lie, but it got a little better each day.
Glasses and patches treat two different (though related) issues. So if your daughter needs glasses, a patch won’t fix her vision, though she might need to patch as well.
Good luck to you and keep us updated on how things are going.
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Hello! my 3 yr old son has just been diagnosed as being farsighted and esotropia. His right eye is 2.75 and left is 6.25. We get his first pair of glasses on Tuesday. Now..both myself and my Husband have 20/20 vision…we have never worn glasses so this is a whole new world for us! Our question is …when he gets them, should we have him wearing them full time? They said it sill take him awhile to get used to them because the prescription is so strong. Do we give him breaks in the beginning ? Will they help or hurt with this new transition? Thanks!
Hi Michelle, That’s a great question! You should be working towards getting him to wear his glasses full time, so I would start with trying to have him wearing them all the time and see how he does. When Zoe started wearing her glasses, we’d give her a short break if she was throwing a fit, but those breaks were only as long as it took for her to calm down, then the glasses would go right back on. I do know some parents would let their child take more breaks, but would have a rule such as, you need to stay in your room during glasses breaks, to try to enforce how important it is to keep the glasses on, but to give kids the option to take them off if need be. We did take Zoe’s glasses off for sleeping and bathing and swimming, and in the car for the first few months, since she’d get bored and take them off and play with them.
We had comfort cables added to my daughter’s glasses to help them stay on and in place
As soon as our daughter (then 19 months) got her glasses we had the rule that she could take her glasses off when she wanted, but had to stay in bed if she had them off… they soon wise up that it’s much better just to wear them. If they have quite a prescription they will probably notice the difference and after a couple of days will want to wear them all the time anyway. I know Chiara did.
Our latest challenge is patching, and we plan on rewarding her for a solid week of patching. She wore the patch for about 3 hours tonight and did quite well. It will be just a case of adjusting to it. She is now 3.5 years and understands that it is going to help her eyes. Since it’s only been a few months that her left eye has been weakening, the dr thinks 3 months of patching should fix it. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
Something that helped, especially in the beginning is “inconspecuous” the fishing line & magnet system to hold glasses on. Works wonders to keep them right up on the face, as tiny noses are not much to hold glasses on with!
This is a great site and we were viewing it together tonight, sifting through the gallery looking for patching children. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for all the great ideas! I love them.
Good luck with patching. It’s hard, but you sound like you have a great plan. I wish we had more pictures of kids patching. If you’re on facebook, the facebook group has a lot of pictures of patching kids.
My baby was diagnosed with the lazy eye problem at the age of 4 months. We had a terrible time getting her to wear glasses, she broke 2 pair from one Dr’s office so I went to another doc who immediately wanted to do surgery on her eyes. This was not a comfortable situation to me so I took her to another Dr. and told him everything I was going through. He was so kind he special ordered the Mira-flex glasses for her, and called the other Dr. Dr. butcher. I was traumatized at that statement and told him I was glad I found his children’s eye specialist. During all the mess my child is now 2, and she is still a fighter over wearing her glasses, not as bad as she used to be over them and the patch, but at least she can not break the Mira-flex glasses. I use the orthopad patches and am considering changing over to a felt material patch, is this a good idea or are those just to cover up the sticky patch? I am kinda confused about if those are to be used by themselves or cover up the pad patch. Any help would be great.
Hi AJ! I’m so glad you found an eye doctor for your daughter that you can trust!
Good question about the patches. The felt material patches are used instead of adhesive patches – they go over the glasses and should totally block vision on that eye. The thing you need to watch for is that some kids will find a way to peek around those patches, and so they don’t get the benefit of patching. You need to be sure that they completely cover the eye so that no light gets in.
Do you have any advice for keeping glasses on a severely disabled child? She is almost 5, but functions more in the range of a 12 month old. I am her teacher. The parents are unable to keep them on her either. Her vision loss is in the – 6 range and she has amblyopia as well, so I understand how important it is for her to wear them. Our longest period of wearing the glasses was 45 sec with adult support during a preferred activity. Any suggestions are welcome!
How long has she had the glasses? It may be worth double checking that the glasses are adjusted correctly so there’s no extra reasons for her to fight them. In general, staying positive and consistent and trying to find distractions are what I’d recommend. And I’ll note that it can take a couple of weeks to a month for a child to wear their glasses consistently. Would you be ok with me posting this as a main post question to see if other readers have ideas or experience with this?
And thank you for your understanding of how important this is to her vision.
Please feel free to share this. I feel like the student’s privacy is protected and we really need the help!
My daughter has amblyopia and wore glasses and patched for about a month. Our optometrist changed the Rx to the Shaw lenses which requires no patching. It is new technology and seems to work. We then went to an ophthalmologist and got a very different reaction…. they had not heard of the lenses and did not want her in them. She wants the Rx to change again. I find it unsettling that she had not heard of them and had no desire to look into it. Has anyone heard/used these new lenses? my daughter was diagnosed later at 7. I am looking at giving her the best chance of improving her eye sight. Any advice/comment would be welcomed.
My son, age 3, almost 4, just got his first pair of glasses today! He is farsighted and we were noticing that one eye was turning in. Today he has done awesome, wearing them most of the day. We sat down to watch a movie tonight and he refuses to wear them. He says he sees better without them. Could this be the case? The doctor asked that he wear them all the time…. There is this paranoid feeling that I have that maybe he doesn’t have the correct prescription. I just wish that I could see what he is seeing to know if it is correct.
Hi Shannon, (I have a 3 almost 4 year old, too!). It can take a few days for a child to get used to their glasses, especially with farsighted kids. They have to learn to relax and let their glasses focus for them. That said, mistakes in the lab do happen sometimes, and it isn’t a bad idea to have the prescription checked.
My 14mth old son has been prescribed glasses for his -4.5 vision in right eye alone..and they have asked us to patch his left eye to correct the lazy right eye.. went thro all comments but still want a word of support from all. Am jus sitting n thinking on how to make him wear his glasses..