8 answers

How to Keep Glasses on a Toddler?

My 18 mo son was recently diagnosed with Strabismus, and as for the first part of his treatment he has to wear glasses. I am having a hard time trying to put them and keep them on. I literally have to hold him down and try to keep his hands away, but that lasted about 5 minutes. These glasses have the hooks but that does not help. I would prefer some sort of positive reinforcement plan, but he just does not understand. If this does not work, his next course of treatment will be placing a patch on his good eye or even surgery. Both of his eyes are pretty bad and will always have to wear glasses, even if the muscles are corrected.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My daughter began wearing glasses when she was 16 month old and yes, it did take some time to get her used to them. We have two pairs (one flexible and one regular). I highly recommend the flexible ones as the regulars tend to break often! We have the cables around the ears.
Be persistent...he will eventually realize it is better to wear them. My husband and I both wear glasses and we made a big deal about her being a "big kid" with "big kid glasses". It took about 3 weeks, but it did get better. She is now 22 months and will ask for her glasses in the morning. However, when she is mad she will immediately take them off and throw them! Good luck, it does get better!

More Answers

one of my daycare children did better with the glasses that were normal - the wrap around the ear kind hurt her ears and that is why she took them off

Patching isn't terrible - there are some pretty cool ones you can find online with designs on them. My older daughter patched and wore glasses and now is fine and her eyes are 20/20. I on the other hand have had 2 eye surgeries and will always see double and need glasses that have a prism in them.

there is a great Blues Clues DVD when the character "Magenta" (a magenta colored dog) has to go to the eye doctor and wear glasses. It covers a lot of ground: other kids reactions, seeing blurry and seeing clearly, etc

My 4-year old son started wearing glasses at 18 months. It took about 2 months before he figured out that he sees better with them on. I tried to be very consistent with putting them on him.

The eye dr. gave me a prescription for eye drops to further blur his eyes to make him want to wear them, but I never filled the prescription.

I second the comment about wearing glasses yourselves. My two oldest wear glasses and we are supposed to patch every day (doesn't work too often without an argument) but they will wear the glasses. For my oldest, she had to wear them since she was 6 months old. Eventually they will figure out that they can see better with them, but I know that doesn't help you now. My daughter would take them off and throw them and break them. Make sure you get glasses that allow you to fix them for free when broken. That is key with kids.
You can buy kids neoprene straps that might help, they are on ebay for about 3 bucks each, but with that young I worry about a strangling hazard.
So to get back to the point of your question, I would start wearing the glasses myself - I got myself a pair at Claire's - and we also got I think it was a build a bear with glasses. I know we got an american girl doll with glasses but that wouldn't work too well for a boy! Or even some cheap sunglasses on elmo and play a game... mommy put on glasses, elmo put on glasses, Joey put on glasses. Then clap and get a cookie. First try a minute and take them off, then 5, then 10, then 30 mins, etc. Once he isn't fighting to get them off, distract him with a movie or TV show and watch it with him with them on. Don't expect too much... like I said my daughter was supposed to wear them at 6 months and didn't wear them all day long until maybe she was 3, and at that point she was able to pick out which ones she wanted - of course pink and sparkly - and that made it easier for her to wear them. It's a battle!

Forget the surgery... I was told the surgery does not necessarily fix the problem just makes the eye look like it is seeing correctly. Get him to a reputable vision therapist. My son went to the one in Brookfield, Milwaukee called The Vision Therapy Center, Dr. Kellye Knueppel. My son does not even have to wear glasses/contacts now. Once there we found he was also farsighted, had some color blindness, and several other eye issues that none of the other eye doctors had ever diagnosed. His eyes are perfect now. He no longer is farsighted and no longer is color blind. He did color therapy right at home for the color blindness... amazing. I only wish we had found out about this when he was young. Your little one is really going to struggle when he starts to read. They recommend you bring your child in as young as possible. There were infants 6 months old going through therapy. It is a lot easier and faster to correct when they are small and before they start reading!! They are also honest. My other son was tested and they told me his eyes were fine and he did not need any therapy. I think we went two times a week for many, many months (he was in junior high already) and then they give him computer things to work on and things to take home to work on every day. It was not like reading or anything. He actually would ask me every day.... shouldn't I be doing my therapy? They get rewards for advancing. He had to draw 3 dimensional drawings as part of the evaluation you have to take to see if you need therapy and write. You would not believe the first drawings to the drawings after his therapy and how his messy writing changed. Night and day difference... makes you smile and say this was worth it. The first time I heard, "Wow, this reading is so much easier now that I can see correctly," you can only imagine how excited I was. Some insurances pay for it, some don't. My insurance did not, but it helped him so much, I would go out and get a part-time job to pay for it to make this difference in his life. I cannot stress enough do it now! I had taken him to several eye doctors throughout grade school and each doctor did all the tests and said everything was ok, but he struggled so much and his eyes would get so tired so quickly when it came to reading. Finally, an eye doctor did this test with a string and beads on it and said watch his eye what it is doing.... bingo! She actually referred me to this therapist. Go for an evaluation.... what can it hurt. There are many therpy clinics so really research them. I found their way of therapy to make the most sense. It required us to commute almost 2 hours each time we went, but it was worth it in the end. Even the eye doctors that did all the 3 dimensional figures and you have to pick out the one that pops out the most, could not diagnose his eye problems. BTW, was your son's delivery traumatic? Were forceps or suction used to deliver him? I have read so much on eye problems when forceps and/or suction had to be used..... it makes sense when you think about it. Hope this helps.

I am actually wondering how you got your son diagnosed so early? Was it really obvious? I am concerned for my son b/c I have a lazy eye. I have since been told that early diagnosis could have corrected for me as a child-either a patch or therapy. It's mild enough & only in one eye, so I can get away without wearing glasses (tho' I should) b/c my other eye is fine & compensates for the bad one. My pediatrician hasn't seemed concerned & my most recent eye doctor had told me (when I asked) that it was a little early to bring my son in. Hmmm....

Anyway, my son is VERY VERY ACTIVE & now that he's almost 2, I think it would still be a challenge to get him to wear glasses. He never liked sun glasses. Last summer when we were going to FL, I had to be more persistent than he was when it came to getting him to wear a hat. It also helped that daddy likes to wear a hat. We made it fun. This winter, my son has actually really gotten into wearing his hat, coat, and mittens. I think it's b/c I insisted-and insisted for awhile, but I also always wear my hat & gloves & point that out to him. Plus, if he gets his hat & coat on, we go OUTSIDE. Pretty positive. So maybe a doll or stuffed animal with glasses. Maybe Arthur books, since he wears glasses? I bet getting some "fake glasses" like the other person said would help too. Maybe you could just take the lenses out of some dollar store reading glasses. Oooh, Mr. Potato Head has glasses too. That could be fun. Oh I also saw that some kid's glasses have an elastic strap that goes around their heads. My son could get that off too, but it might be enough work that after awhile he'd give up? Good luck to you.

Do you wear glasses? If not get some clear lens glasses and put them on and say ..see be like mommy, and have your husband do the same? They like to mimic us so it might help enforce him to wear them? See if there is a strap that can go around his head instead of the hooks?

Good luck.

My daughter began wearing glasses when she was 16 month old and yes, it did take some time to get her used to them. We have two pairs (one flexible and one regular). I highly recommend the flexible ones as the regulars tend to break often! We have the cables around the ears.
Be persistent...he will eventually realize it is better to wear them. My husband and I both wear glasses and we made a big deal about her being a "big kid" with "big kid glasses". It took about 3 weeks, but it did get better. She is now 22 months and will ask for her glasses in the morning. However, when she is mad she will immediately take them off and throw them! Good luck, it does get better!

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