A quick preamble: I know many of you regular readers don't have children in glasses and so you may not find this post as relevant as some others, but I hope you can understand why the topic of children's vision and particularly children in glasses is important to me. While posts on glasses will likely always remain few and far between, it is a topic that's near and dear to my heart and therefore will always have some sort of a presence here. Plus, I do think it's great info for all mommas to know, just so they can be aware and on the lookout for vision issues with their own kiddos. And bonus, there's a giveaway for a great book at the end of the post - whether or not you have a child in glasses, so at the very least, scroll to the bottom to enter to win. Thanks for understanding!
Eli recently hit the three month mark for wearing glasses. Of course, the day came and went with none of us noticing, but recently I realized that glasses, patching and eye doctor appointments have quickly and easily become apart of our daily life. I don't view his glasses or patching as a burden to get through each day like I used to, and eye doctor appointments have become old hat to us - I mean, I don't even have to use Google Maps to get to the offices anymore!
I can't believe how quickly time has passed, just four months ago I was crying on the couch, worrying about Eli's vision and how we'd all adjust to him wearing glasses. But I'm so grateful to be able to say we're on the other side, and that the transition was much easier than I ever thought it would be.
I remember that one of my biggest questions going into Eli getting glasses was how we'd get a 15 month old to keep them on. But I was honestly surprised at how well Eli did right from the start, it only took about a week for him to wear them consistently, and at about three weeks he even began asking for his "Gogs," each morning when he woke up. While he'll still tends to mess with them during a toddler tantrum or long car rides, overall, he wears his glasses just as easily as he wears a shirt.
But for those of you just starting on this journey of having a baby or toddler in glasses, I know how scary it can be - so here are a handful of tips I learned for helping a toddler keep glasses on.
Plus, stay tuned, because there's a giveaway for the awesome board book, Glasses, that all toddlers will love. So even if you don't have a little one in glasses, be sure to enter the giveaway below! And if you don't have kiddos, it would also be a great gift for anyone with a tot.
Alright, here are my top tips for introducing glasses to your toddler for the first time and how to get them to wear glasses consistently.
- Have low to no expectations. According to several polls, many children actually take to glasses right away, but it could take up to two months for your child to be willing to wear them consistently. My best advice going into having your child wear glasses is to not have any expectations as to how they will do and how quickly they will adjust. In fact, it's likely best to prepare mentally that it will take a long time, and then be happily surprised if it doesn't.
- Be consistent. As much as possible, have your toddler wear their glasses anytime they're awake. That meant putting them on Eli right when I went to get him from his crib, and even before picking him up, I'd put on his glasses. Throughout the day, if he'd try to take them off, I'd just keep putting them back on, as long as he wasn't fighting it.
- Use distraction. As soon as you put the glasses on, distract your child. Eli had never really watched TV before glasses, but we let that go pretty quickly when we realized how well it distracted him in those first few days. We also took him to a park and the mall, essentially places that have lots to do and look at, pointing out all there was to see and playing games to distract him.
- Stay positive. It can be easy to get frustrated, especially in those first few days when your child's ripping off their glasses every five minutes. Try to stay positive for your child's sake - keeping the glasses a good experience. Even when I didn't feel like it, I would always force myself to put the glasses back on and say in a happy voice, "Keep your glasses on Eli!" Toddler's emotions can play so much off their parent's, don't give them a reason to get more upset than they are.
- Don't clean the glasses unless they are already off. It seems like a toddler's glasses get dirty within two seconds of cleaning them and often, I'll notice how smudged and dirty Eli's are and I'll immediately want to clean them. But I found in the beginning, the more I messed with his glasses, the more he wanted to play with them. In those first few weeks, I just let the glasses get dirty and would only clean them during a natural time, like before naps or bed, or when Eli himself had already pulled them off.
- Be okay with breaks. Even now, there are times when glasses just aren't worth it. While you want your child to be wearing their glasses as much as possible because you know how much they help, if they're becoming a source of frustration for you toddler, it's best to take a break. Particularly when Eli is throwing a tantrum, his glasses tend to be the first thing to go. So instead of letting him pull them all over his face and neck, I'll quickly take them off until he calms down so they're not adding to his frustration.
- Take off the glasses in the car. Eli's ophthalmologist warned me about this one right when Eli got glasses. Particularly when just starting out, it's best to not have your child wear the glasses in the car. They were the first thing Eli started playing with and they always ended up uncomfortably skewed across his face or wrapped around his neck, and since I was driving, I couldn't help him with them. These days, Eli's great with wearing them around town, but I still take them off for car rides that are an hour or more.
- Help them feel identified with. Toddler's love imitating people, and I was a bit worried that because neither my husband nor I wear glasses, he wouldn't want to either. I've heard of some parents even getting fake glasses because of this! I've also heard of some people purchasing a stuffed animal or doll that wears glasses for their child - which I think is a great idea and something we may do in the future. Thankfully, we didn't need to do either of those things to help him wear his glasses, but we did purchase a couple of books to help Eli see other children in glasses and that it was normal. Hands down, our favorite book is "Glasses," a simple board book showing children in glasses doing everyday things with a cute rhyme to go with.
Eli loves flipping through it, looking at the bright photos, and lately he's started pointing to each pair of glasses and shouting, "Gogs!" It's adorable. And of course, I love the message of the book, reinforcing that glasses can be a normal part of a child's life.
And bonus, it was even written by a local Twin Cities author, Anne Zawistoski. She's the founder and author behind the blog, Little Four Eyes, a wonderful website for parents with children in glasses that I've already shared my deep love for a few times.
When Anne reached out to me about giving away a couple of these books to my readers, I jumped at the chance. It's seriously an awesome book, and hands down the best one about young children in glasses on the market. I love that it features real children with real prescription eyewear doing normal things. So today, I'm so excited to be giving away two copies to Oakland Avenue readers!
All you have to do is fill out the Raffelcopter widget below. And if you don't win, or just want to be sure you have a copy of the book right away, you can purchase it right over here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Seven Things Moms With Toddlers In Glasses Want You To Know
Eli Four Eyes (Our experience getting Eli diagnosed and introducing glasses for the first time)
Kids In Glasses: Frequently Asked Questions
My writing on other websites about glasses:
Little Four Eyes Blog: The Benefits of a Second Opinion
Twin Cities Moms Blog: How To Tell If Your Child Needs Glasses