The tricky toddler-glasses relationship and how to find the perfect match!
When a toddler is prescribed glasses, the initial thought may be, “A baby in glasses? What could be cuter?” But also, some toddlers barely tolerate a hat on their head—how could they possibly stand something as invasive as glasses all day, every day? These concerns are certainly valid. But while plenty of toddlers are prescribed glasses—and plenty of parents are anxious about it— there are plenty of options from specialty brands like Nano and Miraflex that are specifically designed with your child’s comfort and needs in mind.
Picking a good pair is essential, not only to protect your child’s vision, but also to make this new adoption as seamless as possible. Opt for pediatric and optometrist approved eyewear made without metal. While initially toddlers may say in response to glasses “No, no, no,” if you find the right glasses, they will quickly realize the glasses help them, and soon enough, they will be wearing their colorful frames —to music class, the park, everywhere. And yes, look pretty cute while they’re at it.
Below you’ll find some typical questions we get from toddler parents on how to get your little one to start wearing glasses, answered.
First of all, do toddlers really need glasses? They’re so young.
The short answer is yes. Vision is one of the key senses that children use to learn new concepts and discover the world around them when they are 1 to 3 years old, so vision challenges in toddlers are not only very real, but also very serious, because they could impact their development. Plus, the longer you wait before getting them tested and finding glasses for them, the harder it is to introduce a kid to spectacles, because they're not used to putting any kind of frames on their face.
Any warning signs parents can spot?
Look for squinting, tilting of their head, sitting too close to screens, or rubbing their eyes excessively. Those would be some of the signs, but a lot of them are not very obvious, especially in a very young child between six months and five years old. That's why the AAO recommends that children have a comprehensive eye exam between six and 12 months of age, followed by another between age two and five, then annually throughout the school years.
And once you have glasses, how do you actually get your kid to wear them?
While seeing better can be incentive enough to keep the glasses on, certain kids might think otherwise. So, what do you do? Like we said before, letting your child have a hand in picking out the frames to make them feel important, included, and therefore more on board. Pointing out when others wear glasses helps too —dad, mom, even the characters in some of their favorite books. There is a great book called Arlo Needs Glasses about a dog that needs glasses.” Dog + book = glasses-wearing gold.
But what if my toddler still tears them off? (Kinda desperate here!)
Try to take note of the specific times your child gets frustrated and rips the glasses off. It could happen at the end of the day when they’re getting tired, or in the car because they’re bored. Try to let it go for the moment and not press at these times, since they are clearly already at their limit, or focused on challenging the glasses situation. You could also try if/then scenarios: if they put their glasses back on, then you can call their grandma on Facetime, for example. Let them explore and take her time with them, put them on and off, and get used to them good thing these frames are flexible and strong. Little by little, they’ll start becoming adapted to having them on, and keep them on for longer.