Information, Advice, And Support For Parents Of Infants, Toddlers, And Young Kids Who Need Glasses
My dynamic duo are 33 months, 4 weeks, and 1 day old
1. Like NO love your child’s doctor
Make sure you find a doctor that is not only geared towards kids and great with your child, but has a calm, empathetic, easy-going bedside manner that you like as well. Of course, highly intelligent in his or her field to. This is all very important. The relationship may last for years and years to come. We went to 6 doctors before settling on one we trust and love.
a.Ask around for recommendations.
b. Make sure they specialize in working with children.
There are MANY that do. Don’t take them to your own eye doctor. They need a special rapport and background with little ones.
c. Check out their reputation via the Internet, word of mouth, etc.
d. Go through as many as you need to to find ‘the one.’
e. Be willing to travel out of your immediate area for the extra expertise and proper bedside manner. It’s worth the ride.
2. Don’t feel guilty. It’s OK To feel sad. I promise you this will pass.
a.It is not your fault in ANY way that your child needs glasses.
b. Keep remembering….there are far worse things in the world.
This is so small in comparison to other possibles in life. This thought will eventually bring you comfort, even if not right off the bat. For me it took a while to realize enough to find comfort in that statement. It may seem cliche at first, but in the end you see that it’s really not.
c. Glasses don’t change your child.
I remember mourning the loss of my sweet glass-less face before she even got them. I kept feeling like they would cover up all of her adorable features and Annie would somehow be ‘changed’ in a whole. Not true. She is equally as beautiful in her glasses, and is the same ‘ol Annie whether wearing them or not. I just had to change my own perception of glasses. Don’t feel guilty if this takes a little time to come to terms with. It did for me.
d. It’s fine to feel sad or cry even, even if other people find glasses on your young child very trivial.
It is your child. Everything that affects them affects you. I promise these emotions will pass, but feel free to express and to feel them. Talk about them. It’s unhealthy not to. Never bottle it up inside..EXCEPT for when you are around your impressionable child. Try hard not to let your child see. I remember smiling and saying, ”You look so beautiful Annie” when the glasses were tried on her for the 1st time, and I did feel a tear welling up, and walked off for one second, recomposed, and remembered to make this a positive for her.
Annie gets glasses
3. You want them to feel positive, confident, and beautiful in their new frames.
a. No matter how you feel at first always praise, praise, praise!
Your child is still the same child with or without glasses, and you can find frames that fit your child’s unique style, and they will still be their old adorable, little self.
b. Make getting glasses a special event.
Throw a little ‘glasses party’. I bought a little cake for Annie, and we all wore glasses (some fake) to welcome Annie’s new look into our home and our hearts. Below you can watch the video of her coming home with her very 1st pair of glasses, and our little 1st day party.
c. Realize your child is not alone in this, nor are you.
Just like when I was pregnant with twins, I felt almost freakish. Like I was the only one with two babies inside of me, and would be the only one with two babies to stroll. It just was scary to me, and just plain didn’t feel right. Oh how wrong I was. Once I had twins all I saw were wall to wall twins. Same thing with glasses. Granted you may not see infants with glasses every single day, if that is the age you are dealing with now, though I have certainly seen many more of them.
You WILL start to notice other babies, toddlers, and bigger kids that DO wear glasses. Like, ”Where did they all suddenly come from?” Now more than any time period ever before since we are actually fortunate to be able to distinguish vision and eye turn problems in youngsters sooner than we used to, and can take quicker action. That is a REALLY GOOD thing!
And for every child that wears these glasses, there is a mother and a father behind that child. Join a support group like Little Four Eyes, and vent your feelings, learn about certain conditions, how to treat them, courses of action, ask questions, find doctor recommendations, and just get support. It’s a wonderful resource. You’ll see you are by far not alone.
d. Ignore naysayers.
Some..(actually most people) will think glasses on a very small child is just adorable. Some people, kids most especially, might ask questions. Wearing glasses is NOT a birth defect. It isn’t a ‘disability’ as it’s more of a course of action. It’s a common tool used to help correct and aid in visual issues. Millions of people wear them. I have a pair…I don’t consider myself disabled. So does my husband. Most people will at some point in their lives be it young, middle-aged, or old.
I see many more children in glasses than when I was a child. We know more now, and I think that makes this generation the BEST time to be wearing glasses, because it’s not so odd. So in my experience, thus far, there haven’t been many naysayers at all. Raise up a confident child and it won’t even matter. They’ll be just fine!
If someone asks you why your baby or toddler wears glasses, or what is wrong with them (if they are very young themselves)…tell them! I say, ”Annie’s eye turns in and this helps fix it and makes it straight.” Suddenly a child will respond by saying, ”Oh. She looks so cute in them.” Small kids especially, can be nosey and want answers. But they aren’t making fun of your child. They are simply curious by nature.
I think I feared this more than anything else. Annaliese has by far gotten more compliments than even questions. I used to feel sorry for her. Now I feel guilty for feeling so sorry for her. Maybe even a bit sorry for myself as well. I don’t deny it. We all want our children to be perfect. It’s hard to accept when something isn’t 100%. But I remind myself after having an ailing son and then losing him, things can be and have been much, much worse. Give all of the love and support that you can to your child. They will take care of the rest!
Now….about those first infant and toddler glasses!
This is SO important! Go into that eyeglass store with complete and total knowledge, or you’ll end up in our shoes.
(This is what happened last night while I was starting this post. How ironic? This is NOT the 1st time.)
Need I say more 🙄 ?
1. Buy practical.Think cuter & more lavish later …
(though you can still find some cute frames that can twist and bend. If you don’t want to sacrifice one for the other, even though it may cost a little bit more.)
Here’s my personal advice, as people will rip you off and take your money, as well I know.
a) The Miraflexbrand are extremely resilient, but require a strap in back. Not good for twins with fighting hands though they work quite well for others. I don’t find these to be the most ‘cutesy’ brand, though when tried on my daughter some colors and shapes weren’t as bad as I thought they’d be, and did look rather adorable on her. They are practical. Many parents with young children opt for these. A great second pair at the very least.
You really can’t go by online pictures. Your child is unique, so you’d want to try them on in person. These would be really good for children in sports and such, also. They are durable and get the job done. Though the strap does break away, we aren’t big fans of the strap here. We were told they can not hook behind the ears or be molded to do so.
b) The brand I most highly recommend and would buy now if I had a spare $450 laying around, (I get the special coatings, so it would be cheaper without), and what we will get for her next pair is the brand is Titan Flex Oio .Please research these when looking for a young child’s first pair of frames. They are $200 on average for the frames in a store, though I have seen them cheaper online, and are built to last while still having the ‘cute’ look to them, more so than the Miraflex brand. (In my personal opinion, of course.) They are only a tad more expensive, but have the look of real glasses, not plastic-looking.
They twist and bend, can hook around the back of the ear for younger kids, and I tried them out. You can have the ear loops removed to, I asked. They are pretty bomb proof. Much more so than what we have. But I had to mention these brands AFTER the fact to see them. We had told them, they are twins, she is 2 years old, very rough and tumble..we need something not only baby proof but twin proof, and yet we were shown a regular pair and sold on them first. What did we know?
They didn’t show us these (as if they didn’t carry them) until after we dropped some pretty pennies on the others so..BEWARE! These people want your loot. They know you’ll buy a second or third pair. They are hounding us to do just that and we refuse (from that shop at least.) We will find our Titan Flex Oio elsewhere. They knew the fancy frames they sold us with confidence, would end up causing us more trouble than good. PLEASE be aware of this going in.
If your child is older, less active, and grabby, does not have curious same age or younger sibling, and seems overall responsible, buy any frame you’d like. But I’d go with one of the two above models at first..if not. We’ll do fancy when she is 4 or so, and will still have a durable (for certain activities).. back up pair. Of course, it’s more maturity than age really, so we’ll see.
c) Here are some other brands of toddler/ children’s frames.
Check them out before you go hunting, and get their names in your mind please! Don’t get squaggled!
( Don’t know much about these, but you can look into them.)
I’m sure there are more. Feel free to add other brands in the comment section below.
**Call around in advance to see if what you want is sold or able to be ordered at a particular eyewear location.**
2. About using your insurance for children’s eyewear
You may have a hard time like we have had finding a place to accept our VSP insurance, even if you have it for adult frames. Little stores, (the ones with the vast selection of child frames on hand) usually don’t accept it. I’ll let you know how this plays out. I’m sure there ARE places you can use your insurance at. It’s just harder than it is for us. Especially if you have a particular brand in mind.
We were told on Friday that what we are seeking most likely can be ordered and purchased through our own optometrist office as long as Annie just sees the doctor there first. That relationship need not continue, so while it won’t cover everything..it will help quite a bit. Being that children grow so fast, the less you need to spend…the better!
If you DO choose to go to one of the eyeglass places that we did, at the very least inquire about a courtesy discount. Many to most won’t accept insurance but may take off 15% or so, as a courtesy. If you got to shop around, shop around. You will be going back for adjustments regularly, so be sure the place isn’t too far from home, and that you actually can tolerate the people you are buying from. It’s nice to have a good rapport with them as well.
I hope this helps! Remember..glasses are NOT the end of the world. Protecting and enhancing your child’s vision in the present and the future is most important! They may not be in them forever. Regardless of anything..they are still your child and you will always love them just the same.