Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Your Baby Wears Glasses?

Our daughter Adeline has been wearing glasses since she was thirteen months old, nearly a year ago.  For the first few months, we were questioned by a lot of people, “How did you know that she needed glasses?”

http://www.preemiebabies101.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/2010-06-1111-450x321.jpgDepending on the situation, I’ll sometimes give the short answer.  “Addie was born prematurely and she visits an ophthalmologist regularly.”  However, if I can tell the person is genuinely interested, I’ll share the story.

Around the time that Addie reached twelve months, she received visits from an Occupational Therapist twice a month.  Valerie noticed that Addie had a tendency to tilt her head while she was playing—a new mannerism that we had brushed off as “cute.”  Valerie suggested that we monitor the tilt and mention it to our pediatrician at Addie’s one-year check-up.

At the appointment, Dr. P immediately ruled out torticollis, but suggested that we do some general neck stretches with Addie to help loosen up her muscles.  He also referred us to the InfantSEE program for a vision check*.  Since InfantSEE is for children less than 1 year of age, we went ahead and scheduled an appointment with Addie’s regular ophthalmologist.

Sure enough, the exam revealed that Addie needed glasses.  One of her eyes is near-sighted and the other is far-sighted.  At this point, we’re not sure if that’s caused by her prematurity or just a coincidence.  What surprised us most is that Addie’s eyes changed so significantly in 6 months!  At her regular exam that January, she had no need for glasses, but by June her eyesight was already affecting her development!

At the beginning, it was not always easy to help her keep her glasses on.  She was only one, and it was difficult to explain why she needed to wear them.  Once she realized that she could see better with them on, she was much more agreeable!  We also bought a rubber strap that made it more difficult for her to pull them off—fortunately, she only needed it for a month or so.

http://preemiebabies.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Addies-Glasses1-450x232.jpgAs you can see in the picture, the stems actually curve around her ears, which served a good purpose at the beginning.   Now that she’s been wearing her glasses for a year and her head has grown some, the curved stems are actually pulling at her ears, which makes her rather uncomfortable.  We’ll be picking out new glasses for her sometime in the next week or so, which makes me thankful for vision insurance!

Last June, when we first ordered Addie’s glasses, we were shocked to discover that she had no vision insurance.  Her ophthalmologist appointments were covered as a medical expense and there was no way to add her to our vision insurance in the middle of the year.  Honestly, I had never considered the possibility that our infant would need glasses when enrolling for medical benefits—we chalked that up to an expensive lesson learned (and will never make that mistake again!).

Having an infant with glasses was an interesting learning process, but like all things in parenting, we got used to it rather quickly.  Now most people are used to seeing Addie with her glasses on, and we think they only make her more adorable!

*(If you have a child between 6 and 12 months of age, I would highly recommend that you take the free exam offered by InfantSEE!  You have nothing to lose and much to gain! The InfantSEE website has a lot of great information–especially if you’re wondering what to expect at your child’s first eye exam.)





  1. This is so cool. I didn’t know there was a program called infantsee. My 2nd preemie will be turning 1 next week. Too late for me, but I’ll be passing it along. Thanks for the great info.

    • Kate,

      Does your preemie still see an ophthalmologist or is ROP not an issue? Visits to the local children’s hospital ophthalmology department were covered under our regular medical insurance–it was the glasses that required separate vision insurance.

      Thanks for commenting and passing this info along! 🙂

  2. My 28-weeker got glasses last May when she was five. She was diagnosed with an astigmatism. It’s been a year now, and she loves her glasses! 🙂

  3. My 23 weeker got glasses when he was 7 months old (3 months adjusted). He had laser surgery for ROP twice on each eye and had a vitrectomy on his right eye before getting the glasses. He is so cute in his little green glasses!

  4. My former 25-weeker started wearing glasses at 12-months. Although he looks like a little professor in them, I was a little sad when the comments about his beautiful blue eyes stopped.

  5. My 8 month old former 28 weeker starting wearing them at 6 months, 3 months corrected.

  6. Hannah Kim says:

    I am a 24-weeker born on January 25, 2000 [ended up being young for my grade, struck lucky!], and I have been wearing glasses since I was 8 months old [hopefully, by college, I hope I’ll strike lucky and won’t need glasses!]
    When I’m 33 years old, I plan to adopt a 5 or 6 year old girl, Julia Jane Kuraki, from Tokyo, Japan, who was born 24 weeks on August 21.

  7. Hannah Kim says:

    [continued]: Hopefully, Julia Kuraki will strike lucky and not need glasses, not until junior high, maybe.

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