Patching a Toddler

Many, many thanks to Melissa Glover who gives us some hard-won advice on patching a very young toddler.  To follow her chronicle of “the patch”, check out her blog http://thegloverfamilyblog.blogspot.com/

I have a friend who runs marathons. She trains by completing 5, 10 or even 15 miles a day. While I have complete respect & admiration for her, I also know that my “training” blows hers out of the water.  See, I have to keep an eye patch on a toddler. For 10 hours a day. A toddler. An eye patch. 10 hours. Sure makes a 15 mile run seem like sitting on the couch. But, I am here to tell you while there is no t-shirt & medal at the finish line, what seems impossible is actually…possible!

Our condensed story: At 8 months old my son saw an optometrist through the infanstsee program, which provides free visits for 6-12 months olds (www.infantsee.org).  My aunt told me about it and since it was a free visit, we decided to go. Much to our shock (worry, anxiety, tears), he was diagnosed with a pediatric cataract! At 11 months, he started wearing an eye patch (2 hours a day). At 12 months his patch time was increased to 4 hours a day. At 13 months, we were at 6 hours. At 14 months he had cataract removal surgery & the patch time increased to 10 hours! With the addition of glasses at 15 months, it is safe to say the last 6 months have been a whirlwind. And by “whirlwind” I obviously mean “I am desperate for normal to return!”

Anderson after his surgery.

If your toddler is starting patching, be prepared. It’s hard.  I am saying this not to scare you but to make you realize you are not alone. While we have only been patching 6 months, we have definitely figured out some ways that make our lives much more routine. I will not say “easier” because no variation of the word, “easy” should ever be included in the same thought with “eye patch”.  Unless it is something like, “It is easy for me to hate the eye patch.”

When we first started patching, I was desperate for information. My son is my first baby & just when I started to get the hang of the whole mommy thing, BAM-an eye patch, glasses & surgery. What on earth? My frantic attempts at scouring the internet led me to discover that there is not a lot of info on toddlers and eye patches. Most of what I could find dealt with older kids & included words like reason, explain, bribe and charts. Since my son couldn’t even walk yet I knew I was dealing with a slightly different clientele. But, after much trial & error (and 6 months) we have made it routine, which is far from perfect but better than survival mode!

GETTING the patch on

Start with the right equipment:

  • PATCHES: We tried Nexcare & Opticlude before my sister discovered krafty patches which quickly took over as our favorites. Because you are going to go through A LOT of them, it’s best to just order in bulk. What I love about these patches is they come in a variety of colors, they don’t irritate his skin as much as the others, they stay on pretty well & they can actually be reused if you can get it before your kid crumbles it up. Depending on the size of your kid’s face, you might have to trim the inside a bit.
  • GLASSES: We use Miraflex glasses, which are 1 piece of malleable plastic. Perfect, perfect for a toddler. My son is fearless, active, a climber and into everything! I cannot imagine how many pairs of glasses or trips to the eye doctor we would have made by now if he didn’t have plastic frames. Numerous times a day (especially in the car), he will take them off and they don’t break at all because they are plastic!
  • OTHER: Use Milk of Magnesia to create a barrier between the skin & the patch. We keep some in a travel size bottle because I made a mess every time I tried to dip the Qtip in the real bottle. Also, stock up on some kind of lens cleaner. Wal-Mart, Sams, etc. sells lens cleaner wipes for very cheap & we keep those stashed everywhere. Toddlers are sticky, dirty and touchy. The lenses will be so gross despite your best efforts. Anytime he takes them off, I clean them very quickly & then put them right back on. I try to keep them clean because he already is at a disadvantage with only having access to one eye!

The key to patch success is getting on the patch on while he is still disoriented in the morning. Don’t turn on any lights, TV, etc. until it is on. Give him his bottle/sippy cup & put a little milk of magnesia around the eye, let it dry for a few seconds & put the patch on! It has to be on before he is awake so he is used to it. Also, because young toddlers don’t understand, “close your eyes” yet, if his eye is open you will hear eyelashes all day as he blinks.

KEEPING the patch on

    • So, once it’s on you only have 9 hours and 59 minutes to keep it on! This sounds like a nightmare & it will be at first. The key to keeping it on is thinking one step past normal toddler. All toddlers are active, independent & stubborn. As it is, you have to choose your battles so an eye patch definitely increases the intensity. Remind yourself that this is not a battle you can choose. You have to fight it. There is no option. So, you have to figure out how to make it happen! The key is A LOT of distraction. Whatever they are interested in, have it ready. Sing songs, look for trucks, read books….There is NO time away from your kid for awhile. The first few months my son was either holding my hand or sitting in my lap. He loves the vacuum so we just vacuumed a couple of times a day. You have to keep them distracted to they don’t remember it’s there! It will not be easy. Deal with it. Sounds harsh, but once you give in it will be easy to give in next time.

Anderson wearing his first patch!

  • When it is time for it to come off (naptime, bath time), try to teach him that only Mommy or Daddy can remove it. He will still try to remove it, but it does help.  Always take it off from the inside to the outside because the outside skin is less sensitive.
  • Don’t call it “patch”! It will consume your conversation with everyone you know and every time he hears that word, his little hand will shoot straight up to pull at it. We call our son’s patch the “cougar”. I have no idea why but it works. Once he figures that one out, we will switch to a new word.

I read a suggestion to keep water wings on him to prevent his arms from being able to reach his eye. They didn’t really work for us but he looked pretty cute!

STAYING sane

  • This will almost push you over the edge. In the beginning, we tried filling in the patching chart to keep up with the hours but it quickly turned into a chronicle of how many times I cried that day, and I knew that was not a reliable outlet.
  • Get frustrated. Get over it.  It’s unfair for your baby & for you. But, what is beyond fair, lucky even, is that you found out about the situation and are fixing it! He will react how you do, so don’t freak out when he takes it off. Take it from him and put it back on. Repeat. Repeat. Keep doing this until you win. The victory might only last 5 minutes until he removes it again, so start over. Your child’s vision is in your hands & you don’t want to explain to him one day that he can’t see because you let a 1 year old call the shots.
  • Embrace it. Some people don’t make their child wear the patch in public because it is uncomfortable & prompts stares. This is where it is actually easier the younger they are because their feelings won’t get hurt. My husband has taught me that humor can cure anything. He once chronicled a detailed narrative involving an out of control parrot when asked about the patch.

  • Remember, there is not much that is more challenging than keeping an eye patch on a toddler. But, you CAN do it! And, one day it will all be worth it when your kid looks at you with BOTH eyes to tell you he loves you!

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59 responses to “Patching a Toddler

  1. Hi there. My 2 year old son Aidyn had a catarct removed from his left eye last week. I first want to thank you for all the great tips! I was wondering if Anderson had an artifical lens implanted? Aidyns eye wouldn’t hold the implant so we are now looking at using a contact and glasses on top of that. I was wondering if you had any advice about getting a contact into a little guy???

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  2. He does have an artificial lens, so I am not a lot of help with the contact thing! There are 2 people who might help you more, since their boys wear contacts. Here are their blog links. Leave them a comment with your email & I am sure they will help!

    http://visionisagift.blogspot.com/

    http://seethedistance.blogspot.com/

    Good luck and hang in there with the patching, drops, etc. It WILL get so, so much better. Please email me if you have any questions!

    Melissaglover8@hotmail.com

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  3. Unless it is something like, “It is easy for me to hate the eye patch.”

    I about spit my water out at that one.

    We’re almost completing our first week of 1 hour a day patching on my 7 month old son. And while it is not yet a nightmare, I can easily see where this is headed if we “graduate” to more than 1 hour/day. This post was great b/c I laughed, I cried, and I also accepted it as our reality and new norm.

    Thanks! 🙂

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  4. I wish they made a children’s book about wearing the patch.I have a four year old son that I
    struggle with everyday trying to get him to wear his patch. I realize that I am mom…but….it is very hard. I tried one on myself to see what it was like. I didn’t like it. Thank you for the comments posted. They all have been helpful to me.

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    • There are books about wearing a patch! Zoe really enjoyed “Patchland Adventures”. I believe “My Travelin’ Eye” is also about patching, as is “The Pirate of Kindergarten” which won the 2011 Schneider Family Book Award from the ALA.

      All three are in the books page.

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  5. just the kick in the pants I needed! Elsa (16 mo) should be patching 2 hours a day. Didn’t wanna fight with her, but it really is worth the fight. Loved the idea of doing it first thing in the morning.

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  6. Thank you for this!!! I was just linked to it from a friend. My almost 14-month old has a wandering eye (outward) and we are supposed to patch her for two hours a day at least until our next appt. in February. And there is only a 10 percent chance it will solve anything. I got a Nexcare one and I got some cute ones they had at the eye shop at the hospital. Both of them do not stick very well and Zoe (my daughter) screamed when I went to put the first one on (after the appointment where we found out she needed one (on Monday) and then she took it off. I tried turning on the TV, playing on the floor, reading her a book, holding her eyes and “walking” her around the living room (she can’t walk yet). I was thinking about getting that super sticky tape they use to keep an I.V. stuck to your arm. Zoe doesn’t really have a sleepy not awake stage first thing in the morning. She’s always kind of bouncy (except when she’s sleeping). Does anyone else have any suggestions? I gave up after 2 folded up ruined patches and 6 attempts yesterday and today I didn’t even try.

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    • It is BEYOND AWFUL at first! I really am not trying to be negative, but you just have to keep putting it on and keep putting it on. Some days we went through 50 patches in the beginning. Seriously. It was so, so hard. He cried, I cried. Oh, it was just hard. He would rip his hair or eyebrows or his skin would bleed from it being ripped off and it broke my heart. There is not an answer except you just have to keep trying. I know it is so hard. Don’t give up. You have to give her that 10% chance. I promise I understand how hard it is because I literally made myself sick the first few months. Just keep doing it, over and over and over, and at some point it will stick for at least a few minutes. I know that is not an answer and I am sorry. Please email me if you have any questions or I can help at all. This is an entirely different world and there are few people who have been in it (lucky for them!!) Hang in there!!

      Melissaglover8@hotmail.com

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  7. Thank you so much for writing about this. I was having a bad patching day with my 12 month old and after I read your story I felt I had a new outlook on the whole thing! You told me what I needed to hear about being persistant and reminded me that my baby’s vision is in my hands. I’ve learned that I need to drop everything else and focus on keeping that patch on her…. the dishes and laundry have to wait!

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  8. Thank you for sharing all of this. My little guy is 9 months. We’ve been patching for 3 months now, and his cataract surgery is this Friday. He’s done great with his patch up until a week ago. I’m really nervous about the patching and glasses after surgery. Thank you for your words.

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  9. Super awesome article. We’ve been wearing glasses for about a year now (started when he was 15 months) and jsut got the news today that he has to patch. We’ve been using atropene to dialate his good eye and the doc said it just wasn’t enough any more. We’ve waited so long to start the patching because we both agreed that the chances of my son keeping a patch on are low. He’s two now and a stubborn, creative two haha I have a feeling I’ll be reading this article often for a little encouragement! Thanks for putting it all out there : )

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  10. Hi, 14 months ago my 11mth old son was operated on to remove a cataract from his left eye. Since then we have been on a ride of regular hospital & optometrist visits (1200km away from where we live). He started patching for 6hrs a day, then down to 4, then 2 and now has to go back up to 6. He’s now 2. Just after the operation I hadspecial mittens made out of the same material as basketball shorts & shirts. It has holes so he can still pick things up and feel textures but can’t pull the patch off. We also tape his fingers to stop his fingernails pulling the patches off. We use Ortopad only as all others cause rashes around his eyes. My best tip for inserting & removing the contact is to do it 15 minutes after he falls asleep as he isn’t bothered by us prying his eyelids open & I can now do it with one hand. He has a rigid contact lens. We are now looking into an occlusion rigid lens for his good eye instead of patching for 6 hours a day. At 2, he understands that he has to keep the patch on and we do bribe him. He attends daycare everyday and we have no issues, only the sandpit at home, but he tells us ‘sore eye’ if it irritates him and he’ll lay down and let us take it out. Perseverance is definitly the key as I’m not prepared to have him turn around when he’s older and ask me why didn’t I try my hardest. He is my son and I love him and will do whatever it takes to make sure he gets the best chance in life. Struggles now will be rewarded in the future.

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  11. Thanks for writing about your experiences. My daughter is 9 months and has been patching for about a month. She just had surgery to remove her cataract and we will begin contact insertion in a couple of days. Some may be aware of this, but I thought I would mention that there is a yahoo group for congenital cataracts, cataract surgery, PHPV, aphakic glaucoma, IOL’s, and everything else that goes along with aphakia. I am a new member but find it very helpful for advice on things from very specific medical questions to what patches work best for folks.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aphakic

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  12. I’ve patched our toddler since 6 months and loved reading your post. She is now 3 and a half and we are on 6 hours a day til she’s about 8.

    Yes, you are right, it is a big achievement!

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  13. Wow! And thank you everyone! I also cried whilst reading the article and each of your comments. My fav parts of the article is “your child’s vision is in your hands…..” & “when they look at your with BOTH eyes….”. My daughter at 10 months was advised of a cataract and 3 weeks later had it removed. Contact lens followed for about 8 months, now an artificle lens to replace this. Patching patching patching. It has been “too hard” but gosh, only 20% vision in one eye – her vision IS in our hands. Thank you everyone for making me realise this. We will get back on the band wagon today! 6 hours a day…worth it I know.

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  14. Thank you for the wonderful article. My daughter has a wandering eye that we noticed at 13 months. We were told that it was in the early stages and should be easily fixed with the specialist. Almost a year passed before we saw the specialist and it progressed to the point that she has glasses and I patch her for 4-6 hours a day. I have been told not to hold out hope for no surgery and have been so mad for the last month. Reading your article has helped with that anger. It is up to me to keep it positive so she will have the best chance especially since she is taking so well to both the glasses and the patch.

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    • That is so great she is taking to the patch so well. Hang in there if she doesn’t…it gets rough!

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  17. Melissa, somehow I managed not to comment on this amazing post… I think I was so new to the scene when you first published it, I was clueless to the the blog world and leaving comments. But this my friend, this post deserves a standing ovation!!! Not even for writing it but for living through the beginning and finding a way to use your experience to help others. And that you are doing!!! As I sit here re-reading it, it is still such a huge help. If not for the tips and tricks but for the realistic, yet positive “you can do this” attitude in which you wrote it!!! Bravo girl, Bravo!

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  18. Thank you so much for this post!!!! I was just told to patch my 19 month old son, and I thought, “How am I going to do that?!” I got some great tips from this post, and he wore his patch for 3 hours today with little fight!!!!!!!! I don’t know how long we will have to patch, but hopefully every day will go this well!

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  19. At 18 MO, our daughter was diagnosed with severe retinal myelination and that we could patch if we wanted to but it wouldn’t help and she would not be able to see out of her right eye. That doctor said, “If she can see out of that eye, we’ll be famous, and I’ll write about it in the Journal of bla bla” tuned him out right there. That day we decide that doctor was a jerk.

    So, we got other options and while the diagnoses didn’t change, we did find a doctor that was more hopeful and had better bedside manor. At 19 Mo, we began to patch our daughter with great success. In the beginning there was a little resistance, but it gets (or for us) easier. Our trick was to not be ashamed of the patches and to pick out cool patches and to let our daughter participate in the routine.

    The Ortopad brand comes in neat designs and M gets to pick from two different designs every day. Currently mermaids are her favorite. Most of her stuffed animals have patches on and in the beginning we would often say “Is Dora wearing a patch?” or “Is George wearing a patch” When she would answer yes, she then would quickly pick her patch. Now there is very little drama about it. She get’s to take the paper off of the sticky side and hands over the patch so that we can put it on. I even put on a patch a few times in the beginning for a little bit to show it wasn’t unusual.

    It’s been about 14 months and patching has been going very well. She does all of her activities at school patched until nap. Her vision has improved in the weaker eye from being basically un-measureable to somewhere around 20/35ish. This would not have happened with out patching.

    Please patch. Please stay with it. You can do it.

    M’s dad.

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    • What a fantastic story! Good for you for not giving up on your daughter’s vision – you’re an inspiration, as is your daughter!

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    • Thank you for your post. My 30 month old son was just diagnosed with severe retinal myelination and I am on my third day of patching. I am looking for any tips and new creative “stories” I can use to keep the patching sessions interesting to him. Our goal is 6 hours a day. We have found that Am sessions are beter than PM and outside treasure hunts are better than inside. I would be very happy with a 20/35 vision score!

      A’s mom

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    • My daughter is 2 1/2 and we just recently started patching. Honestly, the worst part (right now) is taking the patch off. She says it hurts really bad. The adhesive is so strong. Any tips out there on how to remove the patches easier??? right now its just so stuck on there I HATE taking it off…Thanks for any help!

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  21. I’m so glad I found this article. We just discovered my 23 month old son has a cataract a couple of weeks ago. He’s having surgery in a week, and we have started the patching. It’s so hard. I dread him waking up in the morning because I know I’ll have to put it on and he will fuss. I hate doing it to him when he doesn’t understand why and what I’m doing, but I know it is important!

    I’ve been skimming your blog, and it has been so nice to find someone who is and has gone through something similar to what we have and will be. Thanks again for sharing!

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    • Welcome, Shannon. I’m so sorry you ‘re dealing with this. Good luck with the surgery and the patching, and please let us know how it goes. If you haven’t already, check out the list of blogs (under Resources for Parents), there are a lot of blogs by parents whose children have cataracts and are dealing with patching as well.

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  23. To those of you whos children had this surgery at 1 yr old can you give me any insught into your childs vision now? My 13 month old id having the surgery monday. She still sees out of the eye just fine now so im hoping thats a plus in our favor. What is the surgery anesthesia and contact insertion like? Please help!@

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  24. I just want to say THANK YOU! Reading this has raised my hopes, just a little bit. My daughter has to patch as much as possible and it’s become a losing battle. I’ve been at my wits-end trying to get her to keep it on with her glasses. I’ve gotten disapproval (to my amazement) for her having a patch and many people telling me about blaming their parents for not making them patch. I want her to be able to see again!

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  25. Thank you for posting this. It was just the kick in the ass that I needed. My son Eli had surgery at 7 weeks hold to remove his cataract and a contact lens and an eye patch since 9 weeks old. We did so well for such a long time and at 6 months old we were on to patching 4-5 hrs a day and with much success. We are now at 8 months old and supposed to be patching either 6 hours each day or all day one day and none the next. Well, with development and self awareness, my child began resisting the patch, clawing at his face, ripping at his skin. I was completely and totally at my whits END! Ready to throw in the towel and wanting an easy solution. However, I now SEE, that I can’t give up. His sight is in my hands and I can only move forward. My 2013 resolution is to be the patch Nazi I know I can be and to not give up! Thank you again!

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  26. Melissa thank you so much for your article, I have been patching my son since he was 10 weeks old. He had corneal surgery due to a dermiod covering that he was born with over 3/4 of this left eye. He’s now 17 months old and although we have been patching for a long time it doesn’t get any easier. With each new developmental ages comes new challenges and your article gave me the lift I needed to help me get through the day. I will try the patches you said as due to our long term patching my son’s skin is very sensitive & we are currently using micopore tape but that comes off too quickly.

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  27. Hey,

    Thanks for this!! My little man has been patching since he was 6 weeks old. He will turn 5 months this Friday. We found out at birth he had some sort of eye condition. When he was 2 days old we had an eye appointment and found out he has PFV Sundrome. I like your tips, we use some of the same techniques. We are at 6 hours a days currently and it is a workout!

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  28. Thank you for your words of wisdom…I needed a lift. Our sweet foster baby was diagnosed with congenital cataract at 6 months old. She’s 19 months old now and is to patch 4 hours a day and dilate pupil rest of the time. Patching has been a major struggle…we’ve tried all different patches, tapes, arm restraints, no-no’s, etc. I’m going to try the Krafty Patches and the MOM as a barrier. Anyone else out there have any different arm restraints to try? We’ve done the swim floaties, Snuggle Wraps, and No-no’s.

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  29. Oh yeah…key word in my May 16 entry was “foster baby”. Our wonderful baby and my family were joined together when she was 2 days old…straight from the hospital. We are in the process of adopting her so our house has a revolving door; lots of caseworker visits, adoption worker visits, court hearings, etc. which has added an extra element of difficulty to the whole patching and contact insertion/removal. We found a couple of very helpful youtube videos for inserting/removing contacts in infants. The parents in the videos stressed the most important thing through all of this…having confidence in yourself to care for your baby’s eyes! God gives us what we can handle and we find alot of comfort in that knowledge.

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  30. Thank you from a Mommy and Daddy who are heartbroken but ready to fight and win!
    Our son was diagnosed with congenital cataract in both eyes at 7 months. Like you it was a fluke. Just a ” hey honey?…lets get his eyes checked cause its recommended”. You know, that feeling you get when you assumed everything was fine, but it isn’t and you kinda just sit there shocked. He is now 15 months currently getting drops and as of tomorrow we patch for 4 hours to help his right eye ( the weaker eye) not lose connection. Surgery is very close now…. His cataracts are growing rapidly and becoming much denser now.
    There isn’t much info for me to find from real people and, as you know, this is not a very common condition so there aren’t support groups where we live and sometimes even a true understanding of what we are truly going through from others around us.
    My gut is in knots…I’m almost selfish in my feelings of…..why?
    But you’re words really help me get back into perspective. So thank you from me, my husband and especially my son. You have helped kick his mommy back into her usually stubborn fighting mode.
    Please how is your son doing now?

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    • Oh Chantell, I’m so glad you found us. And so, so glad that you took your son in to have his vision tested! Are you on facebook? There are a number of great support groups there, particularly for parents of kids with cataracts. I’ll contact the author and see if she can stop by and leave a comment, too. I wish you and your family the best! Please keep us updated on how things are going.

      Like

      • Thank you for your words of encouragement Ann. It’s comforting to know I have the support of others like yourself and Melissa.
        Could you send me the names of the other groups on FB that you know of? I have already joined Little Four Eyes and I must say reading other stories along with some kind words from Melissa has uplifted me to start over with a new outlook.
        Ps. Your Zoe is beautiful and I’m sure Hazel is just as gorgeous :).

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  31. I wanted to share an update on my son, who is the patched baby in this post. After over 3 years of patching, he is doing AWESOME!! I had to laugh at myself when I read this because shortly after this, we increased his patching time even more! Because he requires very little sleep (grrr….), we were patching almost 16 hours on some days. Now, we are down to 3 hours a day, his glasses prescription has decreased and we are on the path exactly where we are supposed to be! Those first 2 years (yes, years) were so hard. Almost impossible. We survived minute to minute and went through thousands of patches. He fought me, he cried, he hid in his closet with his arms protecting his face telling me, “please don’t hurt me mommy; I don’t want a patch” & my heart literally broke. But, I did it, with tears and a Mommy’s pain, I kept doing it. I even developed a weird bone issue in my wrist from carrying him so much in an attempt to distract him. YOU CANNOT GIVE UP. You just can’t. Everything else can wait and this time will pass. It is working and you are doing awesome.

    Hang in there and know there is a special award for moms who have to patch-it’s called, your kid’s vision!

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  32. My son was diagnosed with a cataract in his left eye when he was 5 months had surgery to remove it at 6 months he is now 9 months and we have a contact as well as patching for 9 hours a day. I wanted to do an infant so badly but his doctor said not until he is old enough to read a chart 😦 it is still torchure to remove and insert the contact lens do any of you mommies have any tips’?? I felt so alone in this contact thing and even afraid to have anymore children because I can’t imagine going through this again with a second child

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  33. As a mother of two girls that have amblyopia I completely understand how difficult it is to keep those patches “on”. Both my daughters were diagnosed from an early age with amblyopia and I had to try all different kinds of tricks to help them keep those patches for the time prescribed.
    After some years I crafted the patches myself and now I have a company named
    EYE LOVE MY PATCH, of eye patches made of cotton instead of felt and “non sticky”.
    I receive lots of comments from parents about their frustrations and need of advice on how to keep the patches. Here is what I tell them:
    I suggest that the most important thing is to be firm about wearing them from the very beginning. You must figure out what is the most important activity your child has that keeps him engaged for the longest time. Once you figure that out you must have him wear the patch at that time only, you may start slowly so his weak eye gets used to it. If you start the first time 10 hours straight it will be a definite fight. Ask your doctor if you could start the first week adding an hour or so a day. This way your child will ease into wearing them in a less traumatic way. Believe me there will be a time that he will forget he has the patch on and a time that you will forget how long he has it!
    The key is that your child understands that he will not be able to (watch TV, Video game, Draw, or any other activity he likes) unless the patch is “on”. Once he knows there will be no negotiation,he will wear it.
    This was the most frustrating time of my life, because as a parent we know how important this is but our children at such early age do not realize this.
    One of the reasons I decided to design the eye patches my self was because the sticky patches and others made of felt material, were not only irritating my daughters skin but also creating sweat around the eye area. So I crafted new ones in cotton fabric that would slide through their glasses and keep the eye free of contact while still covering the sight and peripheral view. I also designed them with bands for kids that don’t need glasses.
    One very important factor also is how infatuated kids are with their favorite animated characters and if their eye patch has Cinderella, Little Mermaid McQueen, Star Wars and others, they will wear those patches no matter what. My daughter only cared about Winnie the Pooh and when she got her “winnie the Pooh” patch, that was it, she kept it on all day.
    My daughters Doctor now recommends them to his patients!
    I wish you all the best and hope these tips help other moms struggling with this issue.

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  34. Thank you for your great tips and the humor you added to your advice! I am very new to patching, but somehow, my very oppositional 2-year-old (whom I can barely force a diaper on) actually ASKS to put her patch on. My husband and I put patches on our eyes and let her notice we were wearing them. Then we told her we were wearing our fancy patches and she started saying, “Patch too!”. So far we have continued to manage to make her feel like patching is a fun game. I only hope we can keep it up!!

    I wanted to share the coloring pages that I created for her. There are 30 coloring pages for boys and girls featuring their favorite Disney Characters wearing patches :). The coloring pages can be found at Cocoandjojosroom.etsy.com or
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/201702573/corrective-eye-patch-coloring-sheets-30

    Thank you again for your advice! It was very helpful to me and my family!

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  35. I know this is an older post but my suggestion with the patches is to invest in the Ortopatch designs or something like it as EYE LOVE MY PATCH above. My daughter who is now three likes to pick out her patch for the day. Perhaps buy the plain ones and let your little one add some favourite stickers, if you have the time. This will not work for a baby though. My daughter was 2 and I am really glad she has been pretty good about it and we are now down to 2 hours a day. We try not to make a big deal out of it but we do get questions when we are out. Goodluck to all of you.

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  36. I needed to read this…thank you…I have a very active 18 month old little girl ..we are to patch 6-8 hrs a day…If we get 4hrs I am happy..we go thru tons of patches..it is so frustrating and I became very relaxed around Christmas because I was busy and she would not leave it on…I need to get back to it and push forward for her.

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  37. I’m going to add a little bit more to this discussion as I recently found out that a 2nd cousin of my husband who I believe is now 18 is completely blind in one eye because his parents decided that the patching wasn’t important or they couldn’t do it. They did the glasses but not the patching. Our specialist has also told us that in young children the brain shuts down the one eye so that they do not have double vision like older children and adults, it can sometimes be corrected if caught early enough. Keep on working you can do it! 🙂 Even if it is really difficult some days, remember it will not last forever and then you and your child will know you did all you could to correct the problem and sometimes eliminating the need for surgery.

    For your 18 month old try a reward of some kind if she keeps it on for the number of hours in a row. I find it easier to do all the hours and then remove the patch so I am only putting on and taking off once instead of multiple times a day but I am sure it is different for each child.

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  38. Pingback: Seven Years! (7 best posts and 7 book giveaway to celebrate) | Little Four Eyes·

  39. We just recently started patching on my 14 month old. She has a number of different eye conditions, has had a few surgeries, wears a contact, and gets many eye drops every day. Getting the patch on has been fairly easy, as I’m used to holding her down to give eye drops and to clean her contact. My trouble has been that when she wears the patch, she won’t open either eye! She will close the non-patched eye the entire time, and either grope around blind or lay her head on the ground/my shoulder/a stuffed animal so both eyes are covered. I’m not sure what else to do to help her open that eye so that the patching actually does something! Her “bad” eye is likely very weak, because she has squinted her eye shut a lot of the time for the past 5 months or so due to her eye conditions. I’m supposed to be working up to having the patch on 6 hours a day, but over the last week and a half I’ve never gotten past an hour a day because she cries/screams/hides her eye the whole time. Help?? Any tips?? Is there a forum anywhere for people who have been through or are going through this?

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  40. Any suggestions on how to get the patches off? I am a new mom to patching and the removal of the patch has been by far the hardest thing. they are SO sticky and my daughter would rather keep the patch on all day than for me to take it off. Any tricks of the trade from the experts that have been patching for a while. I saw some use milk of Magnesia? Anything else i could try??

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    • Hi Katelyn, what I did for my daughter was the put lotion around my daughter’s eye before we put the patch on, I’d also put the patch on my hand first to get a little bit of the stickiness off. Then we’d make sure to wet the patch fully with a washcloth before pulling it off.

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