InfantSEE Eye and Adrianna’s Eye Exam
I had read in one of my parenting magazines about a program called InfantSee that provides free eye exams for babies between the ages of 6 and 12 months. The article stated that a baby’s eyes undergo a lot of changes during this stage, and that it is wise to take them in to a doctor of optometry for a comprehensive eye assessment.
Since it was both suggested and free, I made the appointment. I am really glad I did. It turns out that one of Adrianna’s eyes is focusing at a different rate than the other. Nothing to be really concerned about right now, but they want to keep an eye on it (pun intended) and see us again in 3 months to see if there is any change.
Another thing the doctor pointed out to us is that we should work on Adrianna’s focusing on objects that get really close to her face. She often will turn her head away when we try to kiss her nose or get too close to her face from the front. The doctor noticed that her eyes don’t cross and focus like they should yet, so that when we get close, she is seeing double probably. But she said that there isn’t anything wrong with her eyes, we just need to work on the cognitive development that with Adrianna by taking small toys and moving them closer and closer to her face so that the toys kiss her nose. The doctor also suggested that we have a set of cupboard doors that we allow Adrianna to get into (such as tupperware) so that she can learn to stack, pull things in and out, and that sort of thing, as this builds math skills later on. We do have toys that she can do that with already and she does enjoy pulling things out of containers and cupboards. A final suggestion was to get a ball that we can roll to Adrianna and she can roll back, so she can continue to learn depth perception.
So the first doctor who came in to examine Adrianna was a young guy who was a student doctor. He tried to go through the eye exam stuff, but was obviously at a loss of how to examine this wriggly, little 11 month old child. So, he told us he was going to go get the doctor. So we had to wait for the doctor to come in and then she helped and coached the student doctor on how to examine a baby. Getting down on the floor and playing with Adrianna so that Adrianna would become familiar with them and not shy away. It was pretty funny.
All in all, I am really glad we went in for the appointment. I highly recommend any other mother with a child between 6 and 12 months to visit the InfantSEE website to find a doctor near them who participates in the program. After all, it is free. Just be sure you bring your diaper bag and expect the appointment to take up to 2 hours. Ours did, although I am not sure that is the norm. It is also helpful if your hubby goes with you, so one of you can hold the baby while the other one distracts her so that the doctor can look at her eyes easier.