Preparing for a trip to the optometrist
Everyone understands that the young patient may be cooperative for only a limited period of time. The optometrist may send you the patient history and information forms prior to the visit, or they may even have the forms on his or her Web site, so that you can complete the paperwork at your convenience.
When setting an appointment time, let the practitioner know if you have any special concerns or conditions. Set an appointment time that is most agreeable to the baby’s schedule, avoiding nap time.
On the day of the visit, change the infant’s diaper just before the assessment. Children in this age group generally perform best if the assessment takes place when they are alert. Because infants tend to be more cooperative and alert when feeding, it is also helpful to bring a bottle to feed the child. Bring a security toy or object for the infant, but also toys or games that will hold older siblings’ interest if they are coming too. If possible, arrange for only the infant and the parent to be in the exam room during the assessment.
During the assessment, most likely you will be asked to hold the baby on your lap, or on a lap pillow. Parents should be present for the assessment to help the baby focus on the doctor, so avoid talking to the baby or adults during the assessment. You may be recruited to hold targets or be a puppet master to hold the baby’s attention during certain procedures. The optometrist may encourage the child to touch and explore the instrument. Be ready to play each “game” first to show the baby that it is safe and fun.