My son is currently 9 months old. Sometimes when he is in my arms, or when we are playing and he can reach them, he tries to grab my glasses. I know that he is just curious. He is just in that stage that he is exploring everything and I understand, welcome and foster that, but I'm also concerned that one day he might drop them or break the frame as he is pulling them from my face (or a relative's face).

Currently I have an older set that I use at home when I'm with him, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't care if these are broken. I don't use contact lenses. I have in the past, but I work in front of the computer and I don't find them practical for that (and I wouldn't want to switch to contact as I get home). Besides, his grandparents and one of his uncles uses eyeglasses too, so I would rather find a way to teach him that people's eyeglasses are "off limits" instead of toys.

Is there a good way to teach him, at this age, not to grab people's glasses without discouraging curiosity?

1 Answer 1


There's nothing wrong with preventing exploration of dangerous things like scissors or household cleaning chemicals, and I extended that principle to breakable or expensive items like my glasses.

I always pulled my face back out of reach and said in a serious voice, "NO, you can't have Mommy's glasses." Serious face, serious voice, serious look: not angry, but clearly conveying what you just did does not make me happy. Repeat every single time baby goes for glasses.

Occasionally they'd escalate and grab really fast, and manage to remove the glasses (and in some cases, throw the glasses), knock them askew (often scraping my nose), or simply keep trying to grab over and over and over despite the above reaction. In those instances, I repeated "No," set baby down (or passed him to another adult), and walked away for a while.

This isn't foolproof, and it isn't fast. However, babies prefer smiles and interaction to frowns and losing Being Held By Parent Time, so they gravitated towards not messing with my glasses. (Most of the time. And I also invested in flexible frames, just in case....)

  • The one thing I can't really speak to is whether this had much effect on the baby's interest in other people's glasses -- most of the other people tending him either didn't wear glasses or just kept him well away from their face :)
    – Acire
    Mar 10, 2015 at 11:47
  • This is pretty much the strategy I use with many children and it does work, though it unfortunately takes awhile for kids to get the idea. Now my goddaughter asks me to take off my glasses when she wants to be rough with me because she knows she can't do anything to risk breaking them. She still plays WAY to rough, but that's a separate problem.
    – dsollen
    Feb 5, 2021 at 18:31

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