Being afraid of the dark when you are young is almost a universal experience.
Whether it is because there’s a monster hiding under the bed or a creepy spider climbing up the wall, a dark room can be very scary for young children. As a parent, it can be very challenging to not only find out exactly what they are afraid of and to come up with some solutions to fix the problem. But I’ve done some research and together with my personal experience as a Mum, I can offer you this advice …
Why is Your Child Afraid of the Dark?
First up, you need to find out why your son or daughter doesn’t like the dark. Is it because they believe there is something hiding in the wardrobe, or do they wake up with a fright because their bedroom is dark?
Perhaps they have seen something scary on TV or have a big sibling who planted a not so nice idea in their mind? Did something happen during the day which they are worried about? Then of course there is the child who just does not want to go to bed!
Helping Kids Feel Comfortable in the Dark
Once you have found out the one or many reasons why your little one is afraid of the dark, you can start fixing the problem. Here are some tried and tested methods for making bedtime less scary:
- Be empathetic – your son or daughter has a real fear and acknowledging this makes them feel a lot better. Be reassuring, give plenty of cuddles and use a soft tone of voice.
- Move their bed – sometimes all it takes is rearranging the furniture. Move your child’s bed a bit closer to the door so they can see out of their room.
- Monster spray – a bit of a controversial solution. Some parents swear by monster spray, saying that spraying some scented water under the bed or in the cupboard works wonders at reducing fears. Others say it only reinforces that there are monsters, if you are actively trying to ‘remove them.’ I say, whatever works for you, go for it!
- Use Nightlights and Comforters – sometimes all it takes is something soft to cuddle and a bit of low light to make night time much less scary. Our Sleepytot Bunny not only helps your little one keep their dummy close by, but it is also super cuddly. Easy to grab, quick to wash and replaceable if they get thrown out of the stroller and lost too. Team a Sleepytot with an Aloka Night Light to bring a warm glow to their bedroom and you are good to go!
Keeping your child’s bedtime routine the same every night will help to lower their anxiety. If everything is predictable, then things seem to flow smoother. I do know how hard it is when your child just does not want to go to sleep. In fact, I’ve even had my own co-sleeping little Zombie for a while. It is definitely worth a read and it’s great for a laugh…