Tag Archive | "night fears"

Helping Your Toddler Say Goodbye To His Night Fears


Night fears are common in children. Add the media and an active imagination, bedtime fears can go into overdrive. Here are some tips on how you can erase your toddler’s night fears so the both of you can get that much needed sleep.

Monitor TV Viewing

Generally, night fears are generated by what a toddler sees on television (e.g. scary or action movies or cartoon shows). Pay close attention to the shows your toddler watches. Change or turn off age-inappropriate television shows. Extreme, violent scenes often create disturbing or terrifying ideas which can develop night time fears leading to your toddler not wanting to go to sleep. Let him watch TV shows that encourage happy thoughts to help him sleep well throughout the night.

Establish A Bedtime Routine

Create a bedtime ritual that is simple and relaxing and make sure you stick to it. Start the routine the same time every night. You can begin by giving your toddler a light activity a few hours before bedtime to help him calm down after a long day followed by a soothing warm bath, helping him dress in his pajamas, dimming the lights in his room, reading a book and kissing him on the forehead before saying goodnight.

Acknowledge Your Child’s Fears

Do not make fun or downplay your toddler’s fears. Remember that your little one does not think the way an adult does so do not expect him to distinguish fact from fiction on his own. Talk to your toddler about his night fears. Ask him what he thinks he sees at night and why he is afraid. Calmly reassure him that his fear is normal and it is okay to be scared. Tell him that you also had your own bedtime fears when you were still a child and tell him how you dealt with them to make those fears go away. When your toddler knows that you can relate to him, he will become motivated to work towards alleviating them.

Give Your Child An “Anti-fear” Weapon

Provide your toddler with tools that can fight the monsters, ghosts or whatever is causing the night fears. For instance, you can fill a small spray bottle with water and tell your toddler to use the spray bottle which contains “monster fluid” to any scary areas of the room before going to bed so anything that comes into the room is instantly destroyed. Encouraging your little one to fight back against his bedtime fears is often the best approach to eliminate his fears completely.

Offer A Security Object

A stuffed animal, pillow or your old shirt can act as your toddler’s security blanket. He can bring it with him to bed to help make him feel secure at night. A set of walkie-talkies makes it easier for your toddler to contact you every time he gets scared. Hearing your voice will reassure your toddler that he is safe and that you are always by his side. Using a nightlight also helps illuminate any objects in your toddler’s room which can ease his feelings of anxiety whenever he wakes up to a dark room in the middle of the night.

Create A Peaceful Sleeping Area

Ambiance is important in ensuring a good night sleep. Make your toddler’s bedroom as comfortable as possible. Decorate his bed with bed sheets with a design of  his favorite superhero and place his favorite things (e.g. toys, stuffed animal, pillows, drawings, etc.) in his room. This will give him a sense of familiarity which creates a homey feel which will make him think less of his fears and think of more happy thoughts so he can drift off and dream sweet dreams.

The only way to deal with your toddler’s night fears is to help and support him. Think of creative ideas which you think can erase his fears so he can sleep well and wake up bright and happy.

Posted in Health, Toddler SleepComments (0)


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