Suddenly Afraid at Night

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )

My 3yo daughter is suddenly afraid at bedtime - with no identifiable event that set it off. She says she's afraid of crocodiles. I've explained to her that it's too cold here for crocodiles, and that their legs are too short for them to climb the stairs, but she still wants me to leave the door open when she goes to bed. The problem here is that we have a split level house and the noise from cleaning up the kitchen carries upstairs and keeps her awake. She was fine at night for such a long time, I just don't know what to do to help calm her fears.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Stacie - posted on 10/24/2009

2

6

0

Have you tried praying with her? They are never to young to start asking God to protect them, watch over them, and protect their minds.

Sherri - posted on 10/27/2009

7

40

0

I have an idea that worked for my kids. I saw this on line somewhere. Go buy one of those little spray bottles, buy the little 3-4 ounce bottles that have a sprayer, I have found them at the dollar store, and also at Wal-Mart in the toiletries section where you can buy the little sample shampoos, lotions, etc. THen buy some of the potpourri liquid, the kind that you can pour in the pots, that make your house smell good. Pour some of that liquid in the little sprayer, maybe half way, then fill the rest up with water. I made a little label on my computer that said "Monster Spray" I printed it on a sticker label. I stuck it to the bottle. I showed my 2 little girls, I told them that I found some really cool stuff called Monster Spray, and I sprayed in under their bed, in their closets, you can even let her spray it. It makes their room smell good, and it helped convince my girls that it would keep Monsters, or crocodiles or whatever away! LOL It worked so well that I started making a bunch of it and I started selling it at craft shows. I don't do craft shows anymore, but it was a hit!

Linda - posted on 10/23/2009

12

2

3

My son was scared of monsters. But I told him that monsters are extremely scared of toys and wouldn't dare go into his room because there were so many toys in there. Also, I reminded him that I would be awake until after he fell asleep and promised to check and make sure there were none around the house before I went to bed. I also made sure he had a night light. Most importantly I would change the subject and get his mind on something he likes or was looking forward to so he would go to sleep faster and not have nightmares.

Good Luck.

Jane - posted on 10/23/2009

20

16

0

Get a can of no more crocodiles, serious l know someone who did this though it wasn't for crocodiles, it was for monsters.



A tin of air fresher and make a NO MORE CROCS label with a crocodile and a big red cross through it, like the no smoking etc signs. Kids are use to them. While she may not be able to read the pic might help show her it kills and keeps crocs at bay.



Hopefully you find the cause and she settles soon but if not it's worth trying.



Good luck.

Kristy - posted on 10/27/2009

6

31

0

WOW MY 3YR OLD SON IS ALOT LIKE YOUR DAUGHTER , AND I AM TRYING TO ACAULLY GET HIM TO GO BACK TO HIS OWN BED , I HAVE TRYED TO PUT HIM IN HIS BED , AND HE SCREAMS THE MONSTER MOMMY . SO I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON I EVEN SLEPT ON THE FLOOR ONE NIGHT , AND OF COURSE DIDNT SLEEP , JUST LIKE LISTENED FOR NOISES, OR WATCHED FOR SHADOWS . BUT NOTHING , BUT I DID NOTICE AROUND MIDNIGHT THE NEIGHBORS NEXT DOOR COME HOME AND AS THERE WALKING UP THERE STAIRS THEY ARE TALKING AND THEY SOUND REALLY CRAZY , AND THE STAIRWAY VIBRATION RATTLES HIS WALLS , SO I THINK THAT WAKES HIM UP . SO I MOVED HIS BED TO MY ROOM , BUT HE IS SCARED TO SLEEP ALONE . SO MAYBE TRY TO LAY IN HER ROOM AND LISTEN FOR ANY THING .... IT MIGHT HELP YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ADVICE ABOUT MAKING A 3 YR OLD MOVE BACK TO HIS OWN BED... FEEL FREE TO LET ME KNOW . THANK S

14 Comments

View replies by

User - posted on 10/27/2009

3

0

1

My daughter just turned 4 and she went through the same thing. I taught her a little prayer that she could say on her own at night just before she climbed in bed. It worked! My husband would also go into her closet turn on the light, close the door and pretend to beat up whatever she was afraid of, he would also check under the bed and beat up whatever was behind the curtains. She would be laughing before bedtime and not fearful before she went to sleep.

Stacie - posted on 10/25/2009

2

6

0

That's good. Cont to speak life over her and to her. Remind her that Jesus is her comfortor and fights for her. Teach her to call out to him when she is scared...that way she knows she can do this on her own. Will be praying for her.

[deleted account]

Thanks all - we have been saying prayers with her every night since she was a baby. We did look into the Veggie Tales "Where's God When I'm Scared," also. She's had a nightlight since this started, and today we got a book with a friendly crocodile out of the library. We're going to try picking out a crocodile stuffed toy if she wants to, as someone to protect her.

Sharyn - posted on 10/23/2009

258

9

19

does she have a night light? .... my daughter hates sleeping in a pitch black room so i always have a night light on for her during the night and when i'm still up, i have the night light on as well as the hall way light on to give her room mild lighting ....

Queenee - posted on 10/23/2009

17

18

0

My daughter went through a similar situation when she was 5 years old. When she was 2 years old she loved the movie "Monsters Inc," she would watch it all day if I let her. But when she turned 5 she would scream if I turned the movie on, and she did not want to sleep in the dark. The thing that I learned in my growth and development class is that each child is different and they all reach certain stages in their cognitive development at different rates. no one knows when these stages are triggered such as fear of the dark, monsters, and crocodiles. It just happens and all we can do as parents is to be patient and try to understand where they are coming from,listen and try to offer comfort measures to ease their anxiety. Eventually your child will begin to overcome his or her fear just as suddenly as the fear itself appeared. For my daughter I provided her with a closet check, under the bed check, and a night light. She chose to eventually to just use the night light and sleep all the way under the covers its where she felt safe.

Tami - posted on 10/23/2009

92

46

6

I am going through the same thing with a green fish in the wall... My son tends to see things on tv and relate it to really scary things... Like Shrek, he is scared of the dragons... Also scared of dinosaurs... Which every boy loves... He is 3 also... He started about 2 months ago and we are still wondering what to do. He won't go to sleep without the main light on in his room. We have tried night lights, flashlights, etc. Nothing is working. I slept in his room one night to make sure there was nothing funny going on in there, knocking from heater, etc...
One expert told me it is VERY common at this age that their imaginations go wild and they can't seem to distinguish between their dreams/imagination and reality.
What I am going to do? I will buy a really bright night light this weekend and take the light bulb out. I will reassure him every night to get through this phase.
Good luck! Be careful what you read to her at night before bed. I would prescreen books, before you let them see them (maybe during naptime) and hide the maybe scary one's for now until they are bigger.

Ilze - posted on 10/23/2009

5

29

1

Dear Allison: my son, alsoa 3 year old, went through this same situation. I tried explaining so many things to him and nothing worked. Until we began to pray! We prayed together before I put him in bed, I reasured to himthat Jesus was his friend and as king Jesus watched over him. I let him now that no animal or human being has the power that Jesus has, and that whatever tried to harm him; Jesus would defeat! I bought several Veggietales movies and watched them together, to let him see that what I said is really true!! It has worked perfectly for him. It has been about 3 months already and he has not complained about being afraid anymore...and to him it happened during daytime also!!

Angela - posted on 10/23/2009

4

20

1

try leaving a nite lite on and if she able to understand get a book on crocodiles and let her see where they live at and maybe she will figure it out that they live to far away...

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms