Looking for some helpful tips for a 3 1/2 year old afraid of the dark/monsters

Jen - posted on 01/28/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My daughter has just developed a fear of the dark and monsters, thus not sleeping much through the night and venturing into our room at night. She has a flashlight beside her bed, a night light and her door remains open with the hall light on very dim, All of this does not seem to work. She listens to music falling asleep, but she doesn't stay asleep. Any suggestions?

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Jen - posted on 01/30/2009

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Thanks for all your advice, some of the tips we'll try others we have tried already...
'This too shall pass' Right?!?
Thanks again!

[deleted account]

maybe exposing her to "monster" books or movies and explaining that monsters are just pretend would help. my daughter is 3 1/2 and has always slept in a pitch-dark room. any time a movie seems to me to be a bit scary, i let her know immediately, "remember, movies are just pretend, monsters don't really exist."

Amy - posted on 01/28/2009

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See if she will fall asleep with her light on.....maybe a side table lamp instead of only a night light. My son has his table lamp on when he falls asleep, and I don't turn it off until I go to bed, which usually gives him a good couple of hours to get down into the deep sleep time!

[deleted account]

If it's the dark she's afraid of and it doesn't stop her from sleeping, maybe just leave the light on so there are no shadows in her room when she wakes up. A lovely that helps protect her might also help, if she's afraid of monsters. I agree Sara, that's she's probably wanting to come into your room because she's scared or lonely. If she is sort of just wanting to make sure you're there, you could always do a reverse baby monitor so that she can hear you happily snoozing away. If she needs the music to go to sleep, make sure she knows how to turn the music on if she wakes in the middle of the night.

[deleted account]

Is she falling asleep okay? (with your nightlight, hall light, etc) When she wakes up, does she still have the night light, hall light, etc on so the lighting is the same as when she went to sleep? If so, it sounds to me as if the "scared" thing is really not the issue..she's looking for an excuse to come in to your room, have your attention, etc. I could be wrong, but that's what it sounds like to me. You could get a special stuffed animal that "stands guard" in her room to be sure she stays safe. My 2 year old liked that. She had a care bear that we told her cared about her, that's why it was called a care bear. THe care bear made sure she stayed safe when she was sleeping.

Tallulah - posted on 01/28/2009

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Hi, I have a three year old who is the same way. I have founf that a light sensored night light has worked for the being afraid of the dark. For the monster, have her help you look under the bed, in the closet, or where ever she tells you the monster is. When she comes in to your room at night walk her back and have her show you where the monster was. This has helped with my daughter, and even though it will not cure the fear in one night you just have to keep working in it with her. I hope that this is helpful and good luck.

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