thread: Nearly 2yo scared of the dark

  1. #1
    2012 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.
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    Feb 2010
    Under the rock
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    Nearly 2yo scared of the dark

    I'm curious how other people have dealt with their toddler being scared of the dark.
    DS has recently decided he is scared of the dark and is screaming in terror if we leave his room as normal at bed time despite his nightlight being bright enough to read by. He can communicate that it is the dark he is scared of but isn't quite there with rational explanation or us calling to him from the next room. It's to the point we are sitting/lying with him for an hr or more for him to fall asleep and god forbid he stir and notice you sneaking out when you think he's dozed off! It's no better in our bed with a lamp on..

    So girls, any suggestions?

    sent from my watzamajig so may not make sense....


  2. #2
    Registered User

    Jan 2010
    504

    We had exactly the same thing at the same age (as did a number of my DD's friend of the same age in our Mother's Group). We spoke a lot about how night time can seem scary because you can't see things, but that it's exactly the same as the daytime, except the sun has gone to sleep - or gone to the other side of the world which we have explained as she has got older. I found acknowledging being scared rather than pretending DD's feelings weren't valid really helpful. So we would say 'it's OK to be scared because it can seem scary if you can't see, but really, it's just like day time, except the sun has gone to sleep' (or the other side of the world as she's got bigger). DH also took her outside and showed her 'Mr Moon' (I didn't name him!) - which has given a positive feeling into to night time - she would pint the moon out during the day too. Being strong and not buying into it too much, whilst still soothing her, helped too. It is a phase which can be pretty intense, so I guess talking about it during the day will help plant the seeds for night time. They understand so much more than they can say so your cues will be more helpful than you think. GL

  3. #3
    2012 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.
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    Feb 2010
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    Thanks hun, I will try to start explaining it like that cos I think we have been dismissing the fear a bit. DH has just come out (10:45) after me putting him to bed at 8. And he knows the moon and points it out etc and knows the difference between night and morning but seems to be really irrational about it being even dim. He doesnt like me turning the light off on an overcast day.
    It's not helpful that he is scared of spiders and there was one in the mozzie net the other day when we went in there to bed

    sent from my watzamajig so may not make sense....

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Aug 2006
    Terrace BC, Canada
    1,004

    My 4 year old son is scared of the dark too but talking with him about it didn't help at all. As soon as the lights went out he became terrified of spiders to the point where he was hysterical and screaming. A nightlight just wasn't enough so we got a spray bottle and filled it up with water and told him it was spider spray and told him that if he was scared he could spray it and all the spiders would vanish. Worked like a charm. He started laughing the first time he used it as all the spiders went away and let him be. He slept with it for a week but it kept leaking on his bed. So now we have his favorite stuffed bunny stay up all night keeping watch over him and who chases away the spiders for him. He is still scared of the dark but his spider spray and stuffed bunny seem to help him cope with it a little better.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2009
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    Hmmm we have it here too, although a night light is enough to keep him happy
    I thought it was because DH had put him in his room once and shut the door, but maybe not......

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Jan 2007
    7,197

    We simply kept reassuring that there was nothing to be afraid of in the dark, but put a small night light in his room, DD has to have a light on in the hallway when she goes to sleep and we turn it off once she's asleep. DS also has a Groclock that reflects some light. I never liked sleeping in the dark until I was 13 so have no problems putting a small light on that reassures them.

    ETA: Maybe a Glow worm or a light that he chooses? Ikea have some cute ones and it could become a novelty factor that he has to stay in his room by himself to get the special light on??

  7. #7
    Registered User

    May 2007
    3,341

    hi my dd's fear started around this age too.
    we would use a nightlight it worked well.
    she now has a lamp which yes she falls asleep with at night.
    If she is in a room without a lamp she will go to sleep with the light on (not joking).

    it used to bother me, but i figure she will get used to the dark as time goes on.

  8. #8
    2012 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.
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    Feb 2010
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    Hmm glad we aren't the only ones! Belle, yes shutting the door is bad bad bad! Naughty daddy!
    He isn't quiet old enough for the spray, I might try putting some lavender oil in his bed. I might try to get a glow worm too cos so far the explanations haven't made much difference yet.
    It's hard to relate to cos i have always loved the dark but then at this age I was sharing a room with my older sis so i had company....

    sent from my watzamajig so may not make sense....