Us sleep-deprived parents dream of a good solid nights sleep, don’t we? It is something we cherish, but when your child is struck down by what seems to us as an irrational fear of the bedtime bogeymen… we do whatever we can to help them overcome it. In the hope of getting our bedtime bliss back.
ScientificAmerican state “Fear is as basic a human process as breathing or digestion, yet science’s ability to completely understand and describe it remains elusive”
I for one remember as a child being terrified of the dark. My parents had stairs with no backboards so every time I went up or down the stairs I thought someone was going to reach through the gap and grab my feet. Our brains are very powerful and have the capability to conjure up the most amazing scenarios and the most fearful creatures.
When my daughter was 4, it began. “Mummy I’m Scared” “There are monsters in my bedroom” “I saw something move” you get the picture…
I have had to remove teddys because they had eyes that followed her when she moved (we all know the ones). I left her wardrobe doors open so she could see inside at all times, we brought night lights and calming products and explored the internet for tips.
Here are my top ten tips that we tried and felt was successful.
1- Let them choose a nightlight to keep on during the night. This alone can provide a sense of security, having a soft glow constantly is better than being in pitch black at a time like this.
2- Check for monsters with them before bedtime, walk around the room with them, get down to their level and see the room how they view it. We left the wardrobe doors open for a few nights, so she could see there was nothing inside. Sometimes shadows can create illusions so check their room in different lights; they might have a chair in the corner of their bedroom that creates the illusion of a monster… who knows.
3- Monster spray- My husband started this one. He began spraying his body spray in all the areas she was frightened of and said “Monsters don’t like body spray” it worked. Her room smelt very manly as a result. We changed the formula to water and lavender essential oil in a spray bottle over the next few days. I know a mum who sprinkles salt on the window ledges because ‘monsters are allergic to salt” it works for her little boy.
4- Before bed have a gentle, relaxing lavender bubble bath and lots of fun.
5- Bedtime stories to help settle and soothe.
6- Dream catchers are a great way to provide a sense of security, or fairy dust/magic that you can sprinkle to keep monsters away- for boys try apothecary magic/dust or superhero magic/dust.
7- Keep their door open so they can see out of the door. If space allows, move their bed to enable them to see out.
8- Lay in bed with them and listen for sounds that may scare them- it could be cars, animal sounds. One particular sound my daughter was scared of was the radiator pipes banging beneath her floorboards.
9- Invent a chant or spell to say with them before bed
and finally 10- We have two black dogs, and although they are extremely placid and gentle, they do have a deep bark on them. Our daughter knows if anyone other than us were in the house they would be barking.
Remember what worked for us may not work for your child, every child is different. Adapt ideas and make them work; use them in a way your child can relate too.
Featured Image: Pixabay