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Have you observed your older toddler beginning to develop a fear of  the dark? Around the age of two, toddlers’ imaginations start to flourish, which is a fascinating but also somewhat challenging phase.

Understanding Toddler’s Fear of the Dark

During this time, they become aware that there are potential sources of harm in the world, possibly due to watching unsettling movies or reading books together. It’s important to note that even seemingly harmless shows like Peter Rabbit, PJ Masks, or Peppa Pig can trigger nightmares in children. While adults understand that darkness itself isn’t inherently dangerous based on their past experiences, toddlers lack such references.

Addressing Toddler’s Fear of the Dark

If your toddler starts expressing unease about the dark, it’s vital not to dismiss their feelings outright. Instead, engage in a conversation with them about their fears. This approach demonstrates that you take their concerns seriously, offering them comfort, and helps you comprehend the specific source of their anxiety so that you can address it.

Practical Solutions

Identifying Disturbances: For instance, if they mention objects moving in their room, it might be caused by passing car headlights or curtains swaying in the breeze. You can invest in superior blackout blinds to eliminate these disturbances in such a case.

Comfort in the Dark: You could also lie alongside their cot or bed in the dark to identify what they are seeing and any potentially scary elements. Alternatively, consider providing a night light or a Go Glow tilt torch to dispel shadows.

Caution with “Monster Spray”: Exercise caution when using techniques like “Monster Spray” as it may imply the existence of monsters to worry about. It’s perfectly fine to reassure them that there are no monsters in the closet or under the bed without suggesting that you need to check for their presence.

Unique Bedtime Challenges

For many toddlers, bedtime is the only time they encounter darkness, and it’s also when they are alone, unlike during the day when they are typically under adult supervision. This combination can contribute to anxiety.

Fun Activities in the Dark

A helpful and enjoyable strategy is to spend quality time together in the dark to alleviate some of this apprehension. You could engage in activities like reading books under a blanket with a dim flashlight, playing hide and seek with the lights off, or creating shadow puppets. While this may not offer an immediate remedy, addressing your child’s fears and demonstrating that darkness can be less intimidating and more entertaining will ultimately lead to more restful sleep and fewer nocturnal disruptions.

If you encounter any sleep-related challenges with your child, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a complimentary 15-minute consultation.