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Afraid of the dark and need suggestions!!

  • My boyfriend's daughter is so afraid of the dark and it's close to impossible to get her to sleep without crying or ending up in our room. We've tried leaving a light on, night lights, you name it. Any other suggestions??
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by stepmamabear on 6th October 2008
  • If your boyfriend's daughter is afraid of the shapes and shadows in her room, you can give her a flashlight and teach her how to use it and see what the shapes look like in the light. There's a Curious George episode on this. You can buy a crank powered flashlight now for pretty cheap so you don't have to constantly replace the batteries. And having your own flashlight is cool. Yes, there will be a few nights of constant flashlight use, but she'll get over it.

    If she's used to having someone in the room while she falls asleep, or is now preferring that, you can sit for a few minutes and then find odd jobs to do that will take you away for a minute or two. The AAP has this method in their sleep book and actually call it the "Odd Job Method." The key is to be quiet and unexciting but you really need to go to the bathroom, change the laundry, empty the dishwasher, etc, and you'll come right back. And then do. The key is for her to trust you'll return, relax and fall asleep on her own. I've gotten a lot of decluttering done this way.

    We leave the hall light on for our daughter with the door open enough to provide lots of light but her face is still shielded. As she gets more comfortable, I can gradually close the door. I talk to her about what I'll be doing while she falls asleep and tell her she can probably hear me if she's really still and quiet. I also check on her 5 times while she's falling asleep. All I do is walk in and stroke her hair a couple of times.

    You could also look into a sleep/relaxation tape for children for her to listen to while falling asleep. And you could try a longer nighttime routine to give her more attention when it's a good time. And give her more one-on-one attention during the day. You could also use an extra book as a reward for each night she follows the good sleep rules that you've laid-out. For me they're lying still and quietly. We all have nights we can't fall asleep but if she's trying, she gets an extra book the next night.
    Good luck!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jenns on 8th October 2008
  • This is what I did for my daughter who was scared of monsters...

    "Monster Go-Away Spray"

    spray bottle
    a few drops of sent (essensial oil, parfume)

    Told her I got the recipe from my grandma, who got it from her grandma, who got it from a Gypsy. Made a big production out of it.
    During our "goodnight/love you" time, I would let her tell me where to spray (under the bed, in the corner, etc.) then give her the bottle to keep next to her during the night to spray around her whenever she felt the need.

    Worked like a charm.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kari on 26th October 2008
  • My dad did the Monster Spray thing, too, he printed out a label on sticky paper and wrapped it around a regular spray can of room freshener for my little sister. Worked great.

    My son is also terrified of the dark. He has a lamp that he can turn up with just a touch, so if he`s scared, he touches the lamp and can see that nothing is in his room. Then another touch and it dims again. Very handy.

    You might also want to sit down and ask her what she`s afraid of. That will help you choose a method of dealing with it. Also, maybe check out books on the topic, like Franklin`s Afraid of the Dark. We read that story every night and talk about how Franklin was afraid, but he found a solution to his problem all by himself.

    A "protective" stuffy can also help. My son has a giant stuffed bear that scares monsters away (we told him the bear loves children and eats monsters). Whatever works!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Genesis on 11th November 2008
  • This article may be of interest....

    Afraid Of The Dark? fun plush toys help kids
    Added: (Fri Nov 14 2008)
    Children who fear the dark may find relief from a teddy bear...

    Real Web Values, a Holt Michigan based Internet retail business, recently announced a new product that offers a wonderful aid for parents of children who are struggling through the common problem of being “afraid of the dark”.

    The owner, Frank Amedure, father of three children and recent grandfather of four babies claims the “Flashlight Bears” Beamerzzz’s are a delightful way to provide comfort to children overcoming their fear of the dark.

    Amedure says that the child can befriend the cuddly teddy bear as children do with most cute and soft stuffed animals but this teddy bear’s paw lights up when the arm is squeezed and it shuts off when released.

    Amedure further states that the bear can also help children who aren’t afraid of the dark but just like to read at night or as a quick access flashlight to walk down a dark hallway to the bathroom at night. “The kids will love them and use them”.

    Real Web Values which can be found on, or

    Stuffed Animal Values is ready for the holiday season with a wide variety of other safety tested stuffed animals and teddy bears as well. “We even have a seven foot teddy bear”.

    The stuffed animals are made by Purr-Fection by MJC who bosts to having over 20 years of experience and of course they are safety tested and bargain priced.”

    When I visited the aforementioned web site I found it easy to navigate and verified that the site is has a SSL Certificate for secure shopping and they accept major credit cards or Pay Pal. I found that the prices of these stuffed animals to be affordable and competitively priced.

    I learned that the plush toys are shipped directly from the Purr-Fection by MJC warehouse in Tualatin, OR to the customer.

    The plush toys are hand sewn with non-recycled new materials in China and safety pull tested to meet European safety standards which currently exceeds those here in the U.S.A.

    By Mike Iott
    Independent Reviewer
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Michigan on 1st December 2008
  • I have a product that might help. It's a complete bedtime solution. Experts suggest empowering the child to control the fear on their own through imaginative play. My product is a story book (visual adventure), monster spray (defense), and plush monster (comfort). You can find out more by going to Good luck!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by klucente on 5th April 2009

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