There is nothing worse than seeing your little one become distressed when you turn the light off at bedtime. While many toddlers struggle to settle with the light on, the dark can be a pretty scary place for a young child who doesn’t really understand.
To help stop your little one’s fear escalating, try the following five tips:
Show them that you understand
Make sure your little one is aware that you understand their fear - don't just simply ignore it in the hopes it will go away. Never tell them it’s silly as not only will it not help the situation, but they may start to feel ashamed.
Try to see where the fear is coming from
Ask your little one what it is that they are afraid of and then you can try to see if it has anything to do with what they are exposed to during the day, either on the TV or even in books. This way you can try to remove the fear right at the core. Communicating can be tough for your toddler so perhaps get them to draw their fear down on a piece of paper so that at least you can understand it.
Try to keep their routine the same
Try to keep their bedtime routine the exact same each night; toddlers and children in general feel secure and safe when they are in a routine, so it is important you keep things as familiar for them as possible.
Get a night light
While it’s not actually helping to prevent the fear, it can make your little one feel more settled in order for them to get to sleep. A soft night light would be ideal for these types of situations and over time your little one might eventually grow out of their fear.
Read them a story
Read your little one a bedtime story each evening to help them relax and think of nice things rather than letting their mind and imagination wander. Obviously avoid books that will only cause their fear to become exaggerated.