Any tips for getting rid of the monsters under the bed?

(38 Posts)
PedantMarina Wed 06-Nov-13 16:48:46

DS (3.5) has had intermittent issues with sleep (when he was an infant), but has been fine for the past several months - we thought we'd cracked it.

However, in the last two weeks he's been clingy and (frankly) a PITA. We thought some of this coincided with school holidays and a lack of structure, but he's back at school (nursery) and it's just not getting better.

Only today he's told Daddy that he's afraid of the monsters under the bed. He doesn't know what they look like, because "they're not brightly coloured enough" to see well, but he can feel them!

So, any thoughts? I'm half-serious and half laughing.

OnceUponAThyme Wed 06-Nov-13 16:59:43

my dd(4) drew a "protective" monster and we stuck it next to her bed. other things that can help are monster spray (lavender room spray or whatever), a torch to get rid of the monsters, a parent telling the monsters to get out and showing them out the door or a new toy (maybe a sword or something) that scares the monsters away.
we also drew the scary monsters, trapped the monsters in the drawing, then put the scary drawings in the bin outside.

PrincessKitKat Wed 06-Nov-13 17:01:23

TheActivityMom %28The Activity Mom%29 monster spray

Anti monster spray - spritz liberally before bed to keep the bumps in the night away!

Think he'd fall for it?!

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Wed 06-Nov-13 17:02:33

I was going to say a few drops of lavender oil mixed with water in a dropper bottle. Drops around the bed. Monsters HATE lavender so they leave the room!

elfycat Wed 06-Nov-13 17:04:17

I use a complementary therapy spray called 'Sleep Easy' from the Indigo essences range. It's supposedly crystal based energies in a lavender spray and you spritz it over the bed/child/room.

I now have 3 of their remedies as DD1 has taken to them, possibly placebo but I don't care if it has a positive effect.

A bottle lasts for ages, I'm on bottle 2 of Sleep easy and Chill (for anger). I like that you do something which acknowledges the emotions they are feeling rather than dismissing them.

However DD2 (now just 3) isn't so keen on them during her current tantrum phase so I', going to but the drops to put in her juice for my own sanity.

Might not be your thing, but if it is I get mine from here : link

Spottybra Wed 06-Nov-13 17:08:37

Here's my story, in a French farmhouse owned by family members ds crept into our bed every night saying there were monsters under his pillow. Fair enough, different bed, different bedroom....

The monsters were mice. I heard them in my room a week later and screamed when dh lifted the bed up and one ran out.

Horrendous 2 weeks of catching mice but no more monsters under the bed for us!

minniemousey Wed 06-Nov-13 17:21:09

We did the monster spray thing for our ds. It worked for the first night, by the third night he practically flooded his bedroom with the stuff as he was having so much fun spraying it.

We took the spray bottle away, gave him a torch and a night light. and got a new bed with under bed storage- once he saw that all the room under the bed was taken up with his stuff in the drawers he realised that monsters wouldn't fit under the bed and fixated on monsters in the wardrobe instead

for my ds it marked the start of a 6 month phase of being scared at night no matter what we did, having nightmares every night, etc. It's apparently very common at the age of 3 as their imaginations are developing so fast.

PedantMarina Wed 06-Nov-13 17:45:53

Thanks for the ideas! I'll try to address some of them but can't refer back and bold the posters' names:

Mice: doubt it, but we're getting kitten(s) for Christmas so even f, that'll be sorted.

Sword: one thine DS doesn't lack!

Friendly monster - perhaps we should try to find his friendly Dalek (c.6" tall, plush, has two phrases) again.

Bed and storage: he's in a mid-rise, with ladder, slide and tower (yeah, I wish I had a bed that cool!), for about a year now.

Nightlight: tick. A small one under his translucent potty, and sometimes strings of LEDs hanging in the tower or over a bedrail. Their absence/presence doesn't seem to be a factor.

You're probably right about the imagination factor. And ill definitely look into lavendar sprays!

Thanks, and apols for any typos - am on phone now!

theignored Wed 06-Nov-13 20:01:46

Yes yes to the monster spray (febreeze) and an empty tupperware box. Spray the monsters, trap them in the box, throw them out of the window. Job done for us

PedantMarina Wed 06-Nov-13 20:56:19

Well, was I in luck! The local Coop had Anti-Monster Spray on special for £1, and I got a tin on the way home from the train station.

I told him that, actually, monsters come in four categories, 1 being the least scary and 4 being the most scary, and that the "4 in 1" on the [mainly purple] label means it gets all four levels of monster. He giggled like a maniac and he and Daddy did a couple of spritzes before dinner, then he and I did another spritz just before bed. We showed him which way it's meant to face, etc and explained that even though it wouldn't hurt him like it would a monster, he mustn't spray it directly in his face, or just too much.

Can't say it was the smoothest of bedtimes - he was still a bit clingy and complain-y, but it was still 90% better than in recent days - he dropped off a lot faster and is spark out when I checked a moment ago. Of course, that could be the lavender talking.

Thanks for the help!

Monster food under bed after spraying (apples and cat biscuits here). If it isn't eaten by morning, the monster has gone.
Luckily ours was never eaten.

Also monsters absolutely detest Daddy socks.

PedantMarina Wed 06-Nov-13 21:37:34

Ooh! Daddy socks! Well, monsters don't come in to our room, so that must work.

Sunnysummer Wed 06-Nov-13 21:39:41

I like daddy socks!

For my little brother we made herbal repellents by going to the garden and park and getting all the smelliest herbs we could (lavender, rosemary and the like), making a bouquet (sorry, manly monster-repelling herbal weapon) and putting it by the bed for him to brandish at bedtime and during the night. Does need remembering to pick it up occasionally though smile

APipkinOfPepper Wed 06-Nov-13 21:44:55

When we had an issue with monsters, DH went up one evening to get rid of them - spent a bit of time banging about and then announced that he'd thrown them out the window an told them never to come back! We had a few conversations afterwards about how they wouldn't come back because they knew mummy or daddy would make them go away again. In the end DS seemed to become almost fond of them, imagining a little monster boy and his parents living in a house far, far away...

APipkinOfPepper Wed 06-Nov-13 21:46:09

Oh, we also got DS a small torch so if he was worried / heard something he could turn it on - monsters don't like bright lights

notapizzaeater Wed 06-Nov-13 21:48:23

We put dream catchers in ds room to catch all monsters, occasionally we take them down and shake them outside bascules it's getting full ....

FriskyHenderson Wed 06-Nov-13 22:01:04

I remember my dad took a wooden sword to the monster under my bed. Lots of sound effects, groaning and swiping. Dragged it off in a huff and a puff yelling 'don't look' over his shoulder.

Backfired spectacularly as I didn't really believe there was one - except he'd obviously found and caught an absolute whopper of a monster SO IT WAS REAL AND I BET IT HAD FRIENDS shock

So, don't do that grin

PedantMarina Wed 06-Nov-13 22:12:19

Yeah, I wasn't keen on [DP&I] fighting the monster (although it did work for Susan Sto Helit from Discworld), for pretty much your reason, Frisky.

I hope I drew a good compromise. I told DS that I have never seen any monsters in his room, but am prepared to accept that he has. And the 4-in-1 Anti-Monster spray is a deterrent as much as a cure, so we don't have to admit they're really there, IYSWIM.

negrilbaby Wed 06-Nov-13 22:38:00

For DS we told him that monsters can't survive if you don't believe in them so if he saw one he was to shout very loudly - I don't believe in monsters.
We spent a number of bedtimes practising this - and it seemed to work (although I'm not sure what the neighbours thought!). He has now taught the technique to his little sister.

PedantMarina Thu 07-Nov-13 06:05:26

That's an interesting thought, negril, if it works for faeries, it probably works for monsters.

I forgot to mention, but it's possibly related, he's also wetting his bed on some of these nights. A friend of ours had a DD who - they thought - was wetting her bed on purpose to need another place to sleep (i.e. MummyDaddyBed).

Indeed, that's why I'm up now. Today it was a mere 1/2 hour before my alarm went off, but the other night it was 1am. Even though DP does the bulk of the overnight stuff (he simply falls asleep more easily than me), it just feels like we're rewarding him for doing this.

I just don't get it: he's got the adjacent potty, with the light on underneath. We've told him over and over that if he feels like he needs a wee, or starts dreaming of water, he should go and sit on it, etc (Indeed, he did actually do this on Saturday night when he was at Auntie's house). We've cut back on liquids in the evening. We didn't even start this until he'd had a good long run of dry overnight nappies (and he's been off daytime nappies for many months).

ssmile Thu 07-Nov-13 20:10:20

We did the monster busting kit off empty silver spray bottle from £1 shop and it was "filled" with mummies special monster busting magic. And monster catching mat placed by door or ladder to bed (£1 shop fluffy cleaning duster) & big friendly cuddly toy sat at end of bed to scare them off. It helped but like other posters said its very common and gd sign their imagination is developing smile we talked about them if she wanted to or drew them. The most common was crocodiles in her pillow but turning it over made them go away. My DD wasn't dry until age 6 & it just happened over night. She has a mega imagination! We were just consistent and some nights better than others and it is just another phase and it will pass in the end. On a side note she never slept through the night until she started school it was hell at times but how the memories fade fast! Her little sister is dream....so far!

ImaginativeNewName Thu 07-Nov-13 20:14:56

We have monsters in the wardrobe.

They are luckily very respecting of authority and English - speaking so we have a glow in the dark road sign, made up by an obliging friend. "No Monsters Allowed"

If seems to do the trick. grin

When my DS was very worried about monsters, I went into his room and said very loudly "There's no monsters in here, is there? Because it's getting late and your mummy said it was time for you all to go home and go to bed. Come along now, if you're hiding, everyone out! It's home time!"

DS loved the idea that monsters had a mummy too, and a bedtime.

PedantMarina Sat 09-Nov-13 10:01:32

I got to the "English-speaking and respectful of authority" one and laughed so hard I had to pass the laptop to DP so he can enjoy as well.

And I love the "Monsters have mummies" idea too.

I'm not sure to what extent either would work with our boy, but I'm definitely cheered up.

I fecking love Mumsnet, me.

PedantMarina Sat 09-Nov-13 10:12:56

Ooohhhh! DP has just come up with a refinement:

INTERIOR, NIGHT. IT IS TIME FOR BED AND DS IS RESISTING.

LANDLINE RINGS (DP and his mobile are absent)

Mummy: Hello? Yes, this is [DS's Mummy], who's that? ... Uh huh. .... Well, yes, I suppose it's past their bedtime too. I'll go and have a look ... If I find any, shall I drive them, or should DP walk with them? .... No? They'll be all right on their own? ... OK, thanks. [HANGS UP] DS, I've had a monster mummy on the phone who said that if any of her monster children are here, they're to come home straightaway because it's their bedtime too. So spray the spray and tell them to go home.

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