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Need help calming child who's afraid of the dark!

(6 Posts)
WilheminaAteHer Fri 14-Jan-11 21:31:30

DS (age 4) wakes most nights saying he's scared. This has been going on for months and months. We started out very patient, taking him to bed with us, but now it's been at least 8 months and we'd just like him to stay in his own bed.

Any suggestions? I'd love a range of responses and I'm particularly keen to hear from people who have taken the co-sleeping approach - how long did you have to do this for and how did your children decide to eventually leave your bed?

activate Fri 14-Jan-11 21:32:07

leave a light on

Egg Fri 14-Jan-11 21:37:58

Was going to say same as activate. Ds1 who is nearly five sleeps with light on every night or else he gets up crying.

WilheminaAteHer Fri 14-Jan-11 21:57:31

Tried that. Lots. Didn't work. Sigh.

I have bought him a character light with his favourite film character on, which I'm hoping will work once we move him back into his bedroom (he currently sleeps in a small bed in our room as his room's beind decorated). So I'm hoping that the combination of character light + bedroom lamp will help him. But since the light didn't work before I'm not counting on it...

activate Fri 14-Jan-11 22:11:42

if you're leaving a light on it isn't fear of the dark is it?

It's broken sleep pattern and an unconscious knowledge that saying I'm scared gets the reaction he wants

if you really don't want him climbing into your bed (which would be my preference - although I would't get him - he'd have to make his way to my room) then bribe him to sleep through, refuse to believe the 'I'm scared' phrase and teach him to self-settle

WilheminaAteHer Sat 15-Jan-11 16:07:25

That's what I thought for a while. But this past week he's twice shown that he finds the darkness scary unconnected with nighttimes - once while playing under the table, when I covered it with a duvet he said he was scared. Then another time while watching a scene I'm a programme where someone went into a basement, he ran to me saying he found the darkness scary.

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