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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello parents


I am going through this stage with my almost 4 year old.

She is afraid of the dark and I am unsure what we can do to relieve this stress. We have a light for her but it turns off after an hour so when she wakes up she is on the dark.

She shares a room with my 1.5 year old so leaving a lamp on all night is not an option.

Any ideas to help her out. She is most nights sleeping in my bed or on the couch? Which I don't mind but does this really help her with her fears?

Any suggestions or feedback

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I don't think there is anything you can do to make the fears go away. A reasonable solution could be a different nightlight that will stay on all night and add just enough light so that she isn't waking up in pitch black. I find that hardware stores sell a nice selection of nightlights. I prefer the type that are triggered about the amount of ambient light in the room, so they turn themselves on in the evening and back off in the morning.


A small fish tank that you leave the light on all night is another option. One of my DDs has autism and had intense sleep problems. We put a small tank in her room because it was so soothing and added just enough light.
 

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I think that for some kids sleeping frequently with adults can eventually curtail their fears of the dark. Where I live, night time is close to pitch black, and they've never had trouble with the darkness itself. Camping and walking around outside in the dark? Different story!

I agree there is not much to *do* except support along the way, and try not to get frustrated. Maybe if she is getting up to sleep on couch and in bed with you, a nightlite in the hallway outside the bedroom might be a good idea instead of one in the bedroom itself, and the light would creep into there as well.
 

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There are some really cool night lights available nowadays, including ones that project an image on the wall or ceiling in addition to providing a small light. We have one that projects an underwater fish scene. You could also add an ambient noise maker, since 'bumps in the night' can sometimes increase kid's fear. You can play various sounds from heart beat, ocean sounds or white noise, etc.

The fear won't last forever. Four is a tricky time developmentally and many children have increased fear at this age. Work at soothing rituals. If she can 'name' the fear, work with her to put it in box (symbolically) to "contain" it at night. Have a 'go away' ritual to send it away. Because of child's fantasy nature at age 4, these types of interventions really can work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. The flashlight is helping right now, and I think a projection light might be better even thou they are still timed.
 

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There's a stuffed toy that lights-up when squeezed. Maybe having the ability to have light when she needs it will help make the dark less scary?
 
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