Like any parent I know of preschoolers, we are no stranger to bedtime struggles. From getting out of bed multiple times before falling asleep to climbing into bed with us in the middle of the night, we’ve had our share of obstacles. But by far the hardest for me as a parent was when my son Warren was two and was afraid of monsters. I reached out to my readers, asking for any advice because he was breaking my heart.
Here is an excerpt from that post:
I do empathize with him, tell him that I’m here, that he is safe and that monsters aren’t real. They are just pretend. I give him hugs and kisses and then he is seemingly fine and goes back to whatever he was doing.
I know it is important that he learns to cope and so while he was frightened to go to bed, I have not slept in his room with him. (It is oh so tempting.) I don’t want him to become dependent upon me to sleep and start that as a routine. I have however tried to give him tools with which to deal with his fear and will go to him for reassurance whenever he calls for me.
He is currently sleeping with a child’s flashlight with his blankets over his head. He also has his favorite stuffed animals with which to hold for comfort. While it was hard that first night, since then he has expected this and is okay as long as he has his flashlight and animals.
I am happy to say that within a couple of months after I posted this struggle, Warren outgrew this fear and no longer even mentions monsters or being afraid. I can’t say that it was anything special that we did to help him get over it, however we did our best to help him cope by providing him with items that would make it easier to be in the dark. We also listened to him and showed we cared without making him feel silly but also not feeding his fear. I’m assuming it was simply a phase and I hope that anyone else out there currently going through this will find this comforting.
Warren now has a big boy double bed and is most often seen cuddling with his older brother Lucian. Many of the bedtime struggles we’ve had in the past have been eliminated because they have each other. While they still have separate rooms, we allow them to sleep together when they like because they are still young and sleep better with each other.
SproutTV offers many great programs for preschoolers but one that is especially helpful for bedtime is Pajanimals. If you aren’t yet familiar, I highly recommend checking out some clips from their shows on the Sprout website. There you can also play games, view activities and print coloring pages of characters from the show. Be sure to see all the bedtime tools Sprout has to offer!
Pajanimals airs at night and features four friends who sing nighttime songs to your preschooler. While we aren’t fortunate enough to have SproutTV in our own home, my mother does and the boys often watch this channel when they go for visits or sleep over.
The Pajanimals, available only on 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout, features four fuzzy friends who wind down for bedtime in a cozy and reassuring way. The show helps you tackle common bedtime issues like getting out of bed, bad dreams and scary monsters. Check out Sprout’s bedtime tips! Also, by replying below four of my lucky readers will win a prize package – including a Pajanimals DVD and The Sleepeasy Solution book, proven by Hollywood’s celebrity parents and written by the sleep experts at Sleepy Planet.