March 11, 2009,
K.D. asks from Senoia, GA on March 10, 2009
2 1/2 Year Old Scared of Slepeing in Her Room
My 2 1/2 year old daughter just started last wek being scared of going to sleep in her room. Doesn't matter if it is at night or during the day at nap time. She says that there is a man and an elephant standing in her room. She really acts scared. It breaks my heart. I have walked her around her room, looking in closets, behind the curtains, under the bed, and in the corners to show her that there is nothing there. I have consoled her and loved on her. I have sang her songs and rubbed her back. I have even been firm and said there is nothing here and walked out of her room. She has a lovey that she sleeps with every night, a special nightlight, doors stay open. I don't know what else to do to get her over her fear. My husband and I hate having to struggle to get her to go to sleep with her new fear. I was wondering if there is a magic trick that one of you moms have tried to calm your LO of these fears. I have accepted that it is just a phase and t just needs to be worked out. I just was hoping for another suggestion.
So What Happened?™
Happy to report that it was just a phase. We contiued to stick to our guns and did not change our routine. Eventually she was able to go to sleep without crying and telling us that there was an elephant in her room. She just now says that she can't see in the dark. We gave her a little flashlight and she seems content. Thanks for all the suggestions and I am glad to have a place to get others opions and thoughts. thanks
R.C. answers from Spartanburg on March 10, 2009
Hi there. My son would see bears or bees in his room. We started giving him glowsticks to sleep with (he would go around the room with them like a magic wand, waving everything clean), or a small flashlight and that helped. We also rearranged his room and eventually got him a brighter nightlight. We have cut down on the "I'm scared" incidents by 99.9%! As our pediatrician says, this is a very active time for their little minds and it can run away with them. I hope you can work through this, I know how upsetting it can be to not be able to calm their fears away!
1 mom found this helpful
T.V. answers from Athens on March 11, 2009
When my foster son went through this we:
1) bought superhero pjs that keep mosters away. (Monsters are afraid of superheros and in the Pjs he was a superhero)
2) added a dream catcher (with an explanation) that keeps bad dreams away
3) checked out his room from his perspective in the dark and removed the stuff that looked scary (he saw a "man" in his room that was clothes on a coathook on his closet door).
4) We came up with an anti-monster chant...
Then we assumed that it would work, and it did.... He very quickly got over his fears.
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T.R. answers from Macon on March 11, 2009
I had a similar experience with my oldest child (who is now 23). A friend recommended that I purchase some air freshener and cover the label with paper or tape and the next time she said there was something in her room we told her this was "magic spray" and it would make anything she was afraid of go away. Of course she asked where it came from and we told her God. He can make anything that you are afraid of better. I hope this helps with your daughters situation.
J.F. answers from Charleston on March 11, 2009
Even cheaper and better for your daughter and the enviornment would be a spray bottle of plain water (ours has stickers fo fairy's and stars and rainbows on it well the one for the boys room has dinosaurs and trucks and cars go figure) and i put a couple drops of lavender, and sweet orange oil in it. Just enough to smell it not enough to overpower the whole room. The benefits is on the nights when its really bad they can spray away and we can all still breathe :) Now i think its more they associate the smells with sleep than anything.
S.M. answers from Atlanta on March 11, 2009
Hi! My daughter just got through that stage. We did everything you've done. What seemed to help is removing the item that scared her (as long as it was possible). We only had to do this for a few nights. Then we left her door cracked and bought her the "Twilight Ladybug (or Turtle)". Got it at Dillard's for $30, not cheap. It's a lady bug that illuminates lightly and displays stars on the ceiling. Acts as a night light too. She loves it and picks the color of the stars each night. She seems content now and doesn't act scared most nights. Good luck!
D.H. answers from Atlanta on March 10, 2009
There can be many things that can trigger this. First, has she watched something that she can't handle. I found that my second child couldn't handle Scooby Doo when he was younger...it never occurred to me...he is now 10yo and is still that way. He was never able to separate reality and fiction. Second, has her vision been checked recently? I'm near sighted and even I can 'make pictures' with my contacts/glasses not on. It can distort things to look differently from what they really are. Third, little kids can see things that we can't sometimes. I'm not saying that there really is a man/elephant, but I know that some kids can 'see' things. I can give you more than one example, but let me give you one. A friend of ours grandchild, while at church during the service, asked his grandfather, 'how do you get up there, are there stairs?'. Grandpa said no, there is no way, you can get up there. Then the grandchild said, 'then how did they get up there'. Grandpa asked who 'they' were. He pointed and was trying to show them. They were wearing white, etc. This boy was 3yo then and is now 10yo. My husband told me this...I thought it was neat. I can give you another example with a 2 1/2 yo girl, but I think you get the picture.
But, as I said, she may not see anything, but then maybe she does. Have her describe him, does he say anything, is he nice... I know we aren't talking about dreams, but when my two oldest have bad dreams, they want to talk about it. At first, they didn't, but after much coaxing on my part, they found that they feel so much better after they talked about it..fortunately this rarely happens. Perhaps having her talk about it in great detail, she will feel better? Good luck!
B.W. answers from Myrtle Beach on March 11, 2009
My oldest went through a phase where he thought there were lobsters under his bed, and apparently they were going to climb out and pinch him during the night. He watch the Lobstermen on the Discovery channel and apparently the lobsters were quite scary to him. We tried to reason with him that they only live in water, looked around for them, no use. He was 3 or 4. So, he slept on the couch in the living room for about a year. Apparently there were no lobsters there. Then, one day, he just went back to his own bed and started sleeping there and has without a problem ever since. Then my daughter, 3, started sleeping on the couch. Her room was "scary". She is in her own room, not shring a room like her brothers, so we felt a little sorry for her, and she stayed on the couch for a few months. Then all of a sudden the room was fine again. I guess what I'm saying is, it's normal, it will pass, and do what works for you to get through it. For us, the one firm rule was that they weren't sleeping with us. They have understood that always. I often co-sleep when I have a new baby, but once they move out to their own room at a few months old, they don't get to come back! The couch though? That didn't bother me at all. So, work with the phase, do what you can to aleviate fears, and she'll come through it fine eventually.