4.5 y.o. Child with Fear of the Dark: Flashlight or Nightlight Recommendations

Updated on September 04, 2011
A.S. asks from Portland, OR
12 answers

* Please don't "report" me this time. I thought I was being helpful including a link but I guess that's against the rules?

I know that I am blessed that it has taken this long. However, I now need a bit of advice on flashlights. My 4.5 year old son has developed a fear of the dark that only becomes problematic around 1:00 or so in the morning. He shares a room with his younger brother so I am thinking we need a flashlight that emits a dim light. (There is already a nightlight in their room.) Has anyone tired out Mobi Glomate Junior? Or, can you provide me with the name of a flashlight or nightlight your child found helpful? Thanks in advance.

* I am quite certain these are not night terrors as he has those too and this is a very awake but easily comforted little guy I am dealing with. I just don't like sleeping in his toddler length bed nightly. :)

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answers from Dallas on

We have a Mobi Glomate Junior and a Mobi TykeLight Glowmate and love them. I would suggest the regular Glowmate over the Junior. The light is softer and since it is rechargable you don't have to change batteries. My 4 year old uses it every night.

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answers from Omaha on

We have had this trouble with our 3.5 year old son. What seemed to work for him is instead of a nightlight or flashlight we put a 40 watt bulb in a lamp that gave off a little more light, but not as bright as the regular room light. He could fall asleep easily with it and if he woke up, he wasn't scared of shadows or darkness. We also decided to let him bring his bean bag, pillow and blanket in our room and sleep on the floor. We also got tired of sleeping on the floor in his room all the time. Somehow it magically changed things for him having these two options. We don't even turn on the light anymore. Hope this helps!



answers from Seattle on

My four and a half year old son uses a Lego Man flashlight, among other things. He did love the Mobi light, but it didn't last too long - it stopped working less than a year after we got it. We have a Lightning McQueen nightlight, but it doesn't help - he still needs the light on. So, we have an array of flashlights and a stick-on Lightning McQueen light that we put on his bed. He still needs the light on, unfortunately. AND he listens to a CD to go to sleep to so he won't get scared. Sigh. It must be an age thing - let's hope so!



answers from Denver on

I second the Constellation Nightlight-- My kids LOVE them.



answers from Lincoln on

I don't have any flashlight suggestions, but I'm glad you are being sensitive to him. My 6 year old is scared of the dark and one night I wasn't being very patient with him and in a kind of annoyed voice I told him that he needed to get over it. He replies, "Well, you're scared of snakes." Touche little man!

Good luck w/your little guy! Hope you can find a flashlight that works well for him and helps you both get some sleep :-)



answers from Portland on

Hi. My 4 year old does not like to go to sleep in the dark either. So, I have a dolphin nighlight that I plug in on the other side of the room and set it up on a shelf. (it's a little lamp) It gives off a soft glow and that seems to help him. I think as he gets older we will be turning it off at night once when we go to bed.



answers from Dallas on

I feel like we have tried every night light available. The plug in kinds (we tried them all), are not bright enough to comfort either of my kids. A table lamp was too bright and interfered with their sleep. Even if my son slept through the night, he woke up cranky and seemed really tired. The best night light we have found is a lava lamp. They are bright enough to light up the whole room, but dim enough that they don't seem to interfere with my children's sleep. My son has a rather large one we bought at Spencer's and I bought my daughter a smaller one at Walmart, The walmart version seems brighter and we had to move it around my daughter's room to find a spot that worked. They are also great for those "I can't sleep" moments. Because we tell them to relax and watch the bubbles (turn it on early so it's warmed up). Since the lava lamp lights the room, we simply hung a dollar store flash light by the door. He used it to get to the bathroom. I wouldn't invest a lot in a flashlight. Ours have been dropped on the ground and in the toilet. My son or one of his friends have taken them apart. If you let him sleep with it, it will keep him up playing with the light.


answers from Seattle on

A friend gave my kids this nightlight from Ikea:
It is soft and changes color from red to blue to purple. It can be used without the plugin for a night before needing recharging. They don't like falling asleep in a dark room, so I was previously keeping their bedroom door open with the hall light on, but now I can shut the door and they don't complain with this guy going.


answers from San Francisco on

What worked for my daughter was a light up teddy bear that we found on amazon three years ago. I recently looked it up again and it seems that the model bear we bought for only $12 a few years ago is no longer being made and the price for it on amazon is between $140 and $177. Crossing our fingers that ours doesn't break now, but on the bright side they've come out with newer models which has addressed some functionality issues from prior versions which is great.

If you do an amazon search for "cepia bear" you'll get a selection of available products. What's great about "Bear" is that it has an internal timer that kicks off after about ten minutes to save batteries and if my daughter wakes up in the middle of the night and is scared, all she has to do is reach over and give Bear's paw a squeeze and he lights up. Bear is soft and snugly and she sleeps with him every night.

Because we worried that bear would not survive the rough play of daytime activities, we've made it a rule that Bear is a "bed buddy" and is only to have at night. She LOVES him.



answers from Portland on

I had my daughter pick out a flashlight. She found a perfect princess one that she loves. She plays with it in bed and it keeps her company. I also found some cool nightlights that show pictures on the ceiling. There are also ones that do light and color shows or rotating scenery. Have him involved so he can pick something he feels comfortable with. I went with one that had a picture of a princess and a castle and a unicorn and I have encouraged my daughter to look at it int he dark and come up with her own fairy tales. She falls asleep easily and stays asleep better since she wakes slightly, sees the nightlight and if needed can turn on her flashlight and goes back to sleep before she wakes all the way. Check out Toys R Us, Fred Meyers and places like Home Depot and Lowes.

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