Night Time Fears in Kids and How to Help

06-Nov-2016 by Lisa Bradburn

The hour has gone back, the nights are drawing in and everything seems dark, quiet and cozy as we get ready for bed. For some children, the darkness can be something to fear, and we’ve all had those stages where our kids won’t go to sleep because of that fear. If you’re in that stage now, it WILL pass, don’t worry!
My children have all gone through the fear of the dark stage and we used a variety of techniques to make them feel secure and ready for sleep.

“I don’t like the dark,” said Little Bear. “What dark?” said Big Bear. “The dark all around us,” said Little Bear.


Do you recognise that quote? If you do, then you know one of my favourite children’s books too. Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell is one of those classic bedtime stories that if you don’t know already, will soon become a family favourite. My children still remember the lovely story and the snuggly bedtime routine that we created to settle them down before going to sleep.

If you don’t know the story, the synopsis is that Big Bear sets out with all his patience and understanding to show Little Bear that the dark is nothing to be afraid of. When all the lanterns in the cave aren’t enough to quell Little Bear’s troubled emotions, Big Bear offers–in a final loving gesture–nothing less than the bright yellow moon and the twinkling stars!

This story, and the memory of my own children going through their ‘fear of the dark’ phase, inspired me to research some great products that others can use for similar struggles. I can’t promise to bring the yellow moon and twinkling stars to you, but I have found a range of fabulous nightlights from Cloud B that are very close!

The Twinkles Octopus light (in pink or blue) is a little nightlight that casts a comforting glow with two colour options and a projection that sends images of fish, bubbles or start onto the bedroom ceiling. The nightlight automatically switches off after 45 minutes, so your child can have a more restful sleep in darkness after they have fallen asleep. (Paediatricians recommend that kids sleep in darkness to promote deep sleep). My favourite feature about this little nightlight is that it is portable, so you can take it along to grandma’s house, a friend’s house or even on holiday too.
My daughters loved their soft toys so I particularly love the Twilight Buddies and the Cuddle Buddy ranges that Cloud B offers. The cuddle buddies’ bodies are soft enough to put on a child’s bed or pillow to give that extra bit of comfort while they’re settling down to sleep. The buddies have a soft body surround with projection feature in their backs that send a wonderfully clear projection of the stars in actual constellation patterns onto the ceiling. What better way to end your bedtime routine than by snuggling in bed with your little one, identifying the stars and constellations on the ceiling? (Don’t worry, there’s a handy star guide included in the box!)
As with the octopus light, these buddies will switch off after 45 minutes and they are portable as well. I love the animals in the cuddle buddy range- there’s something to suit every child’s room décor or animal preference.

For children who want a little more control over their night time lighting, then the Sleepy Lights range from Aloka offers a great option with so many different designs in super LED lighting options (they have princess, fairy, dino, robot, giraffe, horse designs…. you name it, they have it!) LED means it’s safe for children to touch and it’s energy efficient too.

The sleepy light can be turned up for bedtime reading and turned down for drifting into sleep and there’s a choice of colours too, to give that added control and individuality to the light. It comes with a handy remote and my favourite thing is the sleep function that allows the light to get dimmer over time. The timer function means the light will turn off automatically after an hour.

I know that bedtime is different in every house, but a stable, comforting routine can help any child feel secure. I think that a good book, a good light and a reassuring cuddle can be just what child needs to feel ready to drift into a sound sleep without fearing the dark or feeling nervous.

If the nightlight routine is started early enough, hopefully a deep fear of the dark won’t ever set in. And if your child is already in the stage of fearing the dark, then I really do believe these gorgeous lights will help. I feel like they’re not only a lovely gift for the child but a great gift for the whole family (as uninterrupted sleep is what we all wish for!) Sweet dreams to you all!

Lisa is the managing director of what2buy4kids. Lisa’s wish is to make your job of finding a gift for the children in your life easier, or help you to take some of the time and frustration out of the search for that special gift for kids.

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