Is your toddler afraid of the dark? Are you sleep deprived because your kid keeps running to your room and waking you up from your slumber in the middle of each night?
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I feel you!
No one told me that by becoming a parent, I am giving up 50% of my sleeping hours. Ha! But one simple addition to your child’s bedroom just might help you take back your good night’s sleep.
Adding a nightlight in your child’s bedroom just might do the trick. Imagine being a 2-year old again and waking up from a bad dream, what’s the first thing you do when all you see is darkness?
You scream or call for mommy, right? But when they wake and see a familiar environment, this can bring comfort to your toddler.
It helps them feel secure and there’s a bigger chance that your kiddo will just go right back to sleep.
Let’s talk about why toddlers are scared of the dark first to make sure that we are tackling the root of the problem.
Are you letting you kid watch scary themed shows?
It is important that we guard our kids from developing a fear of darkness and “monsters”. Scary stories might be a bit too soon for a toddler so skip those for now.
One of my son’s loved sharks and was totally obsessed, he had the toys, books and would watch sharks on television all day, by the time he was two years old he could name them all.
However, I found that he started waking up in the night, it was only until he started shouting shark in his sleep I realized why.
Is there anyone in the house why tries to scare your kid? It can be through a joke or a story.
Ban teasing and scaring smaller kids and make sure that everyone in the house are on the same page when it comes to following this rule. Kids’ imaginations can get pretty wild that even shadows can scare them if a seed of fear has been planted.
What Can You Do to Help Your Toddler Overcome His Fear of the Dark?
Acknowledge his fears:
Never tease him about it with lines like “you’re a big boy now, you shouldn’t be scared of the dark!” Lines like this does not help. Get to the root of the problem and ask him why then tackle it.
Example, he says there’s a monster under his bed or in the closet, take him to his bedroom and show him that there’s nothing to be scared of. Try to reassure your kid by showing him that there are no monsters.
Give your toddler a comfort toy:
A teddy or a favorite character toy can be his “superhero” to guard him through the night. Just makes sure that your kid is over 1 year old, and the toy isn’t a choking hazard. Kids are capable of self-soothing and having his favorite toy around just might help him feel more secure.
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If your kid slept though the night, make it a reason to celebrate! A simple treat with some congratulatory words can help reinforce the positive behavior.
Install a nightlight in his bedroom:
There are a lot of debates regarding the positive and negative effects on adding a nightlight in a toddlers room but my take on this is that if it provides comfort and security, if it means my child gets a good night sleep, then I’m all for it.
Benefits of Adding a Nightlight in Your Toddler’s Bedroom
Comfort and Security – some kids can sleep better if there’s a bit of illumination in the room that allows them to see their surroundings. This helps get rid of the “imaginative monsters” that come out when it’s dark.
Diaper Check Visit – a nightlight allows you to check your kid without turning the overhead lights on.
Potty Training – If you have older kids who are in potty training, having nightlight on encourages them to go to the potty in the middle of the night by themselves without calling for you.
Related: Best Tummy Time Activities for Newborns
Best Nightlight for Your Toddler’s Room
Considering adding a nightlight to your toddler’s room? Here’s a list of the best nightlight for toddler’s who are afraid of the dark:
Hatch Baby Rest Night Light – A compact, single nightlight that you can operate using your smart phone via Bluetooth. You can change the colors and play music/white noise to help lull your kiddo to sleep. It also allows you to set the brightness level of the lamp which is very cool.
Bubzi Co Soothing Sleep Owl – A very cute looking plush-owl that your toddler will definitely love. Has 10 preset kiddie lullabies and has a safety strap. Activated by squeezing the plush toy, and automatically turns off 30 minutes after your toddler falls asleep. Lights are removable so you can easily wash or clean the plush toy.
Hontry Night Light – A cute table lamp with 4 colors and projects rotating stars on the ceiling. The lamp can also be used as a reading lamp by removing the cover which can be great for your bedtime stories or for when your baby grows older. Can be used as a tabletop lamp or can be hung or suspended over the crib or bed. There’s also a timer so you can set it to turn off after a specific amount of time.
Jozo Rotating Star Projector – Dubbed as the safest nightlight for toddlers. Super cool design that your kid will love! This lamp has a star projector feature that can be slowed down or sped up. Has different light colors including red and green to promote melatonin production at night, giving your kid a restful sleep. Has a timer and works on batteries or USB cable.
Skip Hop Moonlight & Melodies Nightlight Soother Owl – The cutest musical nightlight ever! This tiny nightlight is packed with wonderful features like programmed lullabies and nature sounds to help soothe your toddler to a wonderful sleep. Volume is adjustable which is great, and you can set the nightlight to turn off after 15, 30, 60, 90 minutes or custom time of your preference.
VAVA Night Light – This egg-shaped, touch control, LED nightlight was designed to teach small kids how to be tech savvy since it was meant to be kid-operated. Very responsive to touch and light can be adjusted to high and low brightness. Has a long battery lifespan and rechargeable by USB.
NeoJoy Cat Lamp – Is your toddler a cat-lover? If so, this is the best nightlight for him! Provides a soft light and has adjustable brightness. It also features breathing and fade modes designed to help get your child into a sleep rhythm. Powered by a rechargeable battery that can last up to 15 hours. Bonus, it is made from silicone so it’s super easy to clean!
LOFTER Baby Mushroom Night Lamp – This mushroom-looking nightlight is BPA-free and has 16 color variation and has 4 light modes. Can be operated using a remote control and super easy to clean. You can set it to shift between colors or to a blinking mode. This mushroom nightlight needs to be plugged into a wall so it should be placed away from the crib and out of your toddler’s reach.
Lumipets Cute Animal Silicone Baby Night Light – This soothing nightlight gives off a calming glow that helps soothe your toddler to sleep. Potable so you can move it anywhere in the house if needed and has a built-in rechargeable battery that can last up to 20 hours. This cordless nightlight is super easy to control so you can switch colors or to set the timer. Comes in different cute designs that your kid will love!
WHATOOK Colorful Unicorn Light – If your toddler loves unicorns then this is the best nightlight for her. Cordless and comes in different cute unicorn designs. This LED nightlight can be placed on a table against a wall or you can hang it on a wall. Cable-free so need to worry about tripping over wires. This is powered by AA batteries and the lightbulbs switch between different colors.
Related: Toddler Climbing Out of Crib: Solutions and Hacks!
Factors to Consider When Choosing the best Nightlight
When looking for nightlights for your toddler’s bedroom, it is very important to check the following:
- Safety – It should be safe to use and should not be a fire-hazard. But just to be on the safe side, follow safety instructions on the manual
- Material – We do so much already so choose one that does not require hard labor to clean
- Brightness – It should be bright enough so your kid can see his surroundings but not overly bright, so it does not keep your him awake
- Timer- To save battery, electricity, and for safety’s sake, it is better if you can set the nightlight to turn off after a certain amount of time
- Durability – Toddlers can be a bit careless if you haven’t notice so choose one that does not easily break
- Warranty – Since most nightlights are inexpensive some do not offer warranty but there are some that come with several months and even a lifetime warranty if you are particular about this department
Final tip when choosing a nightlight, involve your kid in the process! Show him the different pictures and designs so he will get excited about it. This will make him look forward to bedtime instead of dreading it.