How to Ease a Toddler's Bedtime Fears: 5 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Provide your toddler with his favorite monster-slaying stuffed animal.

The midnight feedings and 4 o'clock diaper explosions are a thing of the past, so from here on in it's nothing but blissful nights of uninterrupted sleep. That is, until your toddler wakes you in the middle of the night swearing up and down the boogie man has set-up residence under his bed. Fear of the dark and good old fashioned bedtime loneliness are common problems many toddler's face. The key to actually getting more than four hours of sleep every night is to make him feel safe and secure in his space without giving in and letting your toddler sleep in Mom and Dad's bed.


  1. 1
    Address your toddler's ongoing bedtime fears during the day and no matter how frustrated you become, avoid calling him a “baby” or telling him to “grow up.” Instead, try to understand the reason behind your toddler's fears and work it out together. For instance, if your toddler is afraid of the dark, install a nightlight. Demystify the existence of the boogie man or show your toddler nothing is under his bed except a dirty sock and some forgotten play dough.
  2. 2
    Establish an effective bedtime routine. Around one hour before bed, give your toddler a bath, read her a book in bed, snuggle and send her off to sleep. Skip the pre-bedtime hour of cartoons, as this could overstimulate your toddler and make it more difficult to get her to sleep.
  3. 3
    Provide your toddler with a comforting object, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. If this isn't offering him with enough security, the Mayo Clinic suggests letting your toddler know you'll check on him every 10 minutes until he falls asleep. During these visits, remind your toddler to stay in bed and praise him for being brave.
  4. 4
    Lead your toddler back to his bed immediately if he makes his way into the hall or your bedroom. Each time you return the toddler, give him a hug and remind him to stay put. The Mayo Clinic recommends parents remain vigilant and no matter how tired you are, resist the urge to camp on your toddler's floor. Your back will thank you for that treat in the morning.
  5. 5
    Offer your toddler a hug and remind him that his parents are there if he awakens with a nightmare. KidsHealth cautions parents against rehashing every gruesome detail of the dream, which could frighten the toddler all over again. Instead, let him know the nightmare is over, hand him his trusted teddy bear and a final hug before he falls asleep.

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