There are many ways a dark room can be scary to a toddler Baby’s age. If the night has been seeming especially spooky to him lately, the most important thing to consider is if his fear is a symptom of a larger issue. If there are family issues at play, or other reasons that your little one might be feeling stressed, it may be useful to check in with his healthcare provider about it. But when other factors for anxiety are ruled out, and he feels frightened when the lights go out, there are a few ways of reassuring him in that fear.
Night lights are a common way of combating fear of the dark, but there are other ways to help toddlers feel more secure once the lights go out at night.
Enjoy the dark together
You and Baby can start bedtime in the dark together with books that have glow in the dark pages, or even just by turning out the light after story time and taking a moment to sing a song together or reflect on the day as part of his winding-down routine at the end of the evening. This subtle transition from a dark room together to a dark room alone will seem less drastic.
Glow in the dark art
Decorating Baby’s bedroom with glow in the dark paint or glow in the dark stickers of stars of solar systems can be a fun, exciting activity to do together, and getting to see them glow might actually encourage Baby to feel excited to spend a little time in the darkness. More than that, though, being a part of the process can help him feel a sense of control and ownership over the darkness of the room.
Night light alternatives
Aside from the classic plug-in or other type of night light, there are other creative ways to brighten up a room for a nervous toddler. Stuffed animals that light up or project light can help a room feel friendlier, and projectors can be set to timers so they show patterns all over his ceiling and wall while themselves is falling asleep.
Fear of the dark is a common phase, and it doesn’t last forever. Reassuring his fears one way or another may not put an end to fear of the dark, but it will help him feel safe and confident, which may help put his fears to be sooner.