It is generally around the age of 18 months that the fear of the dark appears. At this age, children’s imaginations are limitless and they start to imagine monsters under their bed or in their closet and can’t get to sleep. They can also wake up at night and see shadows of toys and stuffed animals that seem terrifying!

So how do you reassure your child when he is afraid of the dark?

Avoid total darkness and full light

In this particular case, you can’t treat evil with evil, there’s no point in locking your child in a dark room if the darkness terrifies him... On the contrary, leave the door open and the hallway light on, or buy him a nightlight that diffuses a soft light. Some models are programmed to turn off after 30 minutes, they accompany the child during the sleep phase and then turn off automatically.
Don’t overdo it and don’t get your child used to sleeping with the light on, which could affect the quality of his sleep.

Make the room a reassuring cocoon

Nothing is more austere than going to bed in an untidy, poorly decorated room. In the dark, the objects piled up on the floor quickly turn into scary monsters! So to reassure your child, make a clean sweep and put everything in its place, clothes in the wardrobe and toys in a chest. As for decoration, choose carefully the frames you want to fix on the wall, some patterns can change in the dark. To ensure that the children are as soft as possible, choose a sleeping bag or a soft comforter cover in soft colors to create a reassuring cocoon in which they will want to take refuge.

Talk to the child and listen to his fears

Rather than saying "You have no reason to be afraid," encourage your child to express himself and talk about what scares him. If he tells you there are monsters in the closet, go with him to the closet, open all the doors with him and show him there are no monsters. Look under his bed with him and prove to him that there are no ferocious beasts or witches! You can also walk around the house or apartment with your child to show him that at night everything is just like the day but without the lights! And above all, tell him that you are close to him, that the living room and your bedroom are not far away and that you stay there to reassure him.

Be positive with your child

Avoid conflicts in the evening so that everyone falls asleep peacefully. Also avoid conflictual conversations between parents which can cause real stress in children, and a stressed child will be more likely to imagine terrifying things than if he is perfectly calm. For bedtime reading, avoid stories about monsters and witches. Also avoid stories about little children abandoned in the forest by their parents in the middle of the night... Give preference to happy and positive stories!