Getting rid of nightmares and monsters under the bed

As a toddler starts to see the world differently and begins to understand things in new ways, their brain can become over active and this can lead to nightmares and a cross over between the real world and make believe. This is the time where they will start having monsters under the bed or in the wardrobe.

Normally these monsters and nightmares will go away with a little bit of comfort and reassurance. The only time this should be a cause for concern is if they last for a long period of time and are severely affecting your child, in which case you should seek professional help for your child.

There are a number of things you can do that will help your child overcome their fears while their brains are trying to cope with changes and difficulties of establishing what is real and what is not.

Take your toddlers fears seriously

Having someone not believe you when you are scared is horrible and the situation your toddler is in is no different.

If they generally believe that a monster is under the bed, have a look under the bed for them and show them nothing is there. Even if you have to inspect their room every night, surely it is a small price to pay for a peaceful nights sleep for both you and your toddler.

Reassure your toddler to calm nightmares

Reassuring your toddler that there are no monsters or things that can hurt them because you are around is very important to your toddler. That extra cuddle or those last few words might be the comfort they need to fight off those bad dreams.

Try buying them a special teddy or toy that will protect them during the night and will scare away any monsters.

Role-play to show your toddler who is boss

It may sound like a silly idea, but role play with your toddler can help reassure them that they are big enough and strong enough to fight off monsters and other things your toddler is having night mares over.

Try you role-playing a scary monster and get your toddler to fight you off, or get your toddler to protect a soft toy from a silly monster. However you do it, you are trying to show your toddler that monsters are silly and funny and your toddler can fight them off.

Monsters are fun and silly

Try and find a film, book or video that your toddler would like and shows that monsters are not so scary after all. A film like Monsters Inc always went down a treat and proved that monsters can be nice as well.

Use your own experience of nightmares

How do you comfort yourself when you are scared? What did you do to help yourself feel better? Teaching your toddler something that you have experienced yourself is easier than learning any technique and will help your toddler for years to come.

Keeping the light on at night time

If your toddler is only scared at night, why not try using a nightlight or keeping the door ajar with the hall light on. That way your toddler can see there is nothing moving around if they wake up during the night.

Have a look at this link for more help coping with toddler nightmares.