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When a child is afraid to sleep alone

When a child is afraid to sleep alone

Does your baby take a long time to fall asleep, are they fussy? Or, do they refuse to sleep alone? Follow the recommendations of our psychologist to solve this problem.

under 8 years

Our Wachanga psychologist has recommendations for parents - how to act in difficult situations and maintain a good relationship with your kid.

Fear and anxiety are natural emotions for people. And it is completely normal that as a child grows up, fears begin to grow, especially as they learn a lot of new things and a lot of incomprehensibility is introduced in their life. Therefore, it is very important to understand why your baby is afraid to sleep alone, so you can help them cope with this fear.

There could be several reasons:

  1. Your kid’s reacting to changes. This could be a move from their parent’s bedroom to their nursery/bedroom, a trip or vacation, starting school. Any change in life can trigger this fear. Fearing the unknown is normal.
  2. Fear of fictional characters. A certain image from a cartoon or a fairy tale might get stuck in your child’s head. Perhaps a character got scared by a monster, and now they see them in the dark.
  3. Your child is not emotionally ready for sleep. This happens when a baby is over excited before bedtime, maybe from playing noisy games, having fun - they’re just not ready to sleep.

Preschool children still don’t really think logically, they think clearly, figuratively, so sometimes their fantasies trick them into seeing scary things. If a kid doesn’t understand some situation at home, in the kindergarten or school, then their visual-figurative thinking will embellish and think out the alarming situation probably not in the best way, but in a way understandable to the child.

Children's fears most often arise from a lack of knowledge around a new situation. In this case, you need to talk with the baby and explain what is happening. Ask the child about their life, explain situations that they didn’t understand, and don’t avoid uncomfortable questions.

Don’t allow preschoolers to watch whatever on TV. Before you allow your child to watch something, watch it yourself, try to imagine how your baby will perceive what they saw.

Explain to your child why we need the night, why it’s important to get rest, restore their strength. Tell them how great it’ll be to have your own bed, like mom and dad.

It is important to be able to prepare your baby for sleep. It is necessary to responsibly approach this process and wisely choose evening activities for children. Kids do not always realize that they are tired, although they experience many emotions throughout the day, and absorb a lot of information. One of the best options is to read a book or watch a good, simple cartoon that won’t get your kid overly excited. If your child is very sensitive and impressionable, then books also need to be selected very carefully. It’s better to read about nature and animals before going to bed.

Come up with a quiet activity before going to bed that your child will like, that they’ll wait for, realizing they’ll be going to bed after. It is better that their interest is not repeated at another time of the day, and clearly signals the child that it is time to go to bed. It could be a favorite book, a quiet game. You must have some kind of ritual before going to bed, and should perform it daily.

Always follow a ritual, otherwise your baby won’t understand accountability. If adults can break the rules, then there’s no reason a child should follow them.

How a child sleeps, primarily depends on the parents. Therefore, it is especially important to monitor your child’s evening activities.

If changes in their regimen, rituals, or quiet games before bed don’t solve your child’s sleep problem, they’re still not sleeping well, and you’re worried, you should contact a specialist - pediatrician, psychologist, neurologist.

Be careful with your baby!

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