My now three year old has been falling asleep on his own and sleeping through the night since he was 11 months old. We never went through fear of the dark or fear of monsters or any of that. He would lay down in his room after our routines and fall asleep on his own.
Two nights ago, he woke up screaming and yelling for daddy. I think he may have rolled off his mattress as well. Daddy had our baby, who is dealing with a cold, lying on him, so I ran in. The terror in his voice scared me like nothing else. He kept saying how he was scared and he had to hide and asking me not to leave him. Of course, I searched his room and asked him what was wrong but he isn’t that great at communicating his thoughts. I laid down with him and every time I moved, he grabbed me and asked me not to leave. I explained to him I was just turning and I would be there. Eventually our baby needed nursing so daddy switched with me and he was terrified to be alone. I told him daddy would stay.
This was two nights ago and my boy, who has never feared being alone or sleeping on his own, is terrified to go down to sleep for a nap and bedtime. He is so scared that the mention of sleeping brings tears to his eyes. It’s breaking my heart to see him like this and not be able to help him. Here are some of the things we have tried
- Talking to him about it
- Praying with him about it
- Extra happy stories and shows before bed
- Adding a nightlight
- Pretending to sweep away anything he said was scary
- Playing in his room with the light on
None of these things have worked. It’s to the point where I now dread nap time and bedtime because I hate seeing the fear and sadness in my boys eyes and face. It kills me that as his mom, I can’t take this fear away. I can’t magically make all well. I can’t do anything, besides sleep with him every nap and bedtime to help him.
The only thing I can do is continue to pray with him about it. Continue to reassure him that mommy and daddy are here and he is safe. Help him each and every time, as much as possible to know that he is ok. We will continue to let him know that we believe he is scared and we will help him through it however we can.
To anybody else who has gone through this, I would love advice! To anybody else going through this, I’m so sorry and I’m hoping your little one overcomes the fear soon too!