6 Tips on How to Help Your Child Overcome the Fear of Sleeping Alone
When your child has become too worried to sleep through the night alone, parents will try anything, whether its begging, pleading or outright bribery. By trying the following techniques, you can give your child the tools that they need to overcome their fear of sleeping alone and avoid the bedtime hassles.
1. Pillow Talk
While you shouldn’t give into any whining or crying, you should always give your child a chance to bend your ear before bedtime. Talking to your child about whatever is on their troubled mind goes a long way towards assuaging any fears that they may be experiencing and helps them to drift off peacefully. Giving them an open forum to discuss anything that is on their mind will also bolster your overall relationship with the child.
2. Allow For Self-Regulation
Should you be allowing your child to stay up as late as they want? Certainly not, but that doesn’t mean that you have to force them to go to bed at whatever hour works for you. Your job as a mother or father is not to “put them down”, its to help them get ready for bed. While they need to sleep at a decent hour, giving them autonomy can help them to overcome their fear of sleeping alone.
3. Ditch The Screens
Did you know that excessive exposure to screens can cause your child to experience increased anxiety before bedtime? When a child is exposed to screens before bedtime, this seemingly simple action serves to inhibit their body’s ability to release melatonin and when the melatonin release is compromised, your little one will have a tougher time sleeping alone.
4. Maintain a Routine
Humans thrive on routine and we are creatures of habit by nature. Our children are certainly no different and if you are constantly disrupting their bedtime routine, this will cause anxiety to set in, as your child reaches out for the familiar to calm their unsettled nerves. Find what works for them and stick with it.
5.Read To Them
By reading your child a bedtime story, you are creating an environment where they do not have to fear any sort of evil that lurks in the night, since their parents are right there with them and providing them with bedtime entertainment. They are able to forget their worries, relax and drift off to dreamland without becoming overly anxious.
6. Regulate Their Diet
If you are allowing your child to consume any sort of caffeinated beverage before bedtime, you are only serving to increase any anxiety that they might already be feeling and if they are able to get to sleep, they are more likely to wake up during the night and crawl into bed with you. Should the child be using medications that you believe are causing anxiety, consult a physician before altering their prescriptions.
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