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“Mummy, I’m frightened . . . “

Mummy Matters I’m pretty sure that this is a stage that most children go through, although I don’t remember Curly ever being frightened in the night. With Curly once he was asleep, he was asleep until the morning. Just recently Little Bean has been waking in the night more and more frequently and crying out “Mummy, I’m frightened . . .” and it’s horrible to not be able to take her fear away. The really hard part is that she doesn’t really say what she is frightened of other than ‘her bedroom’. I ask her what it is that she doesn’t like about her bedroom, I suppose for her age she has quite a big bedroom but it’s very girlie and pretty. It isn’t dominated by big pieces of furniture to cast nasty shadows. She doesn’t complain that she is frightened of monsters or anything like that, she just cries and cries that she is too scared to go to sleep. She has never been attached to one particular teddy, she just sleeps with a bundle of them which she changes nightly and listens to various CD’s.

When she was a baby right through to perhaps 9 months ago she slept totally in the dark but then she was given a colour changing night-light and now she always sleeps with that on but I sometimes wonder if this was a bad move as they can create odd shadows on the walls. A few nights ago I was up with her from 2am to 5am and I was shattered the following day.

She sleeps in a junior bed so unfortunately I can’t snuggle up with her to help her fall asleep I just have to drape myself across the side of the bed in a very uncomfortable position and get cold. I don’t know what else to do, if you have any hints or tips ANYTHING is worth a try for the sake of a happy girl (and a not-so-tired Mummy!).

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  1. January 20, 2012 / 7:12 am

    In my opinion, totally textbook. Both mine slept int he dark til about 3 and then insisted on lots of lights. Both started saying they were scared but couldn’t articulate why. I think this is when they start having vivid dreams, including scary ones. I’m afraid to say i’m pretty tough “no, there’s nothing to be afraid of go back to sleep”. but it hink that’s through sleep selfishness. Bad mummy.


    • mummymatters
      January 21, 2012 / 11:55 am

      Not a bad mummy, sometimes we just have to do what we can to get through these stages. I have now moved all of her big brother’s DVD’s from the general collection and put them up into his bedroom so that she can only watch the ‘fluffy’ dvds to see if that makes a difference? Only time will tell I guess x

  2. January 20, 2012 / 7:36 am

    That’s a tough one! Could you try a small, ordinary, lamp, perhaps placed out of direct view, with a low output, say a 7W low energy? Then you could make sure there are no nasty shadows.

    • mummymatters
      January 21, 2012 / 11:54 am

      That is what we are currently trying and it certainly seems to help a little, although she has refused to remove her colour changing light so now she has two night lights!!!

  3. MumtoC
    January 20, 2012 / 5:55 pm

    This is an issue that is ongoing in our house too. C often wakes through the night saying he is scared, or that he has a dragon/monster/shadows that are scaring him. He also told me over breakfast this week that “last night there was a lady standing on the fence in the garden”. We’ve noticed that its been a regular occurrance since he was around 2 and a half. I think he must have gained his “night terrors” from me, as I sleep walk and also imagine that there are people or “things/objects” in my bedroom. As you have, we’ve bought a plug in night light (which is a constant orange glow), and he is not as bad as he was. I think as you say it may be a stage they go through, but you could try asking LB if there is anything different she wants to do before bed, which might make her feel more confident that she can fall asleep without being frightened. I know its just as awful for parents having broken sleep, and you can relate it back to getting the interrupted sleep when they were bottle fed or during their teething stages. xxx

    • mummymatters
      January 21, 2012 / 11:53 am

      So far the night light is helping but she is still waking up lots, although it is reassuring to hear that it does seem to be a phase that most children go through at this age. I have asked her if she wants to move her bedroom around at all to make it less scary and she has changed a few things. I also told her that before she goes to sleep at night she should say in her toughest voice “go away scary things” and it will frighten them all away. She does this two or three times and its so hard to keep a straight face but she is very proud of herself for “making the scary things go away”. I figure anything is worth a try 🙂 xx

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