Acknowledge their fears. Tell them that you can see how scared or worried they are. Let them know that you understand. That way, they’ll know they can come to you with their worries and fears. You can also:
Try some techniques to calm and soothe:
Make sure they have enough light. A night light can be helpful for children who are afraid of the dark. A dim lamp in a corner of the bedroom can do the trick. Or you could leave their bedroom door slightly open with a light on in the hallway. As long as it’s quiet, leaving the door open can help them feel less separate from you, too. Just make sure that any light is not so bright that it stops them falling asleep.
Check in on them every so often. If your child is worried about being alone, tell them you will check back on them in five minutes. If they’re still awake, you can reassure them again, and say you will check back in 10 minutes. Repeat this until they are asleep. Each time, increase the amount of time before you check in. Go to 15 minutes, then 20 minutes, and so on. Make sure you don’t spend too long reassuring them when you do check in.
If your child is very upset and you don’t think they will sleep if you leave them, it’s OK to stay with them for a while. Try not to do this often, or even for two nights in a row. Otherwise they might expect you to do it every night or think they can’t sleep without you staying with them.
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