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How do I handle my 4 year old daughters nightmares?

My 4 year old has a nightmare every night sometime between 2 and 4 in the am. She is having dreams about monsters chasing her. Last night it was about a monster trying to eat her. This has been going on for a month. While I don't mind snuggling with her every night, my husband is not too happy about the disruption. I want to help her find a way to calm her fears. She was always a very good sleeper before, I hope she can get back there soon.


Asked by kato6970 at 1:33 PM on Jan. 7, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (5)
  • My 2.5 year old is waking every night right now, too, scared of monsters. At first I was telling my daughter that monsters weren't real, but that had no effect. I got some really good advice on CM, though: instead of saying they're not real, trying to get her to understand that her fears aren't logical, try helping her cope with her fears as real, substantiated fears. With my daughter what seems to be working is telling her that whenever she sees a monster, she should try to imagine what it would look like in a pink dress. (When I told her this, she said, "ah, it would be beautiful, not scary"). Then I told her that monsters can be girls and can be nice and pretty (she's into this stuff right now). Then I tell her to remind her stuffed animals of that whenever they get scared. As I leave the room, I hear her explaining that to them. She's still waking up scared, but she's letting me leave the room before she's asleep now.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 12:04 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • try explaining monsters are not real. For this I'd even recommend the sesame street book, There's A Monster At The End of This Book. after all, Grover is a monster.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:35 PM on Jan. 7, 2010

  • Get yourself a spray of air freshner and explain to her this spray will help her guard against monsters, spray it every night before going to bed it works like a charm.

    Answer by older at 1:46 PM on Jan. 7, 2010

  • what a neat trick older :)

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:30 PM on Jan. 7, 2010

  • My daughter went through a phase when she woke up from nightmares about monsters. A few weeks into it, the pest control guy came out to spray the house. She followed him around watching him spray everything and take the switch covers off and spray in there, and spray around the perimeter of the house. I told her that he sprayed for bugs and monsters, so now we definitely won't have either. The next time she woke up with a nightmare, I reminded her that we don't have monsters at our house and that was pretty much it for her. My son is 2 years younger and this carried immediately over to him, so he has never had an issue with monsters.

    Answer by slw123 at 9:42 PM on Jan. 7, 2010