I don't think it is a fear of the dark persay, but a fear of not being able to see mummy. Our 5 month old is going through the same stage.
I hate the dark and have always has a small light on during the night. My son, 18 months, will not go to sleep unless he has one on. Also what JadeFaerie said---they wake up and mommy is not there, then they get scared.
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