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Old 12-01-2005, 10:55 AM   #1
erin19
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My son will turn 3 end of December. I recently bought him a big bed and am trying to transition him to sleeping on his own in his room rather than with me. The problem is now he says his room is too dark. He has a nighlight on and I leave his door open with the hall light on. There is plenty of light. But he insists on having the light on in his room too. Is this common? When he was sleeping in my bed it was completely dark and he had no problems with that. Last night I turned the light off when he fell asleep and he instantly woke up and started yelling for me to turn it back on. Should I just let him sleep with the light on? I am just concerned that his quality of sleep will not be as good....any comments would be much appreciated.
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Old 12-01-2005, 11:53 AM   #2
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My son is eight and still likes the light on to fall asleep. If I am still up I will turn it off, but if not oh well.

My little guy sleeps soundly with the light, it doesn't affect his mood in anyway, he wakes up happy and rested.
I never saw any harm in it so I let it go.
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:00 PM   #3
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My son is 11 and still sleeps with a night light on. I also bought him a desk lamp to have on at night because he says it is still too dark. If your son does not play in his room very often you could put a 60 watt bulb in the overhead light so it will not be so bright.

I would go with the desk lamp though, you can get one at Goodwill for very little money and they would probably use regular bulbs. I bought a small one from Walmart and the bulb cost almost three dollars.
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:01 PM   #4
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Oh, and BTW, your son would sleep in the dark with you because he felt safe in your bed. He is just afraid to be by himself so don't make a big deal about it, just keep the light on or get him a desk lamp and he will eventually go to sleep without it. He is just scared and that is normal.
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Old 12-01-2005, 01:51 PM   #5
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Erin,
I agree he felt completely and totaly safe in the bed with you and no light.

My daughter recently turned 13. She still must have a night light. She also requires ALL the doors closed (closet, bathroom and main door) and she must have music. How high maintenence! .. Just kidding, we all have our own quirks. It was pretty bad at one time. She would not go to camp because she could not have a night light or leave her flashlight on. Well I solved it and she was so happy. I bought glow sticks. They last several hours and are not "babyish" (the other girls would tease her).

The desk lamp is a good idea. It illuminates less light but is still pretty bright. You may want to try to get one that you can gradually go down in wattage. Eventually he will be ok with the nightlight.

One more note: Have you discussed why he requires this? If it is fear of "monsters" etc., try making up a funny dancing song to rid the monsters from his room and check under the bed with him and in corner (shadowy places) I did this with Evie for nightmares. IT WORKED .. and I still do it to lighten the air after she is awoken by a nightmare. I normally get her giggling, stay a few minutes and leave.
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Old 12-01-2005, 02:46 PM   #6
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yes, my son started being afraid of the dark too around that age. He started sleeping alone in his room when he was 2, and it was always dark, but around when he turned 3, he would ask me to leave the light on. I had the same concerns as you, and ended up buying a dimmer for his desk lamp. That works.
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Old 12-01-2005, 03:03 PM   #7
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My son (9) had the same issues as all of yours. He has now gotten to the point where he can sleep with just a nightlight, it's actually a fish tank, but once in awhile he'll ask to sleep with me and I'll let him. I figure it's because he is insecure and as long as he knows it isn't an every day thing it's ok. He went a long time with needing a full light on and really what does it matter? You just want to have the lowest possible level of light that they are comfortable with so that it doesn't damage their visual development. I work research optometrists and there have been studies linking night-lights during childhood to myopia but they are still very speculative. Sleeping in total darkness is not normal either. Since the dawn of man they have slept by the light of the stars and moon, so a little light isn't a bad thing.
Eventually they grow out of it and the less of a big deal you make it the faster they grow out of it. The latest thing we found was smudging. We went to a pow wow and he learned about how they use the smoke from sage to banish evil spirits so now if he is feeling a bit afraid we smudge his room and he thinks all the "monsters" are gone. I told him they don't like the smell. I found it makes me feel better as well. I have often threatened to smudge my coworkers if they don't lighten up.
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Old 12-01-2005, 03:39 PM   #8
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Im glad to hear this is normal. I did change the bulb in my sons light to a 40 watt bulb, which we'll try tonight. He has been saying there are "bad guys" in his room, so maybe I will try one of the suggestions you all had about getting rid of 'them.' Thanks for all the ideas and encourgement!
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