Please Leave The Light On Mummy

For some reason, since Holly started back at school in September she has had trouble at bedtime. Since she was a baby she fell into a great routine and always seemed to thrive by that. At three years old she would use her Gro Clock to tell what time it was, and turn her light out at whatever number I said with very little prompting. She never kicked up a fuss, she loved her bed and unlike her brother, was amazing at going to sleep.

No trouble aged two

Four months ago that all changed. I'm not sure what triggered it, but it hasn't been an easy adjustment for her or us and bedtimes have become something I dread. Holly now refuses to go to sleep and it seems no matter how much cuddling or soothing I do she doesn't drop off until she's literally tired out. She's been telling me she doesn't like being on her own, she doesn't like her bed and that she's scared of the dark and it has literally got to the point where we are both in tears and I just haven't known what to do to fix it.

Three years ago we went on holiday to Cornwall and as Jack was only two and not used to sleeping in a bed with no sides, which is all we had there, we would leave the lounge light on so he could see in the night. From then on he always needed the halfway light on at home, so then of course Holly got used to it. Neither of them will now let me shut their bedroom doors on a night and if they wake up and I've turned the light out they get upset.

Excited about her new bed, aged three

It's now escalated that Holly needs a light on to go to sleep. My mum bought her a lamp before Christmas and this has transformed bedtime, but I'm not sure how happy this makes me. On one hand she is back to her old self, going to sleep when it's the right time and not constantly shouting down. On the other hand I can't see how getting used to having a light on is a good thing.

Right now we are just going with it - I cannot be trekking up and down the stairs every few minutes until 10pm and she needs her sleep. Maybe this light stops the monsters and reassures her she is safe and if that is the way, then so be it. This parenting malarky is so trial and error, I'm never sure whether I'm doing it wrong or not, and that is often the hardest part. All I can do is my best and hope that I've got it right.

Aged six


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