How to Monster-Proof Your Bed
We’ve all been there—You’re about to get into bed, when you realize the light switch and your bed are on opposite sides of the room. That means, once you turn off the light, you are at risk of a monster attack until you are safely under the covers.
What do you do? You can either sleep with the light on. Or you can risk it all by turning the light off and running and jumping into your bed as if your life depends on it, because it does.
You probably remember doing this as a kid. Or maybe you remember doing this last night. (No judgment; I get it.) And if you have a little kid, this is probably the reality they’re living right now. But it turns out that this fear is a very real, and very common, phobia.
It’s called “teraphobia,” and it is a fear of monsters under the bed. Teraphobia is most common among pre-school-age children and becomes less pronounced during the early elementary years. In some cases, it continues into adulthood.
While teraphobia is scary for kids and inconvenient for parents, it’s totally normal. As a matter of fact, it’s an important part of childhood development. So, as a parent, you’re probably going to have to deal with monsters under the bed at some point in your parenting life.
To help you get through those pre-school years, let’s talk about what you can do to keep the monsters at bay, so you and your kids get the sleep you need.
Create a Bedtime Routine
Bedtime routines are all about providing consistency and making your child feel comfortable and calm before going to bed. Think about it: if you do the same thing every night before bed, and your child doesn’t get eaten by monsters every night, that’s pretty good proof to your kids that the routine helps.
Here are some things you can add to your nightly routine to help calm your child before bed:
- A warm bath
- A bedtime story
- A song
- Warm milk
- Talking about their day
Also, don’t be afraid to use nightlights. If it calms your child’s nerves and helps them go to sleep, do it.
Set Monster Traps
Just like monsters under the bed aren’t real, monster traps also aren’t real. But since monsters are very real to your child, they might appreciate some monster sabotage. Here are some ideas to scare the monsters away:
Monster Spray (aka Aromatherapy)
Just like bug repellant, you can use Monster Spray to keep the monsters away. For your “monster spray,” you can use your favorite essential oil or air freshener to spray around the bed, closet, window, or any other suspicious area of their bedroom.
To make the Monster Spray more legit, make a special label for your spray bottle (or print one of these), so it’s clear to your child that it’s meant to be used for de-monstering.
If you want your monster spray to do double duty (de-monsterize and help your child sleep) consider using these essential oils:
- Sweet orange
Monster Light (aka Night Light)
Again, the monster light works the same way a bug light works. You can either tell your child that the light zaps monsters that come too close. Or you can tell them the light works as a repellant and keeps the monsters out of the room. Whatever strategy works best for your child.
Monster Trap (aka a Shoe Box)
If your kid isn’t convinced by the monster spray and night light, you may need to make a monster strap. If you need some ideas, Google leprechaun traps and there are a ton of options. And if your kid is scared of leprechauns, you can kill two birds with one stone.
Cuddle with a Friend
Sometimes having a friend next to them, like a family pet or a stuffed animal, can make your child feel protected. If you don’t have a pet or a special stuffed animal, it might be worth it to buy a new stuffed animal who is responsible for protecting your child while they sleep.
Another great option is a Pillow Cub. You can get them a cute husky, shark, sloth, or unicorn to ward off the monsters and to align their cute little spines while they sleep. And do you really think a monster is going to mess with a kid sleeping in a shark’s mouth? I don’t think so.
Talk It Out
If all else fails, it might be time to talk to your child. I know – total bummer. Just kidding! Calm down.
When you talk to your child, make sure you don’t laugh at their fears. Yes, sometimes it’s hilarious, but they don’t think so. Be respectful and sensitive to their feelings while reassuring them that everything will be fine and that they’re safe.
Sometimes having them talk about their fears out loud helps get rid of the fear. The same principle works when talking about bad dreams. Once you say it out loud, it usually sounds pretty silly and helps you get over it faster. When the words, “I had to fight Voldemort for the last open bathroom stall,” come out of your mouth, you’re probably ready to go back to sleep.
If your child is too young to talk to you about their fears, maybe watch Monsters, Inc. with them. Who knows, they might actually love monsters after they watch it.
Parenting is hard, especially when you just want to go to sleep. So, this Halloween, when monsters are most likely to be hiding under beds, keep your kid’s room monster free with our de-monsterization strategies. Happy monster hunting!