Monsters Under the Bed

How Nannies and Au Pairs Can Help Children that are Afraid of Monsters

Another common childhood fear discussed in the March 2010 issue of Be the Best Nanny Newsletter is monsters under the bed.

At one time or another, every child imagines monsters under the bed or in a closet. Preschoolers have very vivid imaginations and trouble differentiating reality and fantasy.
Just one of the many recommendations we listed in the March issue of the nanny trade publication to help ease fears of a child that is scared of monsters is making sure the child only watches age-appropriate television shows, movies, and video games. Any media with blood, scary characters, or scary noises is usually scary enough for young children to remember while they’re lying on their beds alone in the dark.
What advice do you have for helping children who are afraid there are monsters in the dark?


  1. I had the same fears when I was little (apparently) and this is how my parents handled it. They bought a can of room freshener and told me it was magic spray that kept the monsters away. I guess, since I could smell it, I could believe it. I am told that it worked to ease my fears and allow me to go to sleep. Erin O’Neil, Portland OR

  2. I support the ideas that were presented in the newsletter, and I had heard of a concept similar to the one Erin suggests above as well.But, I also saw a great way my sister used to handle it with her young son when he was afraid of Monsters. She would go into his room and growl in each of the corners, in the closet, and under the bed to show him there was nothing there, but then growl with him (this would get him to smile) to scare any monsters away who were thinking about appearing. She said this is what you do if you ever see them, you make a lot of noise and scare them right back.Now, my sister is a police officer, and I think about some of the monsters that do things to kids, and she is doing her son a great service by teaching him how to make noise at that point. (or use loud strong words later when he did take self defense classes)And, I think teaching kids to have confidence and self esteem begins with helping them how to be brave and confident. Because this can help them with bullies at school, who are unfortunately everywhere.We could say oh it's up to the parents to decide how to tackle this issues. Sometimes parents don't have the answers, and turn to us. It's nice that series like these are being done to help be better caregivers for the children and their parents.

  3. As far as night monsters I developed quite a routine which works and we still do to this day.When I put them to bed, they put all their worried or sad thoughts into my hands (pulling them out of their brain), and I throw them away. This takes them out so that they can't come out as bad dreams. I then pull "good dreams" out of the air and load them into their brain. (Mind over matter)As I put them to bed, I spray some "Sweet Dreams Spray" into their room (a short burst of air freshener) and they have that smell with them as they go to sleep.Reyna HorowitzNY NY

  4. ScareMeNots to the Rescue. Get them a Monster Protector…these guys have won (7) Toy Awards and are great for eliminating child fears.

  5. From my childhood, my mom would "pretend call" the zoo (on my play phone) each night to make sure all the tigers were in their cages. This seemed to reassure me and I slept through the night. Some books advise not indulging the child's fantasy. Why admit monsters are real if they aren't? But it worked for me.Julia Friendswood, TX

  6. The family I work for is Catholic and so am I so the children use a rosary to put under their pillows (which was the same thing that my mother had done for me when I was a young having nightmares). I explain that there is no such thing as monsters per se, but that anything that was "bad" would be afraid of something that represents the power of God. In any event, it worked. If you are not Catholic then you will want to use something other than a rosary, but almost every faith has some kind of holy symbol that is used to represent the power of God. Another advantage to come out of this whole episode was that it helped me teach that good is stronger that evil. From, Esperanza RodriguezNew Haven CT

  7. The parents I work for usually make the nighttime routines and decisions. But at naptime we just leave the door open and make sure closet doors are shut.

  8. I learned that Bye Bye Germs Anti-Viral Spray is a healthy alternative to traditional hand sanitizers or antiseptic sprays. Check out Bye Bye Monster products at

  9. Let children play about their fear (but without teasing him about it). By this I mean engage him in playful activities that give him a different perspective and allow him to laugh. For example, you can ask him to be a monster, while you play the role of a frightened child. Let him use costumes or masks in whatever way he wants, while you put on a mock display of fright. Get him to laugh, and let him be in control of the game. This kind of role reversal accompanied by the tension release mechanism of laughter can be very effective in helping children master their fears. He will probably enjoy these monster games and want to play them again and again. As he becomes bolder in his monster play, you can try playing these games in the dark.

  10. We used monster be gone spray. The mom told her children that since it was sprayed so often the monsters decided to move along and bother others. Soon there was no need to use the spray.

  11. We used monster be gone spray. The mom told her children that since it was sprayed so often the monsters decided to move along and bother others. Soon there was no need to use the spray.

  12. My charge's family was Catholic and she used to pray. So when she said she was afraid of monsters under her bed- I'd tell her to pray about it- and ask God to take care it. I assured her He'd do a good job- and that her Guardian Angel was looking over her too.I also told her I lived in the area for many many years- and I've never seen any monsters- they just don't come to our area.

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