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I have a 3 year old son.

Whenever we go to sleep, he will start crying when we turn off the lights and insists that lights be turned on when he is trying to sleep. So, we keep it on. When he falls asleep, we turn it off.

Later in the night when he wakes up, he starts crying again that we have turn off the lights.

Keeping the light on is really spoiling my and my wife's sleep.

How do I deal with such a kid?

BTW: We tried to show him some toys which shows light when turned on...while we kept the lights OFF for the room. This was successful for couple of days...after that he got bored and again we are back to "keep lights on" schedule :(

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You could try using eye masks, such as the ones available for long haul flights. –  Dave Clarke Feb 16 '13 at 20:44
    
When you say keeping the light on spoils your sleep, is there only the one room, or could you set up a sleeping space for either one of the parents or the toddler in the other room? –  deworde Feb 17 '13 at 16:57
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4 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Our son was the same. Have you tried using a night light? We started with one that was rather bright, but not so bad that it would ruin his sleep. Then after a while we moved to a smaller one, in the corner of his room.

The whole process took weeks, and included rewards for nights spent with only the night light.

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We did the same thing and it worked pretty much as well. Took a while, but she went from all lights to a small night-light in a matter of weeks. –  Valkyrie Feb 18 '13 at 12:17
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Try using a red LED light. Very low energy consumption, still enough light for your child, and the red light shouldn't spoil your sleep — it might even help.

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I agree -- red is the only color that doesn't mess with your night vision, and also the one that affects melatonin production the least. (More melatonin = more sleep. Light (especially bright, especially blue and white) disrupts melatonin production.) –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Oct 14 '13 at 17:22
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Our youngest wanted a light so we got a teddy bear that glows gently for ten minutes before fading out and turning itself off.

This was bright enough to keep her happy - she could cuddle it close, dim enough that it didn't disturb her sister, who was in the same room, and didn't require us to come and turn it off.

If she wakes in the night, a quick squeeze of the bear makes it glow again, so she has control of the light.

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You could give the little one a wind-up torch, to have nearby when he wakes up in the night. If you charge it before he goes to sleep, he can use it when he wakes up. A torch has the specific job of dispelling the darkness - rather different to toys which just light up when turned on. This distinction might have some psychological value.

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