Monster Dear Dr. B,

There are a lot of children's books about monsters. Why should I introduce the concept of monsters to my child when they are not even a real thing? Won't this only scare them and make them wonder if they are hiding under the bed?


Dear PB,

It's not a good idea to expose your baby to anything unnecessarily scary. But there are many age appropriate books that portray monsters as baby-friendly and far from threatening. At a certain age, typically around 3-4 years old, reading your child stories about monsters is actually beneficial because it allows you to introduce the concept of fear in a concrete, child-friendly way under controllable circumstances. Being exposed to a healthy degree of fear not only teaches children to be cautious but also how to respond to danger. When your child becomes scared, use it as an opportunity to explore their feelings and to help them understand what they mean. Teaching them how to cope with their fear of monsters in creative ways (like drawing a picture of the monster and then throwing it out) can help children feel safe, secure, and more confident in their ability to overcome other fears on their own.

Also— although fear of monsters can lead to stressful bedtime routines like numerous checks under the bed, rest assured that it is a good developmental sign. Since your child doesn’t actually see a monster under the bed but still believes that it's there, this suggests that he/she is engaging in abstract and creative thinking. A very healthy thing!

-Dr. B


Dr. B's Recommended Scary Books for Babies Under 3 Years Old:


Dr. B's Recommended Scary Books for Children Over 3-4 Years Old: