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How to Prepare Your Child for a Sleepover  

Preparing Your Child for a SleepoverThe first night away from home is a BIG DEAL for both parents and child. Last week, our son spent his first night away from home. He was with his aunt (and adores his older cousins), so we knew he was in good hands, but we still prepared him for the experience. Here are some tips that worked for us.

1. Wait until your child expresses an interest to stay overnight.

Child development experts recommend that you wait until your kid wants to spend the night somewhere else, and we think that’s great advice. It shows a readiness for time away from the parents and an excitement for trying new things.

2. Let your child know what to expect.

For very young children, there can be some confusion about who’s staying and who’s not. Explain to your child that he will be staying without Mommy and Daddy. Let him know that he’ll sleep in a different bed, will be eating different foods and will have a different routine for the night.

3. Send comfort objects.

Your child will already experience big changes, so try to make some things as routine and comfortable as possible. Send along his favorite pair of pajamas and a special toy. Let him wear his favorite clothes. He’ll feel more confident if some things are the same.

4. Tell your child’s it’s okay to change his mind.

Let your kid know that it’s okay to call you to come and get him if he wants to come home. You need to make sure that it’s a positive experience, and making your child stay when he’s upset can ruin all the fun he’s had. Don’t get upset if your child has had enough after a few hours—just go and pick him up with a smile.

5. Praise your child for trying.

Whether your child stays the entire night or just a few hours, praise your child for giving it a try. After all, even some adults have a hard time sleeping away from home.

5 Tips for Preparing Your Child for a Sleepover

Our son’s first night away from home was a success. He stayed until 6 am before calling us to pick him up. He’s already asked to do it again soon.

How did you prepare your child for the first night away?

SmillsK12

Tuesday 2nd of December 2014

These are great suggestions, Donella, especially sending your kid with items of comfort. Am sharing via K12's Pinterest for other moms to consider- thank you for posting!

Donella Crigger

Tuesday 2nd of December 2014

Thanks for sharing and for stopping by!

Trinity

Tuesday 25th of November 2014

This is great! Growing up, I remember a friend of mine having a panic attack when her mother dropped her off at our house. She freaked out and was sooo not ready to sleep over! Good read!

Donella Crigger

Wednesday 26th of November 2014

Oh my. Poor thing! Did she ever get used to sleeping over?

Joy Aletheia Stevens

Tuesday 25th of November 2014

My daughter is two-and-a-half and her first nights away were this last spring when my husband and I took a weekend away. She was at her Grandparents and she was fine and barely seemed to notice I wasn't there! Of course she spends a lot of time at her grandparents already, and we'd been slowly acclimating her to sleeping in the play yard there at nap time. I think those things helped a lot. Also she tends to be a pretty independent kid already. She hasn't had a night away since though, and when she's older and has another sleep over it might be like a "first time" all over again.

Donella Crigger

Wednesday 26th of November 2014

Acclimation certainly does help a lot. Our son's next sleepover will be at his grandma's. :)

mommiedaze

Monday 24th of November 2014

I'm trying to remember how old my boys were. I think two or three. They stayed at Grandma's house. They're both pretty independent. They loved going to Grandma's house so much that when I would go pick them up they'd cry because they didn't want to leave!

Donella Crigger

Wednesday 26th of November 2014

I have a feeling my son will be like that with his aunt. He's also a big fan of his grandma, and he wants to stay with her next.

Janell Kremer

Monday 24th of November 2014

Such helpful tips!

Donella Crigger

Wednesday 26th of November 2014

Thanks, Janell.