How do you know if your child is ready for a sleepover?
Your child will be most ready to sleep away from home between the ages of 9–12. If your child expresses a desire to have a sleepover at a younger age, try considering a half-night sleep party—you can pick them up at 11:00 pm in their jammies! It is important that you know the parents well who are hosting the party. Personal safety is of utmost importance when sending your child away for long periods.
Preparing a child for a sleepover
Helpful questions to ask yourself:
- Is your child evening or routine savvy?
- Can they get themselves all ready for bed on their own?
- Here is a great way to get some more information about your child’s readiness: ask your sitter how they handle their nighttime routine. If the sitter claims that they are completely independent, then
- It’s a go! Yay, send them on their merry way!
Signs that it is too soon for a sleepover
If your child needs a lot of attention and assistance during their bedtime routine, or has a fear of the dark or unfamiliar people, then you may want to wait. If your child wets the bed, you may want to hold off until they have mastered dry nights. Embarrassment should never be part of a sleepover, especially if you are not there to help them.
Sending a child to a sleepover
- Pack up a familiar toy, pillow, blanket, or family picture to add a sense of comfort.
- Pack a flashlight, digital camera or cool book or game to share
Go over rules for which you’d like your child to follow:
- Listen to the parents
- Sleep when parents ask them to
- Speak up if they need any assistance
- Feel free to call home at anytime, to say goodnight or to be picked up
- Have lots of fun!
Hosting a sleepover
- Keep it small and manageable
- Greet the parents and the children
- Know of any food restrictions/allergies, medications and special needs of each child
- Go over the rules and let them know where the bathrooms are
- Have activities ready for the evening (games, books, DVD’s etc)
- Set up a snack area with fun and healthy snacks
- Create cool area for them to camp out in and set up their bags(have a little light on in case they need to walk to the bathroom)
- Pass phone around for each child to say “Good Night” to their family
- When lights are out, let the silliness begin
- Give a few minute warning as to when you’d like them to actually sleep
- Have breakfast food readily available for when the morning munchies set in!
- Give parents an exact time for which the party ends