Childhood sleepovers are a significant rite of passage. They are desired by most children for years prior to their first sleepover endeavor. Sleepovers come with great anticipation from adults and kids alike. Many parents start to prepare their children by doing a practice sleepover with family first. Having a sleepover at their grandparent’s house often makes for an easy trial run. Being with family will add an extra sense of security while getting familiar with the concept of a sleepover. Another way to experiment with sleepovers is to host one first. Having a friend over for a sleepover can make an easy transition when it is time to sleepover at a friend’s home. Sleepovers can be a difficult adjustment for parents. It symbolizes the beginning of growing up. Sleepovers start earlier than ever before. Evaluating comfort level and whether the timing is right will help to determine if it is the plan is a good one. Getting to know the host parents will ease the transition for everyone. Having play dates ahead of time will ensure that the families are comfortable with one another. Forming a friendship with the other family will create a sense of ease for future sleepovers too. Ready, set, go it is time to prepare for sleepovers.
*Ready or not
Typically sleepovers start around the age of eight years old. Some children might be ready sooner or later then this age. The success of the sleepover will depend on the readiness of the child. Children are usually thrilled to go away for their first sleepover experience. If their friends are having sleepovers, they might be even more anxious to try it themselves. The timing for arranging a sleepover can ensure success. If a child sleeps through the night, maintains dryness, follows rules outside of the home and is able to separate from family, your child is probably ready.
*Set to pack
Your child will likely be excited to pack up an overnight bag. Gather a sleeping bag, blanket, pillow, toothbrush, pajamas, and a set of clothing items. These are sleepover essentials. Your child may have a few comfort items to pack such as a stuffed animal, flashlight or favorite book. Placing a phone number on the inside of your child’s sleepover bag may provide a sense of comfort. This step can be helpful even if the child has the phone number memorized.
*Go sleep over
Your child is ready to sleepover and waiting to leave the house. Most children are happy to head to the sleepover without an extra thought. Your child will take comfort in knowing you are a phone call away. Spend a few minutes discussing safety with your child. For each child this conversation will be a bit different. Discuss what will be expected, where the child will be sleeping, changing clothes and any other activities that will be planned. A goodnight phone call can be helpful for some children especially if they are nervous about going on the sleepover.
The planning and conversations before the sleepover will make it an enjoyable experience. Your child will love the attention of planning for this big event. Each subsequent sleepover will become a familiar and comfortable routine.