The first sleepover know-how!
Celebrations, LIFESTYLE, Motherhood
The first sleepover is a big milestone. You can also call it a "rite of passage" as it often marks the beginning of independence and the development of social connections outside your immediate family.
Sleepovers are all the rage, and it is only natural that your child wants her friend to sleep over at your house, or to be able to do so at her friend’s place. It means a lot of time to spend together, meals and getting to know the other person even a bit better.
We know that a sleepover does not involve much sleeping, but there is more and once the date is set, you will need some advance planning.
And we have all the first sleepover know-how:
What is the right age for the first sleepover?
Every child gets to this point at a different time. We think that a general rule is, that the child has to be old enough to go to sleep on his/her own without a long ritual from a parent. If your child is afraid of the dark, bed-wetting or has separation anxiety you may want to wait a little longer. Another general rule, your child should be able to sleep in its own bed for whole nights. Coming over to your bed should be an exception.
How to manage your child’s first sleepover?
Sleepovers are a wonderful way of promoting independence. And a night at a friend’s house is a great way. They get a peek into another family’s daily life which can often open a book of ‘aha moments’, because you may not be the only parent asking to clear the table or to brush their teeth properly.
Not to forget, that it is a big step for you as well and therefore you should feel comfortable with the choice of the ‘host family’. Make sure that the sleepover is not the first time your child will enter her/ his friends home. Get to know the parents a little bit and, of course, make sure they have your contact details.
You should also discuss an ’emergency exit’, in case your child wants to go home last minute.
What to bring?
The three F’s: Favourite pillow, favourite pyjamas and, favourite toy!
The essentials: A change of clothes, underwear and a toothbrush, toothpaste and other toiletries for that night and the next morning.
Check in with the host if there is anything specific to bring for the sleepover, like a sleeping bag or towels.
Give your child a hug, wish them a fun time and tell them that they can call you at any time. The host family has your number and can arrange the call.
Also, make sure that your child knows that they can call you for bedtime to say ‘Good Night’.
Are you hosting the first sleepover?
Definitely start with one friend or 2 at the most. Keeping it small means you are able to keep an eye.
Set a date, invite your child’s friends and make a list with your child. That list includes the choice of snacks, dinner, movie as well as things the other children need to bring.
Ask the other parents for possible allergies and things to know about bedtime routines.
Make a plan for siblings. Especially younger ones, because they love to hang out with the guests.
Have the parents drop guests late in the day and arrange a specific pick-up time the next morning. If kids spend too much time together, they may start bickering.
Stay true to your general house rules, for example, no running, no playing in the master bedroom or no food on the sofa.
And most of all, have fun!