How-to Prepare Your Child for Their First Sleepover

How old was your kid when they had their first sleepover at a friend’s?  Were they nervous?  Were you?  I’m already dreading the day that The Twincesses will be invited to their first sleepover.  I would much rather they never go to a sleepover,  and just have friends sleep at our house, but I realize that’s totally unrealistic, and also, unfair.  I have control issues, I can’t help it!  

Truthfully, I can barely bring myself to think about The Twincesses even sleeping over at their grandparent’s someday….and it’s coming up soon, because Hubby and I are going out of town in August for my bestie’s wedding in Jasper, and we aren’t bringing The Twincesses!  I’m the Matron of Honor, and it would just be too difficult and stressful to bring the kiddo’s across the country for 3 days.  So, we’re going to have The Twincesses sleep over at my in-laws while we’re gone.

Before The Twincesses sleep over at their grandparents, I want to prepare them (and myself), to make sure that they have a great time, and feel comfortable sleeping away from home, so I’ve created a list of tips to help prepare them (and myself) for their first sleepover away.

1. Pack your childs favorite pajamas.  Being able to sleep in their favorite pajamas while at a sleepover will help make night time more comfortable for your child.   The Twincesses are obsessed with their Finn & Emma zebra pajama’s, and would sleep in them every night if they could.  These p.j.’s are suuuper soft, made with G.O.T.S. certified 100% organic cotton and are so comfy because of the wide elastic waistband! And I love that they are colored with non-toxic, eco friendly dyes, and are ADORABLE!

2. Pack extra clothes.  Spare clothes are always a good idea, especially in a new situation.  Some children may have “accidents” or, just get plain messy while playing, and need an outfit change.   

3. Pack your child’s comfort items.  Pack the stuffed animal that they can’t sleep without, their security blanket, or their favorite book.  Basically pack anything that will help your child to fall asleep, and feel safe while sleeping in someone else’s home. 

4. Ask your child questions.  Find out what they think will happen at the sleepover.  Ask if they’re nervous about anything.  Ask if they feel ready to spend the night at their friend’s home.  Ask if they want to bring anything in particular with them for their sleepover.  Ask anything that you feel will help put your child at ease.

5. Talk to your child about what typically happens at a sleepover.  Explain to them the types of fun activities that may happen, and any feelings that may come up for them while sleeping away from home.   This will help mentally prepare your child for the sleepover, and prevent any worry or fear of the unknown.

6. Let your child know that they can call you, or come home anytime (unless you’re out of town).  This will help your child feel more secure while away.   I would hate if my Twincesses were at a sleepover, feeling homesick, or scared, but felt like they couldn’t call or come home.  I would be so sad if they were worried that Hubby or I would be upset with them, we definitely wouldn’t!  Let your kids know that you won’t be mad, even if they call in the middle of the nigh and are wanting to come home. 

7. Ask about the activities planned for the kids.  It’s totally okay to reassure yourself by asking questions about what the children will be doing at the sleepover.   I totally want to know what food my kids are going to eat, if movies will be watched, if they plan on going to the park or elsewhere.  I will ask anything and everything I can think of so that I won’t worry, and wonder what the kids are up to!

8. Set ground rules.  Make sure that everyone is aware of any particular rules or expectations or concerns you may have.  If you don’t want your child to watch scary movies or to eat something specific, say so.  Yes sleeping over supposed to be fun, but you don’t want your child to come home and start having nightmares because they watched a horror movie that wasn’t age appropriate! 

9. Don’t forget essential care items.  Anything your child will need to use before bed like a toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, any medications…etc   If your child has a regular bedtime care routine at home and is able to do it at their sleepover it will help them adjust to being away.  Also, if you have kids who are particular about certain things like toothpaste flavors, this can help prevent a meltdown if the sleepover host doesn’t have something they’re used to using. 

10. Practice!  Have your kids sleep over at a relative’s home before they start having sleep overs at a friends.  Sleeping at a family member’s will help them get used to sleeping somewhere other than home, will keep you from worrying as much, and make you both feel more at ease about the whole experience!

I hope this list helps you and your child when the time is right to have a sleepover!  Do you have any other tips to prepare children for sleepovers?  Please let me know!

Have a wonderful rest of the week, friends!


*The pajamas were gifted to The Twincesses, however all thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.*

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