Are you and your child prepared for their first sleepover? Read our top ten points below and see what you need to know before your little one unrolls the sleeping bag.
1. Does your child want to sleepover or is it just peer pressure? If there’s a hesitation or reluctance, make sure you talk to your child about it first, away from friends or other parents. Assess whether or not your child is mature and responsible enough to spend the night away from home. Can they handle another family’s rules and regulations, no matter how different they may be from your own?
2. When prepping your child for their first sleepover, talk them through the evening, pizza, a movie, computer time, staying up late, etc. Reassure them that if they are uncomfortable, you are a phone call away. With your child’s help, come up with a code word they can use if they need to call you and have you come and get them. Using the family pet’s name is a safe bet and easy to remember.
3. Either a pre-sleepover or post-sleepover nap is a good idea as it will cut down on the chance for a “sleep-hangover” the next day and allow them to fuction without feeling deprived of sleep.
4. If your child takes any regular medication, let the host’s parents know. If it’s a medication that wears off towards the end of the evening, give them a heads up.
5. If your child is a sleepwalker, let the host’s parents know that and perhaps consider dropping off a bell for them to tie around the front door, just in case.
6. For children who still have sporadic cases of bedwetting, there are medications that can be used for circumstances such as sleepovers. Consult your GP first.
7. Some children may be bullied at sleepovers, though there isn’t anything you can do to prevent this, take an extra few minutes upon your child’s return from the sleepover to ask them questions about the night (especially if they seem upset or unwilling to talk about it, at first).
8. Head lice. Yes, it does happen. For the next day or two following a sleepover, take an extra close look at your child’s head for nits.
9. If your child is not allowed to watch movies or play games that are rated above a certain grade, let the host’s parents know your rule in advance.
10. Make sure you know the host’s parents well enough that you feel comfortable letting your child sleepover. It’s good to start with having your child stay at a cousin’s house, the home of a neighborhood friend, or someone they’ve known for years — a place where they feel comfortable and so do you. Also, let the parents know this is your child’s first sleepover, so they will be sensitive to the situation.