Getting Ready for Your Child’s First Sleepover

Updated on April 24, 2018
Teeuwynn Woodruff profile image

Teeuwynn lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, one dog, one cat, and two rats. She is a long-time pet lover.

The day will come when your child will ask to go on their first sleepover. The thought might scare you more than it does your child, but with a little planning and care, the experience can be a good one for everyone. Below are a number of tips for getting ready for that first sleepover and making sure your child is ready for it too.

Try to Make Sure Your Child Is Mentally Ready for a Sleepover

Each child is different. Some children are ready to go to a sleepover much earlier than others. That’s fine. The important thing is for you to recognize when your child is ready. One sign is when they start to pester you about going to a sleepover with a friend. When it’s their idea, they are more likely to be ready.

Another way of getting a handle on whether your child is ready for a sleepover is to do a test drive and try having them go on a “late-over.” This is where they stay over late, say 10:00 or even 11:00 pm one weekend night, at a friend’s house and see how that goes. If your child does okay with the late-over, it’s more likely they'll do fine with the actual sleepover.

Playing together at a sleepover
Playing together at a sleepover

Get to Know the Other Parents First

Your child is one of the most precious people in the world to you. Make sure you get a chance to meet and talk to the parents before the sleepover. Try to get a feel for the parents and make sure you feel comfortable with them.

Ask them if there are any guns in their house. If there are, make sure they are always kept locked in a safe. (If there are unsecured guns in the house I would strongly advise against allowing your child to have a sleepover at that house.) Also, ask if they have a pool or a trampoline since both require supervision and some people aren’t comfortable with their children using either of these items if they aren’t personally supervising.

You should also ask if there are older siblings and what they will be doing that night and what the general plans for the evening are. If you are worried about electronics use or movies being too scary for your child, make sure you double check what the parents plan on showing first.

Finally, if your child has any fears or allergies involving animals, you’ll want to know what animals the parents have in their house and if they can contain them if needed. You should also make sure that there will be adults in the house at all times your child is there.

Ready for bed!
Ready for bed!

Is Your Child a Fussy Eater or Do They Have Allergies?

If you have a child who is a very fussy eater or who has allergies to common foods or things in common foods (like gluten), then you may want to pack some snacks or meals. That way you won’t be putting your child’s host out while they try to find something for them to eat. Make sure you also give the friend’s parent a heads up about your child’s dietary quirks so they know what to expect.

Packing for the Sleepover

When you are packing for the sleepover, make sure you have your child take all the basics they need when they go to bed. They'll need a toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, possibly hairbands, pajamas, underwear, a change of clothes, any snuggly or blanket they sleep with, and their phone if they have one. The phone is important because it is an easy way for your child and you to get in touch with each other either by calling or texting either just to make sure they feel safe or see if they need anything.

If your child has medicine they have to take at bedtime, make sure you give their friend's parent just that one dose and explain how and when the dose is to be given. If you can get away with giving the medicine at home instead, do so.

Ice skating on a sleepover.
Ice skating on a sleepover.

Make Sure Everyone Has Your Phone Number and You Have Theirs

It’s important that your child has your phone number memorized, especially if he doesn’t have a phone of his own. Likewise, it’s important the host's parents have your number so they can call if something comes up or they have any questions. You will need their number for the same reason.

Make a “Safeword” with Your Child

Come up with a word your child wouldn’t usually use, but one that isn’t really strange, something like “licorice.” This word is for your child to use if they are feeling uncomfortable in the situation and don't feel comfortable enough or safe enough to say that to their friend’s parents. Your child can call you, use the safe word, and you will call back and tell their friend’s family that something has come up and you have to come get them. This is an emergency tactic only.

Playing in a field at a sleepover.
Playing in a field at a sleepover.

Explain Sleepover Etiquette and Safety to Your Child

It’s important to remind your child that they have to be polite to everyone at their friend’s house when they go for a sleepover. They have to respect the rules of the host’s home, even when they’re getting an attack of the sillies from having too much fun. They are still subject to consequences for breaking rules.

However, also remind them that no one has a right to touch their body and if they see a weapon in the house that is also unacceptable. If any of the prior things occur, the child should immediately contact you with his safeword and come home. Also, if an adult or older child in the house is making them feel uncomfortable in any way, he should call home. This is why it is very important they know your phone number. Swimming in a pool or jumping on a trampoline without supervision is also not safe.

Be Prepared to Get Your Child in the Middle of the Night

Sometimes, even though your child is sure he is ready for a full-on sleepover, they wake up in the middle of the night and find out they're not quite there yet. That’s when you’ll get a call in the middle of the night for you to come get them. Besides the interruption to your sleep, don’t worry about it! This is very common with early sleepovers. Stay calm and don’t get upset with your child. Just be encouraging and know that next time will probably be better.

Don’t Worry!

It’s hard sending your baby off to someone else’s house for the night. Sometimes you can’t help but think about all of the things that could go wrong, but most likely your child will have a great time having an adventure with a friend and you will find out all about it tomorrow. So, take some deep breaths and know that you’ve done what you can to make this a successful sleepover, and even if it doesn’t go as planned, there’s always next time.

Sleepovers can make the best friends.
Sleepovers can make the best friends.

How Old is the Right Age to Start Sleepovers?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Teeuwynn Woodruff

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wehavekids.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)