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First Time Sleepovers

By Sue Adair • October 1st, 2009
There comes a day when your child will ask to sleep over at a friend’s house for the very first time. Whether because of homesickness or fear of bedwetting, sleepovers can turn into a nerve-wracking experience for children. As parents, how can you prepare for your child’s first sleepover? What should you expect?
Here are some helpful tips to guide parents and children through the first sleepover.
Start somewhere comfortable. Spending the night in a strange environment with lots of other kids for the first time can be scary. Try arranging a sleepover with a favorite cousin first. The familiar environment might be less intimating than going to slumber party with ten other children.
Send a comfort item from home. Make sure your child packs a favorite pillow, blanket or stuffed animal – any item that brings your little one comfort. If the child is feeling nervous during the night, she will have something to snuggle up with.
Communicate with the host. Talk to the slumber party host’s parents beforehand. Discuss any special requests such as keeping a nightlight on or a reminder at bedtime to use the restroom.
Talk with your child. Once you’ve decided that your child is ready for a sleepover, have an open and positive discussion. Ask your little one what he/she thinks the overnight adventure might be like. Answer any questions, and share tales from your own slumber parties.
Be prepared to “pick up.” If your child becomes homesick or scared, he/she might just want to go home. Always be prepared to get the unexpected call to come pick up your child during the night.

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