How to Prepare for a Sleepover at Grandma’s
It’s time for your child to have their first sleepover at grandma’s house. This may be a time of excitement or anxiety. Most children should be used of their grandparents when they are born. Family traditions have changed but grandma certainly has babysat enough for your child so your child probably is always excited to see grandma. Some parents have grandma sleep over at their house when they go out because it might be too late for grandma to return home. This helps ease the anxiety so when your child has their first sleepover with grandma, they are familiar with being around her enough. You and your spouse might still worry about the sleepover, but make sure that you think about the fact that your child is ready for this endeavor.
You still are going to want to make sure your parents are able and willing to give your child the extra care they need during the night and if everyone is on board with this idea, then there are a few things you can do to make sure this sleepover is a great memory for all.
Choose the correct time
Make sure your child is rested and fed because they are easier to handle this situation and control their emotions that might come along with separation anxiety. If your child is sick, hasn’t eaten or taken their nap, the child will probably start off on a bad foot with grandma because they are grouchy. Make sure your child is in their best frame of mind, well rested and fed before you take them over for a sleepover. You wouldn’t want to create a negative experience.
Teach your parents how to do simple tasks like buckling them in their car seat, telling them what your kid can tolerate for meals etc. Sometimes grandparents have different ideas than parents when it comes to these simple rules and it’s important to be clear about what is best for the child so there won’t be unnecessary problems. Most grandparents want to spoil their grandchildren but in all reality, it takes only one time of not following rules and eating sugar before grandma does realize that her daughter was right.
Send favorite toys along
Be sure the child is familiar with the area they will sleep in
Grandparents tend to downsize as their children grow up but in some cases, they only have one bedroom. Sharing the bed with grandma or sleeping on a couch isn’t always safe for small kids. Babies and toddlers eventually outgrow their pack n plays so finding a safe sleeping area can be a problem. There is a good solution though called the “Joovy Foocot” and this is very safe and low. It comes with a steel frame cot and is easy to put together and has a travel bag for storing. You can use this at home and for sleepovers at grandma’s.
Pack all necessary items for care
In addition to the usual toiletries you pack for your child, remember to pack face cloths and towels if your child has sensitive skin because they were washed in sensitive soap. Send detangler if you have a daughter with long hair and she cries when her hair is brushed. This prevents extra problems.
You know you probably will worry more than you have to, but look at the fact that you are creating a bond for success and are helping to make the first sleepover go smoothly and if you make it through the night without a phone call, you did the job right.
Grandparents have to keep their expectations realistic. Don’t take it to heart if your grandchild starts crying uncontrollably. Don’t hover over them, let them come to you. They will when they are ready. It’s a good idea to show your grandchild their room in advance and let the child take naps in this room before the time comes for the sleepover. Put familiar items in the room like a favorite stuffed animal, book or even the same family picture they have seen over and over again.
Some kids do need their bag of stuffed animals around them and their favorite bedtime story in order to fall asleep at their usual bedtime. Parents can call the child to say goodnight but once the child establishes a routine with grandma, then it’s not necessary to call and say goodnight anymore.
Some kids need to follow the same routine every time they go to grandma’s. Some kids enjoy a bath, their favorite TV show and a story before bedtime. This is what makes kids happy to stay at grandma’s is consistent agendas. Transitions are hard for kids, especially smaller ones so consistency is important.
Even though your grandchild has been over for 5 years, things look different in a home at night time. Use a night light and keep your grandchild in a close room or even a sleeping bag will do if they want to sleep on the floor in your room. Some kids like to sleep with their grandma’s until they get older. Grandmothers are a big comfort to many children.
Always remember to be aware of food allergies and don’t give in to many sweets before bedtime or your grandchild will be cranky the next day. In addition, all grandparents should always have a copy of their grandchild’s medical card for insurance purposes. This is important because the grandparents might have to be the ones to make important medical decisions.
After a while, you will become a pro at having your grandchild over and as more come along, you will be able to have them stay overnight as well. It’s not a hard job to do because all kids love to spend time at grandma’s house. Eventually, your grandchildren will start to feel like your home is just another version of their home. You will find them falling asleep faster and sleeping more soundly with each visit. You will eventually find yourself sleeping a bit easier as well knowing your grandchild is happily dreaming away.