Sleepovers can be stressful! You need to make sure you properly prepare for them. It’s best to go in to one with low expectations. Don’t presume everyone will fall asleep at the usual time. As children get older, they seem to have this amazing ability to resist sleep when amongst friends. Even if we have taken them all out for the whole day first, with lots of fresh air and walking, they only finally get to sleep at about 3am here. So, make sure you have little planned for the next day, so everyone can catch up on their rest!
I think our sleepovers have always gone relatively well. No child has asked to go home early. They always seem to want us to host another sleepover, so I guess we are doing something right. Here are a few things I have learnt over the years.
Don’t be Over Ambitious
It can help to keep the guest list small. We have had three friends over for one child once and that became more of a challenge. It’s a lot easier to get two children off to sleep at the same time than four! Plus, some friends might clash, make sure everyone one gets on well if you want to increase your guest list.
Catering for Younger Children
If you are having younger children stay, make sure you have all the necessary equipment. You can find cotbeds for sale at Kiddies Kingdom and you don’t need to spend too much. It’s easier to have your own set of equipment if it’s a regular thing. It saves carting their essential items back and forth.
Keep the parents updated
I think its nice to send a quick message to the parent’s children you have staying so they know how their child is getting on. It reassures me when having an update when my boys are sleeping overnight elsewhere so I think it’s a nice courtesy.
Don’t Overdo the Sweet Treats
My eldest can get a little carried away on sleepovers. When he was younger, he was sick before from overindulgence! We limit the goodies and portion them out. Check the bags of children visiting if they have additional treats stashed away that they plan on opening after lights out.
Make Sure No One Feels Left Out
Encourage the children to do something that includes everyone. If a video game only has two controllers make sure the turns are done fairly. I usually aim for a mixture of activities, some time outdoors and a film to watch before bed. But even best laid plans can fall apart just try and go with the flow and remember you only have X number of hours till they go home again!
Keep an Extra Toothbrush
I have lost count of the number of times we have had to dish out a new toothbrush on a sleepover. Keep extra in ready. We have dished out lots more too, like soft toys to cuddle, clean pyjamas to wear and socks for the following day!