photo credit: Little Miss Eclectic Photography

T

he childhood tradition of sleepovers can be a scary step to take for both kids and parents alike. Determining when they are ready can be tough. Here are some things to consider while making this important and exciting decision for the first time.

photo credit: Little Miss Eclectic Photography

Potty training

Is your child fully potty trained? Children who are not night trained, or older children who are bed wetters (which is normal for many children until puberty) might not feel comfortable at a sleepover. If this matter can be handled sensitively by both families involved, and if your child is confident about the situation then this may not be an issue at all. For some children however, bed wetting problems simply might be too much for them to handle in the context of a sleepover.

Family sleepovers

Has your child stayed away from home with relatives? How did it go? If kids have had positive experiences sleeping over with family members they are very comfortable with, that can help make the transition to a first time sleepover with a friend much easier.

Bedtime routine

Does your child have a consistent bedtime routine? Is it a routine that could easily be followed through at the host family’s house? If kids have a routine they are accustomed to, sleeping in a new place will still have a bit of familiarity.

Independence

Is your child independent enough to dress themselves, access their own toiletries, and to vocalize their needs? It is not so much an age issue, as the ability of a child to address his or her own personal care.

Host family

How well do you know the host family? How much time have you and your child spent in their home? When spending nights away for the first time, it’s good to start with family friends whose home and family rules your child is already familiar with.

Family Schedule

What is your current family schedule like? Parents who work opposite shifts, divorced families, or families with particularly busy schedules might want to consider hosting sleepovers. In these situations a sleepover might cause a loss of valuable quality time with your child, while hosting creates opportunity for fun together.

There is no set age in which a child will be ready for a sleepover. Readiness can differ from child to child and there are many things to consider in making this exciting decision.

{Check out the NURTURE section for more tips on nurturing your children}