Planning a sleepover at grandma’s should be fun. In reality though, planning (or not having enough time to plan) can create unwanted anxiety for the child, parent and grandparent. Maybe the kids are having a sleepover at grandma’s because you’re just looking for a kid free night, or maybe it’s that long anticipated date night. Or maybe you’re looking for some relief because you’re in a jam with work or maybe you or your spouse just received an invite to a last minute event! Whatever the reason, having a sleepover at grandma’s should be fun and stress free for everyone, especially the child.
Many parents observe their child coming home after a sleepover at grandma’s being overtired and cranky. This could simply be a result that your little sweetheart was treated like a queen or king and now they’re being asked to come back to reality, or maybe they digested too many sugary treats. Regarding the latter, it’s always a great idea if timing allows you to pack some healthy snacks you know your child enjoys ahead of time to bring with them.
Here’s a link to a few healthier snack options.
How to Avoid Unwanted Behavior
For many children, the most common reason for unwanted behavior is your child simply didn’t get a good night’s sleep. In addition to making sure you share your child’s bedtime routine for their sleepover at grandma’s, making sure your child takes their pillow - or depending on their age, their pillow pet :) ...along with their other comfort items like their stuffed animal, special blanket or other trinket from home that comforts them.
Having a sleepover at grandma’s can help strengthen that special bond between your child and their grandparents. This bond may become even more important as your child grows older and is faced with challenges that come their way. Having another ear to listen or elder to give advice can help your child navigate their road towards adulthood. Whether it’s because your child is treated like a queen or king (OK, let’s just say it...your child gets spoiled because the time spent at a sleepover at grandma’s is usually all about them) or giving grandma a moment or two to reflect back on when you were ‘the child’, it’s a special time that is cherished by your child, and should be. Having a sleepover at grandma’s can also be a great way to tighten the bond between you and your child by having grandma share stories about when you were younger. This is also another great opportunity for grandma to stay young and feel a strong sense of being connected with their loved ones. Which as we all know, gives us a purpose, feels great and keeps us healthy!
Let’s Have Fun
In addition to sharing your child’s bedtime routine with grandma, it’s always a great idea to set ground rules for that special sleepover at grandma’s. Depending on age and circumstances, this can include quirky habits, updates regarding allergies and ‘how-to’ for things like Epipen use. Equally important, share some of the fun things your child loves to do at home or create a fun theme for the sleepover at grandma’s - movie/game night, animal safari, camp out, or foreign country theme - games & food included :)
This site offers some cool ideas, and not just for your child’s sleepover at grandma’s!
What to Pack & Why It Matters
So let’s go back to that unwanted behavior. Most of this behavior after a sleepover at grandma’s can be avoided by a little preparation. It all starts with what to bring, and equally important, what makes its way back home. Especially when grandma may not live around the corner.
For many children, the number one reason a child may exhibit unwanted behavior is because they didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Not sleeping in the comfort of your child’s own bed is not an option for a sleepover at grandma’s, but one item that helps us all sleep better, kids included, is our own pillow. As mentioned earlier, not only is it important to have your child bring their pillow with them (and other comforts from home), but making sure your child’s pillow stays clean, dry and free of allergens is very important. Many children, due to skin irritants, respiratory issues or sensitivity to different environmental factors, may still not get a good night’s sleep if their pillow comes in contact with dirt, pet dander, pollen or other skin or respiratory irritants.
If you haven’t stumbled across The Pillowpak check the website out. They offer a sleepover bag specifically designed for your child’s own pillow and includes purposefully designed compartments for all their personal items...oh, and it’s priced right too!
In addition to making sure your child brings their pillow with them to their sleepover at grandma’s, and you use the right sleepover bag to ensure their pillow stays clean, dry and allergen free (along with your child’s other comfort items), consider these other helpful tips for your child’s next sleepover at grandma’s.
- Recommend to keep active play earlier in the day so your child feels more tired at night.
- Have grandma start the ‘it’s time to go to sleep’ messaging a bit earlier than normal.
- Prepare a tasty nighttime snack (that contains little sugar) ahead of time.
- Have grandma share a light-hearted bedtime story about you when you were a kid :)
About the author: This article was published by Pillowpak, the world’s first overnight bag centered around your own pillow. Great for young children, teens and active adults!