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How to know your child is ready for sleepovers

Experts say sleepovers can be an important to a child's development, but how do you know your child is ready?

Today is National Sleepover Day. A rite of passage for most kids is to have a sleepover during childhood. Particularly at birthday parties, kids tend to have sleepovers. But, how do you know if your child is ready to spend the night at a friend’s house?

Children who want to spend the night at a friend’s house show a level of independence away from their home and their family for a night. It’s a big deal to sleep at a friend’s house away from the comfort of their own home. Other children aren’t ready to have sleepovers, and it’s okay. Children who’d rather stay home can show independence in other ways.

If your child shows an interest in sleepovers, you can host a sleepover at your house. Invite a friend or two of your child’s over. Ask your child what activities they’d like to have during the sleepover. Invite your child to help decide the dinner menu, activities, sleeping arrangements, and preparing the sleeping accommodations in a bedroom or the couch with sheets, pillows, and blankets.

Your child will feed off your excitement. Tell them that it’ll be fun to spend the night at their friend’s house. If your child sleeps with a noise machine, lovie, specific blanket, or pillow, pack them. Talk to your child about if they can’t fall asleep or stay asleep. Talk about what they can do when they get nervous or feel scared. Let them know that they can call you for reassurance and say good-night. If you’re okay picking up your child in the middle of the night, let them know. Also, make sure that you talk to the parent hosting the sleepover about all that you decided.

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