We took the children on their first overnight excursion this past weekend. Sean is 3. Allie is 19 months old. You could say this was overdue, but to that I say: Dude. At least we got here already, OK? I wasn’t allowed to sleep over ANYWHERE until I was 7 years old. (My dad was slightly over protective.)
We (the kids and I) slept over at Grandma and Grandpa’s house as part of Grandma’s birthday present this weekend. More time with small people makes her very happy. And so we stay.
But how do you make this work? What are the essentials for small-child sleepovers?
Planning. Lots and lots of planning. Here’s how it breaks down by child:
Allie (19 months): 1 backpack + 2 large paper bags
- Sleeping quarters: Crib that lives at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for her use;
- Portable crib toy/lullaby machine;
- 4 Binkys;
- 3 Crib friends — most likely her 2 teddy bears and a “baby” doll of her choice. (It’s going to be the monkey.)
- Pajamas with feet attached (I bring 2 — fleece and thin cotton, depending on weather.);
- 2 outfits for next day (factoring in inevitable messes);
- 1 pair socks;
- Bevy of her eczema lotions, creams, and ointments;
- Bath supplies (Dove body wash, Aveeno unscented shampoo/conditioner, and Aveeno oatmeal bath packets, Q-tips, saline solution, bulb syringe);
- Comb + hair ties;
- Toothbrush + toothpaste;
- Fuzzy blanket;
Sean (3 years): 2 backpacks + large paper bag
- Sleeping quarters: Child size inflatable bed;
- Night light;
- 2 pairs of socks;
- 2 shirts (for the inevitable mess);
- 2 shorts (again, for the inevitable mess);
- Toddler toilet seat;
- Toothbrush + toothpaste;
- 1 small toddler-sized backpack filled with toys of his choice (Toy Story toys).
We’re trying something new. Usually, Allie cries and won’t nap when she’s put down at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. I think because everything is different. We tried to make that less of an issue this time around with the lighted lullaby crib toy that we bought. It isn’t the same one she has in her room, but being able to turn on the light and hear the music may help soothe her. Same thing with Sean and the night light.
So how did it turn out?
Allie slept fabulously! She liked having the crib toy — although I think she was miffed that it played different songs than the one she has at home. She also grabbed onto her familiar toys when I put her down for her nap and for the night — so those and her blanket also helped.
Sean napped great on his new inflatable bed. He thought it was very cool when we blew it up for nap time. When it came tome to go to bed for the night, however, he was confused. Normally, we leave for home at bedtime. It threw him off to be staying overnight. He came out of his room twice, and at the second time, he told me: “Mommy? I stay with you?”
So we cuddled for awhile, then set him up on the couch with his pillow and blanket. He fell asleep immediately. We stuck the inflatable bed on the floor right in front of the couch in case he rolled in the middle of the night. (He didn’t.) Then he slept until 7 a.m.
All in all, it was a success. One that can only improve with more sleepovers.