How to Prepare Young Children for Their First Overnight Stay with the Grandparents

From the day your baby is born, you will likely feel like parenting is an all-consuming job, and you’re not wrong. Rest assured though, those years will fly by and before you know it your little baby will be a big kid who is gaining more and more independence by the day. One exciting yet nerve-wracking milestone for young children is their first time staying overnight with the grandparents. Today we will share a couple of tips to help you and your child prepare for their first overnight stay with the grandparents.

How to Prepare for Your Child’s First Overnight Stay with their Grandparents

Having grandparents around who can be involved in your child’s life is the biggest blessing. If your child’s grandparents are willing to have them spend the night at their house, you may want to do some preparation ahead of time. Below, we will break down some tips to make this process a little easier including:

  1. Practice strong communication
  2. Ensure that your child has a comfortable and safe sleeping area
  3. Pack all necessary items
  4. Plan a phone call check in
  5. Tire your child out before bedtime
  6. Make it fun 

Practice Strong Communication

One of the best ways to help your young child feel comfortable at their grandparent’s house is to ensure that there is clear communication between everyone. 

  • Talk with your child ahead of time and ask how they’re feeling about staying with their grandparents. Ask if they have any concerns about it and see if there is anything you can do to help make them feel more comfortable. 
  • Have a discussion with the grandparents as well to ensure that they have a safe sleep area and figure out if they have any questions that you could clear up ahead of time. 
  • Set a pick-up and drop-off time and make sure that everyone is in the know about when your child will be staying over and for how long. 
  • Be sure to communicate any important information such as allergies or extra comfort measures that your child needs ahead of time. If you need to, you can even write down some instructions to make it easier. 
  • Check-in with your child after the stay to ask how it went. Ask if they felt comfortable and see if it is something they’d like to do again in the future. 

Ensure They Have a Comfortable (and Safe) Place to Sleep

Before your child goes to stay with their grandparents you should check to make sure they will have a comfortable and safe place to sleep. Figure out where they will be sleeping and make sure to pack any sheets, blankets, or a pillow if necessary. Older kids will likely be comfortable sleeping on a couch or spare bed but younger children and toddlers may require a travel crib or bassinet. 

Send All Necessary Items

Make sure that your child has everything they will need for a comfortable stay at their grandparent’s house. Send them with extra clothes, pajamas, a toothbrush, and any other important items that you can think of. Think about your child’s typical bedtime routine at home and try to replicate it as best you can by sending any items they may need. Send any comforting items that can help your child feel more at home such as their own pillow, a special blanket, or a stuffed animal. 

Plan a Phone Call to Check in

If you or your child are having a tough time with having so much distance between you, there is nothing wrong with scheduling a phone call to check in. Plan it before bedtime so you can have a chance to check in and say goodnight to your child. You can also do a video call if that makes it easier. A phone call check in isn’t at all necessary but if you have the time to do it, it may help make the transition feel a bit easier for your child. Checking in during the stay can also give you some peace of mind and help you see how your child is handling the distance from you. You should also make sure that your child always has an easy way of reaching you, through their own phone if they have one or through the grandparent’s phone. 

Tire Them Out

It is definitely a good idea to plan plenty of activities during the day when your child will be spending the night with their grandparents. That way, when bedtime does arrive your child will be nice and tired and they will hopefully fall asleep with ease. Depending on when you plan to drop your child off you could plan some activities for you to do with them before you drop them off, or find something they can do with their grandparents after you’ve dropped them off. 

Make it Fun 

Ultimately, sending your child to spend the night with their grandparents should be a fun and exciting experience. Find different ways to make it fun such as letting your child pick out their favorite movies to watch while they’re there, or planning a theme for their sleepover. Encourage the grandparents to read stories and play games before bed to help your child feel more comfortable and at home. Another way to help get your child excited about their first stay with their grandparents is to plan for them to order take out or plan to have the grandparents make one of your child’s favorite meals. 

Final Thoughts

Your child’s first stay with their grandparents may be a little stressful for all parties involved, however, it will likely still be a fun experience as well. Your child will be very happy to have so much extra time to hang out with their grandparents and staying at another house will be an exciting change for them. Whether you’ll be out of town or are just getting a night to yourself, having some time away will be beneficial for you as well. With the right preparations in place, your child will soon think of their grandparent’s house as a second home. 

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