Make any night away from home a breeze by creating a list, and checking it twice.
If this is your child's first sleepover, making sure they have what they need for an excellent night away from home is as simple as making a list. Start a few days before the event, and if your little one's nervous about their night away, ease their fears by letting them take the reins and make some decisions.
So, what are the basics?
It depends on how many days/nights your child will be spending away, but usually comfy pajamas and one set of clothes per day are sufficient. If there's a pool, or a special activity planned, don't forget specialty gear. And remember to toss in an extra set of socks and underwear. For younger kids, check that they don’t pack something that’s too difficult to put on themselves, like a shirt with back-buttons or tie-front pants.
CHECK IN WITH YOUR CHILD'S HOST
Connect to see if there is a special theme of the night, if extra pillows and blankets are required, or if there are certain toys that aren’t allowed. This is also a good time to inform them of any important information they’ll need to know about your child, such as allergies, bed-wetting, etc.
MIND THEIR MANNERS
Technically not something you can put on the list, but an important part of ensuring your child is invited back. Remind them to say "please" and "thank you", and respect the rules of the host’s house. Whether friend or family, include a small token of thanks, like a snack for sharing, or a personalized drawing from your child.
Mom and dad will have to step in here, as kids will be less concerned about packing their toothbrush and other essentials. Including a packing list in their overnight bag will also help them remember to bring everything back. Some basics include toothbrush, toothpaste, brush or comb, emergency contact information, lip balm, headbands or barrettes. And, if your child suffers from anaphylaxis reactions, include their Epi pen or any medications, and make sure all adults in the household, and your child, know how to use it.
If they have a special pillow, stuffed animal or blanket, allow them to travel with it. If they’re a sleepover newbie, something familiar will help ease their anxiety about being away from home. If you know the night is going to be full of doll-playing or video games, allow them to stash a few favorites from home to bring along. A mini-flashlight or light-up toy may also provide some nighttime fun.