First Sleepover

Updated on July 17, 2012
K.S. asks from Petaluma, CA
12 answers

How old were your kids when they had their first sleep over? My in laws want my 2.5 year old son to have a slepp over with his 3.5 year cousin. My son has not had a night away from my husband and I ever. Am I over reacting? To add to the story, the in lwas are eldery and one in poor health. The main reason the cousin spends the night is because her parents both work and it is too much for them to get her early in the am. They never brush her hair, feed her junk and leave her in her pj's most of the day. I would feel better if tgey spent more time alone with my son (and his 6mos) baby sister but it is always piggy backed with the cousin.

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answers from Grand Forks on

Staying over night with family is not exactly a "sleep over". That is about the age my boys would have started staying over night with my best friend and her kids so my husband and I could go on an overnight getaway. (We do that twice every winter.) As for sleepovers my boys started those in kindergarten when they were going to school and made friends. My boys are seven and ten, and we have one or two extra boys sleep over every other weekend.

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answers from Austin on

Instead of calling it a "sleep over" like a slumber party, this sounds like an excellent way for you and your husband to have an evening alone..
It is" a stay over with grandparents" this is a great opportunity for your child to experience.

In case of a future emergency, it will be good that he is used to staying with his grandparents.

Our daughter did this many times as an infant, toddler and young child.. She loved it.

So did we.

I say go for it.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Disregard the neglecting of the hair, the junk and the pajamas because obviously YOU will not leave your son there all day. And if you don't allow your child a bit of junk once and a while then maybe its time to start. Your only concern should be safety and that they are elderly. So please take an HONEST look at them and if there is ANY way that you think that they will be ok watching him overnight then I think you should let your son do it. You will be the mother-in-law someday too. You would hate it if your daughter-in-law did not let your grandson spend the night. As mothers of sons we really do have to consider our Karma in this kind of thing.

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answers from Los Angeles on

The first time I had one of my grandsons "sleep over" he was 2 weeks old, his sister born 3 years later at 3 weeks, (both bottle fed) my daughter and SIL welcomed me taking them so they could have an evening to themselves. Kids have more fun with other kids around so we usually do it that way with a cousin, I sometimes have one alone but it's not the "norm."

No one takes care of our kids exactly as we do, and I admit I am guilty sometimes of giving my grandkids "junk" but if they have fun and aren't ruined for life what is the harm? And, a 3.5 y/o should be able to dress herself so could change out of her pj's if she wanted and not wait for the grandparents to do it. My guy turned 3 in April and changes out of his pj's every morning, has for months, he doesn't wait to be told to, so you can't really "blame" the grandparents on that one. And, heck, I sometimes don't brush my own hair if I'm not going anywhere out of the house...

Probably not what you wanted to hear but I've been around and been an in-law a loooooong time, and I would let him go and develop a relationship with his grandparents and cousin. And not sit home and ruminate but go have a good time with my husband ツ

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answers from Dallas on

I don't see the big deal with allowing your son to develop a relationship with your inlaws and cousins. It does not sound like they are being unsafe... sounds like you are super picky (as many of us are).

You have to let go in baby steps. So what if a child has a bit of junk food, he will at some point with you or without you. Use the opportunity as a teaching moment for teaching independence. What is going to happen when he is much older and never been without mommy and daddy at night. You can't keep him in a bubble... keep him safe, of course.

I admire the inlaws for providing care for the cousin... they are doing something they don't "have" to do in caring for a grandchild.

At 2.5 he is ready to stay with grandparents. Why not let go a little bit and allow hime to have fun. In the meantime, you and hubby have a free night to reconnect and work on your couple time! Best of both worlds!!

I agree with Mallory... you will be the MIL one day as well so put yourself in your MIL shoes for a moment.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I agree that to me, regular "sleepover" rules don't apply at all when it comes to family! My daughter had her first sleepover with grandma when she was 9 months old! It was awesome! My son I think was 6 months.

Now, your situation does seem to be slightly different if the grandparents can't be actively involved, which sounds questionable, so I do see your hesitation to a degree. What do your BIL/SIL say about how their child likes/is treated when he sleeps over. It seems they don't have a lot of choice, but maybe you should ask them.

Finally, if you are really that concerned maybe you could have the cousin sleep over at your house one night. It would be super fun for the cousins, they would totally love it! I do think however, that if possible you guys should start your son on the sleepover activity because it really is awesome husband/wife time!!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Lord I thought you meant with friends and that would be three. Family I can't say for sure because my kids were always the oldest by a lot so that never came up.

I would just look at as plainly as possible, will the kids have fun? There is no danger in it, my god, they are family! Just ask yourself will they have fun. If the answer is yes then allow it. If it turns out they are miserable bring him home.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think you should let him go for the sleepover. It won't hurt him if his hair is not combed or he wears pjs all day or if he eats junk for a day. The bonding that this time with his cousin and his grandparents will make it all worth it.

As for why it is piggy-backed with the cousin is probably because 1) they may be trying to foster a close bond between the cousins; and 2) with both of them there they have someone to play with.

You did say one is in poor health so it probably helps to have both there to occupy each other and the grandparents can kick back and watch the play rather than have to participate in it. I love to sit and watch my two GD's play. I learn a lot about what they think.

As for not taking the 6 month old, that's easy. I quit taking the babies a while ago - I love them but they are a lot of work and I'm pretty much past that. I love to visit with them, but they do need to go home with momma and daddy. Leave the older ones, that's fine. But take the babies with you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Thank you for all of your excellent answers! I am ok with junk food once in awhile, grandparents get freedom galore when they have the kids. I think my son would be safe overall. The in laws are not consistent and play favorites. I just want him to gave a good first experience so he can start doing more of those sort of things.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My kids starting having sleepovers at Grandparents at around 2.5 or 3 yrs. You dont explain why you want the grandparents to spend time without your kids without the cousin around?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If you have concerns, I wouldn't do it.
He's too young to know & enjoy it anyway.
Your son has never had a night away from you yet & he may not like it.
Why can't they just visit with him during the day? Like a visit w/his
I would just thank them & offer to bring the baby over for a few hour visit.
You can stay there or maybe go out to dinner for an hour?
Follow your instincts.



answers from San Francisco on

No you are not over reacting. Do what you feel is best for your child. In my opinion a slumber party (sleep over) is for older children 10 -12 or older (who make their own fun, want to stay up late, play, eat, and talk about things that kids like to talk about. Toddlers and sleep overs....That Does Not Compute!

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