A Grandparent’s Guide to Sleepover Visits

Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

Sleepovers give grandparents and grandchildren a chance to spend more time

together and deepen their relationships. Extended visits also teach children about

becoming independent while their parents enjoy a date night or just a little extra


While it’s usually a lot of fun, there can be some obstacles to overcome.

Grandchildren may feel homesick in an unfamiliar setting. Grandparents may be out

of practice when it comes to dealing with picky eating or enforcing bedtimes.

Make your sleepovers safe and successful. Use these tips to plan visits that will

delight the whole family.

Tips for Staying Calm and Healthy:

1. Coordinate rules. Consistency is reassuring, so it helps if grandparents and

parents agree on the major rules and rituals. You may decide to turn off all

electronic devices well before bedtime or you may discover that your

grandchild relies on a special soundtrack to lull them to sleep.

2. Budget extra time. Routine tasks may take longer to complete when children

are away from home. Start preparing for bedtime a little earlier than usual if

you want to stay on schedule. Layout clothing the night before to make it easier

to dress in the morning.

3. Arrange to sleep. What can you do when you have more grandchildren than

guest rooms? Older kids will probably love the novelty of camping out with a

comforter on the living room floor or a tent in the backyard. Infants and

toddlers will need age-appropriate cribs or bed rails.

4. Provide comfort. Guests of any age will appreciate thoughtful amenities to

enhance their stay. Clear off a few shelves or closet space for their ongoing

use. Set out a variety of toys and games suited to their interests or ask them to

bring their favorite stuffed animals and other objects from home.

5. Cook together. There are plenty of nutritious meals and snacks that can be

prepared in less time than it takes to order a pizza. Design your own custom

burrito bar with beans, salsa, and chopped tomatoes and peppers.

6. Serve breakfast. Start your morning with a hearty meal. Most children will love

egg and tomato sandwiches accompanied by homemade fruit popsicles.

Tips for Having Fun:

1. Burn energy. Vigorous physical activity early in the day will help your

grandchildren sleep at night. Even more importantly, strong exercise habits

will enhance their overall development. Attend a community yoga class

together or install a basketball hoop in your driveway.

2. Read stories. On the other hand, quiet activities will help your grandchildren

to settle down in the evening. Depending on their ages, you can take turns

reading to each other before bed. Borrow books from your local library or build

your own collection at home.

3. Take pictures. Break out your camera. Taking pictures will give you and your

grandchildren a memento to enjoy in-between visits. You can also send the

images to their parents right away in case they have any concerns about how

things are going in their absence.

4. Pick a theme. Turn your visit into a party by giving it a theme. It can be as

simple as a movie night with popcorn or as elaborate as an all-day celebration

with meals, games, and decorations.

5. Be patient. Each child develops differently, so a successful visit will match their

needs. Maybe they’ll be eager to spend the night or maybe you’ll need to

practice by staying over at their house until they’re ready to come home with


Grandchildren will love sleepover visits when you make them feel welcome and

secure. Enjoy your time together and create beautiful memories that you will

treasure for the rest of your life.

Love & Sleep,