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If you allow sleepovers, I have some questions for you

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My dd (7.5) would like to have a sleepover with some of her friends. We've never had another child sleepover here nor has she been to a sleepover at a friend's house. This is mostly because most of her friends' parents don't allow sleepovers. :)


She does have a few new-ish friends this year that she's become close with, so dh & I said she could go ahead and invite them.


Here are my questions: How many girls would you say is a good number for a first sleepover? Is one too few? I thought maybe 2 but then there would be 3 girls total and wasn't sure if one would feel left out and the whole thing turn into a disaster. (one of the girls she wants to invite is allowed to come over but has never been to one either)


If this first go-round is successful, she'd like to have a birthday party sleepover when the time comes. What would be a suitable number of girls for a birthday party? Again, I don't want 5 crazy, kiddy girls.- was thinking of 1-3 but wasn't sure. Her birthday is close to a very busy time and it may turn out that only 1 girl can sleepover due to the dates- would that be awkward?


I know I can get some good pointers here. :D

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First time, have only one girl over at a time. Anytime you are feeling adventurous, make it an even number (even if you have to hunt down a 4th girl if someone can't come). We did 6 one year and that was fine but my daughter is very quiet and in control. Very few kids could control the situation like she did. At the same time, you might not want to invite sisters. We have had one family where we've had 1-3 of their kids spend the night and their girls fought something awful the whole time. One on one was much better.


BTW, all but one sleep over was done at our house and VERY few were done over the years.

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I think one is a good number for the first time. Usually two runs into a problem because one ends up feeling left out.


We don't do sleepovers until the kids are older (like age 10 and up) and then with only a select few friends. For example, my 13 yo dd has only been allowed to sleep over at three friend's houses. This is because we know the people extremely well and trust them completely.


Anyway, I'd start with one if it was me. Be forewarned, though - once you start the sleepover thing it can become a huge hassle. My kids frequently want to have company or go somewhere - we made it a rule that it can't happen more than every couple of months and it has to be planned in advance - no asking at church is so-and-so can come over!

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I have boys not girls so I don't have a lot of expert advice for you but will say that for our family....


-we didn't start sleepovers until age 9 (although I can see sooner for girls, and some of ds' friends did start younger)

-we started with just 1 kid at a time

-even when we do progress to more than 1 kid, I wouldn't do 3 total. I try to avoid situations like that because it is sooo easy for 1 kid to feel left out.

-we plan them for days when we don't have a lot going on the next day. Because of course there will not be a lot of actual sleep!

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My dds first sleepover was when she was about 7 1/12. I thought it was a little early, but it was a sleepover birthday party for a friend who was moving far away and I thought since this would probably be the last time she saw the child, it would be okay. I think there were about six girls there. When dd hosted her first one, there were two other girls. Since they all knew each other well it went fine (although one of the girls really missed her mom and ended up sleeping with me). DD had a sleepover birthday party last year (she turned 9) and had three girls. It was more difficult; more giggling; harder to get to sleep. The girls did not know each other well (one was homeschooled, two were ps) and there were some moments when one would go off on their own or another one would sulk about something. I say try it with 2 for the first one and see how it goes. I think it would be more fun than just one, yet still easy to control and make sure everyone gets some sleep.

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Three is a crowd. I learned this with my older daughter. Now, with twins it is unavoidable, but either pick one friend or three friends to spend the night. It makes life easier!


We limit sleep overs to Friday nights. Expect them to get little sleep and be cranky grouchy the next morning.

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2 7yo girls is EXHAUSTING! --but they had a blast. They kept each other so busy during the afternoon/evening that they ASKED to go to bed a few minutes before 9pm (the weekend bed time of both). By 9 they were peacefully asleep!


We only do sleepovers on occasion. Last week my dd's friends mom had the flu--she is a single parent and she was exhausted--I'm glad I could help my friend out!


My dd will spend at least one night at her friend's house while DH and I are in Hawaii in a few weeks. This is the ONLY friend I feel comfortable having dd sleep over with... BTW this girl's mom is the Children's Pastor at our church...


More often than not I have 1-3 16yr girls staying over on the weekends... it has been quiet around here the past few weeks because they are in the local highschool band and football has taken over their weekends. After Thanksgiving I'm positive my weekends will be filled with 'extra' daughters! We have a LARGE house (we built with the idea that our dds would have friends over often) and I'd rather host and know were my daughters are than to send the 'teens' over to a friend's house where I'm not sure they would be supervised...

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My son has been having sleepovers since he was about 5 (he's only 7 now.)


We usually have just one child over. However, soon I'll have to start inviting someone for my 4 yo because (as everyone says) 3 means that someone is left out. So my 4 yo has ended up feeling left out recently--but this has only started happening as the older son has gotten older. When they were 5 and 3, it wasn't a problem. Now that they're 7 and 4.5, it's a problem.


Having sleepovers with younger kids is easy. They play with each other and don't expect me to entertain them and they go to bed early and actually sleep! It's when they get older that they want to stay up late. With my 7 yo and his friends, they're usually asleep no more than an hour past their normal bedtime (meaning, they're asleep by 9:00.) However, they do wake up early.


Here's a plan:


1 kid the first time. Or 1 kid per however many kids you have (so each child has a friend sleeping over.)


Don't have plans for the next day, in case they're tired.


Tell them lights out at a normal time, and then they can whisper for awhile until they get bored with that and fall asleep.


Get yourself to bed early, because the kids will probably be up early. You can tell them ahead of time that they'll have to stay in their room until whatever-o'clock, but they might still wake you.


Don't bother planning a bunch of stuff to do with them. Just let them have time together playing.


For the first sleepover, you might want to request that the other child's parents pick them up somewhat early (like no later than 10:00). Do this in case they didn't get enough sleep and are crabby with each other. If they're not crabby, you can allow the visiting child to stay later, if you like, the next time.


For a birthday party, I would allow a whole giant group of kids to come over. It's a special day and is supposed to be crazy, so go for it!

Edited by Garga
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