Party time ... Your child's sleep away from home is a big milestone (for both of you!).
Perhaps it's your anniversary and a night out is in order, or you're off to hospital to have your next bub. No matter the reason behind it, your toddler's first sleepover is always a big milestone. Here are a few tips to ensure everyone has a restful night.
- Take the big bag: Packing for this adventure should be fun and involve your toddler. Start with a nice big bag, because your toddler will want to take all their creature comforts with them so their stay is as familiar as possible.
- Sleep essentials: Don't forget the obvious ones - you'll need PJs, a Grobag (if your child uses one) and their teddy or comfort blanky. Older children might like taking their own pillow.
- Toiletries: Make sure you supply enough nappies, wipes and ointment, toothbrush and child toothpaste.
- Entertainment: Ask your toddler to select his favourite books to take. If your toddler goes to sleep with any music, pack the CD you use. If bath is part of the bedtime routine, you can include one or two favourite bath toys, or special bubble bath. Another tip is to pack one or two of their favourite DVDs – an upset toddler can often be calm by the time the theme music of the show is over!
- Morning supplies: When your toddler wakes and you aren’t there, his own cup, bowl and spoon for his breakfast can make the morning time easier, so pack them too.
- Get the portacot ready: Make sure the carers know how to set it up (or set it up yourself if you can). Also make sure the carer has the right bedding, as you may need to pack sheets and blankets. Think about where they'll sleep in advance - can they be in the same room as the carer, or will they be in another room?
- In case of trouble: Remember to leave your number near the phone, in case of any trouble. Let the carer know when you'd like to be contacted (would you like to know if your child has a temperature, or would you rather not know?). Naturally, you can call them whenever you'd like to, as well!
- Lighten up: Using a night light or special lamp can help ease bedtime fears. Even if your child has been at the carer's house lots of times during the day, things can look different - and a bit scary - at night.
- Bedtime routine: Ensure the carer can follow the same steps as you normally do at bedtime. Hopefully your toddler will pick up the cues and it won’t blow out to an all-night party at Nanna's house.
- Wake-up time: Don’t forget to pass on information about your morning routine, such as what time your child will be likely to wake up, and what he likes to do next.
Good luck and enjoy your night off!