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Sleepovers are a staple of childhood. In fact, many of us probably remember sleepovers as our first taste of true independence, as well as the setting of some of our most cherished memories.
As fun as they are, sleepovers with friends can also create nervousness in kids and parents alike. For kids, it can be scary to sleep away from home for the first time. For parents, sending a child to a sleepover overnight is a bittersweet sign that their little one is growing up.
Fortunately, if your child is going to her first sleepover party, you can calm nerves on both sides by ensuring she has everything she needs for the fun night. In this guide, we’ll go over what to pack for a sleepover with friends so that you can make sure your child’s sleepover is one to remember.
When preparing your child’s sleepover gear, there are five main categories to check off your packing list:
As you add necessary items to each category on this packing list, it becomes a helpful way to double-check that you’ve packed all of the essentials. As a bonus, you can refer back to this sleepover checklist when your child returns home to make sure she didn’t leave anything behind.
You can also consider adding fun items to your overnight stay list, like birthday party games for kids, small host gifts, coloring books, and crayons, or dress-up accessories.
Once your slumber party list is ready, you can help your child choose a practical overnight bag (we recommend a backpack for optimal comfort) and get packing.
Consult with the adult hosts of the sleepover about what activities the kids are likely to pursue during the day. If they have a backyard swimming pool, for instance, you’ll need to include swimwear, floaties, and a towel in your child’s bag. If they want to take the kids out for dinner, you might want to pack a dress for the occasion. Being prepared for any fun activity thrown their way can ease off the stress and focus on having fun.
Regardless of what slumber party ideas your hosts have planned, it’s always a good idea to pack an extra set of clothing, just in case of accidents or adventures in the mud and dirt. You’ll also want to pack at least one extra pair of underwear and socks per set of clothing (but preferably two—with little ones and underwear, it pays to be prepared).
Pajamas are an obvious must-have when packing for a slumber party, and your child will likely be excited to choose the perfect pair.
If you have a first overnight stay on the horizon and your child is feeling anxious, picking out a new pair of special “sleepover PJs” may help alleviate nerves and prepare them for a fun night. Check out these soft, stylish, and cheerful options:
Even if the kids do end up playing in the mud, you’ll still only need to pack basic toiletry essentials. Your little one’s hosts can provide any emergency body soap and shampoo if an impromptu bathtime is required.
In terms of basic toiletries, here’s what you should include on your toiletry bag list:
If packing medications, it’s important to inform the adult hosts ahead of time and include detailed instructions on how to administer them. Remember, there’s no such thing as overkill when it comes to your child’s health and safety.
An important thing to consider is also a comfort item. Consult with your child about what comfort items they’d like to bring along. This could be:
If they start to miss home as they fall asleep, they’ll have an old friend right there, ready to comfort them.
When making this decision, it’s helpful to limit your child to one or two reasonably-sized comfort items to save on space. Make sure to also bring along a sleeping bag if they won’t be sharing a bed or sleeping on a couch.
Include a notecard in your child’s sleepover bag that lists your phone number, home address, and full name, as well as the full name and contact information of any other trusted guardians. If you have a child-friendly telephone or GPS watch, you can pack that, too.
These necessary items are possible lifesavers in the unlikely event of an emergency, but they mostly serve as tools of independence. Your child will feel more confident knowing exactly how to get in touch with you if they need to.
Sending your child off to her first sleepover party is a massive milestone for both of you. By packing all of the essential sleepover gear she needs, you can meet the challenge (and all the joy that comes with it) head-on.
No matter what occasion your child is preparing for, RuffleButts has the clothing she needs to feel confident, comfortable, and cool.
Whether you’re hitting the road for a fun-filled beach vacation or shopping for back-to-school season, we’re proud to provide you with a wide variety of quality clothing and accessories, including swimwear, pajamas, rompers, dresses, and more. Shop RuffleButts today to find something your child will love as much as you do.
National Institute for Children’s Health Quality. Children’s Social and Emotional Development Starts With Co-Regulation. https://www.nichq.org/insight/childrens-social-and-emotional-development-starts-co-regulation