It’s the night you’ve been waiting for since…well, since you found out you were going to be a grandparent: your first sleepover. Whether the whole family is coming for an overnight visit or the new parents are dropping off and driving off (more likely!), it’s been a while since you’ve had anyone under the age of 5 at your house. But not to worry, we’ve rounded up expert advice from others who have successfully hosted—as well as some essentials you’ll want to scoop up beforehand.
What’s makes for a smooth sleepover? The following grandmothers, grandfathers, and even a few seasoned parents with helpful tips offered their advice to help make the night(s) run smoothly.
“Bedtime has become one of my favorite times with my grandchildren. Even though you may be wiped out from a long day, it’s the perfect quiet time to focus just on them. Sing a few songs, tell some stories, make it cozy, and connect with them.”
Judy, grandmother to 5
“Have a special routine you always do when they visit. Go out for ice cream or go to the book store to pick out a new board book. They’ll look forward to it every time.”
Yolanda, grandmother to 7
“Don’t let them call home to say goodnight. It could stir up possible homesickness.”
Tara, mom to 2
“No matter what, confirm with your kids that the grandkids’ lovies or special stuffed animals are packed. Those are not replaceable.”
Heather, mom to 2
“Take pictures throughout the visit—to send to your kids. As new parents, they’re often more anxious than we are about the separation!”
David, grandfather to 5
"Take an infant CPR course. You hope you'll never need to use it, but it's the peace of mind for both you and your kids."
Sharon, grandmother 4
“Don’t ask questions. Your kids may not agree with your plans and tell you you can’t!”
Yolanda, grandmother to 7
It’s ok to break from routine sometimes. In fact, it’s kind of your job. One mom says she just lets it all go when she drops her children off. “I don’t interfere!” says Libby, mom of two, who regularly sends her kids for quality family time with her parents. “I let my mom spoil the girls like crazy. It’s what grandparents are supposed to do.”
Must-Have Accessories For Grandparents
Advice is one essential; gear is another. If this goes well (and of course it will!), it’s probably wise to keep some baby accessories and essentials at your house for return visits.
The Alma Mini Crib and Alma Papa Crib are clean-lined pieces with a small footprint—so they blend in with the room, not overtake it. The Alma Mini Crib is perfect for those urban dwellings with limited space; the Alma Papa Crib is a great growing piece with use from infant to up to four years old for those who have a little more space to work with. But here's the best part: All of our Alma cribs fold up compactly so you can store in a corner or closet when not in use.
So now that you’ve got a safe and secure place for baby to sleep…what about those waking hours? We know that there’s going to be plenty of cuddle time, but when you need to be hands-free, the Coco Go 3-in-1 Bouncer makes the most of small spaces and versatility as a lounger, bouncer, and stationary baby seat—including two-speed vibration. With flat-folding functionality, it’s another one you can easily store away until the next visit.
When baby moves on to solid foods (and it happens in a flash) the Nano Highchair can easily be folded and stowed, too. Easy to wipe down, the Nano is there for every meal—messy or not (but likely never “not.”).
Shop all our grandparents’ home must-haves, from cribs and high chairs to extras like sheets and storage options, now.
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