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Grandchildren 'Sleeping Over'

(64 Posts)
Lyndiloo Tue 11-Jun-19 02:52:41

My two grandchildren are going to sleep at our house for the very first time. We are very close, as they live nearby and we have always done a lot of childcare. Granddaughter is 5 and Grandson is nearly 3.

Both parents work full-time, and this arose because my daughter is getting very stressed lately. Our grandson is adopted and has been with us since November 2018. He is settling in nicely, and is such a good little boy, but I think my daughter is finding it really hard, having a busy job, and now the added pressure of another child. (It's what they both wanted, of course, and they are very grateful, but I think the extra work is just getting to her at the moment.) And neither child sleeps through the night every night. So for some nights throughout the week they have one or another child climbing into bed with them! smile

They asked if we could babysit one night a month (on 'payday') so that she and hubby could have a 'date-night' - just to get out of the house and spend some time alone, together. (We already do babysit now and then, when they go out with friends.)

It was my suggestion that they should being the kids to us for a 'sleepover', so that when they got home, they could have a good night's sleep - and wake-up whenever.

The grandchildren will have to sleep together in a double-bed (something they've never done before). I've thought of a stairgate and a dim light on the landing - so if one of them does get up, they will see where they are. I will leave their bedroom door and ours ajar. (Shut the cat in the kitchen, so that he won't be jumping on beds.)

Any other tips? (Feeling a bit apprehensive now.)

absent Tue 11-Jun-19 05:29:38

Stair gate and nightlight are both good ideas. Remind them where to find the toilet and accept that someone might not get to it in time, given the unfamiliar night surroundings. The children will probably be very excited as this will be a wonderful adventure for them. Be prepared for an invasion early in the morning.


Liz46 Tue 11-Jun-19 05:32:55

Show them where you will be sleeping and tell them that you will leave your door open. Relax and enjoy!

BlueBelle Tue 11-Jun-19 06:07:02

Oh enjoy it don’t look for problems they will be fine I always leave the landing light on when the grandkids sleep over even now when they are grown up 😊
Be prepared for some playing and giggling they won’t just settle and go to sleep like in a story book it’s a novelty and exciting and they ll be a bit hyper and you ll have a very early morning start
enjoy it they are grown up in the blink of an eye

kittylester Tue 11-Jun-19 06:23:27

Baby listeners are the way forward! If it is going to be a regular occurrence you could consider buying a blow up child bed (or two) to prevent potential trouble using a double bed. A potty in the bedroom might be a good idea.

We do this quite often - it is exhausting but fun. Your Dd and sil will be very grateful and we have found our dgc feel more at home having stayed.

janeainsworth Tue 11-Jun-19 06:30:06

Waterproof mattress protector?
Enjoy your time with them, I’m sure the children willsmile

Jangran99 Tue 11-Jun-19 06:48:18

Make sure they bring their own cuddly toy for sleeping. I also knitted mine each a new soft toy that lived at Gran's house and kept their beds warm.

Sara65 Tue 11-Jun-19 06:53:42

As someone said, they’ll be excited, so expect a later night than usual for them, they are all different, my five year old grandson, goes to bed when you tell him, and straight to sleep, nine year old girl cousins are much more challenging, and that usually calls for a strict talking to at about midnight! The older ones are still up when I go to bed, and the littlest one just carries on in her normal routine

I do leave the landing light on, but that’s it really, just go with the flow, and don’t get too stressed if they won’t settle down. But if you’re going to do it regularly, you’ll need them to get into a routine

Good luck, and enjoy

Sara65 Tue 11-Jun-19 06:54:39

Good point Jangran!!

NanKate Tue 11-Jun-19 06:54:58

Do you have a CD player as our boys always wanted music to go to sleep to ? Brush up your own singing skills, our 6 year old still asks for a lullaby.

harrigran Tue 11-Jun-19 08:11:13

Night lights, ours did not like total darkness.
I kept cot side on the bed because one of mine was a restless sleeper, didn't want her rolling out near the radiator.
I use to stand the potty on a towelling bath mat, saved the carpet a few times.
Don't expect them to nod off early whilst sharing a room, mine had a room each with their own CD player as they liked different talking books and music.

3dognight Tue 11-Jun-19 08:29:42

Don't worry all will be fine.
They will probably be abit hyper, and not settle very early.
Yes, there will be a couple of sleepy faces looking at you as soon as you wake up, or pretend to wake up, as you have been awake most of the night listening out for them falling down stairs, lol. You will be exhausted when they have gone, but you all will have had a lovely time I'm sure.

Mine are all teenagers now, so much simpler when they were little.

sodapop Tue 11-Jun-19 08:35:43

Don't over think this Lyndiloo they will have fun and probably won't settle easily but enjoy time with them. Stories and cuddles for all of you to enjoy.
Baby listener and waterproof mattress cover are both good ideas. Have a good time and relax with them.

Iam64 Tue 11-Jun-19 08:42:19

It will be fine, you will all love the sleep over and you will all be tired the following day. At least, that's our experience. One of ours always wakes about midnight and crawls into bed with me. I've tried and failed to get him back in his own bed and he's had a lot of change in recent months so I accept he will wake and crawl back into my bed.
Keep to the routine the children have at home. For us, it's off with the tv/screens, bath, milky drink, bed time story and tucked in to sleep.
Have fun

Pittcity Tue 11-Jun-19 08:43:54

Mine always sleep well here but play their parents up at home.
Definitely a waterproof mattress cover. Otherwise enjoy!

H1954 Tue 11-Jun-19 08:48:08

I agree with all the previous comments, try to relax and enjoy having them to stay; the last things you need is the GC picking up on your stress. You could turn things around and tell them they've come to stay to look after you

It's a good idea to get the children familiar with sleeping away from home as you never know when circumstances could dramatically change and you are asked to have them at a moments notice.

Make it an adventure for the little ones.

Auntieflo Tue 11-Jun-19 09:24:42

As others have said, enjoy the visits.
Our GC lived too far for any regular sleep overs, but on the odd occasion when they did, I would wake up, (you know the feeling when someone is staring at you?) and see a little sleepy head waiting to climb into our bed for a cuddle.
She is a mum herself now, to an almost 2 year old. How I love them all.

Sara65 Tue 11-Jun-19 09:37:04

Happy memories AuntieFlo

Rosina Tue 11-Jun-19 10:44:41

Ours often stay and we have two singles - it works quite well. I bought a small throw and cushion to put on each pillow, with the favourite characters of each child, and sat a teddy on each bed. They were thrilled with this 'pesonalisation' of their beds, and you could perhaps do the same with two little cushions and maybe throws folded on each side of the bed?

nanasam Tue 11-Jun-19 10:58:23

We used to leave the shaving light on in the bathroom so they could find their way if they woke up and were disorientated. You'll probably not get a lot of sleep, it being the first time they've stayed but the main thing is for you all to enjoy the experience. Stories made up by grandad went down a storm and I used to kiss them through the stair balustrades on each step they went up - that was great fun.

Sara65 Tue 11-Jun-19 11:00:54

Up until recently, we’ve had two nine year olds sharing a double bed, it’s been a nightmare, they annoy each other all night, I’m always having to go in because one of them has all of the covers, or is taking up too much room

Just had another bedroom decorated, and I’m just about to order single beds!

grannyteddy Tue 11-Jun-19 11:23:01

Can I suggest they bring their own pillows as well as a soft toy. A familiar scent and pillow they are used to might help them settle. Also if they are sharing a double bed I used to put a long bolster between them to prevent the constant cries of "he's kicking me" etc. Hope all goes smoothly for you OP.

TerriBull Tue 11-Jun-19 11:28:19

As others have stated, I would really recommend a CD type player for stories Lyndi, it's a nice way to get them off to sleep. We have a collection of Roald Dahl's and a firm favourite is a David Walliams' one where farts unfortunate bodily noises of the rear end nature are prolific throughout hmm I didn't buy that one.

Ours stay over every other week-end more or less, they tend to share a double bed in our guest bedroom although they could separate as we have another room available, but addicted to annoying each other as Sara has already stated, but also a lot of giggling too.

Most of the time it's okay and we don't get woken up too early these days.

Pat1949 Tue 11-Jun-19 11:37:55

I can't see much more you can do to prepare you seem to have it all in hand. Dim light, stair gate, doors open. They'll think of it as a bit of any adventure. If you're anything like me you probably sleep lightly that night and hear them if they move. I would make it clear to them if they do wake up and need anything it's ok to shout for you.

EmilyHarburn Tue 11-Jun-19 11:42:49

If you have to use a double bed I think it would be helpful to have a bolster down the middle and a single duvet for each child. they could bring their own duvets from home so that each side of the bed is personalised as advised by previous post. Because of the likely hood of puberty being earlier than in our generation it would, I think be unwise, to consider a double bed for more than 3 years. This is just a thought. I have not looked anything up.

But do enjoy the kids at your place whilst they are young .