Is Your Child Ready for Sleepovers?

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At about the time she starts attending school and making some real friends, your child will probably ask if she can spend the night at another child's home. But the age at which kids are ready to spend the night away from home can vary - a 5-year-old might be ready for it, and a 10-year-old may not be. Instead of just throwing her into a situation where she's uncomfortable and homesick, ease your child into the world of sleepovers.

Start with having relatives sleep at your home while you and your partner go elsewhere - perhaps for a weekend! This will get your child used to going to bed and waking up without you. Then, progress to "almost sleepovers" in which your child goes to a friend's house, gets suited up in pajamas and has all the fun of a sleepover, while you pick her up around 10 p.m. or whatever time works for her. This way, she gets all of the fun of a sleepover and gets to sleep in her own bed, too.