The time will come, whether you are ready or not, when Grandma and Grandpa will ask if your precious child can sleep over. Even for experienced parents, the mere thought of your child not sleeping in his or her own cozy bed causes anxiety. However, with the right preparation, everyone can be set up for success. Here are some personal and legal tips to make sure everyone is ready for that sleepover.
Make sure it’s the right day. Well-rested children tend to be better guests and can handle the emotions of new situations. Plus, hunger or illness can turn a potentially dreamy sleepover into a nightmare. Better to postpone the visit to a more ideal time.
Set the ground rules. Parents and grandparents may have two separate ideas about the grandchild’s behavior. Grandparents may feel it’s their job to spoil the grandkids. Everyone needs to understand the care rules in advance and have a clear understanding of what is and is not acceptable behavior by both grandparents and grandchildren.
Be sure the caregivers have legal paperwork for medical treatment. Nothing can ruin a wonderful evening like a medical emergency. If mom and dad can’t be reached, the grandparents might have to make a trip to the emergency room with a grandchild. If there is no signed, witnessed and notarized Medical Power of Attorney allowing them to determine medical treatment, valuable time may be lost in treating an injury or illness.
If the child is an infant or toddler, babyproof. Just like home has to be made ready when a child begins to crawl and walk, so does grandma’s and grandpa’s home. Make sure they have everything necessary to care for the child, such as a baby monitor, doorknob covers, outlet covers, cabinet locks and baby gates, high chair, car seat and stroller.
Make sure a little home comes along. Make sure your child has their special blanket or lovey toy. A comfy pair of jammies, favorite books or snacks also will go a long way toward a comfortable stay. Plus, a safe, familiar place to sleep is essential. Sharing a bed or sleeping on the couch is not the safest option. If needed, a portable travel bed or cot that can be used at home is a great item to share with the grandparents.
An overnight adventure at grandma’s and grandpa’s can be a wonderful learning, growing, and bonding time for the grandkids. Take some time to plan for the event and avoid a disaster. Having everyone look forward to a repeat stay is the goal. Just a little preparation can make that dream come true.