5 simple steps to a successful sleepover with the grandkids

5 simple steps to a successful sleepover with the grandkids

Got the grandchildren coming over to stay the night? Here’s how to make sure it goes without a hitch…

Got the grandchildren coming over to stay the night? Here’s how to make sure it goes without a hitch…

Having your grandchildren to stay can be a lot of fun, but it can be exhausting too. From knowing what to feed them to making sure they sleep well in a strange bed, the first few stays can turn into a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

These five steps, though, should help you to make sure a night at Nana’s house is something they look forward to.

1. Safety comes first

If it’s been a while since you’ve had a little person staying at your house, you may have forgotten how intrepidly curious they are. Seemingly safe rooms suddenly become hazard zones, with sharp corners, hanging wires and heavy furniture everywhere you look.

But your home can be child-friendly once more with a few key changes:

  1. Make sure hazardous products are out of sight and reach of children. For example medicines, cleaning products, laundry liquid capsules, hand sanitizer and e-cigarette refills.
  2. Look out for small objects they could potentially choke on, and small foods such as grapes, cherry tomatoes and blackberries should be cut into quarters.
  3. If you have stairs, you should buy a stair gate to make sure youngsters don’t take a tumble.
  4. Be extra careful when cooking, drinking hot drinks or using a hot appliance. Make sure the child is in a safe place when in use, and anything hot is out of their reach.

For more tips, check out our articles Making your home child-proof again, and The safety tips for babies and toddlers you need to know.

2. Cook kid-friendly food

As you probably well remember, children tend to be fussy eaters, so you’ll have to think carefully when planning what to cook to avoid a Mexican standoff over the dinner table. Check with your son or daughter who likes what, what time they usually eat, and if the kids are allergic to anything.

Burgers are sure to go down well, and you can use lean mince and lots of salad to make it healthier. For a fun twist, pop some homemade chips in paper cups and serve your drinks with a curly straw to give it that American diner feel.

Another idea is to make cooking part of the fun. Try making pizza together, mixing up the dough and making smiley faces with their toppings of choice.

3. Avoid the dreaded “I’m boooooored”

Children today are frequently glued to some form of technology: a TV, tablet, phone or a games console. But how about using this opportunity to expand their horizons by teaching them the games you used to play as a child, or getting creative with some crafts, like origami.

Once you’ve played a couple of games with them, feel free to pull out a box of toys and leave them to their own devices while you put your feet up. Colouring books and pencils, simple puzzles, dolls, cars, action figures and fancy dress are great options for a variety of ages.

4. Help them to sleep safe and sound

Staying in a new bed can be scary for a little one, but there are ways you can help them have a peaceful night’s sleep (which means one for you too!).

Layer the bed so they can wrap up warm or strip down to the sheet in the night if they get too hot. And be sure to wash the sheets and covers using Fairy Non Bio, which has been voted No.1 laundry brand for sensitive skin and has the Skin Health Alliance seal of approval, so it’s perfect for children’s sensitive skin.

For added convenience, try Fairy Non Bio Pods, which you can simply throw in the machine drum with the sheets. The family pack has a super-secure child lock, so make sure it’s closed and stored out of sight and reach of children.

Remind your grandchild to bring their favourite teddy to sleep with – or have a special stuffed toy that they get to visit when they come to stay – and buy a nightlight in case they don’t like to sleep in the dark.

Make sure they know where the bathroom is, leaving the light on in case they need it in the night. Also leave their door and your door open a crack so they can easily reach you if they need anything.

5. Keep their routine

Although it’s tempting to let them stay up late as a treat, it’s important to stick to their regular bedtime so you don’t disturb their routine – your son or daughter will appreciate it!

Wind them down for bedtime with a bath and a story. For a special touch, instead of reading a book, tell them stories from your own life or from when their mum or dad was little. This way your memories will become memories of their own to cherish.

Most of all, enjoy this precious time with your grandkids. As you well know, children grow up so fast!

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Sue 26/06/2017

When my granddaughter comes for a sleepover I give her all my attention any household jobs can wait. If we are on our own we like to cosy up on the sofa with a blanket if it's cool and let her choose a movie or a DVD to watch together with some popcorn or a treat that we had bought at the shops earlier


crofty 26/06/2017

When we have the grand children staying over I always try to make sure I don't have any chores outstanding. That means I can give them as much time as possible. I don't worry about them making too much mess as I can clean up once they've gone. Key to keep their normal routines as much as I can too but add some fun. Bath time is always a fun thing if you have some bath toys and a warm bath will help them prepare for bed

Safety first

Deborah 30/05/2017

always make sure the house is safe when they visit, cook there favourite food, play games with them and most of all use fairy non bio to wash their bedding in and after bath time read them a lovely story before the snuggle down to go to sleep in there soft bedding


Lynda 11/05/2017

Mine's a vegan. What do I feed her? So many food items have hidden animal products included, bread for example. How do I find out?

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