There is something so special and amazing about the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren. Some of children’s best memories come from helping grandma to bake or grandpa showing them how to ride their bike.
Spending more time with your grandchildren can help to strengthen that bond even more, and create so many happy and special memories.
Some parents, and even grandparents, may be asking when children are ok to stay overnight with their grandparents.
Generally speaking, there is no firm timeline. It really depends on what the parents and grandparents are comfortable with.
When Is It Safe for Grandchildren to Stay Overnight With Their Grandparents?
Many parents are protective of their new babies, and so they have a hard time letting go of them – even for a little while.
Being a new parent can be really exhausting, but letting them go for even a couple hours can also feel overwhelming.
As long as the grandparents feel safe and comfortable with having the baby or grandchildren at their house (or watching them at their own house) without the parents present.
That is a discussion that grandparents and parents will need to have with each other so that they are both communicating what they feel comfortable with – and what they don’t, for that matter.
COVID and Sleepovers With Grandparents
The last two years has proven to be really trying on relationships – especially close family members who can’t spend a lot of time together.
You may be wondering when it will be safe for grandparents to have their grandchildren overnight with all the safety risks of COVID-19.
When children are in school, they are exposed to so many different germs and bacteria.
For grandparents, who may have a weakened immune system or may be more susceptible to illness this can be really scary and even a little dangerous.
If you’re the children are old enough to get vaccinated, you may choose to vaccinate your children to help reduce the risk of exposure for their grandparents.
Ultimately this is a decision that should be left up to the parents and grandparents because the comfort level is up to those two to decide how best to proceed.
If there’s been an outbreak at the child’s school then be careful in sending them to spend time with their grandparents or keep them home until the outbreak has been cleared up.
If the grandparents feel it’s safe to visit and the parents are comfortable with it, then there is no reason grandchildren can’t have a sleepover at their grandparents house.
How to Make Sure Grandchildren Have Fun While They Are Sleeping Over
Making sure that your grandchildren have a good time while they are spending time at your house, or sleeping over, is an important thing for most grandparents.
Grandparents want to know that their grandchildren had fun while spending time with their grandparents. There are a few ways you can make sure they have a good time, and will want to come back for more sleepovers.
One of the best parts of being a grandparent is all the ways you can spoil them, and give them the yummy treats their parents don’t give to them normally.
Each child will have their own favorite treat, so make sure that you have their favorite treats available when they come over.
From fresh popcorn while watching a movie to baking some sweet treats together when they come over – whatever it is that your grandchildren enjoys make sure that you have it available when they come over.
As long as the treats you are giving them are not ones that the parent is adamantly against (we still have to respect the parents) let them have this as a little time away from home, to enjoy some goodies.
What a Movie
If there is a movie your grandchildren keep mentioning, or maybe a new movie out that you think they will enjoy, this could be a great activity for you to enjoy together.
If you have streaming services in your home, ask them what movie they want to watch (from a list of age-appropriate options, of course) and enjoy the movie together.
Most of the time, children want someone to spend time with them and show them that they matter. Physically spending time together – like watching a movie – can give your grandchildren some wonderful memories of their grandparents.
Something to Remind Them of Home
While you are their grandparents, so you’re family, your house is just not the same as their house – no matter how much time they spend there.
If possible, try to make your home feel a little more like home for your grandchildren and give them some ultimate comfort in sleeping over.
Children can have homesickness at any time, no matter how older they are. It tends to be much more prominent in children who are younger or if it’s the first time spending a night somewhere other than their house.
Before your grandchildren pack their bags to come to your house, talk to them or their parents about bringing something from home to help remind them of home.
This could be a stuffed animal to sleep with or maybe their own pillow. Whatever it is, bringing something that reminds them of home can make their first sleepover away from home a little easier.
Stick To Their Normal Routines, as Much as Possible
It can be really fun to stay up late at grandmas, watching movies and snacking on yummy treats. However, for young children this can make it really difficult when they go back to their parents and regular routines.
For as much as possible, try to stick to their normal routines. If you know that your grandchildren normally go to bed around 8 or 8:30, try to not extend their bedtime much past that.
For young children, especially, staying on their routine is really important. In order to help their parents when they come back home, try not to deviate too much from their routines when they’re at their house.
Don’t Be Surprised if You Start Feeling Younger
Spending a lot of time with your grandchildren can give grandparents a new lease on life, and they just might start to feel younger.
There is no doubt that grandchildren benefit immensely from spending time with their grandparents, and all the memories they will create. There is also research to show that grandparents can benefit from spending time with their grandchildren, and it can give them a new lease on life.
Children are a lot of energy – both mentally and physically. Spending time with your grandchildren will have you staying active (both mentally and physically) and that can really benefit grandparents as they age.
It Can Be a Shock
When your children have all grown up and moved out of your home, it’s a big shock to have your little grandchildren running around your home again.
You’re probably used to quiet and clean, and everything being just the way you want it to be.
Children – especially young ones – can be a huge shock when they’re sleeping over as it can be much more loud and active around the house than you’re used to.
It’s important to remember that it’s going to be an adjustment for your grandchildren and for you at the same time. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s very natural and can take some getting used to.
As mentioned, you can ask your grandchildren to bring a few things from home that makes it more familiar to them and it can help the night go by much easier and make bedtime quick and without any breakdowns.
Making Your Memories
Your grandchildren will grow up so quickly, and it will feel like almost no time at all between when they were first born and as they become teenagers.
While having your grandchildren for sleepovers can be a whirlwind, you’re also creating wonderful memories that no one will ever be able to replace.
They will remember when they spent time baking cookies at grandmas or grandpa was outside watching as they learned how to skateboard or climb a tree.
These years are important and you having sleepovers with your grandchildren will bring you happy memories for years to come.
When you’re hesitant about having your grandchildren sleep over
If you don’t feel comfortable or safe having your grandchildren for sleepovers – that’s totally ok. Perhaps you have a medical condition and you want to make sure you can properly care for them.
Additionally, you may feel more comfortable if they are over a certain age before they come for a sleepover. All of these things are ok, though.
It’s important to have these conversations with your children and let them know how you feel about it, and what your concerns are.
You may only feel comfortable having them for a few hours while parents go out to dinner. Whatever your comfort level is, discuss that openly and don’t be afraid to let them know what your concerns are.
It’s better to have open conversations than to have an incident happen that could have been completely preventable.
Enjoy these memories and time with your grandchildren – you can’t replace it with anything else!