First Sleepovers: What Age Is Appropriate?

what age is appropriate for a sleepoverSleepovers are a normal part of a big kid's social scene. But what age is appropriate for the first sleepover—particularly if you don't know the other child's parents very well?

This was a much debated point this week on CafeMom: An anonymous mom wondered if her 6-year-old daughter was too young to have a friend from school sleepover; she was particularly concerned because she had never met the friend's parents...







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Most of the moms who responded thought that maybe 6 was too young, especially considering the fact that the families were not yet friends. Many moms suggested an age of 10 or 11 as being more appropriate for the first sleepover.

Regardless of how old they are, moms has some suggestions for general sleepover safety:

  • Momofsaee: Call the mother and explain that your child wants her child to come over. Feel her out and see how she feels about it. She might prefer a day visit or she might not care. Spend some time talking and getting to know her...My girls know that they don't go ANYWHERE unless I have met the parents and because that embarrasses them, they usually have their friends over.
  • Laura1229: I think you should call up the parents, tell them the kids would like to have a sleepover, and invite them over for a BBQ or something—something very laid back and informal—so that you can get to know each other.
  • Missanc: I would suggest an afternoon playdate, at least, before a sleepover. That way when the mom drops off or picks up her daughter, you'll have a chance to chat with her and get to know her a little bit.
  • Fourisplenty: My rule is I have to meet the parents at least once for dinner or at the park before my child can spend the night there.

What do you think is a good age for a sleepover? Do you have any rules about whether your kids can sleep over at other people's houses?

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