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...







What age is appropriate for a first sleepover if you don't know the other parents very well?

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Total Votes: 52

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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?

friends, independence, sleep


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Cafe... Cafe Cynthia

I wouldn't let my son or daughter sleep over a friend's house whose parents I didn't know till they were much older, like 12. And I'd be sitting them down for a good "talk" beforehand.


I would never let my child sleep over at a friend's house if I don't know the parents fairly well.  That would freak me out.

rebel... rebelmom120602

I won't even consider letting my kids spend the night w/ anyone.  Too many bad things happen these days and just because you know someone doesn't necessarily mean you really know them.  You never know what goes on in someone else's home.  Way too scary these days.

busym... busymom1107

Okay this is what is wrong parents these days! My daughter is twelve and is always wanting to sleep over at a friends house. I go out of my way to meet the parents of anyone my daughter stays the night with. You need to know your child is being taken care of, that there not going to be allowed to run the streets, and they're not going to be hanging out with boys. This is when kids start  "trying to find themselves" .  Show them that you care or they'll thnk you don't

busym... busymom1107

What age is appropriate for the 1st sleepover? My answer would be when they don't have accidents anymore at night.

bandk... bandk4ever

I had a couple of bad experiences when I was a kid. So I'm a little freaked out about sleepovers.

HaiDanni HaiDanni

my daughter is young - almost 4 .. And she asks for friends to stay here, which i allow. I am much more comfortable having extra kids than sending her off, and i have a feeling thats not likely to change. Even when shes older, sleepovers will probably be at our house a majority of the time.

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