Sleepover Failure: The Toddler Edition

My oldest son who is well on his way to being five-years-old at the end of the year has always loved sleep over parties with Grandma. Maybe once a month, for the past year he has decided he enjoys the company of my mother, which is fine with me. One less child in the madness may not seem like a big help, but it can be.

When my oldest toddler Benjamin started seeing how much his big brother enjoyed his trip for a slumber party with Grandma, he started to ask if he could have a turn for a sleepover and Grandma was right on board. We decided the kids would take turns. One sleepover Camden would take a turn, and the next time Grandma was up for it, Benjamin would have his opportunity.

Yeah, at least we thought that was how it would go.

Instead around 8:45pm the night I left Benjamin with Grandma I received a phone call to come pick him back up because he was crying for mommy. He wouldn’t go to sleep, wouldn’t stop crying, wouldn’t cuddle with Grandma … nothing. All he wanted was Mommy. Which was a nice feeling for a moment, until I had to get in the car and drive 20 minutes to the next town to pick him up when I should have been getting the other kids ready for bed.

I know, why is this all worthy of a blog post?
Who really cares if my three year old freaks out at sleep overs?

Every time I now bring my oldest son for a sleep over with Grandma, Ben decides it is his turn and he is the one who wants to go. He begs for a sleep over repeatedly but when it comes time for it, the waterworks come and it turns into a complete nightmare.

This is where the parenting advice of others come into play!

What do I do?

I feel like I shouldn’t allow the oldest to go on sleepovers because it isn’t fair to Ben. But on the other hand, why shouldn’t he be able to go and spend time with his grandmother? It is something he clearly enjoys to do, so I don’t want to punish him.

Has anyone gotten their toddler through the fear of a sleep over like this before? Do you have any tips or tricks you tried to help them get over their fear?

Oh, and before I end my post today, embarrassing fact about myself. I promise it is totally relevant to this post.

I didn’t do sleepovers as a kid. Not with family, not with friends. No one. I would go, and try, and just like my Benjamin, I would FREAK out. I could have been at my best friends house across the street and walk home just to go to bed. Maybe Benjamin’s reactions to sleepovers is just the payback for my sleepover hell I put my parents through as a child?



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