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Sleepovers & Bedtime

Exactly How Many Kids Should I Have at a Sleepover?

If your tween or teenager has been begging you to have a sleepover with more than one of her friends, you are probably a bit hesitant. After all, caring for one extra kid is hard enough. But you can't keep saying no forever. Once you decide to give in and throw your teen a sleepover with a few of their friends, the next question is, how many kids are too many?

Sleepover Tips for Parents

Just remember the more kids your child has at her sleepover, the harder it is going to be for you to get them (and you) to sleep. Keep these tips in mind when planning your sleepover:

  • House size. If your house is so small, you can barely fit your family in it, you might want to keep the sleepover size to one or two kids at the most.
  • Sleeping arrangements. You need to discuss with your child where her friends will be sleeping. Are they all going to sleep in your child's bedroom or in the basement, or will some kids sleep in the guest bed? If they all plan to sleep in the same area, make sure you realistically assess how many can fit in the room. If the kids plan to sleep on the floor, which is pretty common, make sure to tell the other parents to provide sleeping bags and pillows.
  • How light of a sleeper are you? Do you wake up with every little noise, or does your spouse tell you that you could sleep through a natural disaster? The more kids, the louder the sleepover will be and the more likely the kids will find a way to stay up past midnight.
  • Number of adults. How many adults will be there when the kids come over? Is it going to be just you or is your spouse going to be there as well? You'll want talk about the plans with other family members to make sure they're on board with helping out. More kids, means more snacks, more mouths to feed in the morning, etc.
  • Tomorrow's events. Consider what events are taking place the next day. If your child has a soccer tournament, you probably want her to be well rested, so you'll need to limit the number of people or perhaps not have the sleepover at all that evening.
  • Breakfast -- What are they all going to eat in the morning? Plan ahead and get cereal, OJ, and plenty of milk.

No one can tell you what does or doesn't feel comfortable for your particular situation. Just because the next door neighbor threw a sleepover with eight plus kids, doesn't mean you have to. Make the decision together with your teen and decide on some ground rules before you agree to anything. Remember, sleepovers are a fun experience for children and a slight headache might be worth your child's happiness.