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Preparing DD 4.5yo for sleepover

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this is the right forum but shooting here first.

Our dd has spent several nights at a time away from us with one of my sisters. We spend a lot together and basically my sisters home is like a 2nd home to dd and I. My sister will cosleep with dd too. Aside from that my DD hasn't done sleepovers bc she gets apprehensive (or I do, or we both do) at the thought of other people caring for her overnight.

However DH and I would really like to go away in a few weeks to a couples retreat: we have been having some issues and also want to juice life up again before the next child arrives in a few months. (basically we want to take proactive steps so our marriage survives).

Normally we could have DD stay with my sister (sister 1) but she will be away for work. My other sister2 is able to take DD for the weekend but has some concerns about bedtime bc her kids all sleep on their own (we have very different parenting styles: she parents more like our parents did). But I feel that my dd was in child care from 3months old and also goes to kindergarten so she has had an array of different styles.

I guess I am looking for reassurance I wont destroy her psycological well being by asking her to spend a weekend with Sister 2. DD has spent nights at sister2's house with me and sister1 and has spent time with sister2 though not anywhere as much as sister1.

At this point DD can fall asleep if someone is close by but doesnt do well with the whole now go to sleep basically on your own thing. Also she sometimes will fuss in the middle of the night and doesn't always self soothe back but for the most part will if she can.

Any thoughts or tips to make this an easy time for all of us?! Or general support so I don't feel like a monster for asking my DD to "take one for the team" so to speak because I really believe if hubby and I don't do something our marriage might go thread bare (we are at 12yrs together next month.)
post #2 of 15
Not much advice but I would go ahead with the sleepover. At worst she will have a little trouble sleeping and be a little tired but I honestly don't think she will be scarred. Does she feel close to sister2? Does she feel safe there and is she close to her cousins? I think it might be fun to introduce it as a sleepover with the cousins. I fondly remember sleeping over with two of my cousins. They each had their own room but their mom and dad let us all camp out in the living room together. It was so much fun and totally took the focus off mom and dad. Now we also had another family of cousins but my parents never ever arranged a sleepover at their house. This family was very tense and yelling, doorslamming, etc was routine. They didn't feel like I'd feel safe or comfortable there. As long as sister2's family is peaceful and loving, your DD will do fine. For extra piece of mind, you could do a trial run: just one night and pick DD up after breakfast to see how things went. I'm also expecting baby #2 (in July) and DH and I have been together 10+ years so I can completely relate to wanting to spruce up the marriage before baby arrives. I would make the retreat top priority and work with DD and auntie to give the sleepover the best chance. Even a sleepover flop will be much less stressful for your DD than seeing mom and dad be tense and upset with each other on a regular basis. Hth. Good luck!
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks. She has a loving home but not so peaceful. I'm thinking we'll bite the bullet and do it. Really my marriage is needing attention and it won't have time to be the top priority with an infant the same way we can right now. Thanks for your support!
post #4 of 15

I agree with having a trial run one night. I wouldn't worry about scarring her if it does go wrong though, all those years of attachment will not be wiped out in one weekend.

You might find that being around the other children will help, on sleepovers kids get really excited, it will be a treat, a one off and they'll all be doing something out of their usual routine. It'll be fun for her and a novelty and she'll probably get far more attention and yes, she will be tired afterwards but that will always be the case. She obviously has a solid relationship with you and that will see her through any challenges.

Enjoy your weekend and good luck, it's a tough time but you are taking steps to nurture your relationship with your DH, as well as your child and this can only have a positive effect on her, and any subsequent children. She's not taking one for the team, she's going off to have a fun weekend as well as spend time with an aunt she doesn't normally see as much. You're not a monster, you're someone they're all lucky to have.
 

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the support. Since my sister lives almost 2.5 hrs away - doing a trial run will be much harder to manage. I think we will just go for it and hope for the best instead of worrying about the worst.

 

It is only 4 hours from the retreat center to my sister's we're needed praying.gif that everything will be F-I-N-E!!! 

post #6 of 15

I would ask your sister what she will do if, "________" happens.

 

For example, what will she do if DD wakes up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep?

What will she do if DD wants to stay up later than her own kids?

What will she do if DD can't get to sleep?

 

Is DD excited/happy about spending the night with her cousins? 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks TiredX2! We talked a bit about it and she (Sis) is actually going to have my DD go to bed later so DD can have some one on one time with her to settle in, instead of a chaotic bed time routine. I believe this will work for her. DD is not so thrilled about it but we finally got to a place of knowing really DD would be less thrilled with us separating as a family than she will be going away for this one weekend. Momma and Daddy need some time to REALLY connect.... and the check is in the mail for the weekend now! SO all I can do at this point in build intention for the best weekend possible.

 

DH and I were talking and it clicked that we are spending so much time worrying it will be a hard time for her but we haven't spend much energy in the possibility that DD might had a completely wonderful time. So our invitation is to put energy there so we don't manifest a negative experience with all our worrying (which DD is hyper-sensitive to.)

 

So now looking at how we can work with DD to have her feel at ease.

 

Thanks again for all the great ideas!

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by amlikam View Post

Thanks TiredX2! We talked a bit about it and she (Sis) is actually going to have my DD go to bed later so DD can have some one on one time with her to settle in, instead of a chaotic bed time routine. I believe this will work for her. DD is not so thrilled about it but we finally got to a place of knowing really DD would be less thrilled with us separating as a family than she will be going away for this one weekend. Momma and Daddy need some time to REALLY connect.... and the check is in the mail for the weekend now! SO all I can do at this point in build intention for the best weekend possible.

 

DH and I were talking and it clicked that we are spending so much time worrying it will be a hard time for her but we haven't spend much energy in the possibility that DD might had a completely wonderful time. So our invitation is to put energy there so we don't manifest a negative experience with all our worrying (which DD is hyper-sensitive to.)

 

So now looking at how we can work with DD to have her feel at ease.

 

Thanks again for all the great ideas!

 

Both of my kids spent the night away from me before they had night weaned OR slept through the night.  I was a SAHP and they generally weren't away from me.  They were both thrilled to go, though-- the big factor was that they *wanted* to.  I would try to make it seem like an exciting/special occasion and she'll probably have a blast (provide some snacks, a movie or game to play, etc...).  I hope you enjoy your time away!

post #9 of 15

I always "top n' tailed" with a cousin when I stayed at my aunt's house. I had horrible separation anxiety even as an older kid and loved having a cousin in bed to fall asleep with. Would that work for your wee one?

 

Cons were I always had a kick to the head by morning!  :D
 

post #10 of 15

How about getting her some new pyjamas, or something similar, some special 'sleepover stuff'? She can maybe take some treats with her, depending on what your sister allows, or colouring books, stories, a new toy? Make it an adventure for her and drop hints about presents you might bring back :)
 

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Nice I like that idea.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to thank you all. DD had a WONDERFUL time and did FINE with my sister for the weekend. (Minus the whole McDonalds thing.... DD has never been and my sister brought her without knowing wild.gif ...I guess DD gobbled it up except the fries and drink- apparently she had a melt down because she couldn't have any water there!!!!)

 

I let DD bring my special sleep pillow with her to use and snuggle with. Sleep went without a hitch and DD asked to go back soon!

post #13 of 15
I'm so happy she had a great time! I alsO hope you and DH got a good chance to reconnect smile.gif
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Indeed we did!!! DD might be fully transitioned to her own bed now, and I plan on using the little time we have left to keep that connection Sheepish.gif

post #15 of 15

I'm so glad to hear it went well!

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