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Tips for Handling Sleepovers with Grandparents

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

If you’re one of the lucky ones with parents who take your kids overnight…amazing!! I understand this support is not available to everyone.

However, those who have it , even though I know you are grateful, it comes with its challenges. Our parents are often not into the sleep rules we lay out. You might hear…

“When you were a baby, we just put you down and you fell right to sleep”


“I didn’t sleep for three years with you. Whenever you made a sound, I came running”

If you’ve worked so hard to get sleep in a good place, the last think you want is for it all to unravel at your parents/in-laws. It's tiresome to argue with them, and you just want a night off...

Here are some tips for handling the overnight and how you can approach your child’s sleep with your parents or in-laws.

  1. Give Them Credit: Have confidence in their abilities. They were parents of young children once too. I know things have changed and you have your own way of doing things, but they aren't teenage babysitters. Lay the ground rules for your child’s schedule and trust them. It will go a long way.

  2. Be Authentic: It can be hard to admit the sleep challenges you've been facing with your little one. But, it's best to be real about it so your parents can appreciate the hard work you've put in to create a better sleep situation. If they understand the importance of the investment you’ve made, then they will do their best to work with you.

  3. Share Positives: Give your parents a reality check by explaining how much your child's mood has improved since being sleep trained. Grandparents love their time with the little ones and may stretch awake time to maximize time spent. It’s sweet, but if they know the time will likely be less enjoyable, they might rethink keeping them up, and put more value on sleep. .

  4. Plan The Essentials: Making a special place for your little one at Grandmas will provide comfort and will help her adapt quickly. Invest in a crib or bed for the space, and get a second sound machine and nightlight. You'll want to leave a toothbrush and pjs there as well. There can even be her own special lovie or blanket that stays there so she can get excited to come back to see it.

  5. Take a Deep Breathe and Enjoy! After working so hard to get your child sleeping well, the last thing you want is to go back to sleepless nights. Even if you stress the importance of sleep to the Grandparents, they may still rock or feed her back to sleep, or bring her in their bed at night. While its frustrating, don't worry too much. Your child is adept at recognizing different sleep environments and understanding routines. The one night won't create unwanted habits at home. If they've developed strong independent sleep skills, when back in their own sleep space, they'll fall right into the normal schedule.

If you feel you are ready for sleep support or would like more information on how I can help your child sleep better, book a free call here.

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