Toddler Milestone – Norton’s First Sleepover!

Norton will be two years old in two weeks.  I know that the first sleepover at Grandma’s is a toddler milestone that a lot of children have already had by this point… but it’s a toddler milestone that I sort of put off.  Not because my in-laws are anything other than awesome, but because he’s my baby and stays home with me.

But since Eudora is due soon and my in-laws are the ones who will be keeping Norton during the birth, logic says that it’s a good idea that we make sure that he’s okay with having sleepovers now instead of when there’s no choice and nothing to be done but suffer through it.  We’re out to make it as non-traumatic as possible for him.

So on Saturday night, we took Norton to the in-laws.  We had dinner, stayed over, and the husband and I put Norton to bed.  It was a bit of a struggle, as our toddler bedtime routine now includes resisting going to sleep, crying for a few minutes in his room, and then staying up and playing with his toys until he decides he’s ready to go to sleep.  It’s not a particularly fun toddler bedtime routine, but at least the resistance part doesn’t last too long.

We put Norton down in his room at his grandparents’ house (yup, kid has his own room filled with his own toys just for when he visits), and we brought over Pillow, Scout, and Buddy Bear since those are the things that he insists upon having in bed with him.  He was tucked in, Scout was turned on, and good night kisses were given.  Then he ran out of the room.

This was repeated three or four times before we finally got out of the room before Norton did.  And then he cried.  And I sat in the living room and felt like I was abandoning my kid.  Then we started to hear some playing noise… and then silence.

Leaving Norton at his grandparents’ house was significantly harder than I’d thought.  In a word, it sucked.  I nearly cried when leaving.

Yes, I’ve been away from Norton before.  Once, overnight, when the husband and Norton were staying in the southern part of BC very near the border and I took Andy and my niece to Seattle to fly home.  I was gone for roughly 18 hours.  It sucked, but it was different because at least Norton was with his Daddy.  He’d never been away from both of us.

Of course, my worrying was for nothing.  Norton had a great time with his Grandma and Grumpy when he got up in the morning.  And we’re going to repeat the sleepover next week, this time with Grandma and Grumpy being the ones to put him to bed while we’re there.  I suspect we’ll repeat this ritual every week until Eudora makes her arrival.  Hopefully by then, it’ll be no problem for any of us.

How old were your kids when they did their first sleepover?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Cael was about a month old when my mom started keeping him every Saturday night so SO and I could get some real sleep. After we moved out of my hometown and to SO’s hometown (Cael was about 6 months), MIL keeps him over night every few weekends. I bawled the whole night the first few times he went for sleepovers, then I got too used to sleeping in! It gets better though, just like when you have to use a babysitter or daycare. I bet I’ll start all over when Cael starts kindergarten though…

  2. Katey still hasn’t slept over with anyone yet. Michael didn’t until he was between 2 and 3. I’m pretty sure Katey will fairly soon.

  3. My hubby and I have left our baby with family members overnight before (once because I was hospitalized, the other time so we could have a weekend away!) but it’s always been at our own house. So, that’s not really a sleepover 😉 He just turned 1, though, so I’m sure at some point we’ll take him to my parents and leave him there for a weekend! If they didn’t live so far away, I’m sure we would have done so by now 😉

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