I have In-Laws but they’re well into their years so haven’t ever taken my kids for more than a few hours and no other close family to do so. If we want a night out we have to pay for a baby sitter BUT a very good friend last year made a suggestion – the sleep over swap.

While the name is fairly self-explanatory, the way it works is we pick nights for both families, usually within the same month and one family takes all the kids for a whole evening, into the next day – then the other family does so. Fair trade. And it’s the perfect option for people who have no family close by to help out! Sitters can be PRICEY!

  1. Find a friend – someone with the same number of kids, or not, in my case my friend has 3 and I have 2, it works just fine but the fact that they’ve been friends since Moms Group certainly helps.
  2. Chose your dates – We try to make it within the same month but you can spread it out if you have important events coming up – concerts, weddings, fun stuff like that.
  3. Decide on dinner – we usually just feed the kids, it evens out since you’ll both be taking care of each other’s kids but sometimes the family that is dropping off might choose to bring pizza or something their picky eaters like.
  4. Figure out your sleeping arrangments. The last one we did we had all the kids sleeping in the living room, I slept on the couch to manage horse play. I got no sleep ….not sure I would recommend this one.    Next time they’ll be sleeping in rooms!
  5. Plan something fun! We had movies and snacks because it was cold out but as the kids get older there are board games, crafts, playing outside. All kinds of good stuff!
  6. And this is not necessary but a little extra. We bring each other little treats. For example, when my friend dropped her kids off with me, she brought an Italian Centre Sandwich and in the AM, I was treated to a fancy coffee. It’s nice to thank each other for the 12+ hours of couple time.

This works great for us, whether you do it every 6 months or once a month – kids LOVE sleepovers and parents deserve time spent together without children in tow.  And with school starting, our little group of kiddos doesn’t see each other as much so it’s a really nice way to stay connected.

Have you ever had a sleepover swap? Any other tips?

Edmonton's Child

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