My husband and I are not great at planning ahead and definitely not the most prepared when it came to having our first child, Blythe. While people were out setting up baby registries and shopping for baby essentials, we waited and basically decided to "wing it". One because we were tight on budget and didn't want to spend on things we may not end up using. And two, we were lazy and didn't want to research what to buy. Typically, IF we were to buy anything serious, we have a tendency to want to splurge on the best - an all or nothing sort of approach - which requires a lot of time and attention.
So you can imagine when a friend asked the question "what are you going to do with Blythe when you go into labour?", we were dumbfounded and struck point blank. "What a great question..." was the only salvageable words. We had no idea. We had not considered this question and we were already well into our third trimester.
After settling my nerves, I thought about our options (or lack thereof). "Do you think the girls are ready for a sleepover??" I asked my friend...
And that brings me to this post. How to pack for a toddler's first sleepover? Packing our hospital bag was a cinch because there are plenty of "what to pack" resources out there and besides, we've done it before. However, packing for Blythe has proven to be a challenge because toddlers aren't usually old enough to go on sleepovers yet. There are very limited resources on this topic. Six years old is the recommended minimum for sleepovers, according to experts. As a result, I decided to tackle this challenge in my own way.
There are the obvious items that need to go into the bag such as pajamas, day clothes, underwear, outerwear, her favourite blanket and her much loved monkey. And then there are these "nice-to-haves" that I think would make her first sleepover experience extra special (and easier for the host). Here goes my top 10 rundown:
Traveling light is extremely important to me, which is why these microfibre towels are always on my packing list for family trips. We have one for each member of the family including our dog. They dry extremely fast so your child doesn't have to bring home a dripping towel from their sleepover.
2. Glerups Wool Slippers
I don't know about you but after being out and about all day, nothing beats taking off my socks and slipping my tired feet into a pair of soft wool slippers. I'm sure she feels the same way especially after a long day of play. Glerups has been my favoured brand for years and they now make a kid's sized version that is just as soft. Wool slippers are easy to maintain because they have a natural ability to clean itself and is odour resistant.
3. Mackenzie Navy Mermaid Toiletry Bag
I have a soft spot for all things cute and functional (hence our name Pulp Function, in case you haven't noticed). This toiletry bag not only has mermaids on it, it has enough pockets to house all their essentials as well as their favourite bath toy. The entire bag is made of water-resistant polyester material with heavy-duty metal zippers and a hook for hanging. And of course, if yours is more into butterflies, sharks or ballerinas, they have those too.
4. Baby Creme by the Matter Company
Bath time should be a familiar routine whether it is done at home or away from home. Pack a body lotion with a scent that they are familiar with to help make them feel at home. This Baby Creme has been a part of my daughter's bedtime routine since she was a baby. It offers a fresh candy-like scent and contains certified organic calendula and shea butter to help keep their young skin moisturized.
5. Green People Organic Toothpaste
At this age, they are probably not ready for fluoride-based toothpaste. Green People was on mommy blogger Yvonne's top 5 list
. Made of mostly certified organic ingredients, this toothpaste has a nice mandarin flavour and contains Vitamin C, aloe vera and olive leaf extract. It is also made without sorbitol, paragons, artificial sweeteners, petrochemicals and colourants.
6. BAMBU Toddler Spork
This toddler spork made by bambu is perfect for those toddler sized mouths. It is made from certified organic bamboo and is extremely light weight. The two-in-one design means less pieces to worry about. And given the low price point, you won't be sad even if they lost it.
7. Silikids Silibowls
I love designs that offer two-in-one solutions. This bowl comes with a lid that doubles as a plate, making it a versatile choice when eating away from home. It is also microwave safe in case you need to send them off with food inside.
8. Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug
Over the years, we have become complete Zojirushi fans. We have their mugs in almost all their sizes. I love their simplicity, functionality and effectiveness in keeping beverages at the perfect temperature. Every part of the mouth piece comes apart for easy cleaning, so there is no worry of mold build-up. Blythe has been using her Zojirushi since she started preschool and doesn't leave a day without it. She will definitely have this with her during her first sleepover.
9. Fenix Flashlight
And of course, being a Peppa Pig fan, she learned what a sleepover is from this book. I snuck this into her bag as a surprise so she can "read" it before bedtime. Find your child's favourite book and pack it in her bag as a little surprise.
Note: We are not paid to endorse any of the above brands or products. All suggestions are completely our own based on personal experience and research.