Sleepover Tips from Parents of Kids with Diabetes

It’s normal for a child’s first few sleepovers to cause their parents some undue stress. What if my child has a health issue or just isn’t comfortable there? What if these other parents don’t agree with my parenting style? All kinds of things could go wrong!

The list of what-ifs gets even longer when your child has diabetes. You worry that your child may eat things they’re not supposed to eat, that perhaps the other parents will even encourage your child to eat things that could cause problems. You worry that your child will experience a high or a low and nobody at the party won’t know what to do. You worry that your child will forget to give themselves insulin or check their blood glucose and that the adults will forget about it too. How can you possibly let your child go to this party where so many terrible things could happen?

Below, parents of children with diabetes give their advice on how to deal with sleepovers. Their tips are directed toward the parent of a 6-year-old girl who has diabetes and celiac disease, so some comments are specific to celiac disease and it’s dietary restrictions, but the same principles can be applied to the dietary restrictions of diabetes.

child party

NOTE: Some comments have been edited for length or grammar.

Adult Supervision

“We struggled through a lot of the sleepover hassles but what was non-negotiable was that at least one adult would be able to take care of lows and high highs even if that adult was one of us driving over. When a parent volunteered to get up in the middle of the night for the first time it made my year just so my daughter could have her first sleepover since diagnosis.” —Children with Diabetes user Lakeman

Early Pick-up

“Just throwing it out there that if you aren’t comfortable with her spending the night, you can always let her stay for all the fun stuff and then come and pick her up when you think they might be probably winding down for the night. My daughter is 8 and that’s what we have done for sleepovers. We just aren’t there yet with having her stay the night in a situation where the adults are minimally trained.” —Children with Diabetes user susanlindstrom16

(P.S. We’d like to add that you can work up to all-night sleepovers by trying a sleepover at Grandma’s house or an aunt and uncle’s house first!)

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