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Sleepover Smarts

Does your child like the idea of sleepovers  -- but the reality, not so much? No matter how excited she is, a middle-of-the-night phone call is normal. "Even a different bedtime routine or strange-looking tree outside the window can make a child homesick," says Stacy DeBroff, founder of momcentral.com. To help her make it through the night:

Start small. Plan some overnights with a cousin or babysitter first.

Send a piece of home with him. Pack a family photo, her pillow, or a stuffed animal.

Warn the other mom. Tell her if your child needs a nightlight or is afraid of dogs. She wants to avoid having a crying child at midnight as much as you do!

If, despite all this, she still calls, go get her. Making her stay won't teach her to toughen up  -- it'll only make her more nervous about trying again in a few weeks.

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