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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 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.