This post is sponsored by GoodNites and Sam's Club.

Sidekick recently graduated from his old preschool class and had to leave one of his best friends behind! He’s been begging to meet up with him all summer, so I finally arranged a little slumber party playdate.

Preschooler's first sleepover

It’s his first time sleeping away from us and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. His older brother has no problem sleeping over places, so I'm sure it'll all be just fine. The thing is, at this age, development and skills can vary wildly so I always want the boys to be as prepared as possible to meet some of his needs himself and not cause too much extra work for the other parents. Here's what I like to send on sleepovers to make sure it's a fantastically-fun experience for everyone involved.

What to Pack for a Sleepover

What to pack for your child's first sleepover

First up, the bag. I like to pack a simple tote bag, ideally with a zipper at the top to keep everything from spilling out on the ride over. A big, wide opening means he can easily find whatever he's looking for without digging through a bunch of pockets or pouches.

Overnight bag for a little kid

Next, the essentials. Hair brush, toothbrush, toothpaste (their own toothpaste is important just in case their friend's toothpaste is “spicy” as my kids say), a snack bar (just in case my picky eater thinks their friend's food is “weird”) and jammies.

GoodNites help keep this dude confident at a friend's house

Next up, I always put a few pairs of GoodNites NightTime Underwear in there so he doesn't have to stress over the potential of wetting someone else's bed. It's helpful for him to have an extra just in case, and one that his friend can have if he gets underwear envy. It's a real thing with preschoolers – especially since Sidekick gets SO excited about the cute characters and likes to brag! Going from diaper-to-underwear is a developmental process that includes nighttime undies as part of the transition, and I've actually shared these with a few mom friends who were still using Pull-Ups at night. Many parents aren't aware that there's actually a product specifically made for the sleeping positions and long-time use requirements of nighttime.

Picking up GoodNites at Sam's Club

We use the GoodNites size small, which is super-handy for our little guy. We stock up at Sam's Club at a great value and when we're running low, we often order online (free shipping for the win!) or use drive through club pick up – it's so convenient and makes our life a little bit easier when shopping with little ones. And now when you shop at Sam’s Club, you can get an instant savings of $8 off any Huggies, Pull-Ups, GoodNites and Wipes products. Hurry though – this offer is only valid through 9/17!

Swim trunks, socks, toys and jammies in an overnight bag

Finally, I include some socks in case their friend's house is chilly, swim trunks for pool or hot tub time, a couple small toys so they can bring the fun (I love play scarves, I feel like I'm slowly introducing them to this next generation of children one play date at a time) and a $20 bill for food or activities. I like to text the parent right after they leave, “By the way, I stuck a $20 in his bag – order pizza and give yourself a break in the kitchen!” Many parents feel uncomfortable accepting money but they might need it, and I want people to want my kid over at their house and not feel burdened in any way, so this gets it in their hand without any awkwardness.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget the stuffed animal or comfort item!

When was your kid's first sleepover?

It's not a lengthy list, but there are definitely a few items you may not have thought of that can make that first sleepover easier.