Mama/Kid Sleepover!

This weekend, to help cheer up the cold winter, my friends Sharon, Kendra and I decided to have a mama/kid sleepover! We figured it would be like taking a trip together but without having to leave town.

So, one afternoon, we all piled into Kendra’s house uptown (her husband was on a work trip). As we arrived armed with travel cribs, backpacks and rowdy kiddos, she joked, “This is either going to be the best idea we’ve ever had or a total disaster.”

After playing and exploring the neighborhood, that evening we made pizzas. Kendra’s awesome tip: Buy fresh dough from your local pizza place! Smart, right? It was easy, cheap and tasted great.

The kids each made mini pizzas with sauce and cheese…

And we made some for the moms, including one with cheese and grilled red onions. Delicious.

(Eeks! Those cheeks!)

But the highlight was the Nintendo Wii dancing game that Sharon brought. Have you played it? You try to do the same moves as the dancers on screen, and the game somehow tracks you to see how well you do.

Nailed it.

Here are the kiddos rocking out. They did it for HOURS while the ladies talked and ate cookies in the kitchen (and sometimes peeked in).

The next morning we had bagels and bacon. It was so much fun; I can’t believe we had never thought of it before! We could really relax and hang out without having to rush home for naps and bedtimes. The only catch is that we got approximately zero hours of sleep that night:) But it was worth it.

Would you do this? Do you already have grown-up sleepovers? Or travel with friends? I’m so into it!

  1. I would love to do something like this! Also, who doesn’t love both bagels AND bacon?!?

  2. What a CRAZY idea! I think I love it. :)We love travelling with our kid family friends but I’ve never thought of this.

  3. Fantastic idea! Why have I never thought of this! Great post!

  4. this is really cute. what a great idea : )

  5. i love this idea…we discovered it while traveling this past december and stayed with some friends along the way. it was awesome to hang out as adults once all the kiddies were put to bed.

  6. This sounds super fun! Especially if you have the space!! :)

  7. We do not have kids yet(Im pregnant with one) but we love to have people sleepover at our place. the feeling of just falling asleep with you friend while having a conversation on the sofa and your husbands waking you to go to ben in the end is just great :) lets see how we will do with the babies!

  8. I used to do this when my kids were little such good mommy bonding. Enjoy it now when the kids are young my kids are now ages 11 to 22 and I have great memories of sleepovers with my girlfriends!

  9. For the last two years, we have spent New Years Eve Eve and New Years Eve with our friends and their daughter. Both years were fantastic! We planned out meals ahead of time, painted nails with our daughters and drank bloodies throughout the day. Now that our kids can play with each other, it’s surprisingly relaxing.

  10. I love this! What an awesome idea. I still love sleepovers. My husband and I live in an apartment above another couple who are our good friends. Recently we had a sleepover, girls downstairs, guys upstairs, to celebrate another friend who was moving away. It was perfect, the girls ate chocolate and stayed up way too late talking and the guys watched cartoons :)

  11. Trader Joe’s pizza dough is actually quite good – and I think I pay a dollar and change for it. I’ve also made my own using this recipe (so easy)!

    Pizza dough also freezes pretty well – we have 3-4 in the freezer at all time. If thaws in an afternoon (or if I am in a rush, I put it in a ziplock bag and place in warm water for about 30 minutes).

  12. What an amazing idea! When I’m a momma, I hope I have momma friends I can do this with!

    I’ve got two different girlfriends – one of them’s my cousin – who used to sleep over at least once a week each, before I moved in with my boyfriend. We’d share a bed, and talk all night, and it was just like it was when we were girls. I’m actually secretly waiting for my fella to be gone for a weekend so we can do it again.

  13. Such a fun idea! I love Toby’s little prance dance in the video :)

  14. We did the Michael Jackson Wii dance at our wedding reception. EVERYONE got into–kind of like bowling, no one is great at it, so it’s lots of fun. We had more guests tell us how much they preferred that to just dancing (we had both). I knew it would get the kids up, but had no idea how many “big kids” wanted to give it a try!

  15. This is such a super fun idea!!

  16. This is such a super fun idea!!

  17. I have to say, I freaking love that you and Sharon are friends! This makes complete sense to me, based on my thorough internet stalking of you both… So glad y’all had fun!

  18. that is such a genius idea!! bookmarking this for when I have kids…sometime in the near future!

  19. Too cute. I have done this once before for an entire weekend. I’m fortunate to 1) have a girlfriend that has access to a cabin in Tahoe and 2) live near Tahoe. We headed up on a Friday – 4 moms and 5 kids, ages 2 1/2 yrs to 3 months. It Took 4 cars to cart all our stuff too, given the wintry conditions. But we had the most amazing weekend, just chatting, eating good food and playing with all the kids through Monday morning. It did lack a lot of sleep as well. I can’t wait for another trip to be planned soon.

  20. thanks for these adorable comments! (Alaina, that is so cute that a single guy came too!)

  21. THIS IS THE BEST IDEA EVER! And I don’t even have a kid yet (well, one on the way).

    I am sharing this with my girlfriends so we can do this when our kids are older. SO FUN!

  22. hahahha I love that Toby is just doing his own dance in that video!

  23. Caputo’s makes the best (and supercheap) pizza dough!

  24. I’m thinking this could be a great Grandmother/grands event too. Plus it would give our grown up kids a date night! Gonna have to put that into action! Grandmas like sleepovers, too!

  25. This looks awesome. Where was Anton?! Does this mean you aren’t breastfeeding him? (I ask because otherwise it’d be hard to leave him for that long, right?) Hurray for fun with friends and kiddos!

  26. Toby’s face in the background of the pizza photo is my favorite. So candid!

  27. We do this all the time (but with hubbies too). New Years Eve is 5 families in one house!!

  28. That sounds like so much fun!!!
    I want to go have kids just so I can have a mama/kid sleepover!

  29. We are planning one of these with our best friends. We always hate how one family has to leave early to get our kids in bed, or how expensive it is to pay a sitter after a night out, so we are planning to put the kids to bed early and stay up late playing Cards Against Humanity by the fireside! There will also be alcohol, ha!

  30. I would SO do this! I was psyched to see that the kids were all different ages, too, since my girlfriends and I don’t have kiddos all the same age!

  31. That is adorable! Such a cute idea!

  32. ok , this is such a fun idea, how come i never thought of it?

    def, trying that soon.

  33. Such a fun idea! And budget friendly too!
    ~Sarah @ 702 Park Project

  34. This is adorable, and seems like so much fun! I love when kids get to the age where they can entertain each other, and you also get to observe how your kids interact with other children, which parents don’t always get to see!

    On another, totally shallow note, I adore your friend’s heavy-bang-and-topknot look in the first photo! It’s not something I can pull off with my own hair, but my daughter has the perfect hair for it, so I do it as much as possible!

  35. Joanna,
    How have you met friends as an adult? I know this topic has come up before through the wonderful article Alex wrote about the topic, but I’d love a series on how different women made their friend groups. I’m feeling very alone post college!

  36. I sleep over at my friends’ houses periodically, especially in the winter if the weather is bad. I live in the same city as several of my friends, but we’re spread out through the city and it’s often just easier for me to crash on a couch or in a guest bedroom then driving me home late at night.

  37. This is genius. What a great idea, I wish I had friends with babies.

  38. My family takes a ski trip with 3 other families each year! Last year there were 8 adults and 8 boys {ages 6-9}. Surprisingly they get along famously and the adults get to spend long evenings eating, drinking and laughing. It’s great to get away. I highly recommend it!

  39. We do this, too! Only we do the young 20-somthings in the city version: adult pajama party!

    We cram into our SF apartment and tee an old movie up on the projector (we found a 1965 classroom projector screen at a flea market) and we drink wine and eat popcorn and hang out in our jams until the early hours. Those who need to leave can, and those who want to sleep over, do. Then we all make pancakes for breakfast in the am :)

  40. welp, living in this crazy huge metropolis we call NYC, EVERYONE wants to visit, and nobody can afford the hotels. we have sleepovers/visitors all the time! even for some of those who live in the burbs nearby and have to drive to our house sometimes end up crashing on the air mattress. don’t drink and drive, my friends ;)

  41. Wonderful idea!! And what fun photots of the kiddos rockin’ out! I must try this with my girlfriends and their kiddos…my daughter, Dorian would LOVE it. Thanks Jo. Cheers to you love!

  42. This is how I totally want to do sleepover for my children until they go to college! :)

  43. We stick to playdates, but I’m thinking of going somewhere warm with Hubs for spring break, just the two of us (first trip since honeymoon with the two of us). spring break needs to be something adults bring back.

  44. oh my! What an idea! Might have to try this someday, looks like too much fun!

  45. OMG…so fun and liberating. Great idea and images (although missed you on the pics!) XO

  46. Such a sweet idea! I think too often parents of young children become super inflexible in their routines, they find something that works for them and aren’t willing to budge from it. This seems like such a sweet way to mix it up!

  47. Our little group of friends went on a trip to south lake Tahoe together from the sf bay area. There were 12 aduls and 6 kids from the ages of 3 months to 2.5. We rented a huge house with 7 rooms, an indoor pool, a theater room, and plenty of space to run around. It was tiring because most of the kids didnt sleep well but so fun to all be together. The ladies went and got mani/pedis one afternoon and the guys went to the casinos one night.

  48. I have done this with friends and it feels like it happens when the husbands are out of town! We always stay up too late, but it feels worth it (always does at the time). In October, I went on my first night away from our 2 kids and it cracked me up becasuse my husband had 2 friends with their kids sleepover and one single friend. He was sending me pics and it was chaos for all the dads. Got some good laughs and I had a grea time knowing him and the kids were busy!

  49. So fun! I just had a sleepover with a bunch of girlfriends this past weekend! (husbands were out of town as well!)

  50. Joanna! Ace turned three a few weeks ago (can you believe it?!) and we did just this for his birthday party. It was so fun! We set up a tent inside, ate pizza, and watched Home Alone. I posted a few photos on Lake & Co (, if you’d like to see. xx

  51. Ohh yes, we do this everytime we are back home in Denmark. Only difference is that it is only girls! 3 generations, 3 adults (2 sisters, 1 daughter), 3 kids (4, 7 and 10 of age), Wii dance, gaming, nailpolish, hairstyling, pancake making… And of course sleep over.

  52. We actually did this for New Years! Two brave families brought their 1 year olds over, they all went to bed in their portable cribs at 7:30pm, the parents played board games til 3am, and we all had brunch together in the morning. It was like a mini-bed and breakfast in our Brooklyn home. Highly recommend it if you have the room. New Year’s can be such a disappointment to me but this was the best one ever!

  53. Love this idea! Something to keep in mind when I have kids ;)

  54. tapir, good question! yes, it was because we stayed up til 3am talking, and then the youngest girl woke up during the night, and then toby woke up at 6am. ouch, haha. but you could definitely figure out a way to get more sleep, especially if you went to bed at a reasonable hour. :)

  55. Sounds like an awesome idea! If you don’t mind sharing, was the zero hours of sleep because the kids had trouble settling down in a new environment, or because the adults stayed up having grown-up chatting time? Do you think there could be a version that involves sleep? Because that would sound double awesome. :-)

  56. That sounds great!! Having no kids, my sleepovers with my friends usually involve comfort food, wine, films, Party & Co, music and lots of talk. I love it :)