Late-overs are the New Sleepovers

Parents tend to be moving away from allowing their children to attend sleepovers. So maybe a ‘late-over’ is a possibility?

Does no one do sleepovers any more?

It really doesn’t seem that sleepovers are that common anymore, unless it’s at a family member’s home. My kids both had friends come for sleepovers on quite a regular basis when they were around six to ten years old. During the school holidays were the obvious choice but we also had kids overnight when their parents were away at functions.

The obvious elephant in the room as to why sleepovers have become less commomplace is the prevalence of news stories about child abuse, domestic violence and substance abuse. It’s natural to want to keep your child safe from harm, whether the danger is real or perceived. Some may view it as an over-reaction or bubble-wrapping kids but you can’t deny a parent’s right to protect their child.

On social media, some people have said that they don’t offer to have kids for sleepovers because they prefer their privacy and they aren’t comfortable with someone other than family staying in their home.

So, what’s a late-over?

Some call it a ‘late-over’. Others refer to it as a ‘sleep under’. Maybe it’s just a tweaked pyjama party? Basically, it’s a chance for kids to socialise at their friend’s home, and stay late, but not actually sleep over. Guests are returned home (or collected) around 9pm, or whatever time suits their age and parent’s preference.

The activities for a late-over can be just as diverse as for a sleep-over, ie:

The pros and cons of a late-over

The late changeover means that kids can enjoy a bit more socialising than if they were just hanging out after school and sent home before dinner. There’s plenty of time for several activities and the kids can play night games like spotlight. They can even be ideal for birthday celebrations.

Late-overs can be great at giving anxious kids a bit of independence without a full-blown night away from home which may inevitably end in tears due to being ‘homesick’.

With the house guest being whisked away at a late but still reasonable hour, the slumber of the remaining household members is less disturbed than with no yak, yak, yak beyond midnight! The following morning, there are no tired, grumpy kids (and parents!), who for some reason think that they need to be up with the first birdsong when they have a friend over.

On the other hand, if you’re hoping to use a late-over for babysitting purposes, you’re a bit restricted with your timing. You could definitely fit in a movie or dinner but late-night partying is obviously off the agenda.

When your child returns home you’re likely going to have to deal with a child who’s hyped up from all the excitement of hanging out at their friend’s house, probably with an abundance of sugary treats having been consumed. Good luck with that.

Would you prefer a late-over to a sleepover?

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her world julieWritten by Julie Scanlon

Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire. 

Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”


  1. Alezandra 03/03/2019 at 11:37 pm

    I have not heard of a late-over before. That would be a good idea to ease this in before getting to the actual sleepover. It’s hard at times to also let go but for the kid/s who might feel peer pressured to stay over when actually he/she isn’t comfortable yet. This is a good conversation to have.

  2. SarahBlair 02/03/2019 at 11:04 pm

    This sounds like a great idea, I think that I would prefer this to a sleepover, not worrying about my kids at someone that I don’t really knows house or having strange kids around in the morning when I am doing my ‘I need coffee’ zombie shuffle!

  3. felicity beets 02/03/2019 at 7:40 pm

    Sounds great – I think it would also be a good idea for children who get a bit homesick and are not able to stay away the whole night.

  4. kymmage 01/03/2019 at 8:29 am

    Haven’t even heard of a late over before this article. Interesting concept. Yeah my kids have done three sleepovers – for miss 11 and 1 for miss 6. My house is such a pig sty I couldn’t imagine letting another kid come and stay but my kids have gone elsewhere. They are so tired in the morning when I pick them up. But buzzing and happy. I only ever do it if I trust the other parents. And only if the kid really really wants to. I think a late over would be tiring too but I guess a better sleep in their own beds.

  5. MuddledUpMolly 27/02/2019 at 3:52 pm

    Late overs are a new concept to me but they sound great 🙂 We have allowed our eight our old son the occasional sleep over which he loves but we would never let him go to just any old place especially in this day and age.

  6. dawnblyth 27/02/2019 at 11:58 am

    Late overs sound a great idea. No need to worry about getting chatting boys to sleep at a reasonable hour then lol.

  7. Mands1980 25/02/2019 at 12:05 pm

    We have had a few sleepovers for the kids with them going to friends and them going to stay at friends places. We live rural so this late over may work for some occasions but not others. My kids only stay at peoples places that we have got to know so they are not strangers to the kids or us. We have had some stay at our place till around 7-8pm then go home after tea as some children worry about sleeping over and would rather be at there own house and this is fine too so I guess this is a late -over. I would probably refer late-overs then our own kids will sleep better than if there is an extra child in the house and they want to stay up real late then wake early.

  8. Bevik1971 25/02/2019 at 10:35 am

    Our daughter is 6 and hasn’t had a sleepover at a friend’s house yet. She really only has 1 friend that she has known from Kindy that I would be trusting enough to let her stay at her house! I don’t really care about what people think, this is my daughter and I really just don’t trust many people! She doesn’t ask to stay at her friend’s places and is really quite happy at home, so why change things?! 🙂

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