As a kid, I loved firework shows. The louder, the better. Of course, back then it didn’t occur to me that, located somewhere within the same 5 mile radius, was a new mom pulling her hair out because her baby wouldn’t sleep.
If you’re the mother of a baby or toddler, you’re probably feeling alternating excitement and dread for your baby’s first Fourth of July celebration. Sleep is a very precious commodity during early motherhood and you’d like to protect it at all costs.
If you’re looking for some smart tips on how you can help your baby sleep through the fireworks, you’ve come to the right place. I used the tips below to safeguard my daughter’s sleep on her first Fourth of July with great results.
It’s a holiday, mama! The last thing you want to do is spend baby’s first Independence Day stressing about every firework shooting off. So, let’s get to it!
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5 Smart Tips to Protect Your Baby’s Sleep During Holiday Fireworks
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Before we get into the most effective strategies helping your baby sleep through fireworks, let’s talk about baby and fireworks safety.
If fireworks are blasting off right by your baby’s window, you’re probably wondering, “Can fireworks hurt my baby’s ears?” Assuming your baby is safely tucked away, the answer is most likely no. Having said that, it really depends on the proximity of the fireworks, your baby’s age, and how many decibels the firework is emitting.
Now that we’ve reviewed some safety measures, let’s focus on protecting your baby’s sleep.
Get Baby Used to Fireworks Beforehand
It’s a good idea to get your baby at least used to the sound of fireworks before the big ones set off at night. Familiarity can alleviate some of the shock and make the fireworks far less disrupting.
If your baby or toddler is old enough, you can simply set off a few small fireworks. Do your best to make a game of it, highlighting how pretty they are and ooing and awing at the “cool sounds.” If the event is absolutely terrifying to your toddler, try not to sweat it. Just casually move on to another activity.
If you have a newborn, even small fireworks will probably be too stimulating. You may want to set them off while baby’s inside just to acclimate her to the popping sounds.
Before introducing your baby to fireworks, make sure you keep your baby a safe distance and with age-appropriate safety guidelines.
Put Baby to Bed Before the Fireworks Begin
This is my go-to strategy for not only preventing a baby from waking up from fireworks, but for thunderstorms or late-night card games. Try to ensure that your baby is in a deep sleep for at least an hour prior to the beginning of the fireworks show.
This step might take a little preparation, depending on your baby’s typical bedtime. For example, if you typically put your baby down for the night at 9PM, and the fireworks begin at 9:30, you may want to gradually move your baby’s bedtime to 8 or 8:30 the week before.
Use a White Noise Machine
If you don’t have a noise machine, you need one. Trust me.
Not only will this little device help your baby sleep through fireworks, but it will protect your baby’s sleep from impromptu visits from the mailman (doorbells are never louder than when a newborn is in the house) or accidental fire alarm set offs.
A white noise machine emits a gentle sound wave (white noise) that dims down the surrounding noise your baby hears. Sometimes that white noise sounds like a radio static, other times it’s rainfall or ocean waves.
Amazon sells basic models for $20 but I’m a big fan of the Hatch Baby Sound Maker because it multi-functions as a night light and an alarm as well. If you don’t have time to buy one, a fan, air conditioner, or a radio playing static will do in a pinch.
Here are a few general guidelines for using a sound machine to help your baby sleep through fireworks:
- Acclimate your baby to a sound machine at least a few days beforehand. If that’s not possible, integrate it during his naps.
- The louder the sound machine, the better. You will need to gradually adjust your baby’s ears to the sound. Start at the lowest setting and work your way up. Ideally, by the time Independence Day rolls around, he’ll have no trouble with the highest setting.
- Keep it running through the night.You never know when your neighbors will discover that they still have a few fireworks left! On that note, you might want to keep it running the 3rd and 5th too…
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Don’t Skip a Nap
You might be tempted to skip your baby’s nap before the fireworks, either from a desire to “tire him out” or because the festivities make your day too busy.This can actually hurt your cause.
If your baby doesn’t get good sleep during the day, he may become overtired at night.
Just think of those times when you’ve gone to bed super late. Was your sleep restless? Your baby’s experience will be similar. If he’s wired before he goes to bed, he’s much more likely to wake up during the fireworks show.
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Give Your Baby a Minute to Resettle
Even if you employ all the tips above, a particularly loud blast might wake your baby at some point. When this happens, wait for a minute or two before running in. He may just be fussy because he doesn’t appreciate the interruption to his sleep, not necessarily out of fear. Wait a minute or two to see if he resettle himself. At that point, if his cries intensify, you know that he needs you for comfort.
If you do need to comfort your baby, try to avoid fear-instilling language like, “Oh, you poor baby. Did the big fireworks scare you?” Instead, simply acknowledge his fear in a calm, quiet voice, and reassure him that he’s safe.
Do You Have the Secret Sauce for Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through Fireworks?
If you’re stressing about the upcoming firework show, I sincerely hope that these tips help. It’s hard to predict how a baby will react to fireworks, so try not to take it personally if you run into a few hiccups. Your goal is simply to ease him through this new event and you’re doing a great job.
Now, it’s your turn. I’d love to hear about any strategies you’ve tried that have (or haven’t) worked. Let us know in the comments below!
Have a great 4th of July!