Holidays can be stressful as a parent, especially holidays celebrated with fireworks! Parents ask me, will my baby sleep through the fireworks? Can I bring my baby to see a fireworks show? Let me share with you how you can set your baby up for success when it comes to sleep and fireworks.
How do I help my baby sleep through fireworks?
It’s very possible your baby will sleep right through those loud firework booms if you’re at home. But here are some tips to help set your baby up for successful sleep during fireworks:
Aim for deep sleep during the fireworks.
It’s helpful to have your baby be asleep for at least 40 minutes before the fireworks start to increase the chances of them being in a deeper sleep when the noise begins.
Maintain consistency around bedtime.
Continue to use your baby’s usual bedtime routine, keep their bedtime at its regular hour, and watch their wake windows to avoid overtiredness.
Mask the noise of the fireworks.
Turn up your baby’s sound machine. Aim for the same volume as a shower running while standing in a bathroom. You can always turn the volume down after the fireworks end if you want.
Also consider adding another sound machine outside their room or in the hallway. This can help block additional noise.
Offer your baby comfort if needed.
If your baby does wake, offer comfort and assistance to help your baby fall back to sleep – one night of extra help is not going to ruin anything!
Can babies watch fireworks?
This really depends on your baby. You know your baby best, but here are some questions to ask yourself:
Does your baby startle easily?
Does your baby get upset by loud/unpredictable noises?
Is your baby sensitive to overtiredness (e.g. quick to become fussy, experiences early morning wakings)?
If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you’ll need to determine whether your baby is really ready to see the fireworks. It’s okay if they’re not! We always want to honor what our babies can handle. If you decide taking your baby to see fireworks isn’t something you want to do, don’t forget you can always show them a video of fireworks from the comfort of your home.
If you decide to take your baby to the fireworks show, you’ll want to prepare for any reaction your baby may have. The sounds, the crowds, and/or the lights may alarm your baby, so it’s best to have a backup plan in case your baby doesn’t handle the fireworks well. Consider:
Is there a quieter area you can go to if your baby gets upset?
Will you be able to leave/exit the show easily if you need to go?
Here are a few additional tips to help fireworks with your baby go a bit smoother:
Cover your baby’s ears by using sound-protecting headphones.
Consider sitting further away from the noise – at least 200 feet is recommended.
Consider using a stroller fan if you’ll be using a stroller or bassinet.
Bring your baby’s lovey to help provide them comfort if they become anxious or scared.
Expert tip: For older toddlers and children, depending on their understanding, explain to them what to expect during the fireworks: tell them about the loud noises followed by bright lights, describe the crowd and anything else you know about the setup, and tell them about any traveling you’ll do to get there.
How do I keep my baby or toddler awake to see fireworks?
You’ll want to set your day up for success so your baby or toddler handles staying up past their normal bedtime. First, try to get in at least one solid nap the day of the fireworks show to help avoid your baby getting overtired later. If you have a toddler, try your best to allow your toddler to maintain their normal midday nap. We can allow for a little more daytime sleep if your baby will sleep longer and allow a nap to go up to 2 hours if they’re taking more than 1 nap a day.
Next, consider trying to get your baby or toddler to take a catnap in the late afternoon/early evening so a later bedtime will be more tolerated. This nap can be an assisted nap.
Be sure to keep wake windows in mind. We need to make sure we’re shifting bedtime late enough to make an extra nap possible. Your baby needs to have a solid wake window before offering the additional nap.
Let me give you an example. This baby usually takes 2 naps, and their typical schedule may look like this:
|6:00 am||Wake up|
|9-10:30 am||Nap 1|
|2-3:00 pm||Nap 2|
Offering an extra nap at 4:30 pm won't do any good because this baby won't be tired since the wake window is too short. Instead, a day with an added catnap might look like this:
|6:00 am||Wake up|
|9-10:30 am||Nap 1|
|2-2:45 pm||Nap 2|
|6:15-6:45 pm||Assisted Nap|
(See how we still offered wake windows of at least 3-3.5 hours in the evening? We have to get in good wake windows even with that additional nap.)
Please don’t stress too much. Your baby will more than likely stay awake because of all the stimulation from the sounds, lights, and people!
For the trip home, plan to do a mini bedtime routine (including a feeding, if needed). Make sure to pack pajamas and whatever else you need. This will help with transferring your baby or toddler from the car to their crib or bed when you get home. If baby wakes when transferring, feel free to provide a 10-minute condensed bedtime routine and lay them down as you normally do.
Just remember, your baby probably won’t sleep in later the next morning just because they had a later bedtime.
Remember to enjoy yourself!
It’s one night, and we can always get your baby back on track! I want you to enjoy the holidays and make memories. You can still have a great sleeper during (and after) the holidays. If sleep is always a struggle, I have classes that can help. For babies under 5 months, check out my First Five Months Bundle, and if your little one is 5–24 months, The 5–24 Month Collection will teach you everything you need for great sleep.