Fireworks night is a favourite in our household. Getting wrapped up and going out into the chilly night for some toffee apples and hot chocolate!
However, it’s not just pets that are impacted by fireworks. Sometimes our little ones can be frightened by the loud bangs which creates some anxiety around bedtime. Even if they aren’t scared and love the colour, it might simply be the loud noises late into the night will keep them awake. So what can we do to help our little ones sleep on bonfire night?
Getting your child down at their normal bedtime is actually very important when there are fireworks going off. Lots of firework displays – both private and public – are often early evening or from about 7.30/8pm onwards. So if you can get your infant into a deep sleep before the banging starts then they will likely not even notice. That phrase ‘sleep like a baby’ does come from somewhere!
Even if you don’t use white noise on a regular basis, it’s ok to introduce on occasion without worry that your baby or toddler will become dependent on it in the future. Don’t go and buy an expensive white noise machine. YouTube and apps on your phone have white noise options that will do the job just as well. Even a loud fan pointing away from the infant can sometimes be sufficient to block out external noise! Find an option that lasts all night as well – we all have neighbours that thinks it’s a good idea to set off their bangers at midnight! This is when your little one will start to be in less of a deep sleep.
For those that have pets, you will know that they can be really distressed with the fireworks. If you have a dog that will bark until the last bang, white noise is also a great way to reduce the sound in the kids’ rooms.
What do I do when my infant wakes up to fireworks?
If your little one does wake, don’t be worried about giving them extra support. I always say you should give your child a minute or two to see if they resettle themselves as so often they murmur as they transitions between sleep cycles, especially if a loud bang has gone off just as they are doing transitioning. But if they are upset, go in and comfort them. One night of support if they are distressed by the fireworks will not set a good sleeper back. Try and avoid bringing them into your room if you can as this is one sleep pattern that can take hold very quickly!
What Do I do for bedtime if I take my child to a Fireworks display?
If your child is older and you want to take them to a display but it’s later than their normal bedtime, there are a few tips for making sure their sleep isn’t impacted too much. Firstly, if they still nap, let them sleep longer than usual. You might be in the habit of waking your pre-schooler as to not impact bedtime. And if they do go to bed later, let them lie in a bit in the morning if they want to. Letting them catch up on the extra sleep is better than them being overtired the next day.
If we go out to a display, I always dress the boys in their pyjamas with a jumper and joggers over the top. It adds a layer of warmth but if they fall asleep in the car on the way home it’s easy to strip them off and get them into bed without disturbing them too much. If they wake up in the process, it just means they are a little drowsy as they get into bed and they have a good chance of drifting back off quickly. If you are staying at home and hoping your little one sleeps though, or getting out and embracing the banging, I wish you a safe and happy fireworks night.
I’m a baby and toddler sleep consultant specialising in designing gentle sleep training programmes for babies and toddlers. I work with clients on a one to one basis and I also have a series of age-specific online courses for you to implement at your own pace.