Enjoying Fireworks With Your Child For The Fourth Of July
I have to admit that this will be the first year we’ve done fireworks with the girls. I’ve always told my clients to get out and enjoy the evening with their babies and families, but honestly? I’ve never really been one to keep the girls up late...mostly because WE don’t enjoy the crankiness! But this year?! WE’RE DOING FIREWORKS!
There are a few ways you can handle July 4th, depending on the age of baby:
This is the easiest stage to be out with baby! If you’ll be outside sometimes, make sure you’ve got ear protection for baby and either a bassinet stroller with fan clip for baby to sleep, or a good quality baby carrier for naps! (See the list at the end of this blog for all the products I mention!) It’s not a great idea to have your newborn out in the heat for very long, especially if you’ll be wearing them. So ask if the location will have access to an air-conditioned space where you and baby can rest. This is especially important to remember as your newborn cannot handle a lot of stimulation or awake time, so if you have the opportunity to go inside a quiet space- take advantage and do that!
When it’s evening and time for fireworks, get the ear-protection on and have them in the stroller or baby carrier. Enjoy the show (yourself!) and then load up in the car to head home. It will no doubt be much later than normal bedtime, but proceed with the bedtime routine anyways! It can be cut short a bit (sink wipe down instead of full bath), ensure a full feed (or as much as they will take) and down in the bassinet or crib for the night. Well you know, with a few night wakings and feeds along the way.
SKIPPING NORMAL BEDTIME:
Your little one will LOVE the fireworks! So if you want to take them out to enjoy, go for it! The day of, try to honor their naps and awake windows as best you can. (Don’t know baby’s nap schedule or awake windows? Get your free schedule here!!)
If you know you’re going to be out late, it’s okay to even give a little extra daytime sleep! (EXAMPLE: Baby normally naps twice per day ~1.5 hours each. If they are still sleeping at 1.5 hours, allow them up to 2 hours!)
Ready to go out and have fun!? Great! Just make sure you’ve got plenty of snacks, bottles and sunscreen for baby! Snacks will help keep the spirits up, and of course, being outside is great to keep baby entertained!
Enjoy the fireworks show with your family, and when it’s time to head home...don’t even stress if they fall asleep in the car. It will probably happen! As soon as you get home do a fast version of bedtime routine (sink wash, feed, pjs, into bed!). What a fun (and long!) day! Let them snooze up to 30 minutes extra the next day, so you can preserve naps!
PUTTING BABY DOWN IN THE HOUSE:
Don’t want to miss the bedtime? You can still get baby down for sleep, AND enjoy fireworks yourself! Check with your friends or family and ask if they have an extra closet you can set up a pack n play for baby. Yes? Great! Take along anything you’d need for bedtime routine and copy/paste it at their house! When it’s bedtime for baby, take them back to the room and give them a quick wash down in a sink, put PJs on, do their feed, read a quick book, turn on a white noise machine (that you brought!) say goodnight and lay them down in the pack ‘n play. Leave the room and show off how great your baby put themselves to sleep ;)
After the fireworks and you’re ready to go home, pack up the car, pick up (sleeping) baby out of the pack ‘n play, strap into the carseat and drive home. Sure they may wake up during this transfer! It’s okay. When you get home, carry them inside, say goodnight and lay down in the crib. That’s it! They go back to sleep! AMAZING!!
TODDLER & PRESCHOOLER
This is us this year!! We’re going to keep the girls up and enjoy an afternoon and later evening with them. And it’s going to be okay. *This is me pumping myself up*
Our girls no longer nap, so I’m planning to let them sleep as long as they wish that morning. We’ll stay at home in the morning doing some low key things, and when it’s time to head to friends house, we’ll pack up and go!! I’ve learned that being on the go all day for our girls is super stimulating, and causes more night wakes/cries. (Remember, overtiredness causes even small wakings at night!)
If your child does still nap, I would allow them to max out their nap (2-3 hours) so they can handle the later evening out and away from home.
Since your child is a little more responsive at this age, I would absolutely talk with them about what to expect.
“So tonight is going to be a little different! We are going to _____ and will get to __________ (play/swim/eat/whatever!) with______________ (friends/family). Doesn’t that sound so fun!? We’re even going to stay out past your bedtime and watch fireworks together! Then we’ll come home and because it’s so late we’ll get ready for bed super fast and go to sleep.”
Be warned you may need to repeat that expectation to them many times. Especially when you’re headed home after the fun.
“What a great night that was! Remember when we get home we’re going to go straight to the bathroom to clean up, brush teeth, put our PJs on and go to bed!”
While the general rule of thumb is that a child won’t sleep in because they went to bed later, you may find they do snooze a bit more come morning! Enjoy it!
Should your child wake earlier than normal, or their normal bedtime, I highly recommend putting them to bed 15-30 minutes early the next night for bed. Remember your little one has some sleep debt to catch up on from July 4th night!
What are your plans with your family this July 4th? Share with me below, and don’t forget to drop your questions in the comments! I’ll be going LIVE on Wednesday, June 26th at 3PM on Facebook & Instagram to answer question about what I shared!