How To Avoid Derailing Sleep On The Fourth Of July

How To Avoid Derailing Sleep On The Fourth Of July
Christine Brown

Christine Brown

The Fourth of July always kicked off what I call the great debate in our house: fireworks or no fireworks for our twin boys. I was always team fireworks and you can guess what team my husband was on! (aka no fun😜)

I always wanted the boys to be able to enjoy all that the Fourth of July had to offer and let them be kids. Some of my favorite childhood memories were around the 4th of July. Swimming, water balloon fights, eating s’mores and watermelon, the fireworks, and going to bed really late!

I’d try to sell my position and he would remind me that July 5th wouldn’t be fun at all if the boys were an overtired hot mess! Touche’!

So how do you enjoy the holiday and avoid derailing sleep on the Fourth of July? Planning, balance, and compromise!

Let’s explore what that looks like…

Avoid Derailing Sleep On The Fourth of July For Babies & Toddlers

As boring as this sounds, I recommend keeping babies and toddlers on their regular schedule as much as possible, even on holidays. Some children may be more flexible, but most young ones can’t handle the late bedtime without some serious sleep blowback for at least a couple of days.

On top of that, the fireworks are really loud and chaotic. Even with ear protection, it can be really overstimulating for our little ones.

Parenting Hack: My husband and I would take turns each year. One of us stayed at our friend’s party and the other person would go home to put the boys down and watch the fireworks on TV. It worked for us and it helped to keep the boys well rested so they weren’t melting down the next day.

If You Are Staying Home…

  • Ensure that you put your baby or toddler down at their normal bedtime.  This means they are in deep sleep during the main fireworks celebration and the loud booms are less likely to wake your little one up.

If you decide to throw caution to the wind and take your little one no matter their age, the tips below will help!

Avoid Derailing Sleep On The Fourth of July For Preschoolers & Older

I won the great debate when the boys were three! We went to the fireworks and they had such a good time. Made my heart happy!

They were tired the next day, but we stayed on schedule and they went to bed early the next night. Early bedtime is key when you’ve had a late night and your kiddos are overtired.

If You Are Going To The Fireworks…

  • Good nap. If your child still naps, ensure that your little one gets a good nap before the fireworks. Maybe even let them sleep a little later than normal if they will.
  • Dress your child in their jammies for the fireworks.  If they fall asleep in the car or stroller on the way home, you can transfer them right into their crib/bed and hopefully, they won’t awaken.
  • Short bedtime routine. If your child is awake, do a short bedtime routine and then get your little one down for sleep.
  • Expect night wakings. Your child will likely be overtired at bedtime, which means you can expect sleep to be more restless and there may be night wakings.
  • Don’t expect your child to sleep in. I met a Mom this weekend that told me her unicorn child sleeps later with a later bedtime! I’m still waiting for this day and the boys are almost 10! A later bedtime doesn’t usually mean a later wake time.
  • Maintain your existing schedule for the rest of the weekend. One late night won’t create a major sleep debt, but if you skip naps and have late bedtimes the rest of the weekend, you may find your child becomes really overtired and sleep will derail.

Tips For All Ages:

  • Ensure that the white noise runs consistently all night long to help block the fireworks and your neighbor’s late night / early morning antics! Increase the volume to a little louder than usual to block out the sounds of the blasts and your neighbor’s late night antics. 
  • If your baby or toddler wakes due to the booms, PAUSE for a minute or two.  Give them the opportunity to resettle on their own before going in. If they need extra comfort and snuggles to help them go back to sleep, that is ok too! 
  • Stay calm when going in to comfort your child.  A calm and reassuring reaction can help our children to move past a scary nighttime incident quickly.  If we go in flustered, it can prolong our children’s reaction and may even encourage it to continue in the coming nights.

We hope that these tips help you to avoid derailing sleep on the Fourth of July! If sleep is always a challenge or you get too far off track, reach out. We’d love to help you figure out what’s going on and get your family the sleep you all need!

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