There’s nothing quite like the 4th of July weekend for me. It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year. I just love going over to our best friends house and enjoying some amazing company while having a barbeque. Then we take our kids to see the fireworks at our city’s fireworks show. It’s such a special occasion for them. Remember how fascinating fireworks were when you were a kid? It’s just unfortunate that they get started so late. And I get it. It doesn’t get fully dark out until 9 o’clock in the summertime. And my kids are usually in bed by 7:30 – 8:00 p.m.
As a pediatric sleep coach, I know that holidays can be stressful for parents who are trying to maintain their child’s sleep schedule. And the 4th of July weekend is no exception. With fireworks and late-night celebrations, it can be challenging to keep your child’s sleep on track. However, with a little planning and preparation, it’s possible to enjoy the holiday while still sticking to your child’s sleep routine. I’m going to walk you through how to navigate sleep this holiday weekend if you have a baby who you just want to sleep through all the commotion, or you have an older child you’re going to be keeping up later to participate in all the fun celebrations.
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The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is essential for children’s physical and mental wellbeing. It plays a crucial role in their growth, development, and overall health. Children who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to experience mood swings, behavioral problems, and difficulty with learning and memory. Sleep deprivation can also weaken the immune system, making children more susceptible to illness.
As a sleep coach, I know that a well-rested child is a happy child. When children get enough sleep, they are more alert, focused, and better able to manage their emotions. They are also less likely to experience behavior problems and more likely to perform well in school. In short, sleep is critical for children’s health, happiness, and success. Check on my blog on the Importance of Sleep to learn even more about the amazing benefits that a good night’s sleep provides for your child.
4th of July Weekend
The 4th of July weekend is a time for celebration, but it can also be a challenging time for us as parents when we’re trying to maintain their child’s sleep routine. The bright lights and stimulation from the fireworks mixed with the late night party vibe can disrupt children’s sleep. And this in turn can make them overtired and cranky. I get that it can make it difficult to enjoy the holiday weekend with a grumpy kiddo.
However, if you plan ahead and follow my advice below, you can keep your child’s sleep on track and enjoy the holiday weekend. Here are some tips for keeping your child’s sleep routine on track during the 4th of July weekend.
Prioritize Your Child’s Sleep
The first step in keeping your child’s sleep on track during the 4th of July weekend is to prioritize their sleep. This means making sure they are getting enough sleep leading up to the holiday weekend. Children who are well-rested are less likely to become overtired and cranky during the festivities.
Not sure how much sleep your child needs? Check out my free schedules and sleep needs by age.
It’s essential to establish a consistent bedtime routine for your child and stick to it as much as possible. This will help your child’s body clock adjust to the time changes, making it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. If your child is used to taking naps during the day, make sure to schedule their naps around your plans for the day.
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In fact, my kids are now old enough to where they’re not even taking a nap anymore. But since we’ll be staying up much later than normal, I will be getting my children take a nap or have some quite time in their bedroom in the middle of the day to help not get too overtired on the 4th.
If you have a baby or young child and you’re wanting to stay in this holiday weekend, I totally get it. The can be so daunting knowing that those loud fireworks will be going off just a little after you get your child down to sleep.
Keep your bedtime routine consistent on the evening of the 4th of July. Do everything in the same order and lay your child down to sleep as you usually do. If your child’s bedroom lets in light, you’ll want to make it extra dark in there tonight. I like to keep them dark all the time with Blackout Window Covers, but you can even use some temporary solutions. You can tape up some black trash bags or aluminum foil keep out the lights from the fireworks.
Those fireworks can get pretty loud. That’s what I was most concerned about with my daughter when she was a baby. I was so afraid that loud popping noise would keep her up. So I recommend adding some extra white noise to the bedroom. Although you do want to keep the decibel level under 60 for your child’s safety. You can add a loud fan outside their bedroom if it’s already getting close to that level in your child’s room.
And believe it or not, chances are that your child isn’t even going to wake up. They’re probably just going to sleep right on through all that noise. But if they do happen to wake up, you can absolutely comfort them to help settle them back to sleep.
Plan Ahead for Late Night Celebrations
If you plan to attend a late-night celebration, such as a fireworks show, plan ahead for your child’s sleep. Make sure they’re getting their nap during the day if they’re still napping, or give them some quiet time midday to help energize them for the evening.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to be right at the firework should. Alternatively, you could plan to watch the fireworks from a distance or from inside your home to avoid disrupting your child’s sleep. That way you’re not spending the time walking back to the car and fighting traffic as you leave the event.
It’s also a good idea to bring along some comfort items, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, to help your child feel more secure and comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.
If you’ve got a long drive home it’s completely fine for your child to fall asleep in the car. If they do, don’t worry about doing their regular bedtime routine when you get home. They’ll likely wake up when you get home and you can get them dressed into their pajamas and bring them straight to bed. Now is not the time to worry about giving them a bath or reading them books. They’re exhausted so you can bypass your regular steps.
If you do end up keeping your child up much later than their regular bedtime, then you’ll want to help them catch up on some of that lost sleep over the next few nights by adjusting their bedtime.
You can move their bedtime up to an hour earlier to help compensate for some of that missed sleep.
So if your child sent to sleep 2 hours later than they normally do, you can move bedtime up an hour for the next 2 evenings.
Or you can move it up an hour on the 5th, and 30 minutes on the 6th and 7th. This way your child isn’t carrying around a sleep debt.
Create a Sleep Friendly Environment with Traveling
Creating a sleep-friendly environment is essential for keeping your child’s sleep on track during the 4th of July weekend. If you’ll be staying in a hotel or with family members, make sure to bring along familiar items to help your child feel more comfortable and secure. This could include their favorite blanket, sleep sack, stuffed animal, or even their white noise machine.
It’s also important to make sure the room is dark and quiet, so your child can fall asleep and stay asleep. If you’re staying in a hotel or unfamiliar surroundings, consider bringing along blackout curtains or a sleep mask to help your child sleep.
And make sure they’re sleeping in a similar bed as they are at home. If you have a baby who is still sleeping in a crib, you can request a crib from the hotel. Or you can bring a pack and play with you. They’re free to check on the plane and easy enough to through into the trunk of your car.
Don’t forget to download my free baby or toddler packing list if you are planning on a trip so that you don’t forget anything!
While it’s essential to prioritize your child’s sleep, it’s also important to be flexible and enjoy the holiday weekend with your family. Don’t stress too much if your child’s sleep routine is a little off during the weekend. Remember that it’s just a few days, and you can always get back on track once the holiday weekend is over.
If your child is experiencing sleep disruptions during the holiday weekend, try to keep them calm and relaxed. You can always get them back on track with you get home with some gentle sleep training. Set up a free Discovery Call with me when you return home and we’ll determine where your child’s current sleep struggles are and figure out the right option for you to get them sleeping well again.
Enjoy Your Weekend!
In conclusion, keeping your child’s sleep on track during the 4th of July weekend can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Prioritizing your child’s sleep, planning ahead, creating a sleep-friendly environment, and being flexible are all essential for keeping your child’s sleep on track during the holiday weekend.
As a sleep coach, I know that sleep is critical for children’s health, happiness, and success. By following these tips, you can ensure your child gets the sleep they need to be happy and healthy during the 4th of July weekend. Remember, a well-rested child is a happy child, and a happy child makes for a happy family. And if you need any help getting you child back on track after the weekend, just schedule that free Discovery Call with me.