The temperature has dropped, the nights are drawing in after the clock change and no doubt the sky has already been alive with bangs, flashes and sparkles. There’s something quite magical about Bonfire Night, isn’t there? With the family traditions gathering around the bonfire, sparkler clutched tightly in a mittened hand, the smell of hotdogs and candy floss drifting in the crisp air… ok, so when you’re a parent it might not be quite like that every year. In fact, we parents have a tough job on our hands tonight! Let’s face it. Fireworks are loud, sometimes scary and often at their peak right around bedtime. Because Bonfire Night is on a Sunday this year, there’s every chance you’ve already had a few going off around you this weekend. But today is Sunday. And Sunday means tomorrow is Monday and Monday is school/ nursery/ work. You’re going to want your little ones to get some sleep tonight! We asked our lovely community for their help with this one. Here’s a really quick guide to helping little ones relax and sleep on Bonfire Night. Share with all your parent friends ready for tonight and hopefully we can all get some sleep one way or another!
Prepare your little one in advance
So the ground work has no doubt been done on this one already. But in case your little one is still unsure, sit down and watch some firework videos on YouTube together. Talk about the sounds they make, but also talk about how pretty they are and the colours you can see. Try to make it as fun as possible, and remind your child that they’re outside and only there to light the sky for a moment. Thanks to Holly at Thrifty Mum for this tip!
Hannah at Hi Baby Blog tells her little one that the fireworks are a ‘bang and fizz, then a pretty’- which more or less sums up fireworks we think! And on a similar note, Emily at Babies and Beauty extends the magic and tells her little one that the fireworks are Santa getting the sleighs ready for Christmas. We love love love this idea! It helps to relax her child, and builds anticipation for a familiar and happy event too. And as an added bonus, her son sleeps better as because he wants to be in Santa’s good books!
Stick to your usual routine
If you think that your little one is going to be disturbed tonight, don’t be tempted to extend bedtime until the fireworks are finished. There’s nothing worse than an overtired and over stimulated child late at night! As you go through your usual bedtime routine, you may hear some fireworks, so talk about them and if you can, spend a moment watching out of the window to take away the mystery. Keep your bedtime routine relaxed and calm so that your child is relaxed and calm too.
Make bath time fun!
We’re all about making bath time fun and Bonfire Night is a great opportunity for this. Pop a couple of glow sticks or submersible lights into the tub and dim the lights for a special treat. Or take some bath crayons/ paint into the bathroom and let your child design their own fireworks on the side of the tub. Don’t worry about the mess- it all washes off! Sing songs, play games- let your child experience Bonfire Night from the safety of the bath tub- this will help to calm fears and take their mind off what might be happening outside.
White noise is your friend
Younger babies are just not going to understand what’s happening and lighter sleepers may well be woken by the fireworks as they gain momentum tonight. White noise is your friend! Not only does it emulate the sounds that babies hear inside the womb, but athlete right volume it will relax, soothe and drown out the sounds outside. For older babies and toddlers who are either disturbed or upset b the fireworks, try playing soothing music to help them relax and to drown out the sounds of the fireworks. This tip comes from Emma at Reddy Freddie Go! and we’ll definitely be giving it a go tonight!
Eliminate the surprise element
Whatever you do, you will not be able to avoid the fireworks going off tonight. So don’t ignore them or try to avoid them thinking that your child might just sleep through them and be fine. That may well be the case! But a startled child woken from sleep thanks to loud, unexpected bangs is something we definitely to avoid. Laura at Little Ladies big World says that she never ‘sugar coats’ the fireworks- she makes sure her children know they will be loud and possibly scary so that they know what to expect. Likewise, Hayley at Devon Mama says that she keeps the general noise level on Bonfire Night a little higher than usual- with the TV on downstairs at a higher volume, and white noise or music upstairs so that any sudden noises are diluted and less of a startle for little ones. Genius!