“Can I take my baby to a concert” might not be your first question as a new parent, but it’s important for avid music lovers. Unfortunately, most concerts aren’t great venues for babies, and that means I’ve missed out on several sporting events and even a couple of concerts. In the end, I just didn’t think it was worth it to take a baby to a place like a concert.
It’s probably best to find a babysitter or plan to sit this one out. Concert environments are meant for adults, and that means there won’t be any thought put into the safety and well-being of children, especially babies. There’s also a significant chance your baby could get sick or hurt and will likely negatively impact other people attending the show.
Of course, there are always exceptions, such as shows and acts meant specifically for babies, but anything aimed at adults is going to pose the challenges below.
Can I take my baby to a concert
We’ve all been there before.
You scored tickets to your favorite band and can’t wait to load up the car with your spouse or best buddy and hit the road to the venue – jamming out to the band the whole way of course! The only problem is that your sister is out of town and all of your babysitters are already booked up for the weekend.
You can’t trust just anyone to watch your precious baby, so you are at a crossroads: do I take the baby to the concert or skip it altogether?
On the surface, it seems like it could be a real dilemma, but once you dig into the details it’s going to be a tough sell to convince yourself that it’s a good idea. No matter how you spin it, most concerts aren’t meant for children or babies to attend.
Let’s look at five good reasons not to let your baby go to a concert:
1 – If it’s too loud, it could damage your baby’s hearing
When you are in college, it would be a badge of honor to sit in the front row of a rock concert without complaining about it being too loud. As they say, “IF IT’S TOO LOUD, YOU’RE TOO OLD!,” right? Let’s set aside the dangers that rock concerts pose to adult ears for a second and look at how it can cause permanent damage to a baby’s ears, which are more sensitive to loud noises.
Damage will occur in your baby’s ear if they are exposed to a high volume of sound for certain amounts of time. The trouble is, even short exposures to extremely high volumes (like those at a concert) can cause damage even quicker than that.
According to Success for Kids with Hearing Loss, a rock concert will peak at about 150 decibels which is the highest level on their chart, above jet engines, firecrackers, and ambulances.
That means an hour-long concert has the potential to do some serious damage to your baby’s ears.
Although it’s impossible to prevent all noise-induced hearing loss, you should do what you can to prevent it while your child is still young to preserve it as long as possible down the road.
Yes, noise-canceling headphones could be an option to reduce this risk and they do a great job in many situations. In this scenario, however, it’s going to be extremely difficult to keep those headphones on an infant for the length of an entire concert and most of the ones you’ll find can only reduce the noise levels by around 30 decibels. That means a rock concert will still be way over the line for safety.
2 – Crowds of people are more likely to spread dangerous germs
Most concerts are going to have tons of people in very close proximity to one another. There will be crowds at the ticket counter, crowds in the waiting areas, and one giant crowd in the arena itself. Unless you have special seating arrangements, you’re going to be packed in like sardines with the rest of general admission.
I’ve already discussed that crowds are dangerous when you take a baby outside in general, but indoor crowds are an even bigger recipe for disaster if your baby is very young. The more people you have in an enclosed space, the bigger the chance that someone has a bug that will be dangerous for your baby to catch and the more exposure she is going to make with coughs, sneezes, and other gross sick people stuff.
Plus, all of those sick people are probably way less likely to be washing their hands and using proper hygiene in the middle of a concert which can make things even worse for a young immune system. While dirt can be good for babies, something like the flu is bad news.
All things considered, not taking a baby to a concert is probably one of the best ways to prevent an unnecessary trip to the pediatrician.
3 – Concert environments can increase the risk of accidents or exposure
Concerts are loud, raucous, and generally chaotic. This is all part of the fun when going to a concert for most people and they are a great excuse to go a little crazy and lose control for a while.
The problem with a bunch of people getting drunk and losing control is that they are definitely not going to be in the right state of mind to watch out for or protect a little baby. They will be stumbling around, yelling, laughing, and otherwise enjoying their time because they will assume everyone left their kids at home as they did.
If you are having some drinks to relax, you might land on the list of irresponsible adults with the rest of them.
Nobody wants to see a baby get hurt and injury is the leading cause of death in children. Around 12,000 kids and young adults die each year from unintentional injuries.
It’s just not worth it.
4 – Your baby’s cries could ruin the experience for others
We all love our babies. Heck, I even love most other people’s babies too! Nobody loves it when babies cry though. Nobody.
I work in the restaurant business and it is common for people to actually request to sit AWAY from babies, especially if they hear one crying right when they first come in. People going to restaurants and concerts are spending good money to be able to relax and, more often than not, they are trying to get away from their own children for a little while. Why, why, why would you take that away from them if you had the choice?
I get the whole ‘I still want to live my life, even with kids’ mentality, but that’s a problem that babysitters are meant to solve. Taking a baby to a concert is going to get you a lot of stares and maybe even a few harsh words.
5 – It might not even be allowed to take your baby to a concert
Even if you aren’t convinced yet, check your ticket.
Depending on the concert and venue, you might not even be able to bring your baby to a concert due to restrictions. Although lots of places geared towards families will let you bring your baby in for free without a ticket to avoid losing you a customer, most concert venues are not going to fall into that category. Bigger venues with more accessibility and creature comforts might be more lenient, but your average hole-in-the-wall concert probably just doesn’t even care enough to deal with the headache.
Taking your baby to child-oriented concerts
My advice applies to concerts intended for adults, of course. Many child-centered artists like Blippi make shows targeted at toddlers and preschoolers.
These events don’t anticipate flawless behavior or silence, and the other adults around will be on the lookout for children.
If your baby is typically easy to soothe, I say save yourself the additional cost of the babysitter and make it a family event.
How to take your baby to a concert
If you decide that taking your baby to a concert best suits your family, here are my tips for making it work.
Be prepared to leave
All events with children have the potential to turn into a Dumpster fire, and concerts are no exception. Make a plan for dealing with an uncooperative baby.
How will you exit the concert and what will you do after you leave? Wait in the car or at the site? How will you rejoin your party?
Bring baby ear protection
Don’t forget a way to shield your baby’s ears from the loud concert volume. Headphones are typically the best way to do this.
Pack lightly but thoroughly
You’ll be striking the balance between packing for all your baby’s needs and packing lightly enough that you can hold all of it – plus your baby!
Use a good infant carrier that you’ve worn before so you know that you’ll be comfortable wearing it for hours.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Do any major venues offer childcare?
This is going to be rare for most venues, but it does exist. This is more common in a resort setting such as the Hard Rock Cafe, Disney World, etc.
How do I avoid wasting my tickets if I can’t find a babysitter?
If you decide against taking a baby to a concert far enough in advance you could always sell your tickets online or even donate them to a friend or family member that you know will enjoy the show. It’s always good to pay it forward!
How do I protect my baby’s ears at a concert?
Noise-canceling and noise-reducing headphones for babies come in two main styles. Some fully wrap around the head and others only go over the top like adult-style headphones.
Can babies go to concerts for free?
Babies can typically go to concerts for free, especially if they’re strapped to your body in a carrier. Some venues may specifically state that every guest must have a ticket, but that’s rare. Venues may ban strollers, so plan to baby wear.
What age can you take a kid to a concert?
If the venue doesn’t have specific age requirements, you’ll have to use your best judgment based on the specific concert and your child’s maturity. If you think your child might be getting there, try taking them to something kid-themed first so it won’t be as distracting to others if your child doesn’t respond well.