I live in China and have a 2-week-old baby daughter. Today is Chinese New Year and the noise from the fireworks tonight will be deafening. What is the best way to protect her from the noise?
When (if) she wakes up to the noise, be there, be calm (or joyful if you like), demonstrating her that there is nothing to be afraid of. Take her into your arms if she is frightened. Admire the fireworks together if she is interested (and if it is visible from your window).
Here in Hungary we also have fireworks at new year, although it is probably modest compared to the Chinese version. Our daughters so far had no trouble with it - sometimes they didn't even wake up, and when they did, they excitedly enjoyed the sight.
Don't know if there are any earplugs for infants, but she might get more irritated by such a thing than the noise itself. If your ears can take it, hers will too. Even if it's very loud, I believe experiencing it once a year won't make any long term damage. If Chinese infants have survived it for centuries, yours will too :-)
My eldest was bothered by noise. I used to hold him with one ear against my chest and the other covered by my hand while he slept. It was nice for a few hours till things quietened down.
Some babies are more sensitive than others. I was lucky to have my kids sleep through the fire crackers. If your baby gets upset, I guess all you can do is hold the baby close to you and close the ears with your hand. Find a room, close the door and windows to block out some of the noise too.