How far does the minhag of not listening to music extend during sefira. If a kid really wants music, can a parent put it on to calm or entertain the kid even though the parent ends up hearing the music? Also if a women is delivering a baby could she listen to music during the early stages of delivery to calm her?
It is permitted to play music in order to calm a child, and certainly to calm a lady through delivery. There is no prohibition in overhearing such music. Music should not be used merely for the sake of ‘entertaining’ a child, unless there is no other way.
Sources: As we have mentioned in other posts, the majority of authorities prohibit listening to music during the Omer period. However, there are those who are more lenient, and some make a distinction between different types of music. For purposes of therapy no prohibition applies, and certainly includes the need to calm a lady going into labor, and even children. Note that according to Iggros Moshe (Orach Chaim 1:166) there is no special prohibition of music during the Omer period, but rather, it is a proper time to fulfill the year-round prohibition of listening to music. This would certainly not apply to therapeutic music. Please see the article for the coming week (Emor), which will please G-d deal with the question of music in the Omer.