The thought of having to cope with a baby with jet lag can be quite daunting, and can even put people off traveling. Don’t let this be you. Jet lag can be tough, but with these tips you can ease the pain a bit.
Should you change time zones?
If you are not going far, or for too long, consider whether you should just stay on your home time zone. For just a few days it may be easier not to change, and just get up and go to bed as you would at home. This is by far the easiest way to cope, but it isn’t always practical.
Sometimes you have no choice but to change times, don’t wing it, plan the event, and how you will cope.
If you are attending an important event, like a wedding, and are traveling over a few time zones, makes sure you allow a few days for everyone to get on the right time. This way you won’t get concerned about disrupting the big day.
Stick To Routines Where Possible
As soon you arrive at your destination have meal times at local times. If baby wakes up in the night hungry, offer a snack, but try to keep to normal meal times as much as possible.
If you have a bedtime routine, like bath time and story, get back on that routine as soon as you can. It will encourage baby to recognize it as bedtime.
Sunshine Is Good
Daylight and sunlight are how we all adjust to times, and babies are no different. As soon as you can, get baby outside in sunshine during the day, to encourage them to adjust faster. Just don’t let them get burned in the sun!
Start before You Leave
If you can, start planning a few days before you leave, ie start changing your body clock in advance. It will make a difference whether you are traveling east or west, as to how best approach this.
When you are traveling east, try to keep your child up late for a few nights before, to get them used to that time. You can easily move a couple of hours time-wise before you go, and make the transition easier when you arrive.
Going west can be more difficult, as it means when you get to your destination and it is bedtime, no-one is tired. Plan some quietish activities to fill the time in the evening. But get your child up at normal morning time, so they can start adjusting.
Accept that jet lag can be horrible, and can affect people differently, and your baby is no different. Try to get as much sleep as you can, so you can cope with a grouchy child. Where possible share the duties with your partner, even if you are still breastfeeding. If you can sleep the same time that baby sleeps, you will find it much easier to cope.
Just remember, it will only be a few days, and then you’ll be back to normal.