Jet lag is a common part of travelling long distances and my gosh it can certainly knock you and your kids around.
Jet lag is caused by your circadian rhythms and internal body clock being thrown out of whack when you travel across time zones. Our body clock is regulated by sunlight which when you are flying for an extended period of time you do not get.
Although Jet Lag can be hard I have personally found my kids to adjust quicker than myself and it’s certainly not a reason to stop yourself from travelling and showing them the world.
So how do we manage and over come this with our babies and kids? Here’s a few tips I’ve found a long my travels that have helped.
GET ON THE TIMEZONE STRAIGHT AWAY
Travelling with kids is exhausting and the first thing you want to do when you arrive is sleep BUT the best thing you can do for everyone is slip straight in to that timezone and really try to get as much sun exposure as possible if you arrive in the day. If you can organise it so you arrive just a few hours before bed time that’s always been the best for us so we can get a big night sleep and then wake and feel like we are in the correct timezone.
EXPOSE BABY AND KIDS TO EARLY MORNING SUN
Early morning sun is one of the best ways to regulate your body clock so try getting outside as soon as you can when you arrive on holiday or back home.
Most of the time you will find that your baby will hit a big slump around 3-4pm. At this time let them have a short nap of around 45 minutes – 1 hour but no longer. You will probably need to wake them up as their little bodies will want to continue sleeping but get them up and have a play, bath, dinner and then put them back to bed even if it is a little earlier than normal its better than letting them sleep from 4pm.
OVERNIGHT/EARLY MORNING WAKE UPS
You will probably find that baby will wake up a couple of times more over night and be wide awake ready for the day around 4am. At this time make sure you keep the stimulation low – low lights, relaxing time, feed them, cuddle them and just try to keep them calm for an hour or two before starting the day.
KEEP KIDS HYDRATED AND FED
Staying hydrated and keeping up fluids will help baby and kids feel more energised through out the day. I had a great tip from a follower to all have a hydrolite drink when you land and it certainly helped us on our arrival home. The kids can have the hydrolite icy poles.
Making sure your kids eat meals on time with time zone and they they don’t over consume processed or sugary foods will help with crashed too.
PATIENCE AND TIME
Just like you their little bodies need time to adjust, this could only be a couple of days or it could be a week or so but try to be patient and accept that you might have earlier bed time and earlier wake ups until they adjust. It will pass.
When on holiday we let the girls have as many day naps as they feel they need. We find that they are more tired from all the stimulation but if they’re adjusting to the time zone we just make sure the naps aren’t too long in the afternoon. Both of my girls have middle of the day naps in the pram or carrier and this also means we get extra time to ourselves!
OVER NIGHT STOP OVER
If you have the time I highly recommend a stop over where you stay the night. This will help minimise the effects of travelling so far so fast. Most large airports have heaps of motels with heaps to do and it will mean less stress on the flights for you all. Did you know that many airlines also over give you a free stop over including a motel if your stop over goes over night? Its not all airlines so ask your airline or travel agent for more details. This is a much nicer way to travel long distances with your kids.
If you can’t stop over for the night but have a stop over for a few hours or more I can’t recommend enough getting a lounge pass to visit a lounge in the large airports so you can shower, rest, have some where comfortable to sit and eat. If you’re not a part of a program that offers lounge access there are plenty of pay per use ones in places like Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong etc.
FAMILIAR SETTINGS & DARK ROOM OVERNIGHT
The best thing I have found is to ensure the room is super dark at night and is a nice temperature to help baby feel sleepy. A really dark room promotes sleep so even if they’re waking overnight try to keep the lights off and feed, rock or pat them back to sleep in the dark.
Having some familiar items with you on holiday can also help with sleep some ideas would be – normal white noise you use at home, comforter, sleep suit, bedding or any other sleep aid you use at home.
USE THE JET LAG TO YOUR ADVANTAGE WHILE ON HOLIDAY!
If your kids are rising super early and sleeping early too why not use that to your advantage.
Get outside catch a beautiful sunrise.
Plan your day around the mornings, book early tours and start and end your day earlier.
Pop baby/toddler in the pram and or carrier around dinner time and put them to sleep – you and hubs might just get a date night interruption free! We often end up with Millie asleep in the pram and Remi asleep in the carrier at dinner!
Try not to let their sleep control your holiday. Relax, go with the flow and keep them close. They will sleep when they need.
If you have any helpful tips please leave them below in the comments section.
Feb 5, 2020