Travel Tips Part II: Dealing with Time Change and Jet Lag
When travelling with little ones, time change and jet lag are often a big concern and some families avoid longer trips so that they don’t have to deal with these issues. The good news is that you don’t have to! Children, especially those who are already well-rested, generally handle jet lag and time change much better than adults. By making a few adjustments with naps, you can move your little one into the new time zone quickly and have a great trip.
When you arrive at your destination, you may need to add in an extra nap for the first few days to help your little one make it through to bedtime. If this is necessary, you will want to limit that nap to 45 minutes, so that it doesn’t affect their ability to fall asleep at bedtime. It’s best that the nap doesn’t occur too close to bedtime and it would be best to put them to bed early rather than have a late nap. However, if your child just can’t make it through, you can always give a slightly later bedtime for a day or two.
At bedtime, be sure to make the room very dark. If the room your child is sleeping in is not dark, try draping towels or sheets over the window or you can even bring along your own portable black out blinds such as Gro Anywhere Blinds. If your child will need to go to bed very early and it’s still light out, it is best to start minimizing light at least one hour before bed to help calm your child down and signal the body that it’s almost time to sleep.
During the day, be sure to use the light to your advantage. Get your little one outside into the sun, as it is a great cue to the body that it’s time to be awake. Getting outside is especially important in the late afternoon to prevent your little one from getting tired too early.
Don’t fear a long trip with your little ones (except maybe the flight!). Children are very resilient and can adapt to new time zones far more easily than you would expect. Wherever you are off to, have a great trip!
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