Kids and jet lag
When you go away with the kids you open up their world that little bit more. It's fantastic to read about far away places in books and to watch documentaries about little hideaways around the globe- but actually getting out there and experiencing it is another thing altogether. We're huge advocates of travelling with kids and see no reason why you can't see the world with little ones in tow. But what happens a when you travel so far that you enter vastly different time zones? What are kids like when they have jet lag? Hopefully this post will help....
What is jet lag?
- bowel habits
- urine production
- body temperature
- blood pressure
- avoiding letting your child sleep as soon as you arrive – even if they're tired after a long flight, staying active until the correct time to sleep will help the body adjust quicker.
- Getting outdoors – natural light will help the body adjust to a new routine.
Lots of children will sleep during long journeys, so often their jet lag will not be as profound as yours! However, it does make sense to be prepared for what may or may not be in store. Here are some tips to help you:
If you fly west to east, your body will have a harder time coping with the time difference. Shorter days are more difficult to adjust to. So bear in mind where you're travelling too so that you can prepare accordingly.
Choose your flight carefully. If you get an overnight flight chances are the kids will sleep through the whole thing and jet lag may not be a huge issue. If you arrive in the morning at your new time zone it's easier to adjust to the day if you've got some sleep handed your belt, so make sure you try to sleep too.
Make sure your accommodation is well planned and ready for your arrival. Don't forget your snoozeshade for travel cot so that you can create a cosy sleeping space.
Plan for jet lag. If you know the kids are going to be groggy and irritable for the first few days make sure your schedule is light at first.
Change the time on your watch as soon as you arrive so that you can adjust more quickly- but leave at least one device (your phone for example) on home time so that you can have an idea of when the kids would normally be napping. This will help to identify potential issues with tired behaviour, and allow you to plan accordingly.
Be strict with routine. And by that we mean after an initial settling in day, try to limit naps so that the kids aren't sleeping any more than they usually would at home. This will help them to adopt that new rhythm more easily.
Keep food and snacks healthy and regular throughout your travels and during your holiday.
Try a later bedtime for older kids. When you're on holiday chances are you will be out later anyway, but for babies you'll want then to keep their bedtimes as close to normal as possible. And if you're out, don't forget your SboozeShade so baby can sleep!
What are your experiences of jet lag? Any tips to share?