It’s that time of year, with all the rain we’re getting here in the Uk. I’m sure many of you have booked a holiday abroad to warmer climates. Looking forward to the sun, beaches and good food, probably not looking forward to the flight with your children and coping with the time difference. Well read Nurturing Nannies tips to make your flight and holiday sleep as good as the weather!
How to deal with Jet Lag for babies and children
Will flying to another time zone, disrupt my babies sleep routine?
If your baby is in a good routine at home and is able to get himself to sleep, then no, not in the long-term anyway. The first couple of nights, be very lenient , your baby will wake up the first couple of nights, usually at his normal uk feed time, feed him and play with him in a quiet room if he is no longer sleepy , after the first few days start to faze this out, by following the suggestions below.
Should I keep on UK time or change to the new destination time?
If where you are going is less than 3 hours ahead, I would suggest keeping meal-times and sleep times on your baby’s UK routine, A good tip is, mum to have watch with UK time and dad to have watch set to holiday time. This works really well, as in your children will be eating and sleeping when the locals do!. You will probably find that after about a week , they naturally fall into the new time zone.
How can I encourage naps and sleep at the correct times?
Take along with you some blackout material, so if where you are holidaying isn’t dark at the time they usually go to bed, you can black out the room for your baby. Works great for the early days aswell when they are having much needed longer daytime naps to catch up.
Lots of activities throughout the day, keep them busy, busy , busy. Sunshine is a great pick me up, so make the most of it. If you or the children are feeling rather fatigued, but you are trying to keep going to slot into your new routine to make things easier for you all, then avoid watching Tv or chilling in the hotel, instead keep moving and outside whenever possible.
How about Long haul?
It really doesn’t matter what time you fly when you’re going long haul, as whenever you do , you and your children will take 2-3 days to adjust. So it’s best to just go with it and if like me choose the cheapest option !!. If where you are holidaying has a time difference of +4 hours. Set your watch for the destination time as soon as you get on the plane, try and push you and your children’s routine as far as you can before tempers get fraught ready for your new time. Remember it’s really important for you as the parents to be the ones that are less tired, so try and sleep when they sleep and stock up on some early nights before the trip.
What happens if my baby is breastfed only?
This is were is gets a bit tricky. As your body will be producing milk to your UK schedule, the first couple of days, feed your baby when he wakes up through out the night as he will be hungry according to his UK bodyclock, gently faze this out on day 3 and stop feeding throughout the night , or just as you would back home ( if baby is still on night feeds).
Before the plane journey
If your flight is in the afternoon, try and get your children outside for some physical exercise a good run around the park ( or a swim if the weather isn’t good) will wear them out and give you a more relaxed travel companion!
On the plane
For children over the age of 3 , about a week before the trip, avoid the use of any electrical gadgets, eg, ipad, Ds’s, television even, if you can!. Then when you get them out on the plane they will be delighted and they will serve their uses and keep them entertained for a good while, especially if loaded with new games as a special treat.
New Sticker books are brilliant, as are new dvd’s
Make sure you have water in a bottle for babies, for take off and landing
For children over 5 , chewing gum as a special treat works wonders, although be ready with the tissue to dispose of it!!
When we get home will all our hardwork before we went be undone?
No, soon as you get home try and slip straight into your old routine , yes there will be a few days for you all to adjust again but you will.
The Great News!
Quite often holidays can solve and help some sleep problems your child maybe having , with the new environment many children forget any bad sleep associations they have back home and through being very tired due to the sun and all day activities sleep longer and better than they ever have done.
If your thinking of changing your baby from a cot to a bed for their sleeps, its the ideal time to do this on a holiday, it never fails. You can either omit the cot on holiday and go straight to a bed, or take the cot down the day you go away and get a bed in its place, so when you come home, no more cot!. Makes the transition fool-proof.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM NURTURING NANNIES