Holiday season is upon us! While we eagerly await the arrival of our summer holiday, so begins the mind-boggling torture of wondering how our precious little ones will cope with the inevitable change in sleeping schedules as we travel across multiple time zones.
Here are some of my top tips to get your baby sleeping more easily from the get (away) go!
- Relax! Long gone are the times when you could lounge by the pool before taking a long and late dinner on the town. Think of your holiday as a semi-holiday from now on! To help you all ease into holiday-mode, firstly relax the routine. Have some fun and enjoy yourself. Being relaxed will help baby relax too!
- Moving schedules beforehand: some sleep experts recommend moving your baby’s entire daily schedule one hour a day, a few days before traveling. But, adjusting by more than a couple of hours can really backfire and entirely confuse your child. What’s more, this method is only really possible for those parenting at home. If traveling more than 3 timezones, think about going cold turkey when you get there.
- Travelling east: the most difficult schedule to adjust, who wants to go to bed way before being tired?! You may want to just enjoy those dinners out and do fun stuff as a family after dark. Or, you can make sure baby gets a good dose of sunlight between 6-8am and limit their naps in the afternoon so they feel tired when reaching bedtime.
- Traveling west: when our little one’s just don’t realize they’re up and awake super early! Try keeping your child awake as long as you can the first evening. It won’t be easy, but the longer you persist, the later they may sleep the next morning. When they do awake early, quietly entertain them in low lights until you reach as close to you can as 6am! Don’t resort to co-sleeping and/or nursing to sleep if this is not your usual response. Get baby some light exposure between 2-3pm.
- Traveling far: get yourself some rest at the airport hotel on arrival, before traveling onwards to your final destination. It may take longer to really feel like you’re starting your holiday, but everyone will be thankful for the rest.. yourself included!
Babies often tend to fare better than us adults with jetlag. But, realistically, your baby will not wake at a usual time until a few days in. If you let them sleep in, expect to put them to bed later the following evening. If you want them to adjust to the new time zone asap, get them up at their normal time.
For some hands-on guidance during your travels, contact me for some quick and easy What’sApp support for $99 (quote ‘holiday special’): firstname.lastname@example.org