Jet Lag and Babies, Toddlers, and Kids
After the flight itself, the idea of crossing time zones with a baby or toddler is one of the biggest worries for most parents. Before our first trip with our infant son I scoured my sleep books and the web looking for information about jet lag with infants and toddlers and found almost no useful information. Now that we’ve experienced it over and over, here is our Jet Lag Survival Guide for Parents:
Tips to help parents, babies, toddlers and kids
- For time differences of three hours or less, consider keeping yourself and your baby or child on home time. Hotel blackout curtains help with this! Over the course of a week or more, everyone will probably adjust to local time naturally but there’s no need to rush things.
- As with grownups, the thing that most helps babies and kids adjust to the time change is the sunlight. Get everyone up first thing in the morning, try to get them as much daylight as possible, and attempt to have them outside at dusk as well. During night time, try to keep the lights out and the blackout drapes closed.
- Offer your child food at local mealtimes (and in general try to fill them up during the day so that they're not hungry at night). Try to choose healthy, filling options, junk foods will only make the problem worse.
- Encourage physical activity (for everyone). There's no better way to encourage your body to sleep than to wear it out! Find a playground or encourage your child to do a lot of walking.
- Make sure to put yourself to bed early the first few nights so that you’re alert when the children wake you up in the middle of the night. Consider napping when your child naps. For the first few days, it is more important that you are alert enough to care for everyone than that you adjust quickly.
- Encourage your child to nap when it is nap time at your destination. It can be tempting to keep a child awake, hoping that they will crash at night, but that strategy rarely works well and can often run down your child's immune system. Here are some tips for naptime and bedtime on a family vacation
- Expect that it will take four to five nights for your child to adjust to a new time zone and plan your trip (and your return) accordingly.
- So that you don't arrive at your destination overtired, try to help your child sleep on the plane
Tips for Toddlers and Jetlag
- For big time changes, expect that your child will wake up once or twice the first few nights, most likely at their usual meal times. The first two nights, we let our kids play or eat when they wake up if they need to. After that we give them milk if they need it, but not solid food, and after that we expect them not to wake at night (just like home).
- The first few days after a big time change, your child will probably take some marathon naps during the day. Take advantage of them! On one trip, we ate a 7 course meal in a Michelin starred restaurant in Paris with my son napping in the stroller!
Tips for Babies and Jetlag
Read Our Blog to Learn More about Traveling With Babies, Toddlers, and Kids
- Breastfed babies may take a little longer to adjust as mom's body is manufacturing milk on the home-schedule and may need some time to adjust to the new schedule. Jetlag and dehydration from a long flight can also impact mom's milk supply, so make sure to keep yourself well hydrated.
- Young babies rely on routines to help them understand their day. Try to keep your naptime and bedtime rituals similar to the routines you use at home, this will help your baby adjust.
- It's ok to play with a baby who wakes up at night (for the first few nights) but try to keep the activity fairly quiet and phase it out gradually. After a few nights, keep the room darkened, offer milk, and try to soothe your child back to sleep.
- Don't worry that a time change will cause a permanent regression in baby's nighttime sleep. Sleep training is a long, ongoing effort with frequent setbacks when baby is teething, learning a new skill, or not feeling well. Travel is just another temporary setback.
- The return back home is often a more difficult adjustment for babies than the transition to a new time zone.
- Try to gradually help baby get used to taking most of their food or milk during daytime hours (but don't refuse to feed them if they are hungry)
Flying with your Baby Toddler or Child
Helping Your Child Sleep on a Plane
Reader Questions: Will Travel Ruin Baby's Sleep Forever?
Angela on December 6, 2007 at 4:01 a.m.
Thank you soooo much for this. We are planning a trans-Atlantic move with an 11-month-old and I have been searching for just this sort of advice.
Debbie on December 6, 2007 at 4:19 a.m.
I'm so glad that you enjoyed the site! Drop me an email and let me know how you and your little one settle in.
Kathy on January 12, 2008 at 7:42 a.m.
Hi! This website is great as my husband and I are expats living in China right now and just had a baby 3 months ago. We love travelling and hoped to keep travelling even with our new son, but our friends told us it was almost impossible. We are planning on returning home to Hawaii for a month in February and I'm really worried about the jet lag. Currently he is on a great schedule, sleeping 11 hours a night and I'm so scared to ruin it all! My question is if he wakes up in the middle of night to eat and I've fed him following his usual 4 hour schedule during the day, should I feed him again at night? Even though I know he's eaten enough during the day? Will that cause him to set himself on a new schedule to eat during the night? Thanks so much for the info and your great site!
Debbie on January 12, 2008 at 9:08 p.m.
Wow, a 3 month old who sleeps 11 hours at night! You are a lucky mom.
You should set your expectations now that your son will wake up hungry the first few nights (frankly, I wake up hungry the first few nights when we travel) It's ok to feed him if he's hungry. If you're worried that he's getting too used to the night waking, you can start to cut back gradually after a few nights. Every child is different, and I'm betting that you'll figure out what feels like the right pace for him.
Most likely he'll gradually adjust his sleeping and eating on his own (especially since he is such a good sleeper). Take him outside during the day a lot to help him reset his internal clock & try to keep his routine similar to the one you use at home so that he knows when it is nighttime.
Hang in there. Sleep training isn't truely "done" for quite some time. Travel, teething, illness, rolling, crawling, and walking all cause temporary disruptions, so try not to get too hung up on this one disruption.
Have a great time in Hawaii!
Kathy on January 13, 2008 at 7:33 a.m.
Thanks so much for your quick reply! Everyone has been saying how lucky I am and that's why they are all warning me that it may be ruined by this trip. ha ha. But like you said there will always be something to disrupt the pattern and I've got to learn to adjust. :) Thanks for your tips and I'll let you know how it goes!
Debbie on January 13, 2008 at 8:09 p.m.
I had forgotten that when we first started to travel with our son it seemed like everyone around us threw up road blocks and reasons why it would never ever work, or why it would be terrible for him. I don't know why people do that... perhaps because they didn't travel they think nobody should?
We countered all that negativity by doing exactly what you're going to do... trying it, finding out what worked, and getting a little bit better at it with every trip.
Natasha on January 18, 2008 at 5:07 p.m.
Hi there, my 11-month son is having a hard time going down for the night since we returned from Hawaii. It's been a couple of days, but it seems to take him 45 minutes to two hours of intermittent screaming to settle himself down. He is most certainly tired, but I have re-introduced some bad sleep habits in order to get him to go to sleep in Hawaii (excessive rocking).
How long does it normally take babies to re-adjust?
Debbie on January 18, 2008 at 9:03 p.m.
At 11 months, your son can probably understand almost everything you say. Before bedtime (and a couple of times during the day), talk to him about how he got some special treats while you were traveling, but now that you're back home, it's back to the normal routine. Before bedtime, you can also verbally remind him what the normal routine is.
How long it takes to readjust really depends on the baby. Over time he'll start to learn that the rules are different when you travel and return to normal when you return home. Hang in there, he'll get back in the swing of things, probaby in a few more days.
Helen on January 24, 2008 at 3:58 a.m.
We're travelling from the UK to Asia (13 hour flight) with our baby, who will be 11 months when we travel.
We're only going for 8 days so I have no idea whether I should try and get him to adjust to the new time zone and if so, whether I'll have enormous problems when we get back!
To complicate matters, he's starting nursery the week we come back so I don't want to completely destroy the routine we've got at the moment.
Debbie on January 25, 2008 at 11:32 a.m.
To some extent, your baby is going to adjust to the new time zone no matter what you do. Just like grownups, babies want to be awake when the sun is out and sleep when it is dark.
Given your situation, though, you probably want to just let things happen naturally rather than encouraging good night sleep on the vacation. You can always nap with baby during the day. Make sure though that everyone gets enough sleep somehow, you don't want to get run down or sick.
When you get home, try to get your baby out in the sunlight (especially at dusk and dawn) as much as possible to help him adjust as quickly as possible.
ankie on February 9, 2008 at 8:17 p.m.
Your website is great! I have been traveling to the Netherlands where my family lives since our daughter was 6 months, and at 2 and a half she has been there 5 times. Every age has its own challenges, despite them every trip has been totally worthwhile.
the biggest difference we found in recovering from the jetlag was to let go of the old advice to quickly adjust to the local time. Instead we now nap with our girl on the day of arrival, so we are rested in case she wakes up in the middle of the night. After that first night I am usually OK, and using our regular nap- and bedtime routines she has been great at adjusting to the local time very quickly.
This spring we'll be flying again and we're looking forward to the trip. I am curious to see how different this trip will be from our last one - but we'll go with the flow and let her guide us through it all!
Thanks for the great tips and happy travels to all kids and their parents!!
Lauren on March 3, 2008 at 8:55 a.m.
We're going to California from London with our 3 month old baby in two weeks time. I'm worried about the jet-lag and how it will affect his schedule (e.g. bedtime and naptimes), which is relatively new. The 8 hour time difference always kills me so I'm assuming he's going to be feeling bad as well... What can I do on the (11 hour) flight to help him feel better when we get there? I'm still breastfeeding exclusively. Thanks!
Debbie on March 3, 2008 at 10:10 a.m.
The biggest thing I would do (for both of you) is make sure that YOU get plenty of fluids. The flight is dehydrating & if you are exclusively breastfeeding, you'll be making more milk for your son as well as getting dehydrated yourself. Bring aboard your own water, or find a sympathetic flight attendant and try to get a full bottle from him or her.
Beyond that, I wouldn't stress too much about jet lag on the flight itself. If you're leaving in the evening, you can try to maintain your home schedule, and your son will probably sleep pretty well on the plane (the engine noise & motion are very soothing). Once you arrive, try to keep as much of your home routine as possible and try to expose your son to natural light, especially at dusk and dawn.
Try to get plenty of rest on the flight and once you arrive. You're likely to be up at night for a few days, so this is a great time to heed the advice to "nap when baby naps"
I hope this helps,
Jen on March 19, 2008 at 6:33 p.m.
We are traveling from Florida to California in two weeks with our 18 month old son. He is not a great sleeper in general and has a tough time adjusting to new things. I have put off this trip for some time, but my poor in laws are just dying for us to visit. I am very concerned about the jet lag that my son will experience, particularly as he struggles with being a solid sleeper overall. We finally have him napping well and sleeping better, and I am terrifed of losing the progress we have made. What do you advise? Please help!
Kimberley on March 21, 2008 at 12:38 a.m.
Great travel tips thanks Debbie. We are travelling from New Zealand to Turkey with a 4 month old - nearly 24 hours of flying time in total. One thing that I have just bought which looks useful is a nappy bag that folds out into a little nap area with sides that come up so baby isnt distracted by movement at floor level. I am hoping this is useful for napping in the airport waiting areas rather than us having to hold her the whole time or be in the stroller (which isnt flat) or the front pack. One other tip that someone gave me is to get baby used to a shower with mum or dad (as an alternative to a bath) as part of the pre night sleep routine so if you are somewhere without a bath (ie hotel room) or big enough basin then this will still be familiar. Would be interested in any further thoughts.
Debbie on March 21, 2008 at 3:56 p.m.
At 18 months, and with the 3 hour time change, the overall excitement of a new environment and grandparents is likely to disrupt his sleep more than the time change itself. You can try keeping him roughly on Florida time while you're in California and let him gradually adjust to the new time.
I wouldn't stress too much about his overall progress. I'm not a parenting expert, but my experience with my kids suggests that if he is learning to sleep well on his own, he will be able to return to what he's learned once he's back to his normal routine and schedule. At 18 months, he's old enough for you to talk about what is happening and even reward him for good sleep when he returns home.
Have a great trip!
Debbie on March 21, 2008 at 4:37 p.m.
I'm glad that you found the site helpful. Your nappy bag sounds cool! Just make sure that you have a plan for how to move her if you need to board a plane in the middle of naptime.
I love the idea of getting baby used to a shower with mom or dad. I have (not very fond) memories of poor 6 month old E screaming his head off when we tried to give him his first shower in a tiny shower stall in our tiny Paris apartment. We ended up upgrading to a bigger place with a tub, but I had visions of spot washing him for the entire 4 week trip!
Tatiana on March 25, 2008 at 10:37 a.m.
Debbie - thank you SO much for sharing this. We live in ET time and are about to take a trip to PT so I was freaking out a bit. I'm so glad I found this! My son is almost 13 months and a very challenging sleeper (doesn't sleep throughteh night yet but that's another story) so I appreciate your advice. I've been told it will probably be worse once we come back (we'll be on vacation for 1 week) so we'll see. Thanks so much!
Leanne on March 29, 2008 at 9:17 a.m.
My daughters (ages 2 and 5) were real champs traveling from the East coast to Hawaii earlier this month. They adjusted quickly to the time change and we had two great weeks in the sun. We've been home for 5 days and things are miserable! The girls haven't even come close to readjusting. The 5 year old simply isn't tired at her regular bedtime (even though she's returned to school and her normal activities). We've been putting the 2 year old down a little late in an attempt to trick her, I guess, but she's up at 2:30am raring to go. Help! How can I get them back on their schedule so that I can get a full night's sleep, too?
Lila on March 29, 2008 at 11:59 a.m.
This site is amazing!! I am so pleased I found it, thank you!! We are flying to Antigua from the UK (9hr flight, -5hr time difference) next week. We are going to have to be up at least 3.5 hrs earlier than normal, then we are on the plane most of the day UK time. We land at bedtime here, but only lunchtime there. DD usually naps for 2hrs half way through her day at home, but doesn't usually do more than 40 mins in the car or her stroller. Any tips?? Thanks again.
Debbie on March 30, 2008 at 9:02 a.m.
Wow! Have a great time in Antigua. I would love to hear more about your trip when you return.
Our experience is that when we travel the kids get tired and learn pretty quickly to sleep better in their stroller (which is always useful when we return home too!) Be sure to bring along a blanket that you can cover the stroller with to keep out breezes and light once she's asleep.
Hope it goes well.
Lila on March 30, 2008 at 12:44 p.m.
Thank you! I will post on my return and ket you know!
Debbie on March 30, 2008 at 8:49 p.m.
The trip back home is often a harder adjustment (in part because home routines just aren't as flexible as vacation routines).
Make sure your kids are getting as much exposure to natural light during the day as possible and try to keep their rooms as dark as possible during the night.
Your youngest might be waking up in part because she is hungry. You can try feeding her before she fully awakens and then putting her back to bed (milk works well for us because its easy to prepare, filling, and a mild sedative)
Beyond that, I think you have to try to give them full, extra-active days and be patient. They won't stay on Hawaii time forever.
matt on April 8, 2008 at 2:44 p.m.
Flying to Italy on Sunday with my wife and 18-month old daughter. We are really unsure of whether or not to take our car seat for use in the plane. We have flown a lot already with our daughter (always less than 5 hours) and have never used the car seat on a plane before. She has only been on relatively short trips in a car seat, say less than 4 hours with stops, and while she has fallen asleep in it she has never really fallen asleep on a plane before. So my question is should we bring the car seat and strap her in and hope that the motion will eventually work it’s magic or keep to what she is used to and use her seat as a play area and then put her to sleep in our arms or laying flat across our laps. I must say she’s been a very good sleeper and consistently sleeps 10-12 hours a night.
Debbie on April 9, 2008 at 2:52 p.m.
Have a great trip to Italy!
Best practice is to always restrain your child onboard in a car seat or an FAA approved harness (like CARES). That said, if it were me, I would leave the car seat at home if I didn't need it at my destination. Call your airline and find out whether they have a bassinet or seat that will fit your daughter. My son was able to sleep in a British Airways britax seat installed in the bulkhead row when he was about 17 months old:
It's probably easiest to get your daughter to sleep in your arms, but the airplane motion and sound is a great help. Try to get your daughter to fall asleep during takeoff (while everyone is seated and there's little interesting activity going on). Here are some tips for encouraging her to sleep:
I hope this helps!
Char on April 19, 2008 at 12:08 a.m.
We're flying from Vancouver,BC to Paris in 2 weeks.
It's a 10-11 hour flight so I'm really nervous about it.
We get into Paris 7pm local time
would you suggest trying to get her to sleep for 9pm
and getting her up at 9am like usual?
Debbie on April 21, 2008 at 3:08 p.m.
Thanks for writing. I hope you have a wonderful time. I expect that by the time you check in and arrive at your hotel your daughter (
and you) will be quite tired. If not, I wouldn't push it. Let her stay up until she's ready to sleep and focus on getting her up and out in the sun in the morning.
I hope this helps,
Jen on April 29, 2008 at 7:35 a.m.
I found this website shortly before we left for our family vacation, and it was very helpful. We left when our daughter was 4.5 months old and returned two weeks later. The time difference was 10 hours, and we struggled for the first 5 nights. BB would wake up at 4am and not want to go back to sleep. DH would stay up for 1-2 hours to try to get her to back to sleep, and one morning she cried nearly the whole time--not a good experience, but I let him suffer through it because it was his idea that she should sleep all day long the day before. After those nights, BB fell into a more normal sleep pattern at night and the rest of the trip was absolutely wonderful.
I've learned a few things from this trip and wanted to share. First, the jet lag will work itself out eventually, but get lots fresh air and sunlight if possible. We traveled to a more tropical area, so this was easy because the windows were always open but we had to stay indoors because it was just too hot for us out in the sun. Second, we were visiting family and unlike at home, we were constantly surrounded by people. BB really enjoyed meeting all the new people, but it also wore her out so we had to be a little more protective of her daytime sleep. Finally, I'm breastfeeding exclusively, and traveling caused me to have engorgement problems for more than half of the trip (I haven't been engorged since BB was first born). I think this might have been because we went someplace much warmer than where we live as well as the huge time difference.
Now we've been home for 4 days, and I hope you might have some advice for me. First, BB is napping a lot in the daytime, but she's waking up at 4 am. Should I try to keep her awake in the daytime? I try to go out with her but she just dozes off and the drop in activity doesn't help. Second, my milk supply seems to have taken a dive. I'm not engorged and BB wants to nurse all the time. I'm worried that she might be trying to rehydrate. How worried should I be? Thanks!
Debbie on April 29, 2008 at 1:05 p.m.
Welcome home from your great trip. I think that if you keep trying to get BB up in the mornings and out in the sunshine, her schedule should adjust on its own. I wouldn't try to keep her awake more than she's comfortable with during the day, but now would be a good time to reinforce your nighttime routine. Also, try not to encourage the night waking too much so that it doesn't become a pattern.
With respect to the nursing. I haven't experienced engorgement as a result of travel, but I have gotten dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids and watch BB for signs of dehydration. If you are concerned that she is not getting enough milk, don't hesitate to contact your pediatrician. Also the la leche league website has lots of information about increasing your milk supply. Fenugreek supplements and pumping are two things that I have tried, but that was quite a while ago, so you would want to get the latest information.
I hope this helps,
Susan on May 11, 2008 at 3:17 a.m.
Any tips on re-adjustng a 6 month old who was sleeping pretty good through the night (since 4 months) before a two week trip to Hong Kong from California? I am having a hard time getting her back on a normal sleep schedule which was about 9pm to 7 or 8am depending on the night. She goes down fine at 8-9pm and is tired, but is up at 11pm or so and then is in and out until 4 or 5am. This is about the period between her late day nap and bedtime in Hong Kong. She adjusted to the schedule pretty fast there. I am in fact writing this at 3am as I cannot sleep either of course :( I have tried rocking in the chair, patting/rubbing on the back, walking with her, even letting her cry, to no luck. I am making sure she does not nap too long during the day, no more than she did before leaving and at the same times, and doing meals at the normal times. Also sticking to the bedtime routine of bath and bottle. Tonight, we tried taking her in our spa (at a lower baby friendly temp, of course) which she adores to wear her out, but it didn't seem to help. It has been 4 nights now, and I know it may take a while, but I am not seeing any improvements. I will try more sunshine, but any other ideas??
Debbie on May 12, 2008 at 12:36 p.m.
It always seems to take longer for babies to adjust to their home time than the foreign time. I'm never quite sure why... perhaps it's partly because once we're home we parents need to get back to our normal routines and we notice the deviations more. Perhaps it is because the baby or child isn't getting as much new stimulation as they are on a trip & therefore isn't as worn out...
It sounds to me like you are doing the right things. Stick with it & she will get back on schedule. You can also try getting her out of the house more today and trying to challenge her more physically (so that she's more worn out). I realize that with a 6 month old, you won't be letting her loose on the playground, but you can increase tummy time, practice standing (and maybe walking holding on to your fingers), and practice sitting and rolling.
I'd also try to get lots of fresh air right before bedtime.
Jenny on May 18, 2008 at 2:35 p.m.
Hi Debbie! Great site - I should have researched all this before traveling. We have twin almost 3-year-olds and just came to China from the US for the summer. We've been here 4 nights now and I cannot get them to sleep more than 5 hours or so at night. On the contrary, I have to wake them after 4 of 5 hours of napping the day and they still keep falling asleep. They fall asleep anytime in cabs or buses. They don't seem to be adjusting and I don't know what else I can do. I try to get them to sleep again after waking up, but with summer hours and light so early, it's hard. We've tried putting them down early and they just wake at 3 am, later and they wake at 4 or 5...
Debbie on May 21, 2008 at 10:45 p.m.
A couple of thoughts:
- Make sure that they are getting lots of outdoor exercise during the day
- Make sure that they are getting plenty to eat during the day (and especially in the evening)
- You don't need to force them to be awake, but try to keep them out of situations that might soothe them to sleep during the day.
Bear with them, they'll adjust soon!
Jenny on June 10, 2008 at 7:16 a.m.
A belated thanks, Debbie. Things are much better - though they still don't sleep quite enough at night, they are napping normally and doing well. And actually though it seemed cruel, we found cutting way back on the naps really helped them sleep longer at night (so, 6 am instead of 4 :))...
Kavi on July 17, 2008 at 11:01 p.m.
I've just travelled from London to India with my 3 month old. She had been sleeping thru the night since quite a while at home. She usually fell asleep at between 22:00-22:30 when we were in London. We arrive in India on Tuesday - July 16th.
Since 2 days, she has been sleeping thru the night, but she doesn't go to sleep before 00:30-1:00 at night.
I've not taken her for an outing yet, fearing she might get some infection because of the new place.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I'm going to be in India for abt 4 mths.
Any advice to help her get to sleep early.
Debbie on July 18, 2008 at 11:23 p.m.
Thanks so much for your question. It sounds like you are actually in a good spot, she's sleeping well, but she just needs to adjust her bedtime. If you can start to take your daughter outdoors during the day (and especially at dusk and dawn) the sunlight will help her clock adjust naturally.
If you feel uncomfortable about the environment and risk of infection, perhaps you can find a courtyard or private area and carry her close to your body so that nobody will touch her.
Lori on July 27, 2008 at 11:09 a.m.
Hi Debbie -
My husband and I are planning a trip to Maui in September with our 3 yr old. He is a creature of habit and very much dependant on his schedule. He doesn't nap anymore and goes to bed at 730pm waking about 7am. We are looking at an 8hr flight and a 5 hr time change (5 hrs earlier). We have traveled with him many times before and he does great on a plane! We jst have never taken this long of a flight with such a big time change. We will only be gone a week. any adivce on timing of fights and how to help him adjust quickly to a time change?
Debbie on July 28, 2008 at 10:31 a.m.
Longer flights are tricky with a child who doesn't nap anymore (but isn't old enough to really sit still for 5 hours). I think you have two possibilities:
1) fly early in the day when he is most likely to be in a good mood and make sure he gets plenty of exercise before you get on the plane.
2) fly at bedtime and try to get him to sleep on the plane. Don't stress too much about the fact that he'll likely wake up when you land. With any luck he'll be excited enough about being in a new place that he won't be upset by it.
I wouldn't worry too much about a 5 hour time change. If you are staying in a hotel with blackout drapes, you should definitely use them, but for the most part I would just let him get up when he is ready in the morning and put him to bed at night when he is tired. You might even find that you get a few daytime naps on your trip because of all of the extra activity and sunshine during the day.
Hope this helps,
Maya on July 28, 2008 at 8:09 p.m.
It's been said before, but this is truely a fantastic useful site. Thank you. I do have a question though, I will be travelling by myself from Australia to The Netherlands next month for a 3 week holiday to visit all my relatives. Our little girl will be 4 months by then. The trip itself is 24 hours with one stopover and 8 hour time difference between the two continents. At home she doesn't really sleep throughout the day, however has slept through the night (10 hours) since week 2. I know, we are very lucky. I am bottlefeeding her. Do you think I should try to feed her as much as possible throughout the day (as I do at home)? But what if she wakes up during the night while in Holland? Should I feed her or try to settle her in a different way? And do you have any tips/ideas etc on travelling by yourself with a baby? Exposure to lots of sunlight throughout the day is a great tip by the way.
Rachel on August 2, 2008 at 12:29 a.m.
HELP! My husband and i just returned from a trip to Asia with our 14 month old. We took an 18 hour flight back and all arrived BEYOND EXHAUSTED. I let things just "be" for the first night as far as eating and sleeping but when we woke up Zoui had a head cold, runny nose as did my husband. It's been 3 days since we've been back and we are all sick AND tired. Our daughter has only been sleeping in 5 and then 3 hour increments around the clock, not eating during the day but finally sleeping in her crib (no cribs in asia so coslept for 3 weeks). After she goes down around 8pm (for her nap) she is up 3 hours later and will not go back to sleep for 3-4 hours - HELP!! I am now just giving her milk at night even if she hasnst eaten but I'm afraid if I wake her up in the morning or for her nap that she will get sicker...please send some advice we are at our wits end.
Debbie on August 2, 2008 at 6:54 p.m.
I hope that you had a wonderful trip. I'm sorry that it's been so tough getting back on track now that you are at home.
If she were one of my kids, the first step would be to get her over her illness before worrying about adjusting her sleep schedule. A stuffy nose alone is enough to disturb a 14 month old's sleep.
It's hard to do while you're just catching up with your home life, but it might be time to revert to the days of "sleeping while she sleeps" just until she gets better.
In the interim, even though she has a cold, try to get her some sunlight during daytime hours and keep things dark and calm at night.
I hope this helps,
Melissa on August 4, 2008 at 9:49 a.m.
We have just come back from a five week travel to London where my 19 month old slept wonderfully. He has been sleeping 12 hours since 8 weeks of age but since getting home he was after four hours of sleep at night and then screams non stop for hours on end. We have tried everything we can think of from rocking, to ignoring, to wearing him out during the day etc. We have kept the same routine through out the whole holiday that we keep at home and have continued this since we got home. Nothing seems to be working. It has been 4 nights now and we are at our wits end. Nothing is improving. Any advice.
Debbie on August 11, 2008 at 11:12 p.m.
I think that you should try to feed her as much as possible during the day (just like home) but that you should expect that it will take several nights for her body to get used to the different "meal" schedule, and not restrict her eating at night. After a couple of nights, you can begin to offer water (if she takes water normally as part of her diet) or a smaller bottle and gently coax her back to sleep, but if she's demanding food, I would respond to her need rather than forcing her to a specific schedule.
As far as traveling by yourself with baby, take things slow, give yourself plenty of time to adjust to the time change, and don't be afraid to ask for help.
I hope you have a wonderful trip
Barb on August 14, 2008 at 12:35 p.m.
I am glad I found your blog! I returned four nights ago back to Canada from Czech Republic. My 3 month old son was a great sleeper with a fantastic routine before we left and during our entire trip. Now however he is all out of sorts and having a very hard time sleeping for more that 2.5 hours at a time, day or night! I do not believe that he is hungry at night anymore but his system is so used to being awake, he just needs to be near us. I am glad to know that his regular routine will surface again and that this trip isn't going to make him a bad sleeper! If you have any tips specifically for returning home, it would be much appreciated!
Debbie on August 15, 2008 at 1:30 a.m.
Barb, it sounds like you are on track... just hang in there & try not to reward the night waking too much. If you keep things quiet and dark he should begin to figure it out
Debbie on August 20, 2008 at 10:57 a.m.
That sounds really difficult, and not typical. Have you tried calling your doctor?
Nancy on August 23, 2008 at 12:38 a.m.
Hi Debbie. We returned back to Chicago from Japan 4 days ago. My 18 month old adjusted to their time zone the first day, but now that we are home she is up every night screaming for us at about midnight. We thought it would stop after a few nights, but it seems there is no end in site. We have tried different things. We have checked on her, then left her to cry it out. We have rocked her. We have given her milk. Her daytime routine is back to normal - napping just once from 1-3pm and in bed before 8pm. But she still wakes at midnight wanting to play. She usually crashes about 3am. HELP! Any ideas how to get her back on schedule?? THanks!
Debbie on August 23, 2008 at 7:48 p.m.
When I look at most of the questions on Jet Lag they seem to come at about day 4, and usually when I email the parents one or two days later, things are back on track. As long as she is healthy and you are consistent about not rewarding night-waking, she will get back on track. You can try making sure she gets lots of physical activity during the daytime, especially outdoors.
At 18 months old, you can also talk to her about the fact that it is nighttime & not time to be awake. If she has a window where she can see the sun/moon pointing out the fact that it is dark might help too.
Mary on August 24, 2008 at 5:39 a.m.
We are planning an unexpected trip to Malaysia to see my father-in-law within the next 2-3 weeks. It's a family emergency. My son is almost 9 months old, and will be 9 months old when we travel. I am so concerned about the time change. Malaysia is 13 hours ahead of us. What should I do about the time change? Should I try to get him on Malaysia time, or keep his current schedule? He sleeps through the night (9:30/10 p.m. to 7/7:30 a.m.). There's enough people around that can help me either way in Malaysia, but when we get back, it's just my hubby and me. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
Debbie on August 24, 2008 at 6:17 p.m.
Thank you for your question. I'm sorry that an emergency brings you to Malaysia, but I hope that you do get a chance to reconnect in a good way with family while you are there. I'm sure that everyone will enjoy meeting your son.
You don't say how long you'll be in Malaysia, but in general, unless you are gone for just a few days or the time change is 3 hours or less, I think it's better for everyone to adjust to the local time. Sunshine and fresh air are important components of our overall health and well-being.
Mary on August 26, 2008 at 10:12 a.m.
Thanks Debbie! We will be gone for 2-1/2 weeks, so I think adjusting to the local time will be worth it.
Rani on November 14, 2008 at 3:28 a.m.
I just wanted to say how happy I am to have found this site - I have been searching for advice for jetlag and babies for days now! I will be travelling with my son in Feb to Asia - he will be 9 months then and then time difference is 5 hour ahead. I am already stressing about it as he has just started to get a sleep routine and is sleeping through the night. We are travelling at night so hopefully he will sleep for the 10 hour flight.
jenna at foodwithkidappeal.com on November 24, 2008 at 12:54 p.m.
i need motivation to leave the state with my kids! my problem is i don't sleep, at all when we're all in one room. after one night i'm ready to be home. what suggestions do you have for getting any sleep at all on a trip, for a light sleeping mama? is it OK to take sleeping meds?
Debbie on November 25, 2008 at 4:04 p.m.
I would recommend talking with a doctor before taking any medication, including sleep meds... especially if you are nursing or co-sleeping.
That said, you might try getting an apartment rental or a suite. With the kids in a separate room (just like home) you will probably sleep better.
Nicki Liang on December 14, 2008 at 11:30 p.m.
I would be interested on your thoughts on this one. We are travelling from Asia to Europe next week with three children - 4 years, 20 months & 6 months. My eldest has done the trip twice before & only had serious jet lag on the way back home. However, I doubt I will be so lucky this time.
I know some people recommend trying to move closer to the destination time prior to leaving but I'm not sure if it is worth it? I can move their bedtime later over the weekend before we leave as they can wake up later but we are leaving on a 9am flight so that day they will have to wake up even earlier than usual.
We arrive in the UK at about 3pm (11pm Asia) so by the time we clear customs etc it will be dark outside but I will want to keep them awake which may be a challenge with a 3 hour car journey. Any suggestions?
Jan on January 26, 2009 at 9:33 a.m.
this are all great tips - but we are working parents, I am at work from 7:30 to pretty much 7ish (pm) my wife can be a bit more flexible. But - napping with the child, going out at sunlight (no sun here, clouds) etc. is not possible for us during the week. We just returned from Europe with our 10 month old daughter and 4 year old son and adjusting them slowly to home time would have destroyed our somewhat sane 2d week of vacation (first week was , oh well...). They both woke up at 1 am, the little one basically being wide awake (and happy, unlike her parents), while the older gradually managed to get back to sleep. Any advice in this case? We had maybe 3 hrs of sleep last night and the future isn't looking good either...?
Debbie on January 26, 2009 at 9:42 a.m.
That's a tough question. You might want to allow a few days to settle into local time before returning to work on your next trip (you probably aren't at your most productive if you are jetlagged either) or consider finding some extra help to get you through the first few days at home... What works for each family is different.
With respect to the sunlight, even sun filtered through clouds (like we have here in Seattle) helps your body adjust to the local time.
Ishbel on February 11, 2009 at 4:22 a.m.
It's reassuring to see that other parents are going through the same as what we are going through. I have a 10 month old boy who i've taken from Beijing where we live back to Europe 4 times. The most recent return trip has been by far the hardest and I agree that the return seems to be the toughest to readjust. We have now had three days of screaming for 3-4 hours in the night. Nothing seems to work other than staying up with him and playing.
But if baby does wake up for hours, what should one do at that time? I appreciate all the advice on how to make improvements during the day but what should we do at night when you’re actually facing the problem? Should we put them to bed later than normal 7pm if, as in our case, he's waking in the night but seems able to stay up longer or should we stick to 7pm and just wait till he wakes?
When it happens should we try to keep his room dark and do endless rocking/patting/singing/giving milk or is it better to just let them play it out for a few hours and let them get tired. As adults we generally do things e.g. read, watch tv, get on with tasks until we're so tired we eventually sleep. Most of us go mad just fretting about in the dark which is why i'm questioning what to actually do for the babies in the night.
Any suggestions welcome!
Debbie on February 15, 2009 at 6:34 p.m.
In general, I think that babies should be put to sleep when they are tired - keeping them up later in the hopes that they will sleep in rarely seems to work (and often just means that everyone is grumpier when they do wake)
I think that for the first few nights it is fine to turn the lights on and play. You'll want to gradually reduce the activity level though, and after a few nights you might try to keep the lights dimmed and offer a bottle or sippy.
Hope this helps
Joanna on February 28, 2009 at 8:45 p.m.
I am looking for some advice as we plan on bringing our 2.5 year old to Ethiopia for an eight day stay and then flying home. The long portion of the flight is 18 hours. I am a little concerened about the jet lag factor and am open to receiving suggestions.
Pauline on March 2, 2009 at 12:42 a.m.
Debbie, what a great site, easy reading at 4am. All your tips are great and words are so reassuring. We just returned to the UK 3 days ago after 4 weeks in Australia. Our 7 mo boy is frequently waking at night but we seem to do ok keeping things dark and offering milk feeds. He's developed a new arm flapping signal which we guess is, 'I want to play now'! I just wanted to recommend Slumber Bear or any other similar lullaby playing toy for jet lag. It runs on five minute cycles, starting in response to babies movement. That seems to satisfy our boy's need for some kind of stimulation in the dark without heavy play... now as for me? I'm wide awake :)
Di on March 13, 2009 at 8:44 a.m.
let me begin by saying my 22 month old daughter is normally an excellent sleeper. She has slept 12 hours a night since 9 weeks and never looked back. She is now normally having about a 2 hour afternoon nap every day. We returned to NY 3 days ago from a 2 and half week vacation to Sydney. The time difference of 14 hours and my daughter's inability to sleep much on the extremely long flight (20 hours of flying time plus transfers etc.) has left us all exhausted and struggling with her jetlag. I am from Sydney and have done this flight many times but only once before when my daughter was 7 months old. We did a good job of managing her jetlag on return after that trip. It was significantly easier with a non-mobile baby that generally slept more during the day than she does now as a toddler.
she really loves to sleep so we are becoming concerned about how the current jetlag is taking a toll on her. For the past 3 nights she has been going down for the night at about 8pm,then waking at 11pm and staying awake except for brief periods until 5am. She is crying, screaming, calling out for us and generally becoming quite hysterical if she is left alone in her crib. Sitting with her and "reading" in the dark, offering just small amounts of milk has not helped. We have even brought her into our bed (which we do not ever do). Nothing has helped. Any additional guidance on getting a willful (loud) toddler adjusted with such a huge time difference would be greatly appreciated. I am a working mom and beyond exhausted with the current situation.
Debbie on March 13, 2009 at 4:29 p.m.
I'm so sorry to hear about the struggles you are having with your daughter's sleep. Older kids (vs. babies) often have trouble adjusting to live back home after a trip even when there is no time change - on the trip she may have been sleeping in the same room with you for instance or had more time with you during the day. If she misses you, that might be making it harder for her to transition to sleeping through the night.
Luckily, at 22 months she is both able to understand you and able to work towards a reward. Have you talked with her (during the day) about the fact that she needs to sleep well at night so that she can play more during the daytime? Is there a reward you could offer her for staying in her own bed all night (we often offer a mylar balloon because we can offer it over and over and over until finally the night sleep straightens itself out)
I hope this helps
PuntaCana Mom on March 21, 2009 at 8:11 p.m.
This is a fabulous post - between your original post and the comments left by others, I now have enough to share with my husband re: others' experiences with jetlagged kids. We both work, and will eventually go to Asia (maybe late this year) with what will then be our 3-year old, and I'm really dreading the jet lag on return. This convinces me that we need to build in more days off from the office to help DD recover when we come back.
Ani on April 27, 2009 at 7:10 a.m.
Thanks for the great tips, Debbie and everyone else.
I have yet another question: Does it do any harm to a baby to have to deal with jetlag often? We've had to fly from China to Europe and back already twice in the past 4 months with my son, who is now 7 months old. Now it looks like we will have to be going again in a month! I am breastfeeding so he has to go when I have to go... I haven't been able to find any info on this so far and I'm afraid it messes with him too much to have to go again. I'm wondering if I'll just have to try and stop breastfeeding for a few days, go on my own, and then get back to it when I come back? Or can I just take him along again?
Thank in advance for your thoughts!
Debbie on April 27, 2009 at 2:28 p.m.
I am not aware of any issues related to frequent jetlag (other than the usual issues associated with sleeplessness) for either adults or infants.
If it were my child, I would not be concerned about taking another trip, but you should consult your doctor if you are worried.
Nicole Schembri on May 2, 2009 at 7:07 p.m.
We have just come back from a 2 week holiday to Malta (8 hr time difference) where my 12 month old slept wonderfully. We visited family where she was a human pass-the-parcel for the whole time, if she made any noise, some-one came running to entertain her and pander to her every demand. While she was kept in her normal sleeping routing while away - this was the main difference. In addition, we were all sleeping in the same room, where, if she woke in the night, I was right next to her cot.
She has been sleeping 12 hours since 3 weeks of age but since getting home she has been difficult the put to sleep day and night time, and at night has been waking at midnight and 3am, screaming non stop for hours on end. She has her own room at home. As with Melissa (above) we have tried everything from not letting her sleep more than her "normal" nap length during the day, ignoring her screams, giving her milk, panadol and bonjella (not all at the same time) to help settle her, holding and rocking her to sleep in our arms, and by 4am we're so exhausted she ends up in our bed. Last night when we put her in our bed, she started laughing. This is not a practice we want to get her in the habit of as we're not sleeping either! Nothing seems to be working. It has been 4 nights now and we are stressed, exhausted and at our wits end. Nothing seems to be working or improving. Any words of wisdom?
tricia martin on May 17, 2009 at 9:41 p.m.
Love your website. In October Ill be travelling with my 14 month little girl from Australia ( where we live ) to England ( where Im from) to visit freinds and relatives. We will be there for 10 weeks so plenty of time to adjust.
What tips do u have for adjusting to the major time difference ( complete opposite) and a 24 hour plane trip. She will have her own cot and room at mums place and I intend to take her sleeping bag and comforter so it feels familier....what other things should I consider....and how many nites should it take before we are on track. thank you
Cara on June 25, 2009 at 7:51 a.m.
Hello, I love this site. I"m full of great information now, but still have one question. SHould you wake up your toddler?? We just came back to OHIO for the summer after living in China, which we will return to in the fall) and she doesn't take afternoon naps. Hasn't for a couple of months now, even tho she is just to. But would go to bed at 4pm and sleep till 6am. Now that we are stateside, I put her down later, slowly trying to adjust, but she treats that as a nap, and is back up around midnight, not wanting to sleep again till 2am, then sleeps till 1 in the afternoon. Should I wake her?? Her room is very very dark.
THanks in advance!
Tracy on August 4, 2009 at 12:09 p.m.
You just have to know that for most parents those first several days will be difficult. If you go into it with that mental framework, it will make you less frustrated and thinking your trip is the pits.
Irene G on August 5, 2009 at 4:33 a.m.
Thanks for a fantasic website. I'm so happy that I have been able to find such a useful and informative site. In a few weeks time I will be travelling from Australia to Cairo (24 hr flight)with my two little girls aged 3 yrs and my youngest is 18months. I'm really nervous about the flight given that I wil be travelling by myself. Do you have any tips on how to survive the flight and the jetlag? I'm hoping that the trip/jetlag wont affect their sleeping patterns/routine when we get back home. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Debbie on August 17, 2009 at 8:28 p.m.
My best tips for surviving a flight with an infant hare here:
You should expect that the Jet Lag will affect your children's sleeping patterns once you return hom, but that with some patience and firmness things will return to normal over the course of your first week home.
Cicely on September 3, 2009 at 11:11 a.m.
Hi, Debbie. This is very helpful information. I am planning to travel with my 10 month old son from Atlanta to LA in October to visit my sister. He currently (at 8 months old) sleeps about 11 hours at night and is breastfed 5-6 times a day. The trip is going to be 5 or 6 nights (I haven't decided which day to leave). I saw at the beginning of your post that you recommend trying to keep your home schedule if the time change is 3 hours or less. That would mean us waking up at 3:30 LA time . . . not sure my sister would appreciate this. Do you think it's possible for him to adjust to a new time schedule with such a short trip time? I want us to enjoy this trip, but I also want to be realistic in my expectations. Do you recommend a longer trip time to make adjustment easier?
Stephanie on September 3, 2009 at 5:31 p.m.
This is a great website! I'm so glad I found it.
We are leaving next Thursday from Boston and landing in Hawaii at 2:30p their time (8:30p Boston time). Our 8 month old goes to bed at 7pm. I'm guessing he will probably fall asleep once we get there and get moving in the car. Should we let him sleep as long as he wants or wake him after after a bit and treat it like a nap rather than bedtime? If he wakes on his own due to movement, sunlight, etc do we keep him up or put him back to sleep?
Thanks so much!
Debbie on September 3, 2009 at 10:53 p.m.
I think it depends a lot on your child. Some children will respond to a later bedtime and darkened skies by sleeping in a little, while others wake up like clockwork at the same time every morning.
You could try to gradually adjust his schedule by an hour or two before you leave home, or you might just have to wake up early and keep him quietly entertained until the sun is up.
The upside to that early rising, assuming your son will sleep in a stroller, is that he will be asleep for the night by the time dinner is served in LA - making it easier for you to enjoy an evening out.
I hope this helps. Good luck!
Debbie on September 3, 2009 at 11:03 p.m.
This is always tricky, but I would treat that first sleep when you arrive like a nap. Your child will probably be excited about seeing his new surroundings, and that will make it easier.
Be careful not to keep him up too long, though. A sleep deprived 8 month old is not only un-fun, but also gets sick more easily than a well rested child.
Good luck with your trip!
Andrea on September 11, 2009 at 9 a.m.
This is a great site and I am so glad that I found it. My daughter and I will be traveling to Auckland NZ from Saskatchewan, Canada this coming January. She will be just turning one year old at this time. We plan to go for 3 weeks. There is a 17 hr time difference. How long do you think it will take her to adjust to local time, once we get there and then when we are home again? I am really nervous about going, as I am traveling by my self. Once I get there their will be family yo help out. Any suggestion would be greatfully appreciated, on ways to help her adjust to complete opposite and ways to entertain her on the plane and help her sleep on the plane. Thank you
Debbie on September 11, 2009 at 1:06 p.m.
It usually takes about 3-5 days to adjust to the time change - of course every child is different. I wish you luck!
Here are some tips on keeping your daughter busy on a plane:
and some tips for helping her sleep on the plane:
Magda on September 25, 2009 at 2:01 a.m.
Nothing I've read on babies and jet lag takes into account the parents' AND baby's desperate need to sleep, regardless of time zone. Instead they say keep the sun shining during the day so your baby can adjust. That's all very well, but if your baby is keeping you, and himself, up til 6 am you can't just open the shutters and let neither you nor your baby get a single minute of sleep. That would just make everyone involved weak and eventually sick.
A far as sleeping on planes goes, with airplane staff making endless noise for useless things such as selling duty free items, turning all the lights on for breakfast when it's finally bed time in your infant's time zone, it can be literally impossible to get a baby to sleep AT ALL on a flight. This is what happened on my last long haul with my 4 month old who arrived at destination completely exhausted having neither been able to get a nap because of the noisy coming and goings of the duty free carts, nor a single minute of sleep at bedtime because then the lights went on for "breakfast". As a result he arrived exhausted, with a cough and a rash (which he's never had before). And this is a baby who normally sleeps long hours at night already. Airlines should change their stupid service policies to accommodate for basic necessities like sleep.
John McConnell on September 28, 2009 at 4:54 p.m.
My wife and I are going to the philippines this 3 November with our baby son who will turn 1year old on 6 November.
We are concerned about his need for vaccations and have been told he only needs the normal that is given to a baby of his age, We are going to a country that has dungue fever, malaria, typhond, hep a*b and we have been told he can not be vacanated for these at his age. we were also told we can not give him any drugs to protect him against malaria. can you advise us on this matter.
Debbie on September 28, 2009 at 7:38 p.m.
I don't have a medical background and would be unable to advise you about medical issues. If you don't feel satisfied with the answers you are being given, you might consider visiting a travel medicine clinic instead of your family doctor for a second opinion.
Rebecca on October 14, 2009 at 3:59 a.m.
I found this site after I got back from a 3 week vacation and it is great! I live in Israel and went to visit family in the U.S. My 3 month old baby was definitely out of sorts the first few days. He was going to bed around 6/7pm and then waking up at midnight or so. Then I could put him back to sleep for a little bit but he'd be up again. I remember trying to soothe him back to sleep countless times but as soon as I'd put him down, he would wake up and cry. The first night I didn't sleep at all. The second night I think I slept better, but after 4am I just gave up putting him to sleep. I remember staying up with him watching movies to keep myself awake! Eventually he did go to sleep around 9/10 pm although he continued to wake up more frequently then he would have at home.
Now I am back in Israel. Both of us were exhausted after the flight. He managed to sleep for about 3 hours but I couldn't. Since being home he hasn't really napped during the day even though I've tried to soothe him to sleep. The last 2 nights he's been falling asleep around 3 or 4am (which makes sense since it is about 9/10 pm in the U.S.) At some point in the morning I put him in bed with me and we've slept until 12pm. I tried soothing him to sleep earlier at night--and he was tired believe me--but he wouldn't stay asleep on his own. And I know I should get out with him in the morning to help readjust his clock but the last two days I've just been too exhausted. Last night I just rocked him to sleep and he slept on me from 1-2 am. After that he was wide awake so I just played with him and fed him until 4am.
Today I've gotten a babysitter to take him for a few hours and I've told her to get him outside in the sunlight. I am also going to try and take him for a walk at dusk later. Tonight I will try to make things more conducive for sleep by using a lot less light in the apartment and keeping our bedroom totally dark(he is still sleeping in our room, but I will transition him to his own room once he is on a better sleep schedule). Hopefully I will be able to get up a little earlier in the morning to help him readjust as well.
On a side note I've also noticed my baby is having some tummy problems. Yesterday he had some gassiness after breastfeeding, which went away after I burped him. He also had some diarrhea. I figured it had to do with traveling and changing time zones since that happens to both both my hubby and me when we travel and change time zones.
Let me know if you have any additional suggestions on helping my baby get back to normal.
Tom on November 5, 2009 at 5:50 p.m.
We just returned from a one month trip of Europe with our 10 month old son, and as others have expressed here, we are finding it very difficult to get him back to his schedule in Vancouver. He is getting sunlight, air and we are keeping things dark and quiet at night, but his internal clock is getting him up all through the night and my wife and I haven't slept at all since returning 3 days ago.
I know this will work itself out and I know there is not much else we can do but, I thought I'd write in if for no other reason to let others know they are not alone in this situation. Having said that, if you have any further advice, we sure would appreciate it.
Debbie on November 5, 2009 at 5:56 p.m.
Good luck Tom, hang in there - just like teething, the sleep disturbance that comes with crawling, and all the other nighttime dramas this will work itself out over time.
Anet on November 17, 2009 at 9:32 p.m.
I wish I had seen this site two weeks ago! We returned to Asia from South Africa on Sunday morning. It is now Wednesday and our 1 year old is really having problems adjusting.
It feels like it is getting worse (or maybe we are just more tired?)but last night she woke up at 8:30 pm (her normal bedtime is 7pm and she goes to sleep pretty easily) and refused to go back to sleep until about 1am. We played, tried to get her back to sleep, played again etc. etc. She screams, throws out her pacifier and kicks when we put her to bed - something she has never done before - until we pick her up.
When she finally goes to sleep, she sleeps deeply. Should I wake her up at 7am - her normal wake up time?
Debbie on November 18, 2009 at 8:49 a.m.
First off, welcome home. I'm sorry that your daughter is having such a tough time adjusting.
If she were my child, I would get myself ready to walk out the door in the morning, and then wake her up and take her outside in the sun.
I do hope this helps.
Edhi on January 19, 2010 at 12:04 a.m.
Great tips. I will add one thing to avoid jet lag for our children
Avoid junk food, Sugar and carbohydrate-rich fats such as cookies and chips.
Angela on January 21, 2010 at 5:22 p.m.
Me and my 21 months old daughter just came back to vancouver, canada from hongkong and jakarta. Its a 16 hr difference... her usual naps are twice a days maximum of 2 hrs. each nap and at nighttime she sleepsarounf 9 pm and wake up at around 8-10am. i don't have any problems putting her to sleep at night between 9- 12pm but she wakes up around 3 and stay awake until about 6 in the morning.
its been 5 nights now, so i would really appreciate it if u can give me some advice.
jessica on January 29, 2010 at 9:10 p.m.
Thanks for this post.
Especially important to read was about breastfeeding and the impact of production based on time change.
I'm noting this for our upcoming trip to Europe.
Debbie on January 31, 2010 at 10:06 p.m.
Hang in there. Some babies take longer than others, but she will return to her usual schedule with your help.
Jennifer on February 12, 2010 at 4:47 a.m.
I am so glad I found your website. We are moving to Paris in a few weeks with our 4 yr old and 7 month old and was wondering if you could give us any tips/suggestions before we move. I know I will have to deal with the jetlag with the kids once we arrive but I am hoping it is a smooth transition. Your website has been so helpful to help us prepare but was thinking you may be able to give us some tips or things to watch out for before we go. Thank you so much!
Krista on March 15, 2010 at 3:13 p.m.
This has been a great website to find, but I'm still a little confused :)
We are going to fiji next week, they are 2 hours ahead of us. Our 6 month old usually wakes at 7am and is in bed by 7pm. Should I keep him on his home routine (which would mean up at 9am and down at 9pm) or adjust to local time. We are only away for 6 nights.
Like many of the previous comments, I have a good sleeper and am concerned about sleep regression.
Also, any tips for having a baby in the hotel room with you. I'm thinking of sleeping him in the bathroom?
Thank you very much
Debbie on March 15, 2010 at 10:36 p.m.
For a two hour time difference, I would use the blackout drapes in the hotel and stay on your home schedule. You'll probably notice that your 6 month old's schedule changes a bit due to the trip, but hopefully not much.
Sho on April 5, 2010 at 6:55 p.m.
thrilled to find your post. My husband and I have a five and a half month daughter who is an amazing sleeper...11-13 hours a night. We are thinking about going to japan next week since we have the time now, but I'm worried that well ruin our very happy healthy sleeper. Also, if she's going to be up all night there, it might not be worth us taking this amazing vacation. She is currently only breastfed, but we may introduce early solids before we go. We would leave NYC on the 15th and return on the 3rd. Can't decide if we should bite the bullet and go or settle for someplace closer. Would love your thoughts.
Jo on April 10, 2010 at 3:18 p.m.
2 weeks ago we came from the UK to Kazakhstan, a 5 hour time difference, with a 10-week-old baby. We seem to have tried everything to get her to sleep at night rather than during the day - plenty of fresh air, watching the sun set, low lighting at night, only feeding in her room at night, trying to stick to her routine during the day, trying to keep her awake during the day (this seemed to work once and she slept from 11pm to 10.30am and we were thrilled! Next night was back to being awake at night again), waking her for feeds, not waking her for feeds, expressing milk for when she's too tired to wake up for long for a feed... and much more besides. This is now her 4th night/day in a row where she's fed every 3/4 hours day and night. She's definitely getting enough during the feeds as she's a strong sucker and still has the same amount of expressed milk when we give her a bottle. I'm a bit sleep deprived and desperate now! We did the whole 'newborn feeding every 3 hours' thing 2 months ago and she was definitely growing out of it! Any tips? Thanks, Jo
Martha Gates-Mawson on April 15, 2010 at 6:18 a.m.
So pleased to have found this site. My daughter, son-in-law, and grandddaughter (7 months) have just returned home to the UK after an 18-day visit with us on the East Coast of the States. My daughter reports that my granddaughter, who was on a very good schedule prior to the trip, is now staying awake until midnight and having trouble getting back into the routine. How long should it take and what are the best ways for them to help my granddaughter get back on schedule?
Thank you so much!
Suz on April 26, 2010 at 4:43 p.m.
Hi. I have a business trip to Japan and my husband is planning on joining me. We are considering taking our, just turning 4 years old daughter. The trip is only a week and we are concerned about jet lag (we live in NY) and impact on enjoying Tokyo.
What can we expect from a 4 year old in terms of sleeping at night and wake and present during the day?
Agi on May 12, 2010 at 12:59 p.m.
a wonderful website and advices.
I'm going with my husband and our 7 months old son from Spain to Korea for 20 days and after reading about your experiences, I am not afraid anymore.
It was nice for me to read that my intuition told me well, when we went to Israel 1 month ago and I kept my watch all the time on the "home" time - despite all the light saving clock changes.
Thank you again and I hope I will not write desperately for help form Korea :) we're going to enjoy this experience thanks to you.
Cathy on May 17, 2010 at 1:21 p.m.
We have just returned from a 2 1/2 week trip to California (from the UK - time difference 8 hours) with our 13 month baby boy. Before our holiday he was a great sleeper - down at 7pm and rarely wakes in the night, waking a 7am in morning. On holiday he slept in our room and for the last week of our holiday the bedroom was quite light at night. Most nights he slept pretty well.
On returning it's been a nightmare. He wakes frequently and screams hysterically. For the first 2 night he ended up in bed with us at some point in the night (something we rarely do) and the last 2 nights he just doesn't seem to want to be on his own in his own bedroom.
Any suggestions on what we do? He just seems so upset.
Thank you, Cathy
Flyrant on June 15, 2010 at 9:51 p.m.
You have all given me great stories for my FlyRant.com blog. I'm a cranky traveler even without the kids.
Prabhaharan on June 25, 2010 at 2:17 a.m.
We just returned back home to the USA (Arizona) from a three week holiday in Sri Lanka. Our four year old is off schedule, sleeping at 2 p.m. and then getting up 10 hours later. After that, she is up the rest of the night. Do you suggest we just not let her sleep and just keep her up whatever it takes to keep her up so that she doesn't start sleeping until her pre-Asia trip bed time, which was 8:30 p.m.? It's hard to get any rest when the 4 year old is up and needing to be supervised. Any suggestions as my wife and I are not getting any rest.
Lisa on July 9, 2010 at 2:43 p.m.
I travel from Europe to North America twice a year with my little ones and common sense has to prevail. You need to know that if you child sleeps for longer stretches than normal during the day that they will keep you up at night. We have had great success with getting the kids accustomed to our new time zone by simply not letting them have long naps during the day when it is nap time. It is also very important to strategically place the nap at a similar interval from waking as they normally have in their schedule at home. Because they are waking up earlier and have travelled, we know they can't go all day long without sleeping so we let them have a nap that is early enough in the day and wake them up after they have slept their usual nap length. It is tough to wake them sometimes, but you can! After a few days there are huge benefits and we are able to slowly get them on track without being stressed out. Another tip is don't put them to bed to early because then they just wake up wide awake a few hours later. Be patient and put them to bed 1 to 2 hours earlier every night. If they have had a properly timed nap during the day then they should be so tired that they'll sleep a nice long stretch.
Debbie on July 9, 2010 at 3:23 p.m.
thanks so much for the great perspective!
Indrani on July 17, 2010 at 12:22 p.m.
I have a 7 month old baby and we (just baby and me) are planning to travel to India (from SFO). I have to say I'm REALLY nervous about it. Its about 12 hours difference! Meaning his days-nights are going to be reversed :( Ishaan (my baby) is also all about crawling and starting to cruise right now and Im not sure how to handle that either. Any advice would be SUPER great!!
Hamish on August 7, 2010 at 7:47 a.m.
Wow - great post and comments. I'm another parent up at 2am with an alert baby (6.5 months) after 4 weeks away with a 10 hour difference. Staying philosophical now that she's sleeping on me while I comment too.
Funny that our trip away was terrible - no sleep, bad habits - but she adjusted to the new TZ immediately. Now after a dream trip home - great sleeps at the right times - she is up and about. Thanks for the tips!
jo on August 8, 2010 at 4:12 p.m.
Hi there, I am travelling to australia from nz in a weeks time and am wondering if it is worth trying to change my 11 month old to australian time? They are only 2 hours behind us but i don't really want to her waking at 5am or going to bed at 5pm. We are only going for 10 days. Should we stick to home time?
Debbie on August 8, 2010 at 7:31 p.m.
Jo, I think that with a 2 hour time change, your child will gradually adjust to local time on her own. I'm not sure how much you can alter that.
Peggy on August 11, 2010 at 11:36 a.m.
Thank you for posting all sorts of advice.
We leave in Australia and just came back from a 4-week holiday in France with our breastfed 5-month old. He sleeps a lot in general and adjusted to French time on the first night there (8h time difference), sleeping through the nights.
But back home is another story. Since we're back, he feeds every 1h30 during the night, falls asleep to wake up only 30min later. I have to wake him up from his naps during the day or he would sleep all day long though!
I'm starting to wonder if there is a growth spurt as well as jetlag...
I was wondering how long I should let him sleep during the day? I have been waking him up if his nap is longer than 2 hours.
Debbie on August 11, 2010 at 6:47 p.m.
@Peggy If he's feeding that much, my guess would be that he's having a growth spurt (or ready for solid food possibly?) versus just jetlag alone. My kids all took / take three hour naps on occasion - so if it were me, I wouldn't necessarily wake him up, but I would really try to encourage him to eat during the day and not during the night.
Miriam on August 19, 2010 at 1:04 p.m.
Hi, I'm about to travel from France to the US for a month, alone with my 2.5 month old. I'm really apprehensive, not only about the flight (how will I go to the bathroom) but even moreso about the jetlag and the effect it will have on us.
I get very bad jetlag anyway, but right now I'm also severely sleep deprived since my son is a very difficult sleeper requiring long periods of walking and rocking to get into a deep enough sleep to stay asleep. He does sleep at night though, from about 8:30pm to 7:30 am with a feed (I'm exclusively breastfeeding) around 3:30. I guess that means he'll be up from 1 or 2 in the morning eastern time and crash around 2pm. Should I go with that or try to put him immediately into US time, which seems very difficult also because of the breastfeeding schedule.
I've also just managed these last few days to get him into a schedule with decent naps during the day and I'm afraid that will be compromised too since we'll be seeing lots of family and I'll be moving around quite a lot.
I'm also concerned about my milk, since I feed every 3 hours during the day but then go 8hrs and 5 hrs during the night. Won't my supply also get messed up by the jetlag?
Any advice you could provide would be much appreciated. I'm starting to think this trip was a mistake but my whole family is anxiously awaiting to meet him.
Thanks in advance!
Debbie on August 19, 2010 at 9:55 p.m.
With respect to the breastfeeding - be careful to drink lots of water on the flight and for the first several days. Flying is dehydrating for both you and baby.
It usually takes longer for baby's stomach to adjust thank for his sleep patterns to change. I'd expect that you'll be feeding him on France time for several days at least.
Since baby won't switch over to US time right away (and might take even longer with an interrupted nap schedule) you should try to nap during the day if you can.
I bet the trip will be great! You'll be tired, and you might end up feeding baby at night for a little while, but you can always get him back on schedule when you return home.
One thing I try to remember, especially with such a young baby, is that they go through lots of different sleep disruptions as they grow. You get them adjusted for a little while, and then they start teething, crawling, walking, etc. So this is just one in a long series of sleep disruptions.
Hope this helps!
Lisa on August 30, 2010 at 12:31 p.m.
My daughter is 14 months and we're travelling from Dubai to Australia. there is a 6 hour time difference and I'm terrified on how I will manage with the jet lag. the afternoon naps she has here in Dubai will be the bedtime in australia. Any advice?
Carla Measer-Costamagna on September 3, 2010 at 10:35 a.m.
Your blog is amazing! I am so happy i found it. I am a new mom of the 3 month old baby girl. She still does not sleep through the night and wakes up 2 times or so. We are hoping to start sleep training her when she is 4 months old and it;s been a source of stress just thinking about it because it is very hard to get her to fall asleep right now. Also, to add to this worry my father who lives in Brazil is sick and I have to go see him soon. He has never met his granddaughter and I want to take her to meet him. We are thinking of traveling in December when she will be 7 months. I am worried about how the change of time zones will affect her and if it will regress any progress we will hopefully have made with sleep training. Also, I am worried about being on a plane for so long with such a small baby (colds, flu, viruses in the air from other people), not to mention the looks on people's faces if she cries. I am always mortified in the supermarket if she starts crying too loudly. Maybe it;s a new mommy thing?
I know I sound a bit too worried/ paranoid but this is my first baby and I am confused about so many things, this long distance traveling is adding to them.
I am a world traveler myself and want my kids to be like that too. Just need some advice on how to get started.
Debbie on September 4, 2010 at 12:44 a.m.
@Lisa, you might try eliminating that afternoon nap for a short time in Australia so that she is tired enough to sleep through the night once she finally does get to bed. You can always put the nap back in once she gets adjusted.
@Carla Sleep training is an ongoing process (at least it was with my kids) teeth, developmental milestones, travel, and age all cause disruptions. I wouldn't worry about that too much - if you are consistent it always works its way out. With respect to the flight, I wouldn't worry too much about the germs as long as she has a healthy immune system ;)
Andy & Nicola on September 27, 2010 at 3:57 p.m.
We've just returned to the US East Coast from the UK - our 13 month old has done the trip twice before (last time 4 months ago) and always adjusted pretty well on her return. This time she is waking in the night (on UK time zone), her appetite has dropped a little (partic in the evening), she has diarrhea and she is not taking her bedtime bottle... have you noticed this type of eating disruption associated with jetlag before?
Debbie on September 27, 2010 at 8:25 p.m.
Andy & Nicola,
A disrupted schedule for eating isn't unusual (though usually the total amount consumed doesn't change). However, I've never heard of Jet Lag causing diarrhea so she might have a bug - If I were in your position, I would watch for signs of dehydration and check in with my doctor.
Tom, Kaz and May on September 28, 2010 at 5:50 a.m.
Thank goodness for your website.
We are presently going through a difficult time with our 5.5 month old. We had a 2.4 week holiday in France and returned home 4 days ago. We did the wrong thing for sure and napped as we arrived home early on the Sat morning. Our daughter didn't sleep much at all on the plane, neither did we - we were stuffed. We slept for probably 4 hours during the day as did our daughter. Now 4 days in she has been a doll during the day (we've tried not to let her sleep much during the day) but difficult during the night.
She'll go down relatively well at night around 8 and then wake 1.75 - 2 hours later obviously tired but she awakes crying and sometimes is inconsolable even when offered the breast. She'll then go down anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours later. After this she'll then wake again for a similar amount of time after a similar amount of sleep time.
This is very trying for my wife especially. What would you recommend. It seems as though sun or daylight exposure is very important. We are in winter at the moment, if sun isn't out will normal daylight suffice. Also, she was a great (8-12 hours a night) sleeper prior to our trip , will she return to this routine. We're very nervous that she's in this routine for good.
Would love to here from you.
Melanie on October 6, 2010 at 4:32 p.m.
Nice web site Debbie,
we'll follow your advices when we go to France for 5weeks with Luca who will be 8months by then.
For Tom, Kaz and May,
Are you sure this new broken sleeping pattern is due to the jet lag? I know that around 6months babies start to sleep in sleeping cycles like adults, that is 2hours by 2 hours, so even if your daughter was a good sleeper before she might need to re-learn to settle by herself in between every sleep cycle at night... I would recomment Tizzie hall book: "save our sleep" for advices.
Good luck with it all
Kerry Dowling on October 28, 2010 at 1:50 a.m.
We need your help, we have just returned home from Canada to the UK with our 19 month old daughter, she is going to bed at her normal time 7.30pm, but then every night since we arrived home she has been waking up about midnight and refusing to go back to sleep until at least 4.00am. She is then only napping for about 1 hour during the day, we are all totally exhausted and in serious need of some advise, please help...
Debbie on October 28, 2010 at 11:14 p.m.
I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time! What are you doing when your daughter wakes at night? One thing that helps is to offer food or milk immediately, keep the lights dim, and choose soothing activities instead of exciting ones - her body will gradually adjust back to sleeping during that time.
Joanna on November 21, 2010 at 9:28 a.m.
My daughter is 16 months old and has never been a great nighttime sleeper, but has gotten much better in the last month or so. We are planning a trip to India (10.5 hour time difference) for 10 days in December, and to be honest I am dreading what it is going to do to her sleep. Total flight time will be 18 hours (8 hours to Europe, 2 hour layover, then 10 hours to India). Is it worth trying to adjust her to local time for such a short trip or should we just let her sleep when she wants and go to kind of a hybrid schedule in order to make it easier to get her on track when we get home? The trip itself will be very uneventful, mainly spending time with family in their homes. I should also mention that she does eat 3 good meals/day, but in addition she does still breastfeed 5x/day and 2x/night (at 10:30 pm and 5 am) which may make the transition a little harder for both of us. Any advice is appreciated!
Debbie on November 22, 2010 at 9:42 a.m.
I think you'll find that she naturally starts to adjust within a couple of days, and also that it's difficult for you to be up at night with her, but if your days aren't too taxing, I suppose you could try keeping her on the same schedule and see what happens!
Nadia on November 24, 2010 at 12:06 p.m.
We are due to go for a holiday in January with our son who will be 18 months at that point. We've been away before when he was 4 months and then 6 months. Since this is a big break between travel I wanted to see how he will react to being away from home at this age so we just did a "trial run". We did not go on the plane but instead booked a bed and breakfast an hour away from home in a scenic part of the state. We stayed for two nights. While there was no time change, the experience seemed to have unsettled our son. He was okay during the day but woke up every couple of hours at night (even though we co-slept which we do at home too) both nights and stayed awake clearly distrubed - looking around, sometimes crying. It took some effort to calm him down as he seemed so unsure of the unfamiliar environment. Moreover, when we got home, he also took two nights until he became his normal self again, waking up frequently. So what it tells me is that at this point in time he seems sensitive to change. I feel he is in a strange stage - he is a kind of young to fully prepare him with talk but already very aware of his surroundings. Do you have any suggestions on how to make him more comfortable?
sasha on December 6, 2010 at 6:08 p.m.
We just got back from India and its been about a week but my daughter shows no signs of getting over jet-lag :( she sleeps through the day and is awake at night. It does not help that she is sick and does not eat and we are in gloomy seattle in December- so no sunlight. I woud greatly appreciate any advice
Debbie on December 6, 2010 at 10:10 p.m.
I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter is having a tough time. If she is sick, that is the issue you would need to focus on first. Unfortunately, she's probably not going to fully adjust to the new time until she feels better.
I live in gloomy Seattle too ;) Sometimes it's possible to find a sunbreak and go for a walk during that time.
mel on December 10, 2010 at 4:22 p.m.
you're site is very helpful. i'm glad i found it! next week i will be flying from china to the US with my 10.5 month son. by myself. my husband can't make it until some days later. do you have an extra special advice for a lone parent traveler?
chris on December 17, 2010 at 3:08 a.m.
Just sharing our experience.
My partner and I just travelled from Stockholm, Sweden to Melbourne, Australia with our 3 month old. BB slept a little less than usual en route but when we arrived she slept 15 hrs straight. She still seems to be resting/sleeping a bit more now, 5 days into our trip than what she did in Sweden.
Gary on January 1, 2011 at 6:34 p.m.
Our family lives in Finland and we recently went to the States to visit my family with our 1 year old. She has never been a terribly good sleeper, but before we left she was sleeping a good 7 hours per night at a time at least. Generally, about 7pm to 6am.
On arrival to the US, she adjusted in about 2 days. Again sleeping pretty well there. Since we have returned, however, it has been a different story. It took her over 2 weeks just to get to bed at the right time again. It has been over a month now since we have returned and she is still not sleeping more than 3-4 hours at a time. And she seems to wake up sometime between 2 and 4:30 every morning wide awake!
We were very worried abou throwing this time change into her routine since she had only barely began sleeping so well. After reading this blog post to not worry that it will not disrupt the babies sleep pattern overall we felt better, but now it seems that our worries were founded :-(. Since we have been back she is sleeping terribly and we really are at a lose what to do now.
In the US, it was very sunny and she was outside quite a bit, which I am sure helped. But now back in Finland, we are having the darkest days if the year ("daylight" from 9:30 to 3:30 only) and temperatures of -10 to -25 C (15 to -20 F) so it's not so easy to get her outside now.
If anyone has had a similar experience, I would love some advice or to know how it worked out.
Ellie on January 7, 2011 at 1:01 a.m.
Hi! We just made our return trip from the US to Paris where we currently live. My kids now have their nights and days mixed up and I don't know how to fix it! They have been going to sleep at 5am the last few nights after just sleeping a few hours from 8pm-11pm.
Should I wake them up early in the morning so that they can be awake with the sun even though they went to bed at 5am? And they will for sure need a nap in the afternoon, is this okay? Thanks!
Cher on January 7, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.
I recently travelled with my 9 month old baby to the Philippines from Canada. My baby is a good sleeper (8pm-7pm) and is breastfeeding up to now. For the past 3 days, she has been following her feeding and nap time schedule pretty well but I am having a difficulty at night. Last night was the worst. She didn't want to sleep from 10:00pm-2:00a.m. She just kept crying because I didn't want to play with her. Please help me!
Debbie on January 7, 2011 at 10:46 a.m.
Gary, stick with whatever sleep-training routine you were using before the trip. She'll get back on track!
Ellie, you don't say what age your kids are, but I would wake them up at a normal morning hour and then allow them to take a midday nap.
Cher, hang in there, your baby will adjust to the new schedule, but if she really cannot be lulled back to sleep it's ok to play some low-key games or read books together.
Ben on January 10, 2011 at 2:37 a.m.
Great site, just wanting to know if you have any advice as we are travelling with a soon to be 1 year old who currently sleeps 12hrs a night. She is breast feed only morning and at tea time and is slowly being weaned off this.
She is fine on planes as we travelled to Japan(only 1 hour difference) when she was six months old and we had no troubles.
We are travelling to Perth (australia) from Melbourne and it's a 3 hour delay...we are only going for 5 nights but we are staying with friends who have an 18month old. We are hoping that she will adjust without her waking too early in the morning...do you have any tips for short stays? As I know she will not have long enough to adjust.
Debbie on January 10, 2011 at 8:51 a.m.
Ben, For a short stay with just a 3 hour time change, I would probably keep her on her home schedule. You can use blackout drapes to darken your room when it is supposed to be night time. You may notice that she adjusts somewhat to the new time, but you'll be able to get her back on schedule gradually when you return home.
Rachel on January 12, 2011 at 1:38 a.m.
Well I feel much better after reading this now!!! We just flew back from Canada to Italy where we are currently living with our 27 month old daughter and it has been AWFUL since we got home. But I'm happy to see that its the same as everyone else who has travelled eastwards has described!!!!
Goes to bed at 8, wakes at 11ish and then is up until 4 playing and/or screaming hungry. At first we fed her, then gave her milk and now we're telling her no which I'm not sure is the right thing to do but we're going on day 6 now of being home and still no sign of things returning to normal. She missed nursery school today and I feel like I might be slowly losing my mind!!!
However, I am very comforted that this is "normal" and I'm sure this too will pass.
Thanks for all the great information :)
Cherry on January 13, 2011 at 7:19 p.m.
We have just returned home to the uk after 3 months in New Zealand. We are of day 3 at home and our 15 month old is currently in her room talking (it's 3.15am!) after waking at 1.30am!! She's not crying, just awake. She went down fine at normal bedtime and has all three nights. However, she keeps waking. She napped twice today; the first time we woke her after 3 hours the second after 1.5 hours as we were worried she wouldn't sleep tonight.
Any tips on what we can donto fix this? She's always been an awesome sleeper before now.
Debbie on January 14, 2011 at 7:37 a.m.
Exercise, Sunshine and Patience are your best bets ;)
angela on January 15, 2011 at 12:39 p.m.
Thanks for the great advice so far! ive already made a little list of your tips!
we are now in germany, will be going to live in australia in about a months time (australia is currently 9 hrs ahead in time!!!!) ...my 1 year old sleeps great at the moment 8pm-8pm
my question is when we arrive it will be morning 8am australia time, but nighttime in germany (bout 11pm) should i allow her to sleep or try keep her awake straight away and follow her usual "german morning routine" of playtime, walk etc ???
or is it ok to let things slip for a few days and let them nap whenever??? not sure weather to put her in a new routine straight away or not....what do you think??
thanks, angela =)
Debbie on January 16, 2011 at 9 p.m.
We usually let things slip for a few days - it probably makes the jetlag adjustment take longer, but I worry that if the kids get too run down they will get sick. Also, those long daytime naps are a great time to see a museum or get a nice meal.
Tara on January 22, 2011 at 3:38 p.m.
I am 9 months pregnant and about to pop! Five weeks after the baby is born we are moving back to NYC from our home of three years in London. If a new baby isn't stressful enough, the international move is! Question, will a 5 week old have any issues regarding sleep patterns and jet lag? Should we try for a NY schedule from birth? Should I be concerned with breastfeeding and traveling so early after the baby is born? Good news is once we arrive we are staying put and no return flight!
Debbie on January 25, 2011 at 3:35 p.m.
Tara, For a 5 week old, I would not be worried about jetlag or any schedule at all since the baby will be sleeping and nursing around the clock at that age.
Jackie on February 21, 2011 at 1:08 a.m.
Thanks so much for this info, though I fear I found it a bit too late. We traveled from the US to the Middle East for 2 weeks and our 19 month old never adjusted. Her appetite dropped quite a bit and was mostly just nursing (usually has quite the appetite). We have been home now for 4 days and things aren't much better, long naps during the day and she isn't sleeping much more than 4-5 hours at a time when she usually sleeps 12 hrs at night w a 2 hour nap during the day. She still isn't eating much which isn't helping. Any suggestions for us at this point in all of this?
Debbie on February 21, 2011 at 8:10 a.m.
I haven't noticed a change in overall appetite due to a time zone change, it seems worth giving your doctor a call to see if there's any other reason her appetite might have changed.
tam on March 10, 2011 at 2:23 p.m.
We are going to maui next week wiht our 8 month old son. He sleeps great at home, in his crib, in his dark room. I was not able to get a suite. What do you think about putting the crib in the bathroom until we go to sleep?
Debbie on March 10, 2011 at 8:31 p.m.
Putting the crib in the bathroom works great - you might try asking for a handicapped room. The extra wide doorway will make it easier to roll the crib in and out.
Lili on March 13, 2011 at 7:27 p.m.
Hi, we live in DC and we are going to Spain with our 22 months old son. Our flight leaves at 10:00 pm and he sleeps now from 8:30pm to 8:00am. I want to keep him up for a little longer and put him to sleep once we are in the plane, so we will get there at noon(local time) about 6:00am our time, with a connection to barcelona, hoping he will be ok and ready for breakfast, I am planing on start his day there with breakfast and fan, then stay awake on second flight (only 2 hours) -a movie, games on the ipad and running while we can at the airport - and we will get to barcelona at 3:30 , give him lunch and take a nap with him for 2 hours, wake up and keep him active and
running until night, then try to have a local time day. Do you think that,s too much for him? I travel a lot to Europe, so I know that if
Can sleep during flight and take a quick nap I can be up the rest of the day, but tired, I wi guess it will be worse for him, but I also understand that a kid can adjust easier to changes. What do you think? Am I too off?
Debbie on March 15, 2011 at 2:35 p.m.
I think his behavior will tell you whether he needs more sleep ;) As long as you have a sling or a stroller, you can always put him to sleep even if you are out and about.
walkingontravels on May 26, 2011 at 3:15 p.m.
We are in jet lag hell at the moment. We just returned from 3 weeks in Asia and my 20 month old, who actually slept great while in Asia, is now up from anywhere between 10pm-4am. We wake him up by 9am every morning. He naps 3 hours a day, but would love to nap more. I'm trying to get him back on his usual schedule, but he just keeps waking up. Kind of a problem when my husband and I had to go back to work on Monday. Any other tips or tricks with toddlers that you can suggest? We are going on day 5.
Katie on June 1, 2011 at 3:24 p.m.
Hey, im flying with a 5month old from London to California which is an 11 hour flight i think. When is the best time to fly so that i can minimise the distruption to her routine?
Debbie on June 1, 2011 at 8:10 p.m.
@walkingontravels Try keeping things calm and dark when he does wake up. Sometimes that helps send a signal about nighttime being rest time.
@Katie I usually like overnight flights best, but you may not have that choice flying from London to California. A five month old is usually pretty flexible about sleeping in strange environments, so being awake or asleep on the plane isn't a big deal. Possibly the most important thing is to time things so that you're schleping through the airport at a time when baby would normally be awake.
Chika on June 6, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.
I wish I'd found this before our 2-week visit to the USA. My now 4-month old used to sleep in 5/6 hour stretches but since we've been back it's been a huge struggle to get him to sleep at his usual time and to keep him asleep for any length of time. He's also feeding manically through the night which is exhausting. It's not been like this since he was a newborn and I wake up in pain every Irving now. It's been 4 days. How do I speed up the process? How do I get him asleep at 8pm like before as opposed to midnight? How do I keep him asleep?
He's exclusively breastfed by the way.
Debbie on June 6, 2011 at 2 p.m.
If it were me, I would try to gently reduce some of that night feeding - either by eliminating the feeds that are shorter, or by cutting down the length of each feed.
I would also offer more feedings during so that he is full before he goes to bed for the night. If you are comfortable pumping and offering a bottle, I might do that for the last feed before bedtime since baby is likely to consume more (and not drift off to sleep half-sated) with a bottle.
Jo on June 17, 2011 at 12:13 a.m.
Do you have any thoughts on whether it is worth trying to shift toddlers onto the new time zone ahead of travel? I have read elsewhere that moving some way towards the new time zone can mean you hit the ground running when you get there. We will be travelling east next month where we will experience a 7 hour time difference.
Debbie on June 17, 2011 at 6:53 a.m.
It's worth a try. For my kids their internal clocks don't seem to shift much until we get to the destination - putting them to bed later or waking them earlier just means that we get tired kids. Still, as my oldest matures, he's starting to be able to sleep in when he's tired, and if your kids are great at doing that shifting before you go might help reduce jet lag.
LPK on July 24, 2011 at 10:19 a.m.
hi, quick question for you.
I am going to paris with my son on his 2nd birthday.
We will be there for a month.
I was wondering what sort of time i should try to put him for nap/bed time/food in the first few days. The exact details are:
fly at 6pm > arrive 2am (8am paris time).
He would normally wake up at 7am, lunch at noon, nap from 1 to 3, dinner at 7 and sleep by 9pm.
so, in the first day, should i switch to the new timezone and follow the exact same schedule? or do it slower?
any ideas you have to help me make the transition the easiest for him would be gr8.
Debbie on July 24, 2011 at 9:37 p.m.
I would try to get him out for some time in the park when you first arrive, but don't worry if he's ready for a nap pretty quickly. Try not to let those daytime naps drag on for too long, but with a two year old, I'd go ahead and let him sleep when he gets tired - otherwise you run the risk of him getting sick or being unhappy.
Zai Floyd on August 13, 2011 at 8:41 p.m.
Thank you for the tips. We are traveling from North Carolina to Hawaii and I wasn't sure what to about the flight and the trip. While our now 16 month old has traveled before with us he was much younger and slept quite a bit - now he is a very active toddler so this advice comes in handy. Thanks Again, Zai
Prakruthi on August 25, 2011 at 6:29 a.m.
We will be travelling to hawaii from india, the journey will be 27 hours, so we are thinking of breaking it in LA,my daughter is 5yrs, and she is aprehensive of a long journey. what would be a good way to handle this
Debbie on August 25, 2011 at 7:34 a.m.
LA does seem like it could be a great stoping place for your longhaul flight with your child. You don't say how long you would be staying, but even if you have a half-day, you could take a taxi from the airport to one of the nearby beaches, let her play in the sand and perhaps have a picnic before returning to the airport. So that you're not too bogged down during your layover, you could use the luggage storage service at LAX to hold your baggage.
Good luck on your flights!
Carrie on September 5, 2011 at 1:18 p.m.
We are having difficulty re-adjusting to time in Dubai after spending the summer in Canada. Our 7 yr old, 4 yr old and 15 month old have been waking up at 11pm for 4 nights now and refusing to go to sleep until 5am. They are going to school and we are working and we're at our wits end trying to figure out the next move. We have been waking them up at 7am for school and letting the two younger ones have a 2 hour nap at lunch (as usual). By 7pm they are falling asleep- how do we keep them asleep? HELP!
Debbie on September 5, 2011 at 3:27 p.m.
Before they go to bed, focus on making sure they've had plenty to eat - especially proteins and milk.
When they are awake in the middle of the night, I would focus on doing quiet activities (and preferably setting them up with something that they can do while you go back to sleep). Feed them some proteins and milk, and encourage them to get back in their beds to read. With the 15 month old, you might focus on food as well, and try giving him a ride in the stroller (even around the house is fine!) to soothe him.
Jasmin Swift on September 10, 2011 at 11:19 a.m.
We've just travelled from London to Canberra, Australia. We left Wendesday morning and arrived on Thursday night. Our six-month old baby Faeryn is not sleeping at night, unless she is in bed with me and latched. On Friday day we were outside with her a lot and she slept in her car seat and stroller. On Saturday day she was awake for all the usual times, I even managed to get her to take her morn and mid-day nap. But come afternoon, she was not going down for her nap... until I fed her (BF) and then she was very drowsy, but by then we needed to keep her up for her evening routine.
So it is after 4am now, and she is finally asleep in her own travel cot after so much crying and wailing. This is the most insane I have ever felt... tomorrow (today) I will get outside with her as much as possible. I wanted to rest as I feel so depleted and I'm trying to increase my milk supply- I'm following Gina Fords plan but I'm not getting much from expressing. So I'm also worried I can't feed her enough. I feel awful.
Any help is hugely appreciated.
Tomorrow may be better...
Kath on September 22, 2011 at 1:50 a.m.
Hi There. We just came back to Malaysia from the UK a few nights ago and my 18 month old son is having difficulty going back to sleep here. The time difference was 8 hours. We put him to sleep at his usual time and he gets up 3 hours after that ( at 12 am) and refuses to sleep at all. He would start to cry and wanted to play. Both of us are exhausted and tired!
How will it take him to sleep thru the nite again?
Rachel Martin on September 27, 2011 at 11:58 p.m.
Wow I'm glad I found this site!!
We just arrived back in Adelaide, Australia from 2 weeks in the UK.
My 6 months old daughter adjusted really quickly to the time in the UK, but has struggled with being back in Adelaide.
We arrived here Monday morning, she had a few naps during the day, but I was worried she was going to sleep too long, so we woke her each time after a few hours.
Both Monday and last night was a disaster, the first night she went straight to sleep at 6:30, but woke 5 times during the night, sometimes for milk, a cuddle or thought it was playtime.
Last night was worse, normally she falls asleep after her bath and bedtime bottle, but she didn't. She eventually feel asleep, but woke at 9:30 and was awake till 12pm, when she feel asleep on me till 1:30, she was then up and down till 5pm when she slept till 8:30. I took her to the doctor today as she has a cold and found she has broncolitis. She has also got her first tooth since being back as well.
What a nightmare - jetlag, broncolitis and teething!
I really hope she gets back to a normal sleep pattern soon as my partner and I are struggling to catch up on sleep and Kev went back to work Tuesday :(
I will try the advice of sunshine tomorrow!
Debbie on September 30, 2011 at 9:08 a.m.
Jasmine, Kath, and Rachel,
I know it's tough to help a baby through jetlag! Stick with your normal routine and a soothing environment when baby does wake during the night.
Make sure, too, that you get extra rest during the day - that will make the rough nights easier to manage.
Sally on October 5, 2011 at 12:35 p.m.
Thank you for the advice on your website - it's really helpful. Wondered if you could offer some specific advice for my family. We are travelling to Boston from the UK with a three year old and a three month old. Both of which sleep through the night! Whoohoo! I am, like every mum on this site, very anxious about the jet lag and what to do. My worry is that when we return they will have reprogammed themselves to wake for feeds etc during night. We are only going to Boston for one week. So another worry i have is that it will take about three/four days to get them on Boston time and then we'll be flying home a few days after.
Any advice/help/reassurance would be great.
Debbie on October 5, 2011 at 8:39 p.m.
Every child handles jet lag differently, and it's hard to predict what your kids might do. In general, we try to schedule trips for at least 10 days (and preferably 2 weeks or more) to give ourselves time to adjust and enjoy the destination.
pooja on October 24, 2011 at 12:56 p.m.
I have a question. I have 6 1/2 month old. We recently sleep trained her and she has been sleeping through the night, in her room. All I used to do (after her bed time routine) is put her in the crib, say good night and leave the room and she would happily go to sleep! I just traveled from home (US) to Asia which is 9 hours ahead. Today is night 3. I've kept the same bedtime routine and am putting her to sleep at the same time. She wakes up at 10 to feed. but after that is extremely fussy and constantly cries. The only way I can calm her is if she sleeps in her car seat (instead of the crib). I do want her to start sleeping in the crib again. Any advice? Or should I just let her sleep in her car seat till she gets over her jet lag? I'll be here for around 2 1/2 months.
Debbie on October 25, 2011 at 12:05 a.m.
I wonder if she might be sleeping in that carseat because it is familiar. I would try to gradually get her used to the new crib, perhaps having her take daytime naps there or letting her fall asleep in the carseat and then moving her to the crib. You'll probably have to experiment somewhat to figure out what works.
Keep in mind that some experts recommend not letting a child sleep in a carseat, saying that a crib is safer http://www.parentdish.com/2009/09/05/...
Breanna Kimes on November 3, 2011 at 7:35 a.m.
Thanks for your blog! Can I add to the brain picking?? :)
My family just went to the UK from Arizona. (8 hrs different)
We were there three months. It took my son (18 months old) a month to stop waking at night. (he has always been a good sleeper. And never woke before the sun, and often slept an hour or more past sunrise). After the month, atleast he slept thru the night, but has since been up at the crack of dawn. This was challenging there cuz the sun was only down 11pm to 4:30 am. (i even black plastic bagged the windows...). Ok, so I have accepted this...
But now we are back home a week (with sunrise/set about 7-7) and he is waking an hour earlier everyday! (I.e. last few days - 6:30 am, 5:40, this morning was 4:30!!! And they aren't going back to sleep)) The biggest problem is my six yr old daughter wakes also. She has serious sleep challenges, (every half hour as an infant) and we have really helped her, but i am very perplexed as to how to help her with this new change. She won't nap, though the baby does. I don't know what to do!!!
Debbie on November 3, 2011 at 9:44 a.m.
After a week at home, it's probably not jetlag anymore, and might be more about wanting to wake up and be with you. One trick I like is to put a nightlight on a timer in the baby's room - when the light is turned on, it's time to sleep. When it's off it's time to get off. We have a moon shaped wall lamp from IKEA that's a natural fit for this, and has lived in each of my three kids rooms when they were toddlers.
Kirsty on November 8, 2011 at 6:34 a.m.
I'm so glad I came across this website. I've been dreading a short trip to LA this weekend coming as our 7month old has finally got to sleeping through the night and is on a pretty predictable daytime nap routine. She's progressing well with weaning and now on 3 good sized meals and 4 breast feeds a day.
The 11hour flight over there is during the day so I was planning on keeping meals and naps as per home schedule. We arrive at 13.30 LA time which is 20.30 home time so I'm thinking get to our destination (we're staying with friends) and put her straight to sleep?
We're only there for 5 days so if it's going to take that long to adjust anyhow should I just go with the flow and feed her when she wakes overnight? Her equivalent meal times would be 23.30 (breakfast), 04.00 (lunch) and 0900 (evening meal)
Any advice gratefully received! Thanks Debbie
Terumi on November 11, 2011 at 10:36 p.m.
So thankful for this post! We just got back from Asia and I wish I read about how to deal with jet-lag before we got back and had 2am parties;) I'm definitely bookmarking this for next time.
Aki on December 9, 2011 at 8 p.m.
too good to see the comments... convincing that others also felt the same as mine..but we travelled 45 days ago and i tried all the above to make him sleep @ night... but he wakes between @ 1 am to 3 am as per the previous routine and keeps playing after that no matter wat ever we do ... and seems very active also ... we r really fed up and loosing patience day by day ... moreover sometime if he sleeps also he goes to potty at the same time 3 am every day and this again wakes him ;( ... how to change his potty schedule for 10 months baby...
he feels very tired and sleeps in his earlier routine and when i wake him he's almost cranky not leaving me and keeps crying ...atlast his routine is not changed and but reduces his sleeping time and again wakes him every night :(
Bea on December 13, 2011 at 3:13 a.m.
Hello,Please help!!! We are going to travel just after Christmas by plane with our 5months old daughter.The flight only going to take us 2 and a half hours,but my daughter learned to sleep in her cot.She doesn't really learned to sleep in my arm.I try to teach her to sleep in my arm just in case she wants to sleep on the plane, but also don't want to teach her bad habits.What should I do?Thank you Bea x
Jennie on December 14, 2011 at 7:59 a.m.
What a wonderful blog. I hesitate to bombard you with more questions, but I wondered if you had any thoughts on reconciling a cry it out approach with a time change. I decided to implement cry it out with my 3 month old due to his frequent night wakings and my return to work in a month. Within 2 nights he was sleeping 11 hours through the night without any crying! We are now going to be traveling to a 2 hour earlier time zone and I imagine he's going to wake up early the first day. Normally I will not get him before 6am. Should I continue to implement this approach, even though I know he may be crying at 4am because of the time change, or do you think I should get him early the first night and then try to gradually stretch the time out as he adjusts? I'm worried about losing the wonderful results of our sleep training!
Debbie on December 15, 2011 at 10:21 a.m.
Yes, I'd probably just go with the flow if you're only there for 5 days!
If your flight was 45 days ago, there's probably more going on than just jetlag. If you can find a sleep expert locally, that might be the way to go. The potty schedule could be part of it, and that usually adjusts on its own. Sometimes sleep is also disturbed as baby learns new skills like crawling and walking - all of which happens at about 10 months.
Most babies are able to learn that there are different rules in different places. Getting to sleep in my arms was one of the special treats that comes with flying for all three of my kids, and they all sleep in their own beds at home. Good luck!
Debbie on December 15, 2011 at 2:37 p.m.
I never did cry it out with my kids, so I'm not sure I have great advice for you. One thing that parents have told me is that it can be difficult to have a child cry it out in a hotel because it might disturb other guests. With a time change, I'd probably go slow on the sleep training - your baby may need to eat at the times when they'd normally eat at home, and their bowl movements might happen on the same schedule as home too - check to make sure your baby is really *ready* to sleep before you put him to bed (or back to bed)
Martie on December 16, 2011 at 6:16 p.m.
I am travelling with singapore airlines from Sydney to London in two weeks with my husband, 2yr old son and 3mth old daughter. We have booked 4 seats in business class as they had no bassinets left. I have discovered that I can take my capsule on board and secure into the seat however, I am concerned at the length of the flight and my 3mth old being strapped in the seat for so long as newborns need to lie flat. Does anyone know if I could take a carry cot like phil and teds cocoon on the plane instead and just secure it in with the seat belt, understandably she will probably need to be strapped to myself for take off and landings. Appreciate any help or suggestions for this tricky flight.
Debbie on December 17, 2011 at 8:02 a.m.
It's unlikely that the flight attendants would allow you to use a carry cot onboard since it's not FAA approved. She'll probably sleep comfortably in your arms though, and in business class, the seats are roomy enough that you shouldn't feel too squished!
Jeff on December 18, 2011 at 3:32 p.m.
We recently flew back from Australia to the US with our 18 month old daughter. She used to adjust easy to jet lag when she took 2 naps a day, but this time it has been a struggle. She has basically kept her old time for naps and sleep (meaning that she take a short nap from 7pm to 11:30 pm, and then wants to party til 3am.) We fought it the first day and when we she went back to sleep (finally) at 3am, we woke her up at 8 am thinking that would help her adjust.
It really didn't help and last night was worse than the first night - she woke at 11:30 pm and screamed every time I tried to put her back to sleep - til she finally cried herself to sleep at 3am. We let her sleep this time, worried she might get sick if we keep her from sleep and woke he up early again - and she slept for 11 hours - and woke up at 2pm, which is exactly when she would normally wake up in Australia (6am)!
So - now she is up and we are not sure what to do! Should we wake her up tomorrow at 7 am (assuming she will wake up form her nap again early at 11:30pm) or perhaps should we skip her nap and keep her up as long as possible tonight til she falls asleep?
Thanks for setting up this great site!
Colleen on January 4, 2012 at 10:37 a.m.
I have read a few details on your website and I am at breaking point and hope you could help.
My husband, daughter 22mths and I have just arrived back in Australia after an around the world trip, and our daughter has severe jet lag. Charli is normally a wonderful sleeper, she has slept through the night since she was 6 weeks old, therefore I have never had to deal with sleep deprivation and we are really struggling.
She did not sleep very well even from the start of our trip, being in japan which is the same time zone as home (Perth) she was really restless, however when we hit new York that was when the fun really began she would wake anywhere between 1-2 and would not go back to sleep, some nights we were successful after 3hrs or so but most nights not, which would mean she would be awake from 2am until her lunch time nap at 12pm. This continued the whole trip, when we got to London she had two nights where she slept through woke once or twice but re settled herself. However now we are back at home it has gone down hill again.
Charli is happy to be put into her cot at night and go to bed after her night routine of dinner bath, bottle. However she is waking anywhere between 12 and 3am and staying awake for hrs. She screams uncontrollably if we are not in her room with her during these hrs. She happily lays down in her cot door us when we are in the room, and even closes her eyes at time but for the life of me I cannot get her to sleep for hrs, and if I leave the room before she has fallen asleep she will again scream and scream. She is still happy to have her 12pm lunch time nap, where I have been waking her after about 3hrs cause I am worried if she sleeps too pong she won't sleep at night.
I am scared that she is forming a routine of waking and not settling herself and needing our help or our presence to do so.
We are considering maybe getting a sleep specialist out to the house but I am concerned that due to fact that I am pretty certain it is jet lag that the may not be able to really help. I have taken her for a check up at the doctor to ensure there is nothing physically affecting her and she is all good.
We really need some advice, we are at breaking point, our daughter was such a wonderful sleeper and we are so upset and concerned that we have ruined this. We have not had a decent night sleep in 3 weeks and are struggling to cope, I am loosing my patience and starting to not like myself as a mother.
I hope you can help.
Debbie on January 4, 2012 at 9:47 p.m.
Jeff and Colleen,
At 18months to about 2 1/2 your babies are starting to get smarter about a) noticing that they're in a new place, and missing the comforts of home and b) manipulating mom and dad. If you're sure that nothing is wrong physically, it may be that your baby is missing the cozyness of snuggling with you (if you co-slept during the trip). Your baby might also be noticing that you responded differently to nighttime cries while you were traveling and during the first few days of jetlag - if that's the case, a firm but gentle hand is what will help.
Good luck! If it's an option, you may want to hire extra help during the daytime so that you can get some rest.
Zarin on January 6, 2012 at 7:22 a.m.
We just came back from Europe to Australia and my 6 months baby is jetlagged.
He woke up st night and it took him 3 hours to go to soeep again. Then he woke up at 10am and slept for 5 hours!
I took him to a stroll for 2 hours , made a bath at 8pm, gave him a milk at 8.15 and he went to sleep.now he's awake from 1 am and we're desperate..
Please your advice ..thanks!
Sheri on January 6, 2012 at 7:50 a.m.
I found your blog a year ago when I flew from Sydney to Seattle by myself with my then 20 month old. You helped me so much with packing, what to do in flight, and best of all, time zone adjustment. With your tips, it only took 3 days for Hannah to adjust and actually knowing what to expect (I.e. night waking at meal times, which was 100 percent correct) made things so much easier and less stressful. Every time a friend is traveling with kids, I now send them links to your blog (which is why I'm back right now). So thank you for saving my sanity when sleep deprived and traveling.
Thera on January 9, 2012 at 8:47 p.m.
At the moment we live in Singapore. 5 days ago we came back from a visit to The Netherlands and since then my (almost) 15 months old son has a jet lag. During the day he can sleep really well, but I try to wake him up because I'm scared he won't sleep at night... But at night he also wakes up several times; screaming and not wanting to sleep. We put him in bed around 8 pm, he sleeps till 11 and then the problems begin. I'm 26 weeks pregnant and getting really tired of this all (but even without being pregnant it's a huge problem!). We are now at the point of doing this: trying him to stay awake during the day, making him really tired so he will sleep during the night... Any experience with this? (I'm a bit afraid he will still fall asleep during the day...)
I hope you can give us some advice, thanks!
Liz on March 4, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.
I'm in a similar situation to Thera. We just returned to Paris (where we live) from a trip home to the US. My 14-month-old is a wreck. He goes to bed but then wakes up after 3 hours and is a disaster the rest of the night. Tonight is our fourth night home...any advice appreciated!
Debbie on March 5, 2012 at 1:18 p.m.
@Zarin, Hang in there - it does take some time for baby's internal clock to adjust back to home time. Try to keep him awake and in the sun as much as you can during daylight hours, and focus on eating and soothing activities during night waking.
@Shari THANK YOU for the kind words! I'm so glad to hear that my blog was a help
@Thera and Liz Hang in there - during the day you can try to create situations where your child wouldn't want to sleep or wouldn't naturally sleep, like being at an outdoor playground or playing with a stimulating new toy. At night, if he is awake and clearly not going to go back to sleep, try to keep the lights low and focus on soothing activities - a bath for instance, or singing together.
jenny ward on April 1, 2012 at 1:37 a.m.
i live in the uk and my husband has booked a surprise trip to la hawaii and san fran for my 30 birthday. my only concern is my son will be just 16 months old and dont know how he will handle the long flight and numerous time changes whilst over there. Please help!
M. Sales on April 23, 2012 at 11:18 a.m.
We're headed to Barcelona over Memorial Day weekend with our daughter who will be almost 7 months old when we go. Since we'll only be there 4 nights, I was thinking of keeping her on our home time instead of adjusting her to the new time zone. It sounds like babies have a hard time adjusting to their home schedule when they get back from trips, so my theory is to just keep her on the home schedule and then there'll be no adjustment. Have you ever tried this? Is this a looney idea? Any advice you can give would be appreciated. Thanks!
Lauren on April 25, 2012 at 12:29 a.m.
All your advice is so helpful. I just wanted to know how long it takes to get over jet lag. Is the rule an hour per day per time zone correct?
We just got back from Sydney to the UK with a 4 month old and are on day 3. She barely suffered from jet lag when we arrived in Sydney 6 weeks ago so now we are in a state of shock. She can't sleep in the day and is very wakeful at night including completely awake from 2:30 am - 5:30am. I want to take her out in the sun but it is rainy and grey!!!!
Any insights would be very helpful.
Jocelyn Bijlsma on May 4, 2012 at 7:37 a.m.
Your website is so great! We have done some travelling in the past with our now two year old. We are leaving in three days to the Netherlands with our two year old and also our four month old baby. It is the first time we are travelling with two children.
Your tips on travelling with babies and toddlers are very helpful and I'm looking forward to putting them into practice!
Debbie on May 8, 2012 at 9:16 p.m.
Hey all, you can find tips on babies and Jet Lag here: http://www.deliciousbaby.com/travel/f...
Debbie on May 8, 2012 at 9:18 p.m.
Even if there isn't much sun, the natural light will help reset her clock - so try to get her outside when there are breaks from the rain, or pop a rain cover your stroller and bring her outside that way. Good luck!
Thanks so much, I'm glad you like my site ;)
Pamela on May 11, 2012 at 10:44 a.m.
This summer I am traveling to Europe from California alone with my two boys... ages 5 and 2. I've done this trip every summer alone with them and have always found the jetlag to be so difficult... mostly because it's one adult with two small children.
This year I have the option of flying at night (easy) and arriving in the afternoon or leaving early afternoon (not much of a night flight, and means the boys will be more active) and arriving in the morning. After we arrive we will have a two hour drive, during which I'm sure we'll fall asleep. I prefer the night flight because it will be easier, but I'm not sure what would be better to help us get over our jetlag. Yes, I can follow all your advice to recover from jetlag... but I'm still one parent with two kids.. YIKES.
So my question is, would having a decent night sleep and arriving in the afternoon throw off the jetlag... or should we arrive in the morning completely fatigued, try for a nap and hopefully crash that night. Thank you for your help!!
Debbie on May 11, 2012 at 11:47 a.m.
There are lots of different way of approaching this, but I prefer to fly at night, since that's so much easier, and then live with the fact that jet lag is a little harder.
Jenny M on May 14, 2012 at 8 p.m.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this entry, Debbie! We're flying in a few weeks from CT to HI to attend the hubby's high school reunion and to visit with my father-in-law. I have been so worried about the traveling part that I can't really get excited about the destination (which is a place I love!). Reading your entry, and your comments to others' questions, has helped me calm down a lot about the 6 hour time difference with our 11 month old (age when we travel). I've already gone on a spending and house hunting toy spree to get a lot of new things together for her for the very long flights. Hoping her teething isn't too bad either during the flights, but your helpful tips should make the rest of the trip a lot smoother--especially the airport travel tips and jetlag notes! Thank you!
Rachel on June 9, 2012 at 5:59 a.m.
We travelled from Canada to Dubai on the 4th of June, and my 7 months old baby has still not adjusted to the new time zone. I was wondering if it is ok to wake her up during her long hours of sleeping during the day?
I tried not to do so in the first few days, but it was my last option but got cranky and had to put her back to sleep. My baby was colicky since day 1 and she is now used to rocking-to-sleep, so it is very hard to put her back to sleep at night considering that she doesn't sleep much either. She keeps me awake the whole night not wanting to sleep. She sleeps in the morning which is even way past her bedtime in Canada!
What do you suggest I do?
Thanks in advance!
Chris Economou Olson on July 8, 2012 at 2:21 p.m.
Hi. My son and I returned home to Bangkok from a 2-week trip to Pennsylvania. While we try to limit his afternoon naps, he's so tired that he can sleep for 5 hours. His usual (pre-vacation) bedtime is 7-7:30, but with his long naps, he's not able to go to bed until 10pm. This morning he woke up at 3am, telling me he was hungry. His schedule (and mine, by default) is completely off! We've been taking him out for sunshine, but his little body doesn't seem to want to adjust.
Any thoughts/advice that you can give would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks! Chris
Jennifer on July 15, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.
Hi Debbie, I have 4 and a half month old daughter who has slept through the night since she was 2 and a half months old. We live in the UK and have just returned a couple days ago from a month long trip to the US. Although it was a 5 hour time difference, she adjusted to the US time with no problem at all, continuing to sleep through the night. Tonight is our third night back in the UK and the first night she slept fine, the second night she was awake every 1-1.5 hours and she was screaming like I've never heard her scream before. I can tell that she's exhausted, but she can't seem to stay asleep. She was fine during the day today, taking a couple little naps but now tonight she fell asleep at 8:45pm but keeps waking up screaming and crying. She'll settle after a while of crying, but then keeps jerking and waking herself up again causing the screaming cycle to continue. I'm feeling so guilty for ruining her sleep pattern because she seems so distressed. Before this, she has never been inconsolable. Any insight would be greatly appreciated as I'm at my wits end.
maaike on November 5, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.
Debbie thanks so much for all this info! we are seasoned international travelers and have two kids 5yr girl and 2yr boy. The girl is an exceptional traveler, but my boy is really energetic! so I was worried about this and when I came across your site and I have to say it is such a relief to see some ideas that are not that generic! I took notes on toys and other travel tips that I cant wait to try this winter! thanks!
Erin on November 9, 2012 at 3:13 a.m.
I am so thankful for your website, You're right, there's no useful information out there! We've taken our son when he was 8 months old to France, and this information would have changed the trip completely. We're leaving today for a trip to Barcelona, but this time with our 15month old daughter... this information not only makes me feel better-equipped, but also, it makes me realize that we're not the only "crazy" ones! Great website.
Elena on December 18, 2012 at 9:38 p.m.
we just flew from the US to Germany. Our 6 months old baby used to sleep through the night from about 6.30pm to 6am. Part of her good night sleep I think was due to her regular naps during the day and me making sure that she would be in bed as soon as she showed any tired signs. She would take about three naps a day each one hour long.
Now that we are in Germany she wakes up pretty much every hour after sleeping at first for about 4 hours or so. During the day she goes to sleep easily and she sleeps long. I try to wake her after three hours thinking if she sleeps longer she might think that it is her night sleep. Do you think it is a good idea to wake her up from her naps during the day if they seem very long or would you suggest to just let her sleep however long she wants?
Aruna on December 27, 2012 at 12:02 p.m.
Your website is very helpful! Thanks for all the wonderful tips :)
Our daughter is 14 months old and we are traveling to India tomorrow for 4 weeks.
We will be reaching India on Sunday early morning in India but Saturday night in the US. Do I offer her dinner when we reach India or do I offer her breakfast. My guess is that she will doze off to sleep within a few hours after her meal.
Debbie on December 30, 2012 at 8:07 p.m.
@Elena I would gently wake her from long daytime naps
@Aruna I would offer her breakfast food upon arrival
Tabatha on January 3, 2013 at 10:10 p.m.
Thanks for a great website and tips. It's been 4 days since we returned to Australia after our first trip home to the UK with our 9 month old son. He adjusted well to the UK 11 hour time difference after 3 days, the return is a different story! The main issue is that I can't get enough food into him in the day to keep him asleep at night so I think he is waking due to hunger. He is normally having 3 solid meals a day. Milk feeds are always an issue, but he is almost refusing all solid food (which he normally loves!) as he cries as he is just too tired. I am trying to stick to his usual routine and keeping to his normal nap times which is involving me waking him up all the time! He seems to be waking from 2am to 4am and will settle eventually after some quiet play and then a bottle. I have kept this feed small so that he still takes his breakfast bottle but that doesn't seem to be working. Do you have any tips to encourage him to eat more in the day or should I just stick to what I have been doing? I am making sure he gets as much sunlight as possible! Thanks for any advice you can give!
San-Mari on January 9, 2013 at 5:46 p.m.
Thanks so much Debbie. We just returned back to South Africa, after a 2 week holiday in the USA. We are 7 hours ahead of the USA, so my 1year old is battling. It is now 3:45 in SA(7:45pm USA)and our son just fell asleep. I was so happy to see that my son was not the only one going through this. Great site and very helpful info.
Angie on January 9, 2013 at 10:02 p.m.
hi! we are flying with our little one from London to Singapore, and will be staying for 2 weeks- and he will be 10 weeks by then. I'm breastfeeding at the moment and he's started to distinguish night/day and is sleeping longer at night, feeding between 4-5 hour stretches , but every 2-3 hours in the day. Will jet lag impact him hugely at this age? I know he's little comparatively but he's just getting into a sleep routine and as with all the others we don't want to mess things up! Would you advise us to stick to London time or adjust to local time? Do I continue to feed on demand, whilst getting him used to the new day/night? any advice as to what to do for our particular case would be sooo helpful !! Thanks so much xx
Debbie on January 13, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.
At that age, I would just do whatever works. You might find that you enjoy the longer daytime naps since it gives you some time to enjoy sightseeing and your baby will gradually start to adjust during your trip.
khaled on March 10, 2013 at 9:26 a.m.
I'm traveling to Pakistan with my 1 and 2 year old to visit family. I was thinking of having them go to sleep earlier before our trip so they can adjust easier when we arrive there.
Is that a good approach? Thanks
Debbie on March 10, 2013 at 9:23 p.m.
If you are able to get them to sleep earlier, that might help, but I wouldn't create a lot of drama around an earlier bedtime at home if it isn't working well.
Sally on April 12, 2013 at 1:24 p.m.
I just wanted to thank you for your site. We just got back from a three week trip to England from Australia with a one year old. Like you have mentioned our little girl got over the jet lag very quickly when we arrived in England but is having a harder time now we are at home. It was very comforting knowing we are not alone in this. Reading your advice to others has given me some good ideas. Thanks Sally
Naz on April 19, 2013 at 5:33 a.m.
we are travelling with my 19 month old son to Malaysia on Sunday. I am extremely anxious about the trip. he has on been on a short flight when he was a baby and handled that ok but now that he is older and i am stressed about how he will handle a long flight. your website has been helpful. i just pray that he is calm and his ears will be fine
Miriam on May 2, 2013 at 9:54 p.m.
I just traveled from Israel to California with my 8 month old to attend my grandfather's funeral. I was there for 10 days. I stayed hydrated (no problems with milk) and my baby adjusted the day before we returned home. He was sleeping through the night before the trip. Now, back at home, I am having a lot of trouble getting him to readjust. The 10-hour time difference is really throwing him. He wants to sleep all day, and be awake all night. He gets really tired around bedtime, which gets me excited, then he wakes at 11 and doesn't want to go back to sleep. I've tried playing with him a little, then putting him back to sleep, tried patting him, tried nursing him in the rocking chair for hours. He simply will have his eyes wide open, staring at me in the dark. Even if I doze off, when I wake he's still staring at me with a "let's go play" look. Last night I resorted to letting him cry it out but it took an hour and I felt horrible. And now he's still asleep, 8 hours later, no wakings. Do I wake him so he gets more sunlight? I hate waking him as much as I hate letting him cry. I'm at a loss.
Robyn on May 7, 2013 at 12:59 a.m.
Thanks for the advice. We will be travelling to Canada from Germany next week
with our one year-old, and I'm a little nervous about how it will effect all of us.
Any tips for in-travel sleeping? We will be stopping and disboarding at 2 airports before our final destination.
Debbie on May 7, 2013 at 8:41 a.m.
Yes, I would wake him - perhaps gently by bringing him out into the sun - and try to have him spend time outdoors. Hang in there, he will adjust over time
Here are some tips for helping a child sleep on a plane http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal/... Hopefully you'll be able to get through those transitions ok if he is sleeping. A baby bjorn or other sling helps a ton.
Paola on June 2, 2013 at 3:25 p.m.
I just travelled with my 3 month old baby to from Australia to Europe for 3 weeks, while we were there i had no problems getting him to sleep, he was sleeping from 7:30 till 6:30. Now we are back in Australia and he wont sleep at night at all. First day he sleep all day and woke up every hour at night, second day he woke up at 1 am and just gone back to sleep at 8:20 am. I know is only 2 days but i fear this will continue for worst. We have tried everything to get him back to sleep, feed, change, lights out but nothing works, please help
Debbie on June 3, 2013 at 12:15 p.m.
Hang in there and continue to be gentle and firm about playing during waking hours and being calm and quiet during sleeping hours. He'll gradually settle back into a routine.
Ele on July 3, 2013 at 5:51 p.m.
Great to read yr advice, and the experiences of so many other people. I got back home to Toronto a week ago with our one year old, from a ten day trip to visit family in the UK. The time difference is 5hrs. Totally hadn't expected sleep to be such a major issue during the trip! And we're going again at the end of the month, for twelve days. Would love some guidance ahead of the next trip....1) we land at 7am UK time - should I let him sleep as much as he wants that day or limit his sleep to his normal nap times (ie total of about 3hours during the day). 2) last time he went to bed at 7pm the first evening, but then woke at 10pm. I got him up for a bit to play and have some food, but then he was so overtired it took from midnight until 2.30am to get him back to sleep. What should I have done differently when he woke at 10pm? 3) should I wake him up in the mornings or let him sleep until he wakes up? 4) do you aim to shift the routine by a little each day or try to operate fully on local time from the start? Will be wonderful to get some advice!
Kate on July 4, 2013 at 1 p.m.
Hi Debbie, nice post, thanks or all the advice here.
We are in a pretty bad way now. We returned home to Australia from the UK almost 1 week ago. My daughter, almost 3yo, woke at 4am the first two nights but since then it has got worse, with her waking 2am every day. She will not go back to sleep and we have tried everthing. if we ignore her and leave her in her room, she will play and shout and yell at us for hours until daylight. If we try to calm her down, give her a snak, read her stories, let her her keep her lamp on so she can sit quietly in bed, or lie down in her room with her in the dark, etc, she will also stay awake until daylight. We just finished night 7 so we have had plenty of opportunity to try all these tactics.
We have been letting her nap 2.5 - 3 hours a day which is only slightly longer than her normal nap, and putting her to bed at 7pm which is 1 hour earlier than usual.
As you can imagine we're really feeling desperate and are extremely exhausted.
My husband wants to keep her awake all day today so she will be so exhausted she sleeps through the night tonight. As she's been awake since 2am I think this will be difficult and a little cruel as she is beyond exhausted by midday having been awake for 10 hours. Plus, i am worried that being so tired will just backfire - she only slept 4 hours on the 24 hour flight home, but that clearly didnt help her sleep through the night! My other idea is to scold her, threaten no TV etc, and take her bed toys away so she cries herself to sleep. This also seems cruel, but as a baby she needed a lot of sleep training because she could often only fall asleep by crying (thankfully she never cried for long). However she is clearly old enough to be confused and upset by her parents suddenly acting out of character.
I'm also thinking of taking her to a doctor to see what sedatives are available but I imagine there are no options other than anti-histamines which we've also tried this past night, to no effect.
Do you have any other ideas? She has lots of outside play time and has even been to daycare three days this week, and it's been sunny, so I think we have covered all the bases.
Dina on July 11, 2013 at 9:02 a.m.
Hi! I've just got back from uk to Australia and the flight was 24 hours in total. My 10 month old has for the last 3 nights, woken around 1 ish and wants to get up. She is fully awake. I've been getting her up and letting her play on the mat while I watch madmen (haha) and after a few hours putting her back to bed. She then sleeps for 4-5 hours. She then goes down again around 1:30 for a 2 hour sleep. All her meal times are screwed because of her late breakfast. What's the plan? I dont know whether to wake her, leave her, feed her or what! Help!!!
Travel Blog of Pa Ul on July 12, 2013 at 6:12 a.m.
This information and tips are really helpful. Thank you for sharing. I will definitely recommend this guide to my sister who has a toddler and planning to go on trip to Europe this year.
Catherine on July 19, 2013 at 9:15 a.m.
I'm travelling for the first time with my son. I have been travelling before. He will be 23 months at the time of travel. We are going from Sydney to New York. I am purchasing a toddler bed when I arrive as I am staying at my mums. Just need some tips on getting him into a sleep routine as quick as possible, luckily we are arriving late at night so he will be going to bed when we arrive at our final destination (fingers crossed). We also have a 3 hour layover in LA before connection to New York, and a 7 hour one on the way back. Also any tips on the travel to and from would be greatly appreciated feeling very excited about the trip, but extremely nervous about traveling with my son.
sonya on December 6, 2013 at 11:17 p.m.
It is 1 am and on day 4 of jetlag with my 4 month old. We just returned from a 20 day trip to india and malaysia. It took 5 days when traveling east, but we were able to take her outside during the day to expose her to sunlight. We are now back in chicago and it is 22 degrees fahrenheit and overcast! We keep the lights on during the day, keep her naps shorter but she is awake every few hrs especially between 3-5 am. I am shaking with exhaustion and feel like there is no end in sight for us! Help! How do you recommend dealing with daylight exposure when there is no sun?? Any other tips? My husband and I are pooped and starting to bite each other's heads off with the lack of sleep as she cries more than ever with confusion all night. She is still breastfeeding and feeding her helps for the first time she wakes bus not thereafter. I have read every post and haven't stumbled across this issue of freezing overcast weather. Do you still recommend going outside to help her body clock? Thanks in advance!
Wendy on December 15, 2013 at 6:21 a.m.
Hi I have just been on a long haul flight from Australia to the UK my 2.5 year old daughter had not done bad on the first day woke up twice and second day she woke about 6 am local time and fell asleep about 4.45 pm but she woke again during the night and has been throwing up on and off all day all she wants to do is sleep we have tried to keep fluids up etc and offer dried foods but not interested is this normal for jet lag or could she have a bug?
Laura on February 5, 2014 at 10:24 a.m.
My 7 month old son has not slept well since he turned 4 months. We were just in the USA for 4 weeks and returned home to Australia 4 days ago. 4 days later And I'm not seeing any improvement with jet lag. I thought we were over the worst of it but last night he barely slept at all.
While on vacation, I actually had to sleep train the second week because it had gotten so bad with no sleep. This lasted a week since the 3rd week we moved to visit another family member.
I don't really know how many days is acceptable to allow these bad sleep patterns. I'm not keen on sleep training too soon. I think it could be cruel to sleep train when he is jet lagged. I've allowed a lot of night feedings now and we are back to me doing some serious rocking to sleep. What's your advice?
Sujay on March 2, 2014 at 3:54 a.m.
***URGENT advice needed***
This is an awesome post !!!
Would be glad and great of you if you could help me with my worries a bit..
I have a 7 months old daughter, we recently travelled with her to United States and made a switch of time zone of close to 12 hours. It's been 3 nights now and the woes and getting worse. Every night she wakes up and cries like crazy. Doesn't yield to anything, none of her favorite toys work too. My wife is getting extremely tired, stressed and worried every night.
I am wondering if it is ok to give her some sleeping / sedative syrup and force her to sleep for few nights. Kindly advice as soon as possible please.
Debbie Oreizy on March 3, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.
Unfortunately I cannot make any recommendations regarding a sedative. If you are inclined to go that route, talking with a doctor would be the best way to go.
My best advice would be to maintain a soothing, restful environment at night time and to offer milk, which is a mild sedative.
During daytime hours, I would allow some napping, preferably at their normal nap times and for no longer than the normal duration. When your child wakes up, try taking him or her outside and engage in active play to help the body adjust to the idea that it is not sleep time.
Sarah Polsinelli on July 2, 2014 at 10:41 a.m.
Finally, a travelling baby sleep expert!
I am considering a trip to Italy for 12 days with my husband and 14-month old daughter. The time difference is 6 hours ahead from Toronto to Rome time, so when it will be 12am in Rome it will be 6pm *her time* - at least for the first few days.
Am I crazy for considering keeping her on Toronto time and putting her down around midnight while away?
She typically falls asleep between 7-8pm, which isn't far off midnight Rome time. She wakes at 6am sharp, which is noon Rome time. I wouldn't mind her sleeping in until 10-11am...we aren't pressured to do any sightseeing until day 8 of our trip where we will reconnect wih family. And even then, I'll steal away to a cafe and have her nap in the stroller if the activity isn't conducive to napping (i.e. Tour of the Coliseum).
Not concerned about naps because she can nap in stroller, on beach, or in the room. We are planning a very low-key Italian vacay.
What do you think?
Debbie Oreizy on July 6, 2014 at 8:13 a.m.
That actually seems like a good way to go. I suspect she'll start to adjust naturally because of the sunlight, but your plan would be a good way to ease into the new time zone.
Let me know how it goes!
Kimberley on July 13, 2014 at 9:11 p.m.
We've just moved to the US from Australia with our 13month old & her jetlag is terrible. We've been doing the limiting day naps, lots of sunshine & activity during the day & keeping her normal bedtime/nap time routines. I know she's tired but she won't fall asleep & if she does fall asleep it's only for 2-4 hours at a stretch. Anything you can offer in terms of guidance etc? Thanks
Mandy on July 18, 2014 at 6:33 p.m.
I agree a great site for some helpful tips. A few questions. My husband & I will be travelling to the USA with a 5 month old & a 2 1/2 year old. My husband is from the East coast of the US and we will be flying direct from Melbourne to L.A to begin.
Not sure how long to stay in L.A before travelling on to the East Coast or dont stay and just keep on going?
My 2.5 yr old sleeps 7.30pm until 7.30am....how do I schedule her sleep time or do you not concern yourself with that as much? flights to L.A usually leave Australia approx 11.30am each morning & arrive in L.A 6.30am
Would it be a good idea to take kids to Disneyland with first few days of arriving in L.A if staying for a few days or could it be overwhelming due to jetlag?
Your comments would be helpful.
Nat on August 16, 2014 at 5:02 p.m.
We are planning a trip to the Uk from Australia with a 6 month old. We will be staying with family and are worried about breaking routine dealing with fussiness and jet lag. We are considering not going.
Is it worth it all?
Rina on September 27, 2014 at 12:49 a.m.
Mala on October 2, 2014 at 10:58 a.m.
I'm in desperate need of some advice. I have just returned to Australia from the uk where I spent 8 weeks with my family introducing my son who is now 7 months. He was a fantastic sleeper, usually between 11 and 12 hours a night. He adjusted very quickly and easily on the way over to the uk. Within three days he was back to sleeping through the night.
Unfortunately I am experiencing a real living nightmare now we have arrived back in Australia. I travelled on my own with my son and now we are home he is only sleeping from 7 pm to 10pm. He then wakes and screams and crys constantly for 6-7 hours without a break. I have tried getting him up to play/ taking him for a midnight walk and driving him to sleep. This works for an hour sometimes but not any longer. Tonight I have tried keeping him in his cot with the lights out and he has not slept at all.
I have now only had 6 hours sleep in the last five days and I am at a complete loss. Please help!
Victoria on October 16, 2014 at 7:58 a.m.
We have just returned home from Europe with a 7 hour time difference. My 4 month old is waking up every morning at 2:30 and doesn't go back to sleep until 5 or 6am - its exhausting, any suggestions would be great.
Harriet Brine on November 5, 2014 at 1:42 a.m.
Hi, I am an expat living in dubai (formerly living in UK) and my 3 month old breast fed baby is struggling with the time difference.
any advice in getting his clock back!
Hannah Disbrow on November 22, 2014 at 4:11 a.m.
I live in Korea and will be traveling to the USA (14 hours behind) with my then 3 month old in December. We will be gone for only 12 days. She's an excellent sleeper now 9/10-7ish and is 50/50 breastfed and bottle fed. Since we will be gone less than two weeks, should I try and adjust her to the USA schedule or let her set her own pace? THANKS :)
Rita on November 23, 2014 at 1:50 a.m.
We just flew from Hong Kong to the U S about 4 days ago. My almost 6 month old baby is on an exact day scehdule as we had before. But at night, even though she never wakes up to play, she would wake up and want to eat every 2.5 to 3 hours like day time. She would go back to sleep immediately after but I am wondering if I should feed her because thats feeding her almost 4 times during the night! (she goes down at 7 and up at 7).
any advice would be much appreciated
Debbie Oreizy on November 23, 2014 at 6:47 p.m.
I would try to gently put her back to sleep without feeding, but if she seems very hungry after trying to sooth her other ways, go ahead and feed her.
Joanna on December 5, 2014 at 1:58 a.m.
We have to take an urgent trip home with our new baby who will be 6 weeks old. The flight is a long haul one from Sydney to London. I was wondering at that age whether jet lag will affect her, as she is obviously not in a routine at the moment being only nearly 3 weeks old. We just feed her when we she wants it, usually every 3 -4 hours, and so our sleep is all over the place anyway (which we have kind of gotten used to, so thats not too bad!)
Would be vey grateful for any advice or knowledge!!
Stephanie on January 5, 2015 at 11:56 a.m.
Thanks so much for this piece. Very helpful. We just returned to the UK from the US (5 hour difference) and are trying to get our baby girl (4 months) back to sleeping through the night. Your tips were so helpful.
Daphnee on January 11, 2015 at 3:08 a.m.
Hi Debbie, we have come back from a trip to Cambodia from montreal. My 6 month old daughter took almost a week to adjust over there. She would have a hard time staying up at night and would go to bed around 5pm to wake up again around 1am where I would feed her and put her in the crib where she would talk for a while then fall back asleep to take up again around 5am sometime earlier. But now coming back to montreal it has been 6 nights and she is no where near adjusted. She had been going to bed a similar regular time to wake up again around 11 and stay up for hours. Tried to keep her in her crib, feed her, sign to her, Nothing seems to work. Since she doesn't sleep such long nights, I am always never sure what time to wake her up in the morning and how long to keep the naps. She is all over the place and I am at a loss.... Thank you
Debbie Oreizy on January 11, 2015 at 7:13 a.m.
Keep thinks quiet and dark at night, and try to keep your daughter out in the sunlight as much as possible during the day. She should start to adjust soon!
Carol Powell on January 19, 2015 at 8:10 a.m.
We flew in from Australia to UK at 6am this morning. I have an 11 month old who we tried to keep awake but he has completely passed out now at 4pm. Should I let him sleep until he wakes naturally or should I wake him in a couple of hours? It's our first day back and I feel mean waking him as he is so tired?
Debbie Rojas-Caste on January 29, 2015 at 9:26 a.m.
Your tips are great!.. We're moving to Portugal from Panama. I'm afraid about having to deal with my 4year-old and my 8months-old jetlags.. I'm a little bit more worry about the oldest one, because my baby girl still changes schedules and it's not so hard for me to deal with it, but i bet it'll be worse with the oldest boy. I like the idea of having him doing some outdoors activities there -we love been outdoor-, but it'll still be winter and even though it doesn't snow there, it's pretty cold, specially for us going from this hot land.
At least, i'm not going back home soon, so i dont have to be worry about being jetlagged again.
Thank you very much! I hope your tips help me in our new adventure.
Sheila on February 27, 2015 at 8:16 a.m.
Hi Debbie, so glad that i found your very usefull website. I was worried about to travel to london from Malaysia this november with my upcoming born baby and family in law. This november the baby age is 1 month 3 weeks. Is there any tips to avoid the baby from cooling, jetlagged or etc that can disturb baby routine? I'm afraid baby will cry because not comfortable with in-flight sounds or noisy thing. Kindly advice please.
Harry Connor on March 3, 2015 at 10:22 p.m.
This article is very helpful for parent with newborn child...
Karen Lee on March 5, 2015 at 11:34 a.m.
I just returned from two week trip from Asia to California with my 14 month old son. He has been been sleep through the night since he was six week old. During the trip he only slept about 8 to 9 hours per night, while he used to sleep 10 to 12 at home. Nap was also only last 30 minutes to an hours during the trip.
He usually goes to bed around 10:00 to 11:00 pm, and has no problem falling in sleep. Since we returned from the trip three days ago, he still has no problem fall in sleep but will wake up only after 20 minutes and cry until 4:00 to 5:00 am. I have tried to let him cry for the first night, then went into his room to comfort him twice. Second night I just ignored him, which was so heart breaking to listen him cry. Last night I stayed in his room entire night, but he still cried. The only way to stop him cry is to hold him, but he is too heavy for me to hold him for more than 10 minutes.
Since he slept at 5:00 am, he woke up in the early afternoon which also mass up his meal schedule. He has a really late breakfast and I can hardly fit three meals. Indeed, he seems no appetite and eats less.
In addition, he used to be able to play by himself but he is very attach to me now. He will cry if put him down. Will this back to normal?
I bring him outdoor during the day for about an hour each day, and let him crawling as much as possible before sleep (he is not walking yet). Yet it still does not really help his night sleep.
Can you advice me what to do? Should I let me stay in the bed or play with him in the early morning hours? How about the crying?
Besides, should I let him sleep until early afternoon or wake him up earlier? Please advice.
Emily on March 12, 2015 at 11:40 a.m.
I am bringing my 6 month old baby back to China from Toronto. We will stay in my mom's apartment. Should I do the usual bed time routine and walk out the room and keep my baby sleep alone in the bedroom with blackout curtain in first few nights? This is how I put my baby to bed at home in Toronto.I worry my baby will feel strange and scared in a strange dark room. If I sleep the same time with my baby, will my baby expect me to sleep the same time with him going forward
Many thanks for your advice.
Julie on April 30, 2015 at 8:57 p.m.
My kids hate traveling with me since they experienced jet lag just last year. I found this jet lag tips to be very helpful.
Karly on May 2, 2015 at 6:41 a.m.
Our story is the same as so many others! Bed at normal time, awake by 11pm until 3am :( Please, Debbie or others... How long does it last?? We're on night 5 after an 8 hr time change. At wits end :(
Femke Stokes on May 5, 2015 at 12:20 p.m.
Hi, I'm feeling there may be some hope after reading your website. My baby is 4 months and when he is 5 months we have to visit family in Australia for 3 weeks with a 9 or 10 hour time difference from our home in the UK. I've been feeling so anxious about baby jet lag especially when we return home, as he has only just started to sleep better the last few weeks after 3.5 months of many night wakings. He can now do a 7-8 hour stretch. From your site it seems like the jet lag doesn't cause permanent regression. What do you think to his age for this trip, re. jet lag: 5 months old? Thanks!
Pamela on June 10, 2015 at 8:20 a.m.
Very helpful tips and advices, I have tried them and they really work very well! Our baby slept so well while we were just walking around and all this because of his jet lag!
Viktoria on July 12, 2015 at 7:01 p.m.
Thank you for the great advice on your tips pages.
My question is how long does it take normally for them to get over the jet lag?
Our little one is 7 months old and just returned from Europe to Australia. It has been 6 nights and daytime naps seem ok but at night she is up for hours....We are unsure of it's still jetlag or simply getting used to not being rocked and hanging on the boob as much as we did during the holiday? We are trying not to pick her up all the time only when very upset and let her try to self-settle. Also have been trying not to put her on the boob as much to reduce dependency.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Allie on December 16, 2015 at 4:45 p.m.
Oh help! I've been home for 5 days now after taking my 5 month old to a 3 hour time difference. On our 12 day trip he had to sleep in our bed (no crib) and I think he's gotten used to it! Now I can't put him down in his own bed to sleep, I have to go to bed with him otherwise he wakes and screams his head off! I'm trying to get him back on his regular nap schedule (with decent success) but how do I get him to sleep alone again? What the heck! 7pm is too early for a grownup to go to bed!!! Did I totally screw him up? How do I fix this?
jess on December 30, 2015 at 11:34 p.m.
Hi we live in uk and have jus got back from a trip to Florida, my children 2&4 adjusted well to the time difference while we were away but now we are home(3days). The kids are going to bed at 7/8pm and are waking up 1-2hrs later as thou they have had a nap and are awake till 2am, I am trying to get them up at a normal time in the morning but we are all so tired that its normally 8AM we get up.will it get easier??
Debbie on January 1, 2016 at 3:56 p.m.
Hang in there! Everyone generally gets adjusted within the first 5 days as long as you stick to a normal schedule.