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Jet lag - is it really a day for every hour of time difference?!

(4 Posts)
Shylily Tue 17-Feb-09 04:21:57

Just got back to UK from Australia. DD7 months was just sleeping through (although I know she woke every night at 3am she'd chatter and go back to sleep). DS2.3 just does 12 hours straight through from the time I put him to bed regardless of where we are.
DD is now waking for 2-3 hours at night. If I leave her she screams which tonight resulted in DS waking. DD is now sitting next to me on the couch while I type this!
Any ideas for getting her back on track?

LadyPenelope Tue 17-Feb-09 06:06:21

I sympathise. In my experience, it's taken 3 - 5 days to get over a 7 hour time difference. My kids very good sleepers usually. (Usually they only suffer from jet lag going East ... so going from Asia to UK they are normally fine.)

What works for us to get back on track is.
- Wake them at pretty much normal time and then do your regular "routine". Eg, if my kids normally woke up at 7am, then I'd get them out of bed sometime between 7 and 9. So a bit of flexibility but not much. Then normal meal times and naps as much as poss. (Maybe a bit earlier/later depending on what they needed.) And I'd wake them after a reasonable nap, not let them sleep on.

Lots of outdoor activity. Sunshine/daylight really good for resetting body clock. Plus a bit of running around wears them out!

Normal bedtime routine and in bed at similar time. (Coming back to Asia, I do a later bed time for a few nights, bringing it forward an hour or 2 night by night ... UK I do normal bed time.)

If they wake at night in first few days, mine were often hungry, so would do toast/cereal. I always kept lights low ... so just a sidelight. Watch videos for a couple of hours. After an hour or 2, I'd put them back to bed.

After a few nights, I wouldn't let them out of bedroom - would keep light off entirely if possible ... but might keep them company/lie down with them.

Key is to keep lights low/ quiet TV only ... no rowdy play! And then to start day as normal as much as is humanely possible.

Not sure about the big 12 hour time shift ... hopefully you'll get some more advice soon.

Good luck!

BlueCowWondersSomeMore Tue 17-Feb-09 06:29:08

Itdoes take a long time, and I find the 1-day-per-hour-difference is right for eg 6 hours difference. I remember going to Australia and being zoned out for a fortnight...

I think LadyP gives some great advice. I agree with it all, but just to add that you need to keep your expectations pretty low for the next week.

Shylily Tue 17-Feb-09 13:32:54

Thanks both. Good advice LadyP.
DD7months was awake from 4am-6am again (this time she woke DS2 - argh!). It's day 4 so I think I'll take your advice and just relax a bit and ride through it. I've also increased her solid food in the day and reintroduced the 10pm dreamfeed as she did seem hungry, as you said. DS2 is rarely affected, especially coming this way (as you said) so there may be other things going on. However, I will wait about 2 weeks before contacting the Health Visitor about sleep school!
Thanks again.

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