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How will a 9 month old cope with 8 hour time difference???

(7 Posts)
Hybrid Tue 03-Nov-09 23:05:09

We are considering flying over to Malaysia next February when DS will be 9 months old but are really nervous about how he'll cope with the 12-14 hour flight and 8 hour time difference.

He's doing brilliantly with his sleep and works well with routine so really don't know how he'd cope with such a drastic change to all of this.

Is it better to travel during the night or day (possibly a stupid question)? We'll be flying with either Malaysian airline or Air Asia - does anyone know if they have travel cots? And do you have to book them specially?

We will also be visiting family and so won't be staying in one place so again, lots of possible disruption.

If people have found their children very adaptable, how long did it take for them to adjust?

Part of me is worried about spending all that money only to have a screaming child on the plane and being totally stressed out whilst away (planning on 3 weeks) but then I also think it will probably be harder when he's older and perhaps with another sibling in tow!

Any advice would be extremely appreciated!!


exexpat Wed 04-Nov-09 11:11:16

I used to live about a 12-hour flight from the UK/8-hour time difference, and brought the DCs back to the UK every summer, so I've done this a lot....

You can expect a few days of seriously disturbed sleep patterns on the way out and the way back, but if you are there for three weeks then it is probably worth it.

And yes, I think you are probably right that it will be easier at this age than later on - if he's still napping during the day, it makes adjusting the sleep schedule easier.

At nine months, moving around between different places when you are there probably won't be too bad, as long as you can try to stick roughly to your usual routines. That aspect got harder for me as the DCs got older - we used to spend several weeks travelling round visiting various relatives in the UK, and by the end of it behaviour had deteriorated considerably, and they would also start getting ill (tonsillitis, ear infections etc). So if you can try and just stay in a couple of places and get people to come to you, that might be better.

Long flights are certainly easier before they are mobile. Toddlers are the worst - it gets easier again once they are three or four and can sit still and watch a film/do some colouring and so on.

Badpups Wed 04-Nov-09 11:37:55

We travelled to Thailand when DTs were 6 months and again when DS2 was 6 mths and DTs 3 yrs.

Each trip they had no trouble adjusting to the time difference on way out or back. In fact they got onto local time much quicker than we did.

In our case we got them straight into their normal routine immediately and they were so tired from the flights that they slept.

The flights were no problem at all. However, I'd suggest that you need to check the weight restriction on the bassinets in the plane. At 6 mths ours were too heavy for the ones on Eva Air. This meant that we spent a long portion of the flight with babies asleep on us!

Hybrid Wed 04-Nov-09 21:33:31

Thanks so much for the replies.

It seems as though - like absolutely everything - it all depends on the child!! DS does seem to thrive on routine so I think we'll just work on a worse case scenario and see how we get on! Think we'll brave it and go for it... maybe! ;)

Any more advice/perspectives would be gratefully received.

NickNemo Thu 12-Nov-09 10:34:32

We travelled to Canada and India when DD was 10 months old, and she's coped very well with the time difference. I think the key is treat it like adults do, keep the childresn stimulated until its time to go to sleep. If they must sleep, don't fight it, but always try and wake them up after 1 hour. I've found that feeding them at local mealtimes works brilliantly at helping them adjust to the difference.

Yes, you will have some seriously disturbed nights, but imo, its only a couple of nights and children settle into a different pattern very soon, much sooner than adults.

phdlife Thu 12-Nov-09 10:41:58

We went from the UK to the US then Australia when ds was 9m. He was a little ropey the first day in the US, but I think this was more to do with my sister failing to keep kid time and the poor little sod was kept out past sleeptime 3 nights running!

Agree with NickNemo, they change much more easily than we do.

thumbwitch Thu 12-Nov-09 10:47:50

I agree with the majority - we took DS to Australia last year when he was 10mo - 11h to Bangkok, 1.5h there and then 9+h to Sydney - it took about 3 days for him to adjust to the 10 hour (then 11 hour) difference on the way out, and less time when we got back to the UK. We flew out overnight and were in Australia for 3 weeks.

IME, the best thing you can do is to try and get through the first day for as long as you can, just catnap to alleviate extreme tiredness and go to bed at a roughly normal time - of course your DS will have to sleep as and when he wants or there will be ructions - but the quicker you adjust to the new timeframe, the better it will go all round.

good luck with it - I'm sure it will work out fine.

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