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Helping 2 year old adjust to 8 hour time difference

(4 Posts)
mjo1 Thu 20-Aug-09 20:58:26

My husband, myself and my 2 year old daughter are traveling to California in September. I have steeled myself for the flight(!), but am wondering how to help her to adjust to the time difference the other end. The flight leaves at 11 am and arrives in California in the early afternoon. Do I let her have an afternoon nap (at her UK bedtime) and wake her up after a few hours in the hopes she'll go to bed at 7pm (her normal uk bedtime) in the new time zone? Do I just encourage her to take lots of naps on the flight?

I'd love to hear from anyone with experience in this to hear what you tried and what you think worked.


caughtintheact Thu 20-Aug-09 21:16:55

we took dd to chicago which is 6hrs diff at 13 months and again at 2. Similar flight departure and arrival times.
The first trip, she fell asleep in the car on the way from the airport to where we were staying and I let her sleep for a couple of hours then woke her (not fun) and then did bedtime at local time.
The second trip she didn't nap at all - the whole flight or in the car so we just kept her up as long as we could.
What we have found is she wakes up really early for the first couple of days and takes longer naps to compensate, but adjusts pretty quickly - quicker than I do! but then I don't nap, perhaps that's where I'm going wrong!
my tips would be
1. don't let her nap longer than about 3 hrs if she does go to sleep before a reasonable local time bedtime
2. try to get her to eat meals at local time asap
have fun!

EldonAve Thu 20-Aug-09 21:21:48

I would let her sleep on the plane if she wants too

Accept that for the first few days she will get up at 6am and go to bed reasonably early so you can cope with it

Our 2 & 4 year olds adjusted reasonably quickly this summer. To be fair it was fully daylight at 6am so getting up wasn't too bad

caughtintheact Thu 20-Aug-09 21:23:42

god yes don't mess with sleeping toddler on flight!

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