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jetlag - travelling to US with 14 month old who has strong!

(20 Posts)
silvermum Sun 17-Aug-08 20:14:31

anyone got any tips on how to adapt routines when you fly long haul? we're thinking of flying to Boston in the autumn - it's a seven hour flight and five hour time difference. (maybe six after british summer time? not sure...)
DS has very strong routines - up at 7am, bed at 7pm, usually sleeps through. are we mad to contemplate it? has anyone got any tips for minimising the jet lag?

moondog Sun 17-Aug-08 20:15:59

A routine should help you, not run yuor life, which yours obv. is doing.
It isand will be shit. Accept that and everything is easier.

brimfull Sun 17-Aug-08 20:18:49

I travelled to Canada with my dc's at that age and they had set sleeping patterns.I just carried on and put them to bed at their normal time.
They, as well as I, got up earlier than normal but that was our only blip.My ds was having 2 naps a day at that age which also carried on as normal.
I may be lucky though...the trick for me was putting him down as soon as he got tired not letting him get over tired.I was staying with my parents so easier.

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 17-Aug-08 20:22:13

Try and relax his routine a bit. Also, might be worth trying to adjust his times before you go - even if you can do a couple of hours it will help you.

The theory is that it will take you a day for each hour of the time difference to come to terms with it - so worth making sure you go for a reasonable amount of time.

We started going to Barbados when DS2 was about 8, and just had to accept the fact that he found it much harder to cope with the jet lag than his older brother. In the evening he would just pass out at the dinner table (we used to push two chairs together and just let him sleep) but the killer is the waking at 4am. An older child can accept that this is a problem, and can get to the TV - but I would definitely try and sort his bedtime routine out by adjusting it artificially to avoid this!

But if you could arrange your itineray around the need to sleep/wake early then this will probably be better for all of you.

Henriettahippo Sun 17-Aug-08 20:28:07

I went to Australia with DSs last year, aged 3 and 11 months. 24 hours in flight, 12 hour time difference. Both had quite strong routines. I was really worried, but it was absolutely fine. I just decided before we went that it could be the worst 24 hours of my life, and then it couldn't actually be that bad. It wasn't.

We just abandoned any attempt at routine whatsoever during the flights. They slept when they fell asleep, they ate when they were hungry, and we didn't worry about it.
When we arrived, we just started out on local time straight away. For a couple of nights, they were both awake for a time around 2-4 am, but then that was that.

Actually I found they adjusted much more quickly than we did.

Don't let fear put you off.

If you can afford it, book him a seat. We booked our youngest a seat, it was invaluable.

silvermum Sun 17-Aug-08 20:51:27

moondog - slightly aggressive response! the routine is not "running our lives" - it is just a pattern which we have all adopted and has helped us cope with being first time parents thanks for the tips..

rookiemater Sun 17-Aug-08 21:03:01

Hi we went with DS when he was about this age. He was in a very steady routine as well, and to be honest adapted better than us with the time difference. He woke up very early the first couple of mornings and then after that he was back to 7 to 7. On the way back he slept a bit on the plane, then the following day was full of beans for the whole day. We were lucky as we went straight to my parents so they were able to entertain him whilst we had a few hours sleep. The next morning he slept in until 10.00am ( unfortunately my parents were confused about which way the clocks changed and woke us up at 7.00am grin ) and after that he was absolutely fine.

squeaver Sun 17-Aug-08 21:05:35


silvermum Sun 17-Aug-08 21:15:02

just following on from Moondog's response again, if more experienced people think it is and will be shit, we probably won't do it. that's why i posted the question - to see what other people's experiences have been.
some posters seem to be more optimistic - thanks rookiemater! so i think we'll take our chances.
what does medised contain? is it paracetamol or ibuprofen?

onepieceoflollipop Sun 17-Aug-08 21:21:27

Ok we did this when dd1 was 17 months old. She was quite a good sleeper. (We had 11 nights away). I'll be honest and say the first 2-3 nights were hard. We took to co-sleeping to get some rest, and she was only sleeping 7-8 hours per night like us, plus 30 or so minutes nap in the pushchair in the morning.

Then we stayed with relatives for a few days (same trip) and she settle in to more of her "normal" routine, and actually had some longer naps and slightly longer morning lie-ins.

tbh I think that sometimes children who are reasonably good sleepers can adjust fairly well on holidays etc, because they are (ime anyway) fairly well rested prior to the trip.

On our return home she caught up with lack of sleep with a few lie-ins which of course helped with our jet lag.

Disclaimer: we were lucky to have a good sleeper first time round, dd2 is a nightmare wakeful baby!

specialmagiclady Sun 17-Aug-08 21:22:41

I'd say it depends why you're thinking of going to Boston. Is it to see special people? Go to a special event? Or were you just thinking it would be a nice place for a family holiday?

If the former, it's probably worth putting up with 48 hours of dreadfulness to see them/do it. If the latter, you may find a fantastic place to have a family holiday somewhere a bit nearer that won't make you so anxious.

If you turned down everything that could be BRILLIANT just because it might screw up your/your baby's life, you'll lose out on a lot of things.

We have done this and regretted it somewhat. When we've put our necks out and done something inconvenient, we've often found that the kids adapted much better than we thought they would AND we had a brilliant time, when we could have just been at home watching telly!

onepieceoflollipop Sun 17-Aug-08 21:23:05

p.s. Medised not recommended any more for children under 2.

Tis a mix of antihistamine and paracetamol. Meant to help with colds etc and has the side effect of sedating the child a bit. Please be aware that some children can go a bit hyper on medised and other antihistamines. Not always a magic solution imo.

silvermum Sun 17-Aug-08 21:29:36

hmm, it's just for a holiday so we could go somewhere else. we were thinking of it because we had a wonderful holiday there before, pre baby, and because the dollar is weak against the pound so it is quite good value. it's difficult to know where to go in october - obviously the weather's not great in Europe, and America seems a bit more exciting. other possible options are southern spain and egypt - both shorter flights and not smaller time difference. could be more sensible at this stage sad

rookiemater Sun 17-Aug-08 21:54:02

Silvermum, if I were you I'd go for it. We found that Boston itself didn't work that well with DS. He was at that stage of running manically everywhere so we spent most of our 2 days there on Boston Common running after him.

We then hired a car and went to visit relatives in New Hampshire. We stayed in an amazing condo called the Jack'OLantern resort in Woodstock, fantastic for families, loads of room. The US is really well set up for young children and all the restaurants offer childrens menus and crayons.

However Boston is not going to be very warm in October, probably similar to the UK.

Yes the travelling is more onerous than going to Europe, but we were in Majorca this summer for a week and because of the poor exchange rate, it is incredibly expensive.

Sorry got a bit jumbled up somewhere in there. How about Portugal or Cyprus. I'd recommend hiring a villa as its much more relaxing with a very young DS than staying in a hotel.

squeaver Mon 18-Aug-08 09:36:09

Silvermum - you should go. I was being slightly facetious about the Medised (and your lo probably is too young for it) but we've flown long-haul with our dd since she was 15 months (States twice and Australia) and you just have to get on with it ime.

The first 3 days could be difficult but then they adjust. Your ds will wake early and maybe in the middle of the night and that's when a dose of Calpol or something else can just knock him out and send him back off. After that he'll be fine (although the same thing will happen on the way back). Try to get him into his routine on the new time-zone as soon as you get there - just like adults dealing with jet-lag are advised to do.

You'll be fine.

theressomethingaboutmarie Mon 18-Aug-08 09:47:27

We got back from SF last week with our 11 month old DD. On the first couple of mornings, she would wake at 3:30am/4am. We would bring her to our bed and feed her to sleep.

Coming back was worse. She was great on the plane but we have all only just got over the jet lag. On the first night back home, she woke every hour until 11pm and then only went to sleep properly at 2am. We didn't get to sleep until 6am :-(. It was a tricky week with her waking up at all hours but the upside was that she slept in until 9am on Saturday and 8am on Sunday grin.

Good luck!

ChopsTheDuck Mon 18-Aug-08 09:48:34

Our routines are far from regimental but they do sleep from 6-7pm through to 7pm, and have done from an early age. We went to florida last winter and they were tired the first few mornings but we woke them anyway and they were a bit grumpy in the evenings but it wasn't as bad as we expected.

Our holiday routine is usually different from home routine anyway, but they can adapt surprisingly quickly. We're in spain later this week, which means they wont go to bed til about 11pm and will have an afternoon nap. Since everything is different on holiday anyway, they accept it and we jsut have a different but still consistant pattern.

I usually find it harder when we get back home, takes a few days to get back to normal. I don't think it will be as bad as you expect and you should go for it. Best to get them used to it while young.

moondog Mon 18-Aug-08 13:07:48

Silver, I think travelling in aircraft is shit these days, whether with or without kids. I do loads of it and find accepting this makes it easier.
Have just done Manchester-Bangladesh alone with 2 small kids.

onepieceoflollipop Mon 18-Aug-08 13:15:37

moondog I think that is v good advice (we have only been on one longish trip with dd1)

Kind of assume that they may not sleep at all on the plane, then if they do catch an hour or two it is a bonus.

I think there are threads with suggestions for making flights slightly more bearable with los.

moondog Mon 18-Aug-08 18:57:46

I assumed this last trip would bevile and actually it wasn't so arrived feeling quite good!

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