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Holidays

Jet lag

9 replies

bon · 02/07/2002 23:47

We've got a long-haul flight looming with 3 kids under 10. Has anyone got any tips on helping kids deal with jet-lag?

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leander · 02/07/2002 23:51

Try to keep them up as late as possible on the first night hard i know with kids but just a suggestion it worked for me.

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sjs · 03/07/2002 06:55

Once you arrive, slip into the normal routine as far a poss. (Naps, meals etc). Try and do outside activities if poss if you arrive during daylight hours. Apparently sunlight helps readjust your body clock. And something physical obviously helps tire you out a bit. (swimming, walking, playing football etc)

Don't be tempted to sleep really late the next day to catch up after a broken night's sleep. As far as poss (hard when everyone is exhausted!), get everyone up the next day around normal time and get out and do things. (maybe take a short nap in the afternoon to keep everyone going - although set the alarm clock or you will sleep for ever!)

You don't say which way round the world you are going. We have found going east (from UK to Hong Kong) takes my daughter about 4-5 nights to adjust, while going West (Hong Kong to UK) seems to happen quicker (1-2 nights)As adults we tend to adjust quicker.

Part of the problem is always feeling hungry at odd parts of the day. For the first night at least we all had breakfast at 3 in the morning because we were hungry!

Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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batey · 03/07/2002 08:10

Agree with SJS re routine. We went to Far East with 9m/old baby and 3y/o, babies routine was nap after lunch which we all did for first 3 days for an hour. Set alarm clock for nap and in the morning and drag yourselves up. It makes the process quicker in the end.

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Mooma · 03/07/2002 08:11

Last year we flew to Houston with my 5 yr old who was far too excited to sleep during the 10 hr flight. I thought, oh no, he'll be asleep by the time we reach our friends' house (4pm local time, 10 pm for us)...
Would you believe that he kept going until 3am UK time and woke up the next morning apparently rested and raring to go!
I think kids cope better with jet lag as they're not so aware of clocks.
sjs covers most of the practical points I can think of.
A friend in the US buys melantonin (sp?) in tablet form which is supposed to help as it's what is made by the body when it's exposed to natural light. Can't buy it here though.

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mirandamum · 03/07/2002 09:21

We're taking our nine month old to the Carribean in a few weeks and I'm very worried about the jet lag - my sister-in-law laughed when she found out we were going and said my daughter would wake up at two in the morning expecting breakfast every day - she is in a pretty set routine of 7 am waking over here. Any tips on how we can survive/ ease her onto local time?
Many thanks in advance

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MP4 · 03/07/2002 10:44

I'm also curious about babes in arms. We've been invited to a wedding in Oz in a couple of months that we'd really like to go to but our 5 month old has only just settled into a nightime sleep routine and I know when I went to Australia as a single gal I felt like I had flu for about three weeks when I got back. We could only go for about 10 days - is it madness??

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robbie · 03/07/2002 12:46

Sad to say Mirandamum, I think you will be waking in the early hours for at least a few days is our experience is anything to go by. We took 12 month year old twins to Florida and that happened to u. It took about four days to get them onto local time - ie allow for about an hour a day.
One thing we didn't manage to do however, and other parents swore by was to keep them up for the journey.i.e not let them sleep at the usual time on the plane but try and keep them amused. May not make for such a great journey but apparently helps them get over the time difference more quickly.

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bloss · 04/07/2002 11:30

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bloss · 04/07/2002 11:31

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