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What to expect for a short trip to the US

7 replies

SSHunt · 11/05/2022 13:27

My son will be 6 months when we leave at the end of the month to the US. We will be gone for only 10 days. I am concerned about how my son will adjust to the time zone difference. We are unable to adjust his sleeping schedule as he doesn't allow us to mess with it at all. I just wanted to know if anyone else has done any international trips with an infant and how they were effected. It would help in planning some things while we are there. TIA

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Fivemoreminutes1 · 11/05/2022 14:02

We’ve done lots of transatlantic trips and it’s been fine, but we’ve adjusted sleep times before we go.

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Fivemoreminutes1 · 11/05/2022 14:14

I do have some top tips though for when you get there. Expose him to light in the evening, but keep it dark in the morning. This is fairly easy to do, because the sun will be out later relative to his internal clock.
Keep his bedtime routine as close as possible to how it is normally at home.
Don’t let his naps run longer than they would be at home while he’s adjusting. If he’s sleepy because it’s bedtime back home, a long afternoon nap would essentially his night sleep and would make it harder for him (and you!) to get some shuteye once nighttime actually rolls around.

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RandomQuest · 11/05/2022 14:31

We’ve done it a lot of transatlantic with DD as a baby as used to live in the US. What time do you land and what’s baby’s sleep normally like? We usually found sticking to naps on the plane easy as it’s not the best environment for a big sleep, and then the transition from plane to airport would wake her up. Usually we’d land about 4ish local time, in the car by about 5 where she’d conk out, transfer to the cot when we got home, would usually get a 5am wake up the next day and then we’d gradually nudge bedtime later over the next few days so day 1 try to do 5.30pm, the next day 6pm and so on. If you want to go out for dinner whilst you’re away, I’d attempt to put her down in the pram rather than push staying up late.

Going the other way so US to U.K. is much harder if it’s a night flight (we always took day flights) but at least that’s after your holiday!

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SSHunt · 11/05/2022 17:14

RandomQuest · 11/05/2022 14:31

We’ve done it a lot of transatlantic with DD as a baby as used to live in the US. What time do you land and what’s baby’s sleep normally like? We usually found sticking to naps on the plane easy as it’s not the best environment for a big sleep, and then the transition from plane to airport would wake her up. Usually we’d land about 4ish local time, in the car by about 5 where she’d conk out, transfer to the cot when we got home, would usually get a 5am wake up the next day and then we’d gradually nudge bedtime later over the next few days so day 1 try to do 5.30pm, the next day 6pm and so on. If you want to go out for dinner whilst you’re away, I’d attempt to put her down in the pram rather than push staying up late.

Going the other way so US to U.K. is much harder if it’s a night flight (we always took day flights) but at least that’s after your holiday!

We land at 5 pm. He's normally a very good sleeper, too much so. He normally wakes up at 5 am and as such usually will ensure that he is down by 5 mostly. We've attempted to move his bedtime but it hasn't worked out well, he just refuses to change his sleeping schedule. Which is why I am worried about how he is going to be. I am worried he will be up most of the night (day time hours UK) leaving my husband and I exhausted the next day, or he will just be cranky or alseep during the day (day time hours US) making the trip frustrating or boring.

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CeeceeBloomingdale · 11/05/2022 17:23

He can’t tell the time so you need to convince him he is on his at home schedule. Block out light, keep things low key and quiet when you want him to sleep, lots of light and excitement at waking times. Mine were awful sleepers but were fine doing transatlantic trips. Don’t be a slave to his routine.

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RandomQuest · 11/05/2022 17:43

I think you’re over worrying. He’ll simply have to move his bedtime. At home he may be stubborn and of course you give in because there’s the option of a nice quiet cot. In this case if he falls asleep on the plane in the bassinet towards the end of the flight, they will still put all the lights on for landing, the crew will be making noisy announcements, you’ll have to transfer him off the plane and into the stroller, then again into the car etc etc. Whether he likes it or not he’s simply not going down for undisturbed sleep at the usual time. Upside is he’ll hopefully be shattered, and happy to sleep when you get to your accommodation, which will be bedtime on local time and hopefully get him set on the right time zone. Just brace for an overtired baby in the immigration line. Good luck!

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SSHunt · 12/05/2022 17:51

Thanks so much for the messages and help. I will try to stay out of my head and just take things as they come. It is just 10 days and then a few days after we return (I am hoping) that things will be all hinky. What is 14 days in the grand scheme of life? Especially when you consider that growth spurts, teething and regressions are all in the cards at any given point which seem to mess with everything anyhow.

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