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Holidays

Flying to NY alone with 18 month old

4 replies

MumSarahB · 06/02/2003 08:17

I will be flying to NY alone with my 18 month old son in April. I have chosen a flight that leaves London at 8 in the evening so that he sleeps most of the way (not sure that I can entertain him on my lap for 8 hours otherwise). My main wonder is how to cope with jet lag once we get there and how to get him back into a normal routine as soon as possible. We will land at about 10pm NY time by which time he should have had quite a bit of sleep but I would love him to have some more.

We are only going to visit family for just over a week so I would like to help him to get into a normal routine while we are there.

I would love to hear from anyone who has tips on how to get him back to normal as soon as possible and whether I should try to get him to sleep when he gets there or simply go with whatever he wants to do until a more normal bedtime at the end of the following day.

Also - are there any homeopathic remedies/sleeping tablets which little ones can take which really work?

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florenceuk · 06/02/2003 21:44

We went to NZ over Xmas with a 14mth old. I think you will find it very difficult to get your child to sleep right through if they have been asleep all the way on the flight - but then again, my DS didn't sleep very well on the flight anyway and was exhausted when we got there. Anyway, if you manage to get him to sleep, you may find that he wakes in the middle of the night. When DS woke up, I just dragged DS into bed with me and BF him which kept him quiet until a more reasonable hour. The next day we just followed a normal routine. I did wake him from his afternoon nap after a couple of hours otherwise he would have just slept for hours and hours. Eventually he worked his way round the clock from waking at 2am to waking at around 6-7am. It took about 4-5 days for him to adjust (12 hr time difference) so for a 9hr time difference I would guess maybe 2-3 days? Hard I know if it is only a week!

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Bubblesmum · 10/02/2003 19:21

Hi, I flew transatlantic on my own with my dd at 16 months but in the other direction. The jet lag was the hardest thing. She did not want to adjust at all. I had previously flown with her at 6 mo old and she adjusted immediately ! It can take them a day to adjust one hour so to totally adjust to a 5 hour difference, it may take 5 days and then pretty soon you'll be heading home again. What I did was adjust her about 2-3 hours towards the new timezone and then coming back home she adjusted back no bother. It was more tiring being on hols with her like this but like you I was with family so they helped out a lot. You will have earlier mornings in US but then have some time to yourself in the evenings which actually may work out well for you. I had the opposite late mornings and late nights. Re. flight, bring loads of small things for amusement (books / magna doodle / lots of snacks) and use anything and everything the airline give you as entertainment - my DD spent ages stacking plastic cups, leafing through airline magazines etc... I asked about possible medication too and her Dr was horrified and refused point blank to entertain any ideas of same. When you get there if he's properly awake, I'd nearly advise letting him run around and have some exercise and checking out the new place - being cooped up on a plane is tough and then he may go back to sleep until morning. My dd is the same whenever we go anywhere even by car. We normally travel at night (her bedtime) but she usually wakes up when we get there and needs to run around for an hour or two before she will willingly go into a new cot to sleep. For the first day, try to get into a routine but bear in mind the time he thinks it is and let him eat/nap to his schedule more or less. Thats what I did anyway. One other thing which I found good was - make a point of changing him into his PJs on the plane to emphasize it is bedtime... and make sure he runs around loads before boarding. Good luck, have a great time.

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bebs63 · 17/05/2010 22:30

we flew to the usa with 12 month old. i found that we had quite a few very early starts as she was adjusting to the time difference .... lots of wandering round the streets of nyc as people were going to work! good luck with the flight, it won't be as bad as you think it will

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elsieG · 21/05/2010 13:32

I think they must all be different! We flew with our 18 mth old last year. She probably had around 4 hours sleep or maybe a bit more on the flight and then was up for a few hours whilst we got through the airport & drove the hour to our friends house/settled in etc, then she went back to bed.

We had envisaged her waking up at 4 in the morning but we all ended up sleeping through till about 9am (a further 12 hours sleep for her!) From that point on she was fine...we just stuck to her routine as much as poss. Coming back was also ok as we had a night flight...she went to bed later than usual but slept almost the entire way and then seemed to settle back into her routine fine.

Have a wonderful time - it's well worth it whatever happens!

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