You can do all the research and pack all the right things, but it’s hard to prepare for jet lag hitting a young child. Your best bet, of course, is to adjust everyone to the time of your destination so you can fully take advantage of the vacation days you have. But how do you get a 3 year old to cooperate? Our contributors gave us their best suggestions on how to combat jet lag with young children – we hope one, or more, of these will work for you!
Eat When They Eat
Instead of focusing on sleeping when they sleep and setting early alarms, focus on syncing your mealtimes with those of your destination. Start doing this on the flight over so you get a head start. By doing this, you will automatically be adjusting everyone to the new time zone and your sleep patterns will follow.
Get Up Early
Regardless of what time you end up going to bed at night, set an alarm to get everyone up early. Many swear that this is the only way to quickly adjust to the new time zone without extra hassle. You may not get enough sleep one night, but it will be worth it for the remainder of your trip.
If you have a long, overnight flight ahead and need everyone to sleep on the plane, you may want to consider melatonin. We advise you to always speak to your pediatrician first for advice though. Many parents swear by the use of melatonin to ensure their kids get a good amount of sleep on the plane and are then are ready to tackle the vacation without getting sleepy during the day. You can also look into homeopathic options as an alternative.
Go with the Flow
Stop stressing and just see what happens! Many families feel that it’s just not worth spending so much time thinking about jet lag and worrying about adjusting. If they kids wake up in the middle of the night, keep the lights off and voices low to try to get them back to sleep. During the day, go outside and get as much sunshine as much as possible and you’ll find that everyone will adjust in no time.
Even if you follow every tip you find, there is a chance jetlag will just really hit your children hard and it will take a few days to adjust. In this case, be prepared to take turns with your partner overnight so you can both be somewhat well rested. Cranky, jetlagged kids are one thing, but a cranky parent is much worse! It will get easier as your kids get older so just remember that every experience will not be the same! Do you have any jet lag tips you swear by? Share them with our readers below.
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