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How to deal with jet lag

urbanMamas, have you trapsed across time zones, resulting in some consequences for both you and the babes?  Ally is traveling next week and would love your suggestions:

I wanted to ask other mamas for advice regarding jet lag. I know there have been many postings regarding what to do with a toddler on an international flight (if anyone has flown the Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt I am all ears) However, I am wondering what other mamas have done about jet lag with their wee ones. We are taking our 18 mo old son to Europe next week and I am worried about how we will deal with his jet lag (not to mention my own).


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We recently flew from San Francisco to London with our 4 year old. So Jet lag was a potential factor.
Our plan:
Jet lag homeopathic pills. (AAA, New Seasons, Wild Oats, Whole Foods)- safe for kids.
1 week before the flight we moved our clocks forward each day one hour, ate at slightly later times, went to bed later.
On the plane we gave her the homeopathics, lots of water with ester-c, no soda, sugar or junk food. Protein, protein, veg and fruit!!!!
She fell asleep when they dimmed the lights, woke in the morning and fell right into Paris time! ( we all did)
As an experiment, we did the opposite routine home! and we were a mess! So follow my above advice! Good LUCK!
Any other q's.. email me at: foxfamily97(at) gmail dot com.

We've done this twice since the babe came along. First time, five months - she absolutely did not adjust and we ended up going to bed at 5 p.m. and waking up at 4 a.m.

Second time, 16 months, and she seemed much more attuned to sun is up, we're up, sun is down, we're down. We didn't do any preparation for it - we just tried to make sure she was having lots of fun during the day and napped at a regular time. She did wake up screaming during the night a couple of times, but I think that had more to do with molars coming in than the time zone.

My only advice is to just not try to get them to stay up later than they are really able to - I only have my experience to go on, but it tells me that staying up too late is just a disaster for someone who wants to go to bed. Make sure to bring the favorite cuddly blanket or whatever.

Lufthansa worked really well for us, but in general people really seem to like a five month old. One flight attendant scolded us for changing the baby in the travel cot at our feet (it was only pee!) but that was the only real problem.

When we moved from Portland to England about 6 months ago, with our then 2 year old and 4 month old, we had a bit of a time with jet lag. Hardest on us, as children would nap fairly late in the day and be up at about 10:00pm to midnight.

Rather than any sort of medication (homeopathic or otherwise), I think that one just has to patiently adjust. It takes about 1 week. Just try your best to be up with the sun and asleep with the moon.

The time changes here in Europe next weekend, so it will be getting dark pretty early (like 5pm here in London...), so that will be on your side to ensure earlier bed time.

The Portland to Frankfurt flight? The service is great...but, just to be truthful, it is quite LONG. Be prepared. Like almost 10 hours!

When I did the Lufthansa flight with my son, they clustered all of the kids in the front together, which can be good or bad. The flight attendants were really accommodating, but it was amazing how incredibly gross the kid's row was after 10 hours of snacks, etc. I flew with him when he was still a baby and breastfeeding him to sleep seemed to make the jetlag a relatively easy transition.

I have found that trying to get the babe to sleep on the flight helps quite a bit. Plus, lots of fluids (great for jet lag but not so good on trips to the loo.) Once you arrive get out for a walk if it is still day light. You will find that this should help you and the wee one. Good Luck and enjoy!

We just returned from a family vacation to the UK and France. We have previously taken the Frankfurt flight but that was only with my older son at age 2.5. Now we have the two, 4.5 and 1 yr. My personal practice which I have extended to my kids is to not sleep at any unusual hours, local time. Keep to your usual schedule as much as possible. Sleeping on a cross-atlantic flight of course is a must, especially for kids (but I don't do it -- can't sleep on planes). So if you arrive in the morning, keep active and in the daylight as much as possible during the day. Do the usual naps but don't let the nap go to long (like night sleep). If you're indoors keep the lights and noise up during awake times. Be ready for the little one to be wide awake in the middle of the night, though, and have a plan for helping them understand that it's night time, time for sleep. I would avoid playing, turning on the lights, eating a meal or anything in the middle of the night. The first couple of nights might be rough but they adjust pretty quickly.

I have done this Lufthansa flight alone and by myself with my 2 kids, now 4 and 3. Firstly, it is never as bad as you imagine it to be! The flight is sooo long that you will have happy times, whining times, screaming times, giggling with the people sat behind times and, yes, sleep times! I take a bag of toys and snacks, plenty of drinks for the ascent/descent. But apart from that, the flight will be what it will be. You'll just have to ignore the fat business man looking at you like you are the worst mom in the world when your kid is kicking off!
On the jetlag front, I find the kids bounce back better than I ever do! Even at that little, by just clicking into european time as soon as you get there and trying to keep the little one awake during the day, you will find that he falls into line after a couple of days!
Good luck and bon voyage!

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