Babies & Jet Lag: How To Manage It

Babies & Jet Lag: How To Manage It

During your child-free days, traveling and exploring the world might have been easy. Your itinerary consisted of brunch at the trendy restaurants and leisurely strolls on the beaches while working on your tan. You were able to check out the nightlife scene and sleep in the next morning.

Since becoming a parent, travel may look a little different. These days your itinerary looks a little more child-centered with visits to amusement parks, children’s museums, and playgrounds. When it comes to nightlife, the biggest decision is whether you will put your baby in their duck jammies or their puppy jammies—sleeping in? What’s that?

Although you may look back on your easy-breezy travel days fondly, you look over at your little buddy and think that you wouldn’t have it any other way. Traveling with your baby means a whole new share of logistical and proactive planning. One issue that can help with some proactive planning is jet lag.

Facing The Dreaded Jet Lag

We love traveling and seeing new places, but jet lag can be tough to deal with at times. Traveling across multiple time zones can throw our sleeping schedule off track and make us want to sleep early or stay up super late.

Jet lag is how our body responds to the change in our circadian rhythms when traveling far distances. You may ask if you experience this no matter what direction you travel in, and the answer is yes, for the most part.

When traveling east and west, you are traveling across time zones. If you are headed east, this is when jet lag symptoms can be more intense than if you were traveling west. Suppose you are headed north or south, lucky you! Jet lag won’t be an issue if you aren’t crossing multiple time zones in a northerly or southerly direction.

When it is just you traveling or traveling with other adults, jet lag can be overcome by knocking back a few coffees and toughing it out until you’re back to your regular sleeping schedule.

Symptoms of Jet Lag

Apart from the tiredness of adjusting to a different schedule, jet lag can also cause other symptoms. For instance, you may not have an appetite with a hectic schedule and trying to adapt to new sleeping and mealtimes.

Changes in appetite can also mean changes in your digestive system, leading to constipation or diarrhea. Head and neck tension and feeling irritable are also symptoms of jet lag.

Keep in mind that both you and your baby can experience these symptoms of jet lag. It is already a challenge when you have to experience these feelings yourself. Add in a baby feeling the same way, and you will feel like you’re in survivor mode.

How To Manage Jet Lag

When traveling across several time zones, jet lag is inevitable. Managing your baby’s jet lag can help everyone get on a new schedule faster and reduce the amount of symptoms associated with this sudden shift in schedule.

You’ve worked so hard to get your baby’s sleep schedule perfected, and with some careful planning, you can quickly help your baby adjust easily to a new time zone. Let’s look at ways you can help your baby get a handle on their jet lag.

Adjust While at Home

If you are going on an extended vacay, take a few days to adjust your baby’s sleeping schedule. Depending on which direction you are traveling, move your baby’s bedtime to a later or earlier time. This adjustment is best made by moving bedtime, nap time, and wake-up times by fifteen minutes a day.

Even if you aren’t in the same time zone, you need to be when you depart. Having your baby a few hours closer to the new time is better than starting from your original time zone.

Use Light & Darkness

The amount of sunlight you get helps regulate circadian rhythms. If you reach your destination during daylight hours, try to get outside as much as possible. The sunlight will help your baby feel more alert, even if it is getting close to their usual bedtime at home.

When you want to induce a feeling of sleepiness, start dimming lights and quiet things down in the two hours leading up to the start of your baby’s bedtime routine. You and your baby can play quietly or cuddle and read books during this time.

Allow lots of natural light in the morning to help your baby wake up and give their little body a signal that this is the new wake-up time and help continue resetting their internal clocks.

Be realistic with sleep expectations, and know that your baby may wake up multiple times in the middle of the night. In your groggy state, it is easy to hand your baby your phone or tablet so you can keep sleeping while they watch a movie, but try to resist.

The blue light that screens emit can cause further disruption to circadian rhythms and make your child’s adjustment period to a new time zone even longer.

Stay Hydrated & Eat Healthily

When traveling, it is easy to become dehydrated. Make sure that you and your baby are drinking enough water to stay hydrated. If your baby is starting to eat solids, add plenty of fruits and veggies. Try to avoid foods with processed sugar and foods that are too heavy.

Stick To Routines

You know how important your baby’s bedtime routine is. Keeping this bedtime routine as close to what you do at home gives your baby some stability even when they are in a new place. Just don’t forget your baby’s favorite blankie or their lovey.

Continue to run through their typical bedtime routine steps, and use the same products you use while at home. Bringing your baby’s Little Yawn Collective products can help you recreate the same snoozy atmosphere that is relaxing for your baby. One whiff of the cozy NaturalSnooze fragrance will transport your baby back to their snuggly bed.

Using the products in our SnoozeBundle will help your baby feel relaxed and ready to fall asleep blissfully. Cleanse your baby from tip to toe with our Soothing Shampoo and Body Wash with Calendula, then follow up with our Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat & Shea Butter before putting comfy jammies on your baby.

You may choose to top off your baby’s tummy with some milk to help them sleep a little longer, or get snuggled into bed and ready a story (or maybe both!). At this time, spritz our Relaxing Pillow and Linen Spray for a sleepy scent that will help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Be Flexible

You might already know that it is not ideal to have set-in-stone plans with a baby in the mix. Throw in a wonky sleep schedule due to jet lag, and you have a recipe for things going quite the opposite of how you want them to go.

You may have the most picture-perfect itinerary set, but when your baby is fussy and tired, those plans may have to be scrapped. Go into this trip with some flexibility added in. If you have plans that require tickets, like a museum or show, see if those tickets can be used during any time of the day. If your baby is feeling fussy, you can head back to your hotel or house and allow your baby to nap for a little bit before heading back out.

Conclusion

Traveling with your baby may seem intimidating, but you and your baby will be jet-setting around the world with the right preparations and mindset.

Your pals at Little Yawn Collective know that bedtime, whether you’re here or there, can be hard. Check us out and see how we can make bedtime a breeze no matter what time zone you are in.

Sources:

Jet Lag: Symptoms: Causes, and How to Cope | Sleep Foundation

Effects of Light on Circadian Rhythms | CDC

Blue light has a dark side | Harvard Health

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