Surviving Serious Jetlag

[cs_content][cs_section parallax="false" style="margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][cs_text]Each time we travel with our toddler from France back to the U.S., I bitch and moan for weeks about the long flight + jet lag. Inevitably, I’ll complaining to one of my Kiwi or Aussie friends, who will roll her eyes and give me a look that says, you need to stop. Right now. You don’t understand the meaning of real jet lag.Crossing six times zones is annoying, but flying to the opposite side of the world is serious stuff. I have nothing but respect for these mamas who dutifully make the trip one or more times per year. Mad props to you all.I reached out to my fabulous Kiwi friend, Rebecca, about her top tips to survive jet lag on a loooong-haul trip. Here’s what she has to say: Be in it to win it. Usually it takes 1 day per time zone crossed to fully adjust to the new time zone. (For example, If you cross 14 time zones, you’re looking at 2 weeks of craziness). In her experience, things start to improve greatly after a week but be sure to factor this in when deciding a) how long your trip will be and b) how you plan your itinerary.Fighting jet lag starts on the plane. Whenever possible, prioritize the best itineraries for your child’s sleep. Rebecca finds it easier to arrive at your destination during the day so that you have time to settle in, take a short nap and spend some time outdoors. She also tries to schedule the longest flight overnight so it’s more likely her daughter will sleep.Stay on your home time while in transit. Do your best to keep your child’s normal routine (eating, sleeping) on the plane(s). Don’t worry about trying to adjust to the new time before you’ve arrived--that strategy is more for 1 or 2 time zones crossed.But as soon as you arrive, try to move quickly to local time. Get outside as much as possible to expose your child to sunlight, which helps to reset the circadian rhythm. Conversely, ensure her sleeping environment is super dark overnight and for naps.Whenever possible, have help when you arrive. Rebecca always tries to schedule her arrival date when she knows her parents will be able to help out (e.g., arriving on a weekend versus a weekday). She then kindly asks them to assist for early mornings/overnight so she herself can catch up on sleep.Relax for a bit.... Don’t overschedule yourselves the first few days. Rather, allow some time to get up to speed and adjust to the new routine without undue external pressures....But then take control.The first few days, Rebecca allows her daughter to sleep and eat when she wants, knowing that she’ll eventually adjust. But after the first two days, she begins to control her daytime sleep (e.g., no monster naps during the day) and trying to ensure her meal times are aligned with local time.Consider your health. Long flights and jet lag are taxing on the body, so consider boosting your immunity in advance of the trip. Rebecca recommends vitamin C and echinacea for adults and an age-appropriate vitamin for the littles. Be sure to hydrate before, during and after the flight! Bonus tip: pack your own healthy food for the flight so you don’t unduly tax your immune systems with the standard unhealthy airplane fare.Be patient. There will come a point when you think your child will never adjust, but then she will. It’ll happen. It always does.Thanks for the tips, Rebecca![/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

Adult, Baby, ToddlerHadley Seward