Jet lag and babies

Well, I wish I had the secret to ensuring a smooth transition from one continent to another with as little jet lag as possible. All I can do for now is share our experience and give you a couple of tips that I read about and tried.

Flying East to West

The most difficult part about this is that the flights leave in the morning, so you will be up with your baby most of the flight, with the exception of when he or she would take naps. This means toys and entertainment are your friends. Additionally, don’t plan to get much sleep on the flight or plan to see the latest films. You will be occupied with your little one.

The good news is that jet lag seemed to be easier to handle. The first few days our daughter wanted to go to bed very early, which is no surprise considering she goes to bed at 7pm Budapest time. So, we’d have to wake her up into her afternoon nap, which she considered nighttime sleep, so that she’d be able to sleep at night. She then went to bed for the night as early as 5:30pm. We tried to push it back each day. She was quite cranky during this transition, but thankfully it only lasted a few days. Additionally, I should note that she usually woke up around 6am. Not too bad!

Flying West to East

The great news about flying west to east is that the flights usually leave in the afternoon or evening, so the baby will sleep a lot. Our daughter slept 7 straight hours of the 9.5 hour flight. I actually was able to get some rest! Additionally, she slept a lot on our layover and the entire second leg of the trip!

Traveling with a sleepy baby. Thank goodness for our Ergo!

The bad news are the days following, with the exception of the first few days. The first two days she slept amazingly well. She seemed exhausted from our travels. However, once she caught up on her rest she was a bit difficult. We had to put her to bed late because she wasn’t tired, and then try to get up early to get on a normal schedule. Therefore, both baby and mommy were pretty cranky. It’s been a week, and we’re almost back to a normal schedule.

Some tips:

Try to get the baby adjusted to the time zone you are in as quickly as possible. Yes, this means often waking a sleeping baby or trying to an awake baby sleepy. Go outside during the day while it’s sunny, and spray lavender oil in the room at night as it will aid in restful sleep. If my daughter wakes early in the morning, I let her play in her bed. She’s happy to be in there, and then that way I’m sending her the message that it’s not time to play. After a few days she was pretty well adjusted.

About Melissa

Melissa is a wife, mama and fan of all things Turkey. Among other adventures, Melissa loves living life in Turkey while raising her daughters. On IstanbulMoms you can hear about her adventures and escapades, tips for success, strategies for untangling the culture, and ideas for enjoying life in Istanbul to the fullest.

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