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Travel Trouble

This Week’s Question for Batya:

Hi Batya,
We are flying from Israel to NY on Thursday and I would love some tips to help make the jet-lag and transition into time zones a bit easier. We are leaving Israel at 10am, stopping in London from 1-5 (i think that is in London time?? does that make sense) and then arriving to NY at 8pm. I am nervous my baby will fall asleep for the night during the second wing of the trip and then not be able to sleep when we arrive in NY and through off the entire week…. (ah!)
Any pointers or advice would be very helpful!!
Thank you,

-Sari, Israel

Hi Sari,

Unfortunately there is no magic formula for preventing jet lag.  Just as it’s difficult for you adjust to a new time zone, it’s hard for your baby as well!  Therefore, I recommend doing the following:

1) De-stress while “in-air” – Don’t spend the entire plane ride being upset that your baby is not napping or sleeping well…she is thrown off just as much as you are!  Let her sleep or be awake during your plane rides/stopovers when she wants because it’s nearly impossible to keep a baby on a schedule when things are that out of whack and crazy.

2) Adjust – Allow her a good 3-4 days to adjust to the new time zone, even if that means she’s sleeping at all the wrong times!  In order to help her get used to being in America, you have to first ensure that YOU are adjusted enough to help her (you know what they say on an airplane: put your own oxygen mask on first!).

3) Get her back on – After a few days, begin waking her up earlier than she wants to.  If, for example, she is waking up at 1 pm for the “morning”, start waking her up at 11 am.  Then after another few days, push it to 10 am, etc.  There’s no need to have her wake as early as 6-7 because things will just be uprooted when you return, but at least try to help her differentiate between night and day.

4) Hello Routine! – As you see she is waking easier, start implementing the same routine you do at home, but with different timing.  Keep the same structure, however. (so if she usually wakes up at 7 am for the day and takes a nap at 9 am, have her wake up at 9 am and take a nap at 11 am…)

I’m not sure how long you’ll be there for, but do try to stay as consistent as possible to help ease her transition and fall into a sleep routine.

Good luck and have a safe trip!

One Response to Travel Trouble

  • My advice – even though I’m not a sleep coach, just an experienced mom.

    Don’t fly until your kids are 7!

    Took both kids (under 2yrs ) 3 weeks to get back on schedule when we got back to Israel after flying to NY and Canada.

    Hope you have a better experience!

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