We love traveling with our toddler but one thing we do not like is dealing with toddler jet lag! But that is the price you pay for getting to have awesome adventures with your littles! In the guide we round up our best tactics and tips for surviving toddler jet lag!
Surviving Toddler Jet lag Tips and Tricks
1. MAKE THE JOURNEY AS COMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE
Nothing is worse than a tired small child in a small space. On the plane, we let our little one sleep as she wants. Make sure you make the journey as comfortable as you can for them. Ring ahead and see if you can get a bassinet for a little one and get any sleeping aids for older children that you think might help them.
The dream would be business class flights so everyone can have a bed. But that is not realistic for everyone.
A question we often get asked when talking about surviving toddler jet lag is whether it is best to do a day or night flight! In truth I don’t think the rule is universal so I would say do what you think is best for you and your family! Or pick the cheapest! Until the age of 2 for our little girl it was definitely best to go overnight but on her second birthday it was as if a switch was hit and suddenly night flights weren’t our best option!
2. ADJUST TO LOCAL TIME ON THE PLANE
Whenever I travel, I always set my watch to the local time when I get on the plane. Now while I don’t try to force my toddler to sleep when they don’t want to on a plane, let’s face it all you want to do is keep your toddler happy when flying but I always like to know where we are. I can then work out at what arrival time my toddler has napped on the plane and it helps me know roughly when she is likely to need to have a sleep when we land.
3. SPLURGE ON YOUR ARRIVAL ACCOMMODATION
We always find having somewhere nice to stay on your arrival, not having to panic about finding a place will definitely make your life easier.
4.EAT THE CORRECT MEALS AT THE CORRECT TIME OF DAY
Nothing gets the body use to local times like eating breakfast in the morning. Whether it is mental or physical – I don’t know but having the correct meal schedule helps your body readjust to the new timezone.
5. REMEMBER TO PACK LOTS OF SNACKS
Although it is important that you have the right meals at your right time, children may wake up hungry when dealing with jet lag and if there is one thing worse than a jet lagged toddler it is a hangry toddler! Keep lots of snacks in your room so you don’t have a middle of the night meltdown.
6. STICK TO YOUR BEDTIME ROUTINE
If you have a bedtime routine, do it. Children know their routines and it may help to prepare them to go bed when they might not be feeling tired. For us it is bath, story and lights out!
7. DARK ROOM
Nothing helps sleep more than a dark room. Make sure you get the room as dark as you can to get the kids into a relaxed, sleepy state.
And if you are traveling to a sunny place where sundown is late consider traveling with a portable black out blind like this one!
8. DAYLIGHT HELPS JET LAG
And if dark helps sleep, then the same is true for light during the daytime. Get out and into the sunshine as much as possible. Exercise and daylight will help the body readjust to its new time setting more quickly whether you are traveling east or west!
STILL WORRIED ABOUT JET LAG? WHY NOT SPLIT YOUR JOURNEY
Why not think about splitting your journey. If you are travelling a long distance, you could stop somewhere in the middle so it isn’t such an extreme time jump.