We all know that jet lag sucks.  What sucks even more is dealing with kids who are jet lagged.  Tired, cranky, and all around difficult kids can be a bummer on vacation (and again once you are home). There are some ways however, to ease the effects of jet lag on your kids.

First, the week before yo leave try to adjust your child’s bed time closer to the time zone of your vacation spot. We often travel from the south to California, it’s a two hour difference.  Those two hours don’t affect me much, but my two year old feels differently.  Normally my kids go to bed at 7.  Therefore, the week before we leave I try to subtly inch bed time to seven California time.  I do the same thing with our eating schedule as well.

Once you arrive it’s important to get on the proper time line as soon as you can.  Jump in and stick with it. Of course if you have an infant, this may not work, but kids over twelve months will adapt.  Spending time outside, or where the kids can really see the sun can help get their bodies to notice the change.  So if you can, spend a day or so outside when you first arrive.

If you aren’t going on a very long trip, it’s also an option just to keep your kids on their regular schedule.  When I visit my parents in Pennsylvania this is often our way to go.  The time change there is only one hour.  Our bedtime of 7 at home is eight in Pennsylvania.  No big deal, we just let the kids stay up.  To make things easier, always continue with your normal bedtime routines, and don’t forget any special blankets or toys that your kids normally sleep with.

You’ll find that you’re kids will be adjusted to the new time zone faster than you!


-Stephanie Wright

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