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Tips to minimise baby jet lag when flying long haul

How do I avoid my toddler and kids getting jet lag after a long haul flight?

When we travel with our kids until recently we have accepted it as fact they will have pretty bad jet lag for a week when we get home. 

Until our last trip! Neither of them had jet lag at all!! 

I think it was a combination of things which I am for sure going to attempt to duplicate the next time we travel. 

Firstly the timing of your flight will be important.

  1. Fly at night your children normally sleep at night, so they will be tired and find it easier to sleep. Our bodies release the hormone melatonin which makes us sleepy when we’ve been in a dark environment for a few hours. 

    Planes are darkened for most of a nighttime flight when flying at night. Your body releases the hormone melatonin which helps you sleep when it is dark. The darkness of the plane should help your child to sleep for this reason. The plane will be quiet with less service, chatting etc going on so it will be a lot easier for your child to sleep. For our tried and tested tips on how to get your child to sleep on plane click here. 

  2. Don’t sleep during the day after you arrive. Apart from your child’s usual naps, keep them awake doing activities until it’s their normal bedtime in your new time zone. Take them out to the park, play in your garden, do some puzzles, or you could record memories of your trip together. I’ve created a travel journal which you may like to use to record your trip.
  3. Eat when you are hungry, and follow the time of the new time zone. Being hungry can lead to jet lag, so you will want to make sure you have snacks for the kids when you land and until you reach home.
  4. Stay hydrated. Make sure your kids drink plenty of water after arrival, as being on a plane can be very dehydrating.
  5. If you are traveling from somewhere with quite a few time zones difference it may be worth breaking up the trip. 

For a well-researched article on jet lag, you can read more here Jet lag disorder - Symptoms and causes

Read more tips for flying with kids Tips for the Travel Journey

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