My son, on the other hand has a whole different level of energy and his body clock is all over the shop. Only today has decided to sleep at 7.45pm, which means that I can get on with the chores, and get a little downtime from work.
I remember during the early months of Sid being around and the pain of fatigue that still plagues my mind to this day.
I have never experienced anything quite like it before or after.
But that said- after 2 weeks in Canada, my son must be feeling a lot worse that us. He can’t comprehend what’s happening to his body clock, mood or his eating.
My advice to parents travelling through time zones isn’t full of supporting evidence or backed by science, but it just my take on the deal.
- Drink plenty of water before your flight and during– no one likes a whiny parent least of all your kid and you’ll get really crabby if you’re not hydrated.
- Kids on plane– they should make a movie about it. It would be a number 1 hit. Sid was great but he got a cold the day we travelled and so he was winging the whole way but for 3 days he was really ill and not eating. Just keep fluids for the little one- and don’t forget the calpol or nurofen for the plane!
- If you book the front seats above the bulkhead– remember that the seat armrests don’t move up to turn the seats into a bench, which is a really useful thing for kids sleeping.
- If you have friends travelling with you – let them know they will be alternative baby sitters. This will really help you get rested before you handle the jet lag
- Set your clock half way to the time zone you’re travelling to before you take off. That will help you settle down and adjust. Remember- kids are greatly impacted by this more than adults.
- When you land, your phone might already adjust its time to the country you land in. Keep an analogue watch to your home time zone. That will help you understand your child’s pattern. It was 3pm when we landed in Toronto, but for my son it was 10am so snack time and due for nap time. He should have slept on the flight but didn’t so his clock was really messed.
- Keep inflatable pillows for the journey. They are invaluable for resting if you’re delayed at the airports etc.
- Look out for airport pushchairs for toddlers. Toronto airport had these brilliant push chairs called “Transat Limo’s”. Dubai had regular pushchairs, but places like gatwick didn’t have anything.
- Take a harness. We were gifted a little rucksack that had a harness on it and it came in handy when you need to put your child down!
Most of all- try and have fun. Kids like all parents know, are really sensitive to emotions of parents. When we stress, they get anxious. Smile lots and they will be fine.
My mantra with Sid is – laughter is the best medicine.