How to help with a 6 hour time change.

20th Dec 2015

At this time of year, everyone is traveling somewhere for the Christmas and New Year period. This year we travelled to the United Kingdom for a 2 week break with my family. For us, this is a time difference of 6 hours. Coupled with 2 separate flights and a travel time of 24 hours, it was tough.

We had to adjust our son to a new time zone plus getting rest ourselves. Below are some personal tips that I have found to be a great help to us.

Tip 1: Night Flights – If you can, book a night flight if you are going on a 6+ hour flight. I have found that our son does tend to sleep much better as the lights are low and the noise of the aircraft helps drown out any noise. This way he will be getting some sleep. Do not worry how they fall asleep – Rocking, in a carrier or being bounced, just get through this part any way you can.

Tip 2: Daytime schedule – The morning we arrived in the UK, we did our best to keep him on his ‘normal’ schedule. If your baby has 2 naps per day, then keep them on 2 naps. Try not to let them catnap, and keep their nap time routine the same. Introduce them to the new place where they will be sleeping. Let them play in the room to see it’s a safe environment to be.

Tip 3: Sound Machines – Our son has never needed a sound machine to help him sleep. But, the houses over here are a lot smaller and noises are easier to hear. So for this 2 week vacation we got the Marpac white noise machine to drown out those strange noises. Don’t worry, this is not something that will cause problems for their sleep once they get home.

Tip 3: Nighttime – Try to keep your nighttime routine as consistent as possible. You will have a few upset nights where wake-ups are common and your baby takes longer to settle at night. My advice for this is to keep night wakings the same at your vacation location as you would in your own home. Don’t worry about neighbors etc, you just need to prevent your baby from becoming overtired.

Tip 4: Just get through it – It is tough to take your baby half way across the world, but you will have a lot of family to help you out and maybe you and your partner can sneak away for a weekend break while the grandparents tend to your baby. All you need to keep in your mind is, this is not permanent and it will come to an end.

 

Having a child that can take his sleeping skills all over the world is a huge benefit. They are very quick at adapting to new sleeping environments and end up being able to sleep better with less help from you. Thus, giving you a real vacation in the process.

 

Happy holidays and safe travels this christmas period..

Sleep Well.