Infants and time difference

Old Mar 5, 20, 11:50 pm
  #1  
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Infants and time difference

Hi,
I'd like to ask experienced parents how to handle time difference when flying with infants. Do you have any specific advice (besides from the standard "Do not fly with kids!")?
Thanks in advance
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Old Mar 6, 20, 1:07 am
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Let's move this to the Travel with Children forum for the folks there to chime in. /JY1024, TravelBuzz moderator
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Old Mar 6, 20, 4:31 am
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Originally Posted by Seyan View Post
Hi,
I'd like to ask experienced parents how to handle time difference when flying with infants. Do you have any specific advice (besides from the standard "Do not fly with kids!")?
Thanks in advance
How young is the child, what is the common sleep pattern for the child at home, how big a time difference from the time zone departed is going to be faced, and for how long will the child be remaining in that different time zone?

Using natural daylight exposure outside at the destination to be the internal clock re-setter is something that works for some. Given the ability of infants to sleep just about anywhere whenever they want, they may actually have an easier time to adjust than older children and adults.
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Old Mar 6, 20, 4:52 am
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Having travelled extensively transatlantic with my kids from age 2 months onwards: we don't change any habits before, and when flying west we expose them to daylight as long as possible and try to keep them awake as long as possible towards the new time, and after 2/3 days they're perfectly adjusted. Advantage: you're woken up early and can have a great day of visit. Travelling east, we try to get them to sleep a bit on the plane at night, and again use daylight to adjust as quickly as possible to the new time, and wake them up normally even if they don't need to go to school.
Keywords: daylight and adjust immediately.
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Old Mar 6, 20, 8:40 am
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Trying to change young kids' habits for a major time zone differences in advance of a trip is usually recipe for trouble. They seem to usually adjust better with natural daylight exposure and adjusting at destination over a day or two.
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Old Mar 6, 20, 11:08 am
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Found out through experience that the longer our journey from West to East (London to Tokyo) the quicker my kid adjusted to the new time zone. Once I realised this I really embraced longer transits. Travelling in the opposite direction is different, quicker the better.
I used to feel that we were “losing” a week as our first days in Tokyo at granddad’s house were such a challenge. The adjustment period feels negligible now that I build in a 10-12 Hour stopover. If your child is/children are under 7, Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport took me by surprise as it has some quite amazing facilities (including a completely free “hostel” for kids and babies, they get a bed, the adult gets an enormous soft armchair - and it’s properly “policed” so lovely and quiet)


SVO - Bed and pillow have disposable covers - place was warm so kid refused sheets
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Last edited by LapLap; Mar 8, 20 at 3:16 am
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Old Mar 9, 20, 1:50 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
How young is the child, what is the common sleep pattern for the child at home, how big a time difference from the time zone departed is going to be faced, and for how long will the child be remaining in that different time zone?
At the time of the trip (in december), the boy will be ~17months old. Currently, he's sleep pattern is "11:00-11:30, 14:30-16:00, 19:00-05:30 (with half an hours pause for feeding), 06:30-08:00".
We will be travelling from Germany to Japan (in winter, that's 8 hours time difference) for 12 days.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 8:41 am
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We travel between London and Tokyo every year, and that LHR-SVO-NRT journey was particularly successful for us (I journeyed alone with the kid).
Left LHR at 22:45 - I had a fold up buggy which I took onboard. It was a 4 hour flight that landed about 5am - I plopped her in the buggy and went straight to the children’s centre where she was given a bed and me my armchair. She woke up a few hours later and had a lovely time playing in the crèches at the airport. Our onward flight was at 7pm and we arrived at NRT at about 11am. For the rest of the day I let her do what she wanted, go to sleep when she wanted, and the next day she woke up a bit early but absolutely adjusted to the new time zone.

It isn’t easy on you as the child wrangler on this trip, you may prefer a shorter, easier journey and “pay” at the destination. I personally find the “time payment” is less costly if it’s done during the route. Everyone is different, every child is different.
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Old Mar 11, 20, 10:58 am
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Just did Canada to the Subcontinent with a 11 month old.. Took a night flight from Canada to Europe and night flight again from Europe to India, Jet lag was almost gone in a day because he slept through both the flights. Longer transits is key.
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