Schools Out For Summer
Schools out for summer and holidays are on the horizon for families everywhere. If you have been following our blog for a while you will know that we flew to America back in January with our just turned 1 year old and our 3 and a half year old. With the entertainment for the journey sorted for both with our specially made travel packs and the in-flight entertainment screens on board, I felt prepared for the journey, but the jet lag was brutal for myself and our little one. Our son adapted incredibly but our little girl was so confused by her body clock being turned on its head it took way longer to adjust and was a struggle for us both for quite a few days.
I wish I had chatted with the wonderful sleep therapist Emilie Caro before I flew so as to have been better equipped. So for any of you planning long haul trips I wanted to share her wisdom with you, that I'm sure, had I put into practice, would have helped us loads. Emilie uses a number of different gentle techniques to help little sleepers. She was trained by the Naturally Nurturing Sleep Clinic and she believes that gentle methods of improving children's sleep are the best for both children and their parents. As a mum to 3 boys under 10 she has had her own fair share of baby sleep experience, as well as consulting with many families in central London. You can read more about Emilie's sleep tips with her Q&A with Junior Magazine starting in a few weeks.
There is not much we parents discuss more than sleep - who's getting it, who's not, and what on earth can we do to improve it. So if like me you've barely cracked the sleep in your hometown and you're now going to change it all up for some sun, sea and sand, follow Emilie's tips, grab yourself a KeepEmQuiet travel pack for the journey and be prepared for even more patience being needed. Good luck and have amazing holidays wherever you may be off to!
Tips for under 3s:
1. As soon as you take off, set your watch to the new time zone. If you are flying East it's likely you will have to cut sleep and if you are flying West you should plan to add in an extra nap & meal.
2. Expect little ones to be a bit out of sorts for the first few days so try not to be tempted to let them have too much additional daytime sleep, as the adjustment process will take longer.
3. Daylight and fresh air are very important for sleep so try to ensure they get plenty of both during the trip.
Tips for over 3s:
Prepare yourself with extra toys and games for the first few days of the trip - too much screen time can negatively affect sleep so it's better if you can be prepared with fun activities, especially as you can expect your child to be more tired and crotchety than usual.
Try to offer meals you think your child will like during travel and at the start of the trip - it's key that children eat really well for sleep, which can be hard if they are jet lagged and don't feel like eating. Therefore try to offer the foods they like best to have a maximum chance of successful meals!
One other clever travel hack for kids is investing in a PlanePal sleep cushion for kids - it turns the empty space in front of their seat and the seat in front into an extended play area or bed! They really are a lifesaver if you are traveling long haul and need them to sleep to reduce the jetlag!