With disrupted sleep and feeding schedules, traveling with your baby can be challenging enough all on its own. Now, add in traveling to different time zones and the process becomes even more stressful!
Traveling for short trips
Traveling brings on many stress factors that we can’t control. So, I always recommend keeping things as simple as possible when traveling with your baby. If you are only traveling for a short period of time, I always recommend keeping your baby on your normal time zone. It’s extremely stressful and can be very confusing to change time zones. Why complicate things when you don’t have to?
Traveling to time zones ahead of you in time
The easiest situation is traveling to a time zone that is ahead of your normal time. You will put your baby to bed at their normal time. This will allow you to stay out later at night so you can enjoy your trip. And, it will allow you to sleep in per the time where you are visiting.
Visiting time zones behind you in time
If you are traveling somewhere that the time is behind your normal time, you could just add a small catnap in to help them get to their bedtime where you are visiting. An example of this would be if you are traveling to Hawaii from Arizona and it’s 3 hours behind ( 7pm AZ time would be 4pm Hawaii time). Instead of putting your baby to bed at 4 o’clock in the afternoon Hawaii’s time, you would put them to bed at 4 pm (7 pm AZ time) for a 30 minute catnap. Wake them at 4:30pm (Hawaii time) and then get them to bed at 6:30-7:00pm (9:30-10:00 AZ time). The catnap will need to be adjusted some per your baby’s age. Just make sure that you don’t let your baby sleep too long for the catnap. And, make certain that you give your baby a decent window of awake time before they go down to bed for the night.
Cross country travel with your baby
If you are traveling across the country, you will need to get your baby on the new time zone right away. The best way to do this is to get your baby to stay awake during the day in the new place. Use the sunlight to your advantage and try for awake time as best you can! The baby can go to bed late afternoon where you are, and let them sleep in no later than their normal morning wake time where you came from. Your baby will likely be extremely tired and very cranky. But, just work through it the best when you can. Your baby will likely sleep very well at night until the transition is fully made.
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