I could blame the supermoon, but really the reason we haven’t slept well the last 4 nights has more to do with transplanting our almost 14-mo old13 timezones to the other side of the planet.  The flight over was painful enough: 24 hours where Tim and I slept not a wink and Miles head and toes touched both ends of the bassinet where he slept fitfully in 40 minute increments, flights bookeneded by screaming fits from 5 minutes to 2 hours (!).  Compounded with my anxiety-induced insomnia that had me working on 4-5 hour nights the week before the trip, and a cold/allergies which greeted me upon Austin touchdown, we were not quite up for it: baby jetlag.

I spent most of my online time these last few days researching baby jetlag .  Basically, Tim and I just took turns and dealt with it, and were thankful when he slept until the later hours of the morning.  However, I did find these tips helpful:

  • Keep baby’s schedule on the flight – offer food at mealtimes (real food, not just an endless supply of goldfish and animal crackers), sleep at nap/bed-time and play at playtimes.
  • Make sure baby stays hydrated.  I did this by spiking water with apple juice; Miles will keep slurping it down if its sweet.
  • Try not to arrive at night.  I think this was our downfall.  A day in the sun would have worked wonders for our state.  Instead, we arrived at the house at 8pm and struggled all night to find sleep.
  • Once on the ground, get into the routine, even if it will be interrupted.  At bedtime, go through bath, stories, walk, songs.  As on the plane, offer food/play/sleep at the appropriate times, based on the schedule for the new timezone.
  • During the day, get out into the sun and start working  on those upside-down circadian rhythms.  Mid-day and dusk exposure are the most important.
  • Along the same lines, keep it light during the day and dark at night.  Avoid TV and computer exposure at night, even when it seems most convenient when the whole family is up at 3am.
  • Little bellies take the longest to adjust.  The first 2 nights, if baby wakes up hungry, feed him a light snack in the dark (cheese & crackers for us).  After that, offer milk at night wake-ups for a few nights until the belly is on track.
  • Don’t get caught up with completely recreating your home routine – if it suits the family to have baby stay up later so family visits and dinners are possible, this is a golden opportunity to shift a little.  For instance, Miles goes to bed at 7pm in Penang, but we are shooting for 8:30 while on this home leave.
  • Be patient.  Babies can’t drink coffee and wine to induce wake and sleep, you can.

Last night, on the fourth night, Miles slept 10 hours through, just as he would have at home.  I am so thankful for that.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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