As excited as I was to go to the States for Christmas to see my family and introduce Freddy, I was not looking forward to dealing with a jetlagged baby. I read a few blog post and articles about how to approach jetlag and what to expect – my favourite was the woman whose baby was just fine after THREE DAYS. I kept my expectations low, which was the right thing to do.
We were on the East Coast of the States, which is a 5 hour time difference. Freddy, at home in the UK, usually wakes around 5:30am for his first feed and then goes to bed at 6:30pm. It’s an early start for us, but his early bedtime means we have the whole evening to ourselves and he sleeps through the night (sorry, I know I’m not supposed to admit that).
So, I expected Freddy to want to go to bed just after lunch in the States, and to wake up just after midnight. It didn’t quite go that way. The excitement of travel and new surroundings kept him awake a bit longer than I expected, and while he did wake in the middle of the night, he seemed to be ok sleeping a bit longer. But, we still had 3am wake-ups for the first few days. He was generally able to stay awake through the afternoon, but just couldn’t stay awake beyond 4:30pm. Once we got to Florida, after about five days up North, he was going to bed at 6:00pm again, but he was still waking around 3:00am for a bottle. That lasted the rest of the trip, about 10 days.
We’ve been home nearly a week and it’s really slow going. Freddy will not go to bed any earlier than 10:00pm, and that’s with a lot of soothing, making the room peaceful, or just straight up trying to tire him out with crazy games. The latter seems to work best! We’re making incremental progress, and he seems to be sleeping a little bit earlier every night. He’s waking up around 7:30am for his first feed, but would happily then sleep in until 10:00am if I let him. Which I did today, whoops! Mama was tired.
From my experience so far, going from the UK to the US in terms of managing jetlag is much easier than the reverse. Freddy is far easier to keep awake than he is getting to sleep.
Don’t even get me started on napping and meal times.