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Jet Lag and 12 hour time change

  1. #1
    nino is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Happy Valley

    Jet Lag and 12 hour time change

    I was wondering if anyone has tried to work their toddler into a new schedule before leaving HK in order to ease them into a different country's time zone.
    We're flying back to Canada and will be faced with a 12 hour time change at a somewhat hectic time (wedding, family, etc). I'm not hoping to avoid jet lag altogether (if only!) but to maybe get over half using the 1 day for every hour of jet lag equation.
    My plan was to move the entire schedule back by an hour each day (bedtime, naps, wakings, meals, activities, etc) for about 6 days (or maybe a half hour each day over 2 weeks).
    This plan seems to work on paper, but I'm sure the reality will be much different! Anyone try it or have any other suggestions/advice?
    The biggest downside to this plan is that the 15 hour flight actually works better using our normal schedule (she'd sleep, hopefully, most of the flight). Last time I flew with her it wasn't so bad, but she wasn't walking - perhaps a comfortable flight outweighs the lessening of jet lag?


  2. #2
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Tsuen Wan

    I`d go comfortable flight, if it were me. It also sounds like a lot of effort to put her on a schedule like that before you leave, and an hour a day is huge for them. Books I have read where they talk about changing baby`s sleep schedules say to do it in 15 min increments.
    That`s the only good thing about flying back there - the time schedule.(though that didn`t help us out much when we flew back to Toronto when my boy was a wee baby:|)

  3. #3
    Sleuth is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Fo Tan

    When our kids make that trip, the jet lag is not an issue after a week or so anyway. And it gradually gets better; not like they operate in the HK time zone and then wake up one day in the NA time zone.
    So you might be able to do nothing here and still get away with only 6 days of jet lag.

  4. #4
    dhirsh is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Hong Kong

    It took my son also about a week to adjust to the time. It was a tough couple of days, but it gradually got better. Everything I read said to put them on the new schedule when we got there. What time do you get to Canada? It was always a little better if I got in late afternoon/early evening as oppose to in the morning.

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    listen... you are right... your plan looks good on paper. in reality though, we each have our circadian clock... your child WILL NOT want to eat dinner at 12nn and go to bed for the "night" at matter how you try it.

    go for the comfortable flight... grin and bear the subsequent jetlag. it WILL happen. there is no way around it. we just went with the flow. when they wake up at 2am and want to play, i let them play in bed for a couple of hours before insisting on a "quiet time" and hopefully a nap. the next night, they woke at 3am, the following night at 3:30am etc.

    good luck!

    ps> i'm from canada, too... but for me, it's a 14 hour change to cope with!

  6. #6
    0ze_Kid's Avatar
    0ze_Kid is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    DB, Hong Kong

    Our bodies have a natural clock which is very difficult to adjust! I have been trying to adjust DD's 5.30-6.30am wakes since she was born and no amount of planning, moving things this way or that by 15 minutes etc has worked. She is just an early riser.

    12 hours is a big change and I think you may be able to adjust by a couple of hours but I think your best bet is to have a comfortable flight and then have family and friends support you when you arrive.

    Good luck with it.

  7. #7
    TNT is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Hong Kong

    As others have said, don't bother trying to change beforehand as it is highly unlikely to be even somewhat sucessful and maximising the comfort of the flight is better for all of you. Plus it is much easier to adjust their timeclock when day/night are actually different if you know what i mean. Also the older they get the harder it is - last time I did a big time change (12 hours) my 3 year old was the one that took the longest to adjust, the 4 month old who slept much more during the day anyway was pretty easy. When i go in a few weeks the baby is now 14 months so will be harder I think!! Good luck with your trip

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