Travel Tips: Time Zone Changes, Ear Pressure, First Flight Jitters
Remember the days of waking up 1.5 hours before your flight, slinging stuff in a bag, coasting through security and never breaking a sweat? Yeah, us either. Insert life, jobs, babies and wrinkles (we included this one because, well, wrinkles), and travelling is a whole new ballgame. While we can’t ensure your alarm clock goes off or whether that 11th pair of wedges is necessary, we can ease a few anxieties revolving around travel with those babes.
If this is the first flight for baby, yay! Once you do it, you’re a pro. All the scary stuff isn’t as scary as you imagined, or maybe it is, and soon you will have survived it all. Go you. PSA before we go any further: Babies cry. And babies cry on planes. You are not alone and no one is more stressed or bothered than you are. So relax!
One thing we’ve found new mommies worry about are baby’s ears. Typically, ears are not a problem unless baby is sick. Just as chewing gum or moving your jaw around can help you with your own ears, sucking can help babies having a hard time with ear pressure. Offer a paci, nurse or give a supplemental feeding to help make them comfortable.
We do find babies are typically best in the mornings, but as long as you book so that you’re getting them to nighttime sleep on time at your destination, you’re good. Do not expect baby to nap well on the plane. In fact, expect them to finallyyy shut their eyes on the descent only to be jarred awake by the landing 😉 Regardless, once you set aside the expectation that they will sleep on the plane, you’re halfway there. Focus on keeping them fed on time and let them nap when they can on travel days. As we mentioned above, as long as they’re in the crib or pack n’ play by bedtime and good sleep associations are established, they should be fine.
Speaking of good sleep associations, strong, healthy sleep associations are so helpful for travel. Mimic babies sleep environment from home and keep them on schedule, and they should sail through it. Travelling to a different time zone? We recommend keeping them on your home’s time zone unless you’re traveling for a week or more. For example, if you live in Texas but are travelling to Florida and you typically put baby down at 7:30pm, you will now put baby down at 8:30pm. If you are travelling for more than a week, on the first night at your destination, put baby to bed at Texas time bedtime. The next morning, wake baby at the new 7am and proceed on schedule adjusted to the destination’s time.
You will do great, and so will they. If you’re still stressed about baby crying on the plane, surf Pinterest for 5 minutes and behold 89 gift bag ideas for neighboring passengers!