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Jet lag on a 21-month-old can be painful. Ugh. We are 6 days into our trip and while we slept most of the way over on the plane, and then got on the time schedule rather quickly, WE are not a 21-month old. While the 21-month-old may seem fine, going to bed on time and waking up 8-10 hours later, that doesn’t mean he is fine. Our son just had one of the most obnoxious nights at dinner ever. We thought last night was bad, but tonight surpassed it; he refused to sit in his high chair, screamed at the top of his lungs for attention, threw his metal toy car across the table and hit the glasses, and finished it off by shoving his fingers down his throat and vomiting everywhere. To put it frankly, well, this was a night from hell.

I can’t even begin to tell you the frustration I felt; he’s not old enough to get a swat and understand what it means, and timeouts don’t really work when you are in a restaurant and are unable to let him cry without disrupting the other customers’ nights. If that wasn’t enough, we ended up ready to pull our hair out upon returning to our B&B and having him scream nonstop for 25 minutes, refusing to go to sleep. We were at our wit’s end.

So what do you do? I don’t have a solid answer accept to be patient and realize that they have been thrown off schedule and need time to adjust. We, as adults, don’t often recognize jet lag in ourselves even though we feel fine; we can be grumpy and snap at others. Kids and toddlers can be just as cranky, but they have no way to show it except to be obnoxious and unbearable. You’ll recognize it instantly in your kids, as there’ll be a drastic switch in mood or personality. For us, our toddler was not listening to anything or anyone. He flat out was doing things that weren’t normal for him and left us embarrassed to be sitting in the restaurant.

But don’t let their temporary mood affect you to the point where you are doing anything drastic. Stop, breathe, refocus, and remember that they are completely off their normal routine and sleeping pattern and are jet lagged. Their little bodies need time to catch up and adjust to all of the changes. Remember that it isn’t their fault; you’ve placed them in this situation and they may need a few more days to get used to their new schedule than you do.

For our little boy, it’s been 6 days with a new schedule, jet lag, traveling from hotel to hotel, sleeping in different beds/cribs, many adventures stuck in a car seat while we travel between towns, and being left alone with Daddy for 7 hours straight, 3 days in a row while Mommy goes to work. It’s a lot for a little one to take in, especially in such a short amount of time when they are not used to so many changes in one day, let alone every day.  You have to give them time to adjust, plus expect them to be tired like any toddler or kid would be. Until they are thrown into this situation a few times, they will need time to understand what is happening first. If possible, sit down with them and discuss what is about to occur and the possible effects of traveling. When you find yourself in those moments of tantrums, you can then stop and explain, help them understand why they are feeling the way they do. For little ones, like our 21-month-old, that isn’t so easy. They don’t know why they are acting the way they are, they don’t recognize that they are tired. They just know they can’t control everything they are feeling and need to publicize it however they can.  It’s their way of communicating to you that they are done for the day.

What can you do? Look at the situation and try to adjust to it for everyone’s sake. If you can see a pattern try to head it off before the tantrums begin. For us, these meltdowns tend to happen around 6:30 pm each night. What we need to do is to head to dinner an hour sooner. That way, dinner is ending on or about the time he begins to lose it. We can then get back to our room and let him go nuts to get out his frustration. If possible, he benefits from being allowed to run around and play for 30-60 minutes before bedtime to help wind down.

For other ages, step back and take a good look at what is happening; see if you can’t find a way for them to vent their frustrations and blow off some steam when they seem to reach their breaking points. Jet lag isn’t fun and with kids it can be a nightmare. Having a plan and recognizing that it isn’t their fault, that they aren’t doing this on purpose, will help keep your sanity, as well as prevent the vacation from exploding into the dreaded trip from hell.

Always remember to stop, breathe, refocus, and adjust accordingly to meet their needs.

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  1. Kylie Batt

    Это просто отличная фраза…

    Jet lag on a 21-month old can be painful. Ugh…..

    April 11, 20104:53 pm
  2. nick

    blutwurst@silhouette.bey” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx….

    July 30, 20147:28 pm

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