Dear Diary: How to Get Over Post Summer Jet Lag With Kids!

For the entire school year, I anxiously await for summer to approach so the kids and I can escape the Dubai heat and enjoy family time either in Austria or Canada. This year it was Canada.

As I begin to pack for our trip I get nervous of how I will cope alone on a 12 + hour flight with two kids. Then I remember, to just take it hour by hour. No matter if you are doing a 4, 8 or 12 hour flight check out my link {here}. The flight comes and goes and we arrive safely in Canada. Then panic hits…how will I manage with the kids getting up in the middle of the night, totally confused with the time change? Thankfully I have family to help with the early mornings and let me get a bit of an extra snooze! My general rule when flying over to Canada, is to let the kids nap whenever they want on the flight. If I am lucky they will both nap mid flight for 2 hours. Then once we land in Canada it’s close to 4pm. I try not to let them sleep in the car and keep them awake until at least 6pm, followed by a nice warm bath and bed. This summer I was lucky, and they slept until the following morning (a full 12 hours)! Other years I was not that lucky! The key is to push them to stay awake until your usual bedtime back home (ie. 6pm in Dubai = 6pm Canada time) and follow up with your typical bedtime routines (bath, reading a book etc). The kids both adapted super well to the time change (considering it is an 8 hour difference to Dubai). It was like we never left!

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We enjoyed two months of summer holidays with my parents. We experienced the good, the bad and the ugly! Kids will be kids! I couldn’t help to think the whole two months I was there how things would pan out once we got to Dubai. I remember last summer, the kids would be up at 2am until 6am and then would want to sleep all day. It was BRUTAL. It was two weeks of hell. I was dreading the flight home! I tried to stay strong! I had no choice! No one to help me once I arrived back in UAE. No one to watch the kids while I tried to catch up on my lost zzz’s from the flight over.

As the flight back to Dubai was a night flight, it was a breeze. The kids fell asleep pretty much on take off and slept 10 hours of the journey. Upon landing in Dubai the kids were SO excited to get home and play with all of their old toys, but especially to see their dog Chico. They stayed awake the car journey from the airport to our home. We then kept them busy by unpacking…SEVEN suitcases! It was a good distraction for them!

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Let me quickly dabble on the unpacking part. Save yourself the stress and headache by throwing everything into piles. I had 7 piles. One for food, toys, craft room supplies, my clothes, husband’s clothes, Ruby’s clothes & Nate’s clothes. Each day I put away ONE pile. It can be overwhelming, but do it slowly. And while I take care of each pile, I also purge a room and get rid of things we no longer need for charity. It feels good to clear out and make space!

Alright back to dealing with post-summer jet lag! So we kept the kids up until at least 10pm Dubai time (that ended up being their summer bedtime in Canada as the sun didn’t go down until really late). At that point they were feeling a bit sleepy. They had a nice bath and changed into their pajamas. I may totally get hate mail by writing this but I seriously do not care. I could not even phantom the idea of 2 weeks of brutal jet lag ie. last summer! So…I gave Ruby half a tablet of gravol, and Nate a quarter tablet of Gravol 30 mins before going to bed. Let me tell you folks, it worked like a charm! The kids slept until 6am the next day! How amazing! Sunday afternoon they had a 2 hour nap and that was it. They were BACK on track! Magic!

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I know this is not the typical situation for everyone. But my advice is to try to keep them on the same time schedule you had them on pre-summer vacay.

All the best Mom’s (and Dad’s) getting the kids settled! We have just under two weeks until school starts for both Ruby & Nate. Just enough time to get them adjusted to waking up at 6am. Currently they are sleeping in until 8-9am (14 hours in bed)!!!! Either I am super lucky, or that one night dosage of gravol did the trick!

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