Here are the most common pitfalls to avoid while traveling to a different time zone.
1. Make sure to check what time it will be in your city of origin when you land at your destination. For example, if you take off in the central time zone at 10AM and you have a 3 hour flight to the East coast, you will land at 2pm EST (1pm CST). If your baby normally naps at 2 pm CST, then you will need to have him/her nap at 3pm EST. Plan to have a car nap if you have a long drive or a crib nap at your destination if you are close to the airport. You could also do a carrier nap upon arrival at 3pm EST.
2. The second pitfall we see when traveling to a new time zone, is not having a consistent wake up time each day while traveling. This can confuse your baby, especially if they have a clear routine at home. There are two ways you can handle the time change. You could wake baby at their normal daily wake time in the new time zone the following morning. If your baby wakes at 7AM CST and you’re traveling to EST, you will wake them up by 7AM EST the next day (6AM CST) and follow their usual routine. The second option is to keep them on CST time. You would wake baby up at 8AM EST for the day (7AM CST...the normal wake time), and keep their usually routine.
3. The third pitfall to avoid while changing time zones is allowing baby to take short cat nap throughout the day after a long night/day of traveling. Try to keep long naps happening even while you are on the go. Complete the naps in the stroller or ergo to get extra sleep in if baby is not falling asleep easily in a new pack n play or crib at grandmas. Show lots of grace to your baby as well as yourself when you’re traveling to a new time zone. It usually take one day per hour of time zone you’ve changed to adjust to the new rhythm.