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💡 Maintaining your child's schedule while traveling

Good morning. Happy National Milk Day. If you didn’t know, the small country of New Zealand is the largest net exporter of milk in the world.

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Better sleep at home or on the go

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Daily Inspiration

“Parenthood…it’s about guiding the next generation and forgiving the last.” - Peter Krause

STRATEGY

Maintaining your child's schedule while traveling

Travel is a time of adventure, exploration, and, inevitably, disruption of routines. As a parent, you might wonder how to balance the exciting chaos with the need to maintain your child's routine.

The answer lies in being both deliberate and flexible, focusing on the key aspects of your child's schedule, especially sleep, while allowing for spontaneous fun.

Why a routine matters

Routines provide a sense of security and predictability for children. While traveling, routines are often upended, which can lead to behavioral and mood changes in children​​​​. Maintaining some degree of routine, particularly around sleep and eating schedules, can make a big difference.

Sleep: the non-negotiable

The one thing that should be kept as consistent as possible is their sleep schedule. Adequate sleep is crucial not just for their development, but also their emotional regulation​​​​​​.

While it might be tempting to let bedtime slide while traveling, it can come at a high cost. Aim to keep bedtimes and wake-up times within an hour of their regular schedule, even if that means adjusting to a different local timezone.

Flexibility in daytime activities

While sleep should remain relatively stable, there is room for flexibility in daytime activities. Traveling is for making memories, and it's okay to relax routines a bit.

Whether it's allowing some extra screen time on the plane or indulging in extra dessert, these deviations can help make the experience special​​​​.

Balancing diet and exercise

Some flexibility shouldn’t mean totally abandoning their normal lifestyle, however. Going to an all candy and iPad diet will not lead to good places. Incorporate some protein with meals and snacks to offset a sugar rush​​.

And, ensure that your children are getting some physical activity. That’ll help regulate energy and emotions.

Action items

Get on the same page: Discuss your travel plan with your partner and children. Have a sense of what you’ll flex on and what you’ll try to keep consistent. Set expectations.

Know the time (zone): If you’re crossing timezones, know what kind of an offset you’re dealing with. You might have to adjust over the course of a few days to get back on to “the same sleep schedule.”

Embrace the adventure: Thing will go wrong. Planes will get delayed, tires will go flat, and hours of operation will change. With a good sense of humor, these can be good memories anyway.

YOUR OPINION

How old was your youngest when you first stayed away from home?

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POLL RESULTS FROM LAST ISSUE

How often do you typically take your child’s temperature?

  • Once a day. (18%)

  • Once a week. (42%)

  • Once every few weeks. (15%)

  • Less than once every few weeks. (25%)

Featured response

It’s certainly a lot more in the winter!

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RECS

 A careful eye: Flight attendants are being trained to spot signs of child trafficking the sky.

 Dial it down: How to deal with information overload when it comes to parenting advice.

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