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Early riser and slightly different time zone


13 replies to this topic

#1 newbub2014

Posted 06 September 2019 - 06:21 AM

My 5 year old DS is a pretty early riser, he usually wakes between 5-5:30. Occasionally he will ‘sleep in’ until 6am. That part is fine, I’m used to it, and if he goes to bed later he just wakes earlier so I have him asleep by 6:30pm most nights so he can get enough sleep, and just don’t go out in the evenings.

Soon we’re going overseas for a week, the time difference is 2 hours (behind). I’m just worried that he’ll wake at 3/3:30 every morning, and have to go to bed at 4:30pm 😬 I can deal with an early start, like 4:30 onwards would be ok (6:30 their time), but I just don’t know what I’m going to do with him if he’s waking at 3/3:30. We’re staying in a resort, so obviously there will be pool opening times, and breakfast opening times. Also if he wakes that early, and has to go to bed at 4:30 to get enough sleep, I’ll miss out on dinner, and some dinners are included in the package. We are also going with a friend, so it’s a long time to keep him quiet in the mornings (although we have a big villa, and onviously she knows she has chosen to go on holiday with a 5 year old). I know this is totally a first world problem to have, I’m excited for the trip, and trying not to overthink it. But I was just wondering if anyone has any experiences with this? How did you go, we’re you able to get your children to sleep any later. We have 3 weeks till we go, so if I could get him to sleep in a bit later beforehand, it might help while we’re over there, because it’s only for a week so it won’t be long enough to adjust his sleep while we’re over there?

#2 28 Barbary Lane

Posted 06 September 2019 - 07:37 AM

Ours are all early risers as well but any time we go away they seem to adjust pretty quick and just wake up when it gets light. We have a bit of jet lag on the way back but nothing that doesn’t settle down after a few days. I think you’ll find it all works out, try not to worry and have a great holiday:)

#3 lozoodle

Posted 06 September 2019 - 07:51 AM

Kids are pretty good at adjusting, I'd just go with the flow and enjoy your trip and not worry too much about it.
We've done short time distances, and we've done other side of the world time differences, they just went with it and seemed to wake around usual time.

#4 AllyK81

Posted 06 September 2019 - 07:54 AM

It usually takes my kids 2-3 nights to adjust.

Your DS is 5 - surely old enough to know to lie in bed quietly and look at books or whatever and not wake you up.

Holidays can get a bit jumbled etc. Don’t stress too much.

#5 PrincessPeach

Posted 06 September 2019 - 05:04 PM

My niece & nephews are early risers - they head back to NZ a couple of times a year to visit extended family. They keep the kids up until their normal bedtime.

Although for holidays, bedtimes always get pushed back a bit here, i just enforce an after lunch quiet time. That includes my 5 year old who normally has a solid 11.5hours sleep a night.

#6 BusbyWilkes

Posted 06 September 2019 - 05:10 PM

I've found the increased activity levels (sightseeing, swimming, walking) while on holidays, particularly when in warm/hot conditions, has lead to my early risers sleeping much better.
Otherwise, movie on the iPad with headphones (it is holidays!)

#7 lizzzard

Posted 06 September 2019 - 05:21 PM

To be honest, I am going to say it’s very possible he will wake at 3:30am! My kids would ride a few days to adjust at least.

But you know what? Don’t stress! You’ll be on holiday...tire him out as best you can with lots of swimming and play long. You will probably find you’ll wake a bit earlier too.... and importantly bring some snacks to have on hand when he’s hungry at odd times. Have fun!!

#8 born.a.girl

Posted 06 September 2019 - 05:32 PM

A five year old is old enough to discuss with him what's going to happen, and what would help him prepare now.

Given the time change, you'll be equally affected for a few days.

If all else fails, bribery.  When my daughter tried to give up her daytime sleep at 3.5, I just used bribery to get her to still have a sleep (took a few weeks, not saying it was easy), so that I could get my work done, and then she stayed up later in the evening when her Dad got home.  Once she saw the benefits she happily went along with it until she went to school.

If you could bribe him to have a daytime sleep (after all, many of the adults in plenty of countries do) when you're there, which is only a few hours earlier than he's in bed given the time change, you might get the best of both worlds.

Have you got one of those clocks that people use to show the child what time is o.k. to come and wake adults?

#9 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 06 September 2019 - 06:01 PM

We recently returned from Singapore.

I have an early riser. And yeah, he got up realllllyyy early for the first few mornings of holidays. Like, 4:30 I think I. But it didn’t last long.

The first morning I sent him back to bed for an hour
Second and third morning I gave him an iPad to keep him quiet for an hour or two. He was ok after that.

Luckily, when on holidays, you are so busy and active that kids need extra sleep anyway, and even early risers will sleep in pretty quickly. Especially if You keep them up “late”

Otherwise, enforce quiet time and iPad time.


#10 MissMilla

Posted 06 September 2019 - 06:08 PM

I have used travel and time difference to mess up my kids sleep routine on purpose. I had a kid waking between 5.30-6am for a while and this didnt work for me at all. I hated getting up this early. So when we went overseas we just went with the flow and the kids usually went to bed quite late. With all the action during the day and the late bedtime they always slept in in the morning which was amazing. They kept it up at home too, i have to wake them sometimes to go to school!

Obviously this was very lucky and i dont think you can influence it all the time. Probably depends on a lot of factors.
But i wouldnt worry about it too much if i were you. It might sort itself out on its own.

#11 Goldenash

Posted 06 September 2019 - 06:10 PM

I hate to chime in with a bad news story, but we did this with a 1.5 yr old and 3 year old and yep 3:30am most mornings for at least 5/7 days. It was a bit annoying but we just kinda went with it. We could usually contain them until about 430. We then served first breakfast (weetbix in the room), bit of tv, bit of a walk, then first in the door for breakfast.

Actually I found dinner the hardest as they were ready for a meal at 430 and most places didn’t open until 530 or 6.


#12 mandala

Posted 06 September 2019 - 06:59 PM

We regularly travel with a 2 hour time difference - at least once per year.

I have found that the kids take longer to adjust than I'd expect - usually they are adjusted by day 5, just in time to have to worry about the move back! We found that iPad time in the morning just perpetuated the problem as they'd force themselves awake early to get more screen time. Audiobooks were a better bet, and occasionally they'd even go back to sleep.

#13 SeaPrincess

Posted 06 September 2019 - 08:07 PM

When ours were little and we travelled, we tried to keep our bedtime routine fairly consistent so that the children got those cues that it was bedtime, even though it might not have felt like it was the right time. This made a big difference, but we had a very well-established bedtime routine from very early on. (It was the only routine that we had!) Otherwise, some of the at-home rules don’t apply, so iPads or whatever to get a bit more sleep is ok!

#14 newbub2014

Posted 06 September 2019 - 09:00 PM

Thank you everyone! I was just wanting to see if there were any tips, but I’m definitely not going to let it ruin the holiday. I might try a few things beforehand in terms of shaking up his routine, but I don’t want an overtired kid over there so I’ll go with whatever bedtime I need to. I don’t think he’ll nap, but regular quiet time with an audio book is a good idea. Also a good point about him being tired from the pool/activities. There is a kids club from 9-9, so at least I can have breaks here and there, and lovely poolside naps for me when he’s there!

Also I’ve had the same experience using iPad first thing in the morning as a PP. It became habit because I was absolutely exhausted for a number of reasons, and then I found him just waking earlier and earlier and demanding iPad straight away. So I think he was waking earlier for it. I’m trying to break that cycle at the moment, by making him wait till at least 5:45.



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