I worried about taking my two under 2’s to LA for months; it’s the furthest they’ve travelled. My daughter was thrilled to be held for 12 hours, and my son sat glued to my iPad before falling asleep for the rest of the flight.
We all arrived feeling refreshed and well rested before realising that it was almost time for bed again. The babas were not impressed. We had an unsettled night to say the least and I managed to hold off giving them their morning bottle until 6am local time. It did take a couple of days before finally, they fell into a good routine. The way back however, wasn’t so easy. I thanked my lucky stars as they slept their way through the long night flight, but winced as we arrived at 4pm, local time, once again confusing their poor little bodies.
At 8pm they both fell asleep in my arms, and I smiled to myself as I gently put them into bed. At 10pm I was ready for bed, and my husband and I patted each other on the back and said how easy it had all been, but boy, did we speak too soon!
Within minutes they’d both woken from what they thought was a nice afternoon nap. Their eyes wide open ready for playtime and a snack. They both cried constantly for hours as I stood my ground and soothed them in their rooms refusing to give in and snuggle them into my bed.
I did give them both a bottle of milk in the end, which seemed to sooth them a little, and take the edge of the hunger. Soon they were both sound asleep but certainly not ready to be woken when morning arrived. I did so gently, at 8.30am and we somehow managed to sail through the day without a single meltdown.
This intense jetlag lasted for 3 nights on the trot, but on the fourth night they finally slept soundly for their usual 12 hours. For the first time ever, I noticed bags under my 2 year old’s eyes, and realised that it must have taken a toll on his young body, but they were gone after a good long sleep.
On that first night, I swore never to fly long haul again, but a week on, it’s a distant haze. The memories from LA have stayed with me and although I’m not ready to book my next trip, I haven’t ruled it out entirely.