Special Cares when Sailing with a 2 month Baby onboard - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising and Sailing with Children
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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.


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  #1  
Old 09-20-2006
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Special Cares when Sailing with a 2 month Baby onboard

Would like to know if someone can forward me some information regarding Sailing with new born babys (2 or 3 months):

Gadgets or ticks to improve baby comfort on board.
Meals care
First aid kit for babys

Thanks

Vasco
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Old 09-21-2006
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Baby hammock with restraining straps and elastic straps to prevent over-swininging are a brilliant thing indeed!

We also have an inflatable bathtub shaped like a duck...it doubles as the baby's personal dinghy.

At two months they are still mostly about sleep.

At NINE months they are crawling at speed and a card carrying member of the lemming brigade!


Sasha
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Old 09-21-2006
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A car seat that can be strapped in to the cockpit or cabin is the best plan for young children on board. They are used to being strapped into the carseat and can't take a tumble when the boat is bouncing around. Planning a sail around nap times also a big help. If you have any doubts take an extra crew member along for the sail. You don't want to be in the position of trying to help you child and keep the boat upright at the same time.
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Old 09-21-2006
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Our first was on board at 5 days... we know what you are going through!

It actually is not that bad and is easy, so do not worry. We have used 2-3 different things:

No storms, nice sailing:

1) Fischer Price makes a leaning chair with strap. It works really nice. We put in a "car seat" head holder so Chase could keep his head up straight. The chair itself, if I can explain it, is a metal tube that looks like the bottom of a "z" with material inbetween the tubes. Terrible description, but the best I can do!

2) Depending on how big your boat is, we also used a Fischer Price Bounce and Play. These are awesome if they are awake. Ours fit in the cockpit and down below. It totally covers up in case of No Seeums/mosquitos, and has lots of toys hanging down to kick and play with.

Storms:

We used his car seat primarily and sat it down below. A good car seat works well. Mustang makes an awesome infant life jacket with head support and crotch strap... but it seems to be a bit uncomfortable for infants. Still, we used it and both my kids got used to it... so it will take a little time. The Mustang (in my opinion) is the ONLY way to go for kiddo life jackets... and they work!!!

Get them used to the lifejackets early and they will enjoy wearing them.

Let me know if you need any more help and I will try and send links or pictures. Good luck. Have fun and fair winds.

- CD
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Old 09-21-2006
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One little side note:

This is my little opinion, but I have been sailing with kids for 6 years now:

You AND your husband should be able to singlehand that boat if you have kids. If you cannot, work on it and get it down. This includes into and out of the dock. Storms will come up or feeding or something that will require you to put your emhasis on the child, so if you cannot single: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE until you can.

Take my advice on this one! You will be glad you did!
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Old 09-21-2006
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Ditto's on the Mustang PFD. Practical Sailor just did a reveiw of childrens PFD's in june or july, and the Mustang was the top pick.
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Old 09-21-2006
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Lots of good advice in the previous posts. We started our son sailing at 18 days of age. Two things in addition to the above:

From a practical standpoint breastfeeding greatly eases the provisioning aspect for cruising with babies. Of course, either you are or you aren't, and if you're not, I guess you're not going to start up again.

The other thing we did, for when they sleep, was take the top of an old-style pram (baby buggy, not a stroller). We set that in a berth and secured it (we added leecloths to that berth) and the child is secure and cannot roll around. At anchor or moored, we could use it in the cockpit. We also used the reclining bath seat, and a car seat.

At the toddler stage we even carried a small FP ride-on toy for when we were at a dock. I can still (25 yrs later) hear the "bump-bump-bump" as he rolled it up and down the floats!

Ditto on the PFD, it should be a second skin for them, nothing worse than fighting to get them to wear one.

As they get older, teach them to row early, get a sailing dinghy by the time they're 7 or 8, get them racing with you in their teens, and before you know it they'll be grown and boat owners themselves! (as happened to us)
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Old 09-21-2006
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Thank you guys...

Anyway the baby is still cosy and growing on her mother's confort ... So we have 6 months to collect info and gear in the meantime.
It will be our first child... And for me, the only thing I'm sure of is to share sailing moments with this new human being the best I (we) can.
I'm having tons of questions as you all can imagine, but I'll keep up your tips!!,

Be sure CruisingDad, we're doing good training sessions since our future plans are related with long term cruising

The boat is a lazy and confortable, steel hull Van d' Stadt of 11 meters!

Now I'll check in with mummy and bring you some more questions on this sweet matter!!

Thank youu
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Old 09-23-2006
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In addition to all the great advice, I'll add the following - Yes, you must BOTH be able to solo the boat. With our daughter (starting at 3 mos), we lined the vberth with pillows, closed the door so she couldn't fall out, and opened the foredeck hatch so we could see her and for ventilation. Most of the time, she fell asleep when we left the dock and awoke when we tied up again.

On hot days, we plugged the cockpit drains and filled the cockpit with water, even while sailing....keeps your feet cool too!

The final comment is an observation that at 12 years, our daughter has seen water snakes, heron, egret, rays, dolphin, crab, fed ducks while pierside in the rain, kayaked, swam the Chesapeake in November, can steer straight, seen the water in all its moods, and can cleat a line properly. Growing up on the water is a magical experience for kids and it doesn't have to change as they grow. A suggestion though - let them bring all the friends that they want, else they'll become bored and not want to come. Also, keep the days short and find out where all the swimming pools are within a short day's sail.

Good luck - you won't be sorry.http://www.sailnet.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif
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Old 09-26-2006
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I am not sure I can add much more here other than to establish that there are others who have gone before you! I think you will find that it is a terrific experience.

My daughter was born in April of '01 and went sailing for the first time in June. We used a car seat in the cockpit and placed her on the side that was shaded. To strap the car seat, I used a strap for holding sailboards on cars. You know, it has the teeth that lock and it is very strong. In the cabin, I fitted one of the benches with seat belts from an old car. We would strap her in there. When we overnighted, we would bring along her bathtub and she would sleep with us in the V-Berth. It was incredible fun and a terrific way to bond. She sailed in small craft warning conditions before she was One!
I had a lot of experience single-handing before we sailed. So my wife handled the baby duties and I handled the sailing duties. (Except when Mommy took a nap...then my daughter and I would bond together in the cockpit).
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