Your experiences with a baby and a boat - Page 2 - SailNet Community
Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.

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post #11 of 38 Old 02-19-2011
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We took our son(now 20) on his first trip out at age one month. His first trip to Catalina was at age 2 months. He would just sleep as the boat would rock and cry when we came into the marina and we stopped rocking. The bigger problem was that my wife was more worried when he was in the cockpit. As he got more mobile and started crawling, we left him in the cabin with his toys and kept an eye on him.

Going ashore was more challenging. We had to carry the baby, stroller and diaper bag in the dingy and across a rocking dock. My wife carried the baby, I carried everything else.

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post #12 of 38 Old 02-19-2011
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As soon as my daughter began to crawl, we sewed her first harness (1-inch webbing) and started clipping her on, not to the jacklines but to an even more limited area. But we also used it on-deck at anchor and at dock. Certainly there was CLOSE parental attention, but it did make things a bit more relaxing.

As a result, now 15, she has no memory of a time harnesses and jacklines were not a part of life.

Particular problems? When she was very young she would ONLY sleep if the engine was on, and thus we sometimes sailed with the motor idling, but not in gear! Otherwise, it was simpler than car trips.

(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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post #13 of 38 Old 02-21-2011
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Nice to see how many young families there are sailing around. We'll be one you this year, our daugther is now 5 months old and we'll be sailing most of the summer (in a 32').

We've been sailing with my niece when she was that age and she would sleep for hours on end in her carrycot in the front cabin, even (or especially?) with rougher seas. She would wake up or start to cry when we came into a harbor.

For moving around we like our wraparound baby carrier, very simple and very versatile.
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post #14 of 38 Old 02-21-2011
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My daughter and son grew up sailing on our boats. One of our family memories is when Nicole was maybe 3 or 4, on an overnight in Block Island when we had the 25' cape Dory. I had anchored to close to the lee shore and the tide left us stuck in the mud around 3am with the boat about 30 degrees to one side. She never woke up but repeatedly crawled back up to the berth, only to roll off again and again. Child abuse? Perhaps, but it was hilarious. So many family stories...We keep a boat diary which is a treasure of over 20 years worth of the kids pictures and writing and adventures.

There was a time when we limited our destinations so the kids could have more time to explore the shores and such. I remember the summer my son only wanted to drive the dinghy and anchor it over and over. Essentially the boat was the snack barge for the dinghy.

Use common sense safety for the kids. You and they will be rewarded.

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post #15 of 38 Old 02-21-2011
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When ours were tiny we put 'em in a basket suspended below the skylight. You could say they were gimballed. When the boat was rockin' and rollin' it looked scary as the basket appeared to swing like a pendulum, but they were stationary and we were the ones holding on. Younger is better. When they start moving around it can get a little challenging at times. That's when we made them stay below on the cabin sole between the bunks with a huge pile of toys, and that worked pretty well on day sails. When it was rough we chocked them in with cushions and they stayed happy and safe. I recollect age 2 was not a good time, but that was long ago.

Never sail closer to the wind in degrees than your age

Last edited by FishSticks; 02-21-2011 at 05:19 PM.
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post #16 of 38 Old 06-08-2011
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How about infant and toddlers on day sailers with no cabins such as a Flying Scot. I imagine the sun would be another issue. Any experiences?
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post #17 of 38 Old 06-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailblazer1229 View Post
How about infant and toddlers on day sailers with no cabins such as a Flying Scot. I imagine the sun would be another issue. Any experiences?
No experience with that, but I will say that my daughter could not be left in the cabin anyway. If the grownups are playing outside, she wants to play outside, too. She would scream and writhe around and try to escape mommy's arms until we just plunked her down on the cockpit sole, at which point she was perfectly content to chew on the jib sheets.

s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch
s/v Essorant - 1972 Catalina 27
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post #18 of 38 Old 06-12-2011
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No experience with day sailers either but have some comments for bigger boats. We started out in a Catalina 27 with a 3 month old. That was easy, he slept a lot and the v-berth worked great as a nursing and change station (you can wedge yourself in there quite comfortably). I had to single hand a lot except when I could press the older boys into service (didn't want to push it too much to avoid unpleasant feelings). When he got older we tethered him to the boat while under way and had lifeline netting surrounding most of the boat. It was still a bit nerve wracking so he lived in his life jacket a lot (and always on the doc). Now he's a very mobile 3 year old and loves climbing the boom and anything else he can. Again we have lifeline netting and he is tethered while underway. He's OK wandering around w/out a life jacket when we are on anchor.









The biggest problem we have now is that he is demonstrating a tendency to fall down open hatches on other people's boats (e.g he thought an open deck hatch on a cat that had a bug screen on it was a trampoline). Lucky for us it's been a soft enough landing each time (twice) but it scare the ____ out of everyone. We don't really have a perfect solution but do take him around the boat and get him familiar with it and re-explain the "don't play around hatches" rule each time (and several times per visit).

Jill Schinas has some good recommendations in her book if you haven't seen it:
Jill Dickin Schinas Books Kids in the Cockpit

Cheers,

sc

-Scove

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post #19 of 38 Old 06-13-2011
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Our family of 5: Mom and Dad, 4yo, 2yo, and 4 month old started sailing this year in our club's Rhodes 19s. We try to have another able bodied adult in the boat with us when the conditions are anything greater than calm, and don't go out at all if they're anything greater than "mild."

The 4 year old doesn't like when the boat heels. We try to keep it flat and slowly try to overcome her fears by demonstrating the effects of the boat controls on heel angle.

The 2 year old doesn't say a word -- it's the only time all week you can get her to be quiet. She seems to like it.

The 4 month old is overwhelmed by his life jacket. He sits on someone's lap and often falls asleep by the end of our short, 1 to 2 hour at a time, sails.

The Rhodes doesn't have a cabin, but we've recently experimented with putting the 4 month old in his life jacket and then laying (but not buckling) him in his car seat under the cabin top. As long as it's cool enough out he does fine, but the 85 degree day we took him out, I don't think there was enough ventilation under there.

That's our experience so far...
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post #20 of 38 Old 07-19-2011
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Quote:
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The 4 month old is overwhelmed by his life jacket.
What kind of life jacket do you use for your 4 month old?
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