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Buchido 05-08-2012 05:56 PM

How to secure a baby
Hi Everyone,

We recently welcomed our son into the World and we have done a few day sails but one of us always needed to be holding him which makes some tasks difficult and impossible in foul weather. So now the missus has tasked me with devising a method to keep him safe and secure when we are sailing (and hopefully I figure it out before this sailing season ends!). I've read a number of posts and articles about people sailing with kids and young kids but not babies. The difference being we can't just put up a lee cloth in the V-berth as he can't even sit up yet and would be thrown around as we tack back and forth.

My original thought was lashing his car seat to the dinnette table but thought the heel angle might be uncomfortable for him and I'm not sure how sturdy the table is (since it comes off to form a bed). Then I thought I could fashion some sort of hanging swing but I would be worried he would bump into things in the cabin. So my current idea is to somehow secure a basinet on the floor in the centre of the cabin where the motion is the least but this would restrict movement of traffic. So before I proceeded any further I thought it best to ask the sailing community what has been done before and worked well for them. I don't want to be re-inventing the rudder.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


BTW we have a Catalina 27 Dinnette series in case that helps.

Faster 05-08-2012 07:08 PM

Re: How to secure a baby
Two words:

Baby Bjorn

Baby carriers developed together with Medical Experts

Our Daughter-in-law did foredeck with our granddaughter in a carrier from them.. snug, secure, with you at all times. Early on (weeks old) she had something simpler.. a cloth carrier whose name I can't recall.. will add when it comes to me. EDIT: Baby Buddha

We did use the car seat idea a few times, but heeling was a bit problematic. Otherwise for our son, who fortuitously always seemed happy to sleep when we needed to run the boat, we made a small secure berth with a lee cloth and lots of blankets/padding to keep him put.

kwaltersmi 05-08-2012 08:14 PM

Re: How to secure a baby
We use the car seat with handle in the upright position to act as roll bar in the unlikely event that the seat tips over. Luckily, both our quarter berth and salon floor offer a spot where the car seat can be "wedged" in place with a rolled up towel or pillow on either side to keep it steady and stable.

If I were you, I'd keep looking for a safe spot to set your car seat. The handle/roll bar, harness seat belt and padding are all good safety features and the seat itself is presumably comfortable and familiar to baby.

MITBeta 05-08-2012 09:10 PM

Re: How to secure a baby
I second the car seat idea. We had my son out last year starting at 4 months old in a Rhodes 19 in his car seat. Most of the time he was still held, but it was nice to be able to have a place to put him down.

My second thought is a Pack 'n Play in the salon. Room to move around, high sides, place to put lots of pillows, blankets, etc. for cushioning if needed.

T37Chef 05-08-2012 11:18 PM

Car seat and a pack and play. I don't like the idea of the baby bijon thing, what if you slip and slam your body weight into a bulkhead or something?

Cruisingdad 05-08-2012 11:24 PM

Re: How to secure a baby
Car seat and pack and play. I wrote a long blog about this somewhere. Also, devise a board to go across the V berth to keep him from coming out. We made a 2 foot high board that securely lashed in. Pad the side with pillows. Keep him/her in the cockpit with you if you can in the car seat.

Believe it or not, this is the easy time. When they can walk (ie around 3ish), that is when it really gets "fun". Had our oldest on board at 5 days old. You can do it.


T37Chef 05-08-2012 11:34 PM

Hey Brian

Cruisingdad 05-08-2012 11:35 PM

Re: How to secure a baby

Originally Posted by T37Chef (Post 869002)
Hey Brian

Hello T - How are you? Still LOVE my knives!!!


Buchido 05-10-2012 12:27 AM

Re: How to secure a baby
Thanks everyone for their suggestions. We have since decided to go with a chair we got that has a nice wide base with rubber non-slip feet. It will be more comfortable then his car seat, he can still be strapped in and should stay put even when heeling. We also have a pack and play that should fit down in the cabin where we can wedge it in place with some cushion for his naps. We don't want to install any hooks or the like as this phase won't last long.

As for the baby carrier/bjorn idea we're always concerned about accidentally slipping and I don't think we could wear one when we have our PFD on (not that we are likely to fall over board but you never know)

Thanks again.

LinekinBayCD 05-11-2012 07:30 AM

Re: How to secure a baby
It's been a while as my three sones are all bigger than me now, we always used a car seat for the infants. We would lash it down as best we could in the cockpit or under the dodger at times. If it was peacefully we'd let them sleep there or at other times just put them in the v-berth surrounded by pillows.

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