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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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  • 2 Post By MedSailor
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  #1  
Old 03-22-2013
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Baby PFD recommendations

Hey folks,
We have a 5 month old, and he'll be heading out with us sailing for the first time in about a month, on our Sabre 34. We'd like to have a PFD for him, and I'm wondering if any of you have some recommendations for specific products. If there's a thread on this, I didn't see it, but let me know if I missed something, otherwise I look forward to your input.
Thanks!
J

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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Baby PFD recommendations

We took our little one out at 5 weeks, and while we had a PFD aboard, we never put him in it. While underway, he was in the car seat, which was strapped down to the boat. Basically, he would only get wet if the boat sank. When moving from ship to shore, he was strapped to momma in a frontpack. If she went overboard while boarding the dinghy, the plan was for her to start doing backstroke.

To more directly answer your question here is an article that might help. I like that there is at least one company out there that designs these things from scratch instead of just making a "smaller adult PFD".

Outisde magazine Infant PFD

The PFD from the article:http://www.salusmarine.com/product/bijoux.html
Video of mom trying to drown her infant while wearing the above recommended PFD. Spoiler alert (she can't seem to drown the baby):http://www.salusmarine.com/press/bijoux1.html

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Last edited by MedSailor; 03-23-2013 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Baby PFD recommendations

BTW, congratulations! Mine is 7.5 months, a boy, and my first.



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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Baby PFD recommendations

Took our 8 month old out. Not much variety/options available in this market. Here is what we did.

We used a tether to tether her babyseat to padeyes in the cockpit. We did *NOT* strap her into the car seat. We kept her in a Lil Mustang infant/baby life jacket *AT ALL TIMES*...weven in the baby seat. She didn't like it, was uncomfortable. But safety matters when you sail the ocean...
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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Baby PFD recommendations

My son wore an infant life preserver (Lil Mustang style big flotation collar) with a harness underneath. He is always in a harness and a PFD on the dock and getting on and off the boat, from the time he gets out of the minivan. In really hot weather, once he is on the boat and his tether is attached, we remove the PFD so he is comfortable and safely attached to the boat.

There have always been 2 concern areas for me: (1) boarding the boat, including walking down the dock, and (2) safety underway.

My son is now taking AquaTots safety oriented swim lessons every week in a warm, indoor pool. AquaTots teaches kids self-rescue swimming techniques. I was with him in the pool when he first started, until the instructor advanced him to a no parents class. I would be hesitant to keep him strapped in a car seat, particularly when boarding the boat, because some infants do have an instinctive ability to surface and float on their backs. Check out the YouTube infant swimming videos if you have any doubts. I would not want to interfere with the possibility of this self-rescue ability saving him from drowning as a result of a fall off the dock. I am fairly certain his car seat would sink or suspend him upside down in the water.

Like all parents, I would gladly sacrifice my life to save my son. If he ever went in the water, I would be there right next to him, no matter what.

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Old 03-23-2013
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Baby PFD recommendations

All of our kids and now all of our 4 grand kids have gone sailing before their first birthday. We always kept them in infant PFDs at all times aboard, unless they were below. They usually were in laps when under 2. And we sail very conservatively when they were aboard.
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