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Old 09-29-2010
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First sail with new baby (1-year-old)...

Hey everyone,

My wife and I had our first son in June of this year. He's about three months old presently. We plan on chartering a boat on the Chesapeake Bay probably in July or August of next year with another couple (whom we've sailed with before) and their two-year-old son.

My plan is to charter out of Harve de Grace and get a slip in Georgetown. I was thinking about only doing an overnight so we can see how it goes with the kids. I also want to keep the distance between where we depart and where we stay short so that we're not under a lot of stress.

The trip between Harve de Grace and Georgetown is pretty short. I figure we can drop anchor around lunch time and maybe do some swimming.

I'm looking forward to the trip but I am also a little anxious about taking the baby out for the first time. I'm by no means an expert when it comes to sailing but I have completed the ASA 101-104 courses (several times each) and chartered (bareboat) about a half of a dozen times for two to three nights each time. I'm also pretty familiar with the Northern Bay.

Anyone have any advice or words of wisdom to share to make the trip easier? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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Old 09-29-2010
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My daughter is 11 months old and she has been sailing on our boat since she was 2 weeks old. We bought two child pfd's last year at the boat show when my was pregnant. One is for under 30lbs and the other is for 30-50 lbs. Get a jacket that your child can wear.

We brought the car seat along with us on every trip. She liked to sleep in it which gave us a break from holding her. I would wedge it in the quarter birth so it would not move with heeling. We have been out in some big winds (20 kts +) and she has slept through most of it. When she is awake and was smaller we used the "Mini-Me" carrier so she could look around but who ever was holding her could quickly use their hands if needed.

Now that she is older she likes to be able to move around the cockpit. I think we will be looking to buy a harness this year.

As for provisioning, we breast feed ours so milk is not an issue. Baby food keeps without refrigeration so you are ok there. I have found dirty diapers to be our biggest problem. Definitely make sure you stop each day to get rid of them. Bring plenty of sets of baby clothes and lots of wipes.

For sleeping we have lined our V-berth with pillows so she can roll around and not hurt herself. My wife and I sleep in the salon. I was worried about being in crowded anchorages with a baby screaming in the middle of the night. Supposedly the other boats don't hear it, or they are just being nice to us.

With our daughter we have found that the more motion of the sea, the more likely she is to sleep while we are sailing. I guess it is very womb-like for her.

Best of luck

Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 06:36 AM.
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