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  #1  
Old 01-02-2007
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New Baby

We have a baby due in next summer. Would take any helpful advise about babies on sailboats...sleeping arrangements, placement and safety in the cockpit...etc....Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2007
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
Hi, I should actually let my wife write this to you but...I'm a parent too.

We had a baby in March, Little Luis. Now 9 months.

We spent August and September at sea with him, he was 5 and later 6 months old. And we all loved it. He must have loved it too!! He's my son!!

First thing was a life vest, those with a thing behind his neck, to keep the head out of the water, otherwise with the diaper floating he turns around and drowns. Must have a handle to pick the bugger up should he go overbord.

Second SUN BLOCK, lots of it factor 1.000.000.000 gazzilion, because even with cold air they get sunburn. We used factor 60 in summer. All good, but apply at least every 2 hours.

We also got one of those cloth chairs, (see in photo, behind port wheel), so that he could be outside while we were sailing. It was attached to the floor so when heeling he would be confortable, and not moving around. The chair was moved inside for feedings, and when we needed him still while we were doing something else. Sometimes he felt asleep on it and it was ok, so don't go cheap on his chair.

Get a lot of kids toys and hang them where he will be most of the time. Luis loved the end of my ropes and kept them moist for me most of the time!!!

For his bath we got an inflatable tub, see photo!! We have hot water in the heads so if you don't have hot water, get a heater.

We got him several pillows and he used to sleep first in his cot, and because he was 24 lbs then!!!, he was too big, so we covered one of the aft cabins with pillows and sheets, so he could move around. In case of bad weather, my other son would go down with him and keep him company, but he allways felt asleep in bad weather!! Pulls after his mum.

Remember, when alone they move, so cover everything where he might hit his head, with pillows, lots of them.

We got a nice beach tent for him and a sunbrella.

We used to carry gallons and gallons of water for his bottles, and I allways kept them bellow his bed to keep the water cool. My wife got a blender, and used to make his soups at the marina because it is 220V, then keep them in the refirgerator in small flasks.

Get him a spare hat, they fly off really easy. And insect repellent.
Sometimes we would cry, and my wife used to get him on a marsupial bag, see photo. This one actually floated!!.

My son was too small to move around, but for my other one, when he was small I covered my boat with nets on the railing.

If I think of something elese, I will comeback and write. Good luck.

Bellow is the cloth chair. Must have a seat belt.



The marsupial bag bellow



The tent and sunbrella bellow



The inflatable tub



And pillows everywhere when he felt asleep and we were sailing.



He never stopped us from going anywhere, so do that to yours or you'll regret it later.


Sometimes we would give him RUM, but he would allways fall asleep at the wheel, when it was time for him to take the boat, so he got fired.



And occasionally he was allowed a girlfriend or two so we had a litle boat filled with water to cool them off!!!


Last edited by Giulietta; 01-02-2007 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 01-02-2007
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I was going to try to help with this one, but I think G- covered things very well. We never did it, but may people like to find a way to mount the childs car seat in the cockpit. They are used to sitting in the carseat and it keeps them secured. Always make sure you have lee boards for any bunk that you are going to use for the babies naps.

Over all, just try to keep it a positive experience for you, spouse, and baby.

Last edited by T34C; 01-02-2007 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 01-02-2007
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Sailboatchick:

CONGRATS!!! First of all, let me say, there will be a lot of people warning you against babys on board, living aboard with kids, whatever, whatever. We did it and are heading back out to do it again. My first was on board at 5 days, so don't worry about it. It will be great and and you will love it. Some precautions are necessary, though.

Infants are the easiest, by far. Pretty much where you sit them, they stay. Here is one product we really, really used a lot while sailing out in the cockpit. As long as you are not healing too much, it will stay put on the lee side. Kids love it, you can see them, etc.

http://www.fisher-price.com/fp.aspx?...=bgb&pid=30959

Depending on where you are sailing, the no-seeums are really bad. Fischer price sold a dome that totally zipped up and would bounce. Awesome for a boat. We recently gave it away or I would just send it to you. Basically, it looks like a dome sat on top of bouncing bars. Toys hang from the insdie of the dome. Check Baby's R Us and PM me a picture and I can tell you if that is it. It will be the most used piece of equipment on the boat.

For rough seas, we would prop our kids in their car seats and would bind the seat to the compression post down below. Car seats are tough and the compression post is the lowest, most centered part of the boat, in general.

Lifejackets: Mustang is the only way to go. http://www.mustangsurvival.com/resou...ts.php?vid=397

http://www.mustangsurvival.com/produ...uct.php?id=557

(Make sure they have a crotch strap)

A good childrens lifejacket should have a crotch strap, head rest, a zipper up the front and locking straps. Honestly, Mustang is by far the best way to go. If you PM me your address and pay for shipping, I will send you one my youngest just grew out of (for free, of course). If not, any West Marine sells them (though infant sizes may require an online purchase). If you buy through sailnet, you should not have a sales tax so buy through them versus worst marine.

Baths. Just fill up the shower and do not turn on the sump pump. They do not need much water anyway.

Giu reccomended good padding around the berth and so do I.

The rest is really pretty easy. Netting on the lifelines will be needed when the kiddo gets older. PM or write back with any other questions. Again, congrats.

- CD

Last edited by Cruisingdad; 01-02-2007 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 01-02-2007
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Plenty of good advice here already - there is no reason to avoid sailing with children, even very young.

One thing that really facilitates cruising with a newborn is a nursing mother.. simplifies provisioning for quite a while.

Our son slept on board in the removable "fuselage" of an old fashioned "pram" - the old baby buggy with the big wheels - the body disconnected from the wheel set and we laid it on a berth with leecloths. He was totally secure in there. We used it in the cockpit as well, the hood provided sunshade- and a car seat on occasion too; again, well secured from moving around.

We were fortunate that any time things got a bit busy weather wise, he would usually sleep through it all for the first year or so.

As time went on we started bringing a ride-on toy - even in our small 28 footer he amused himself below on long slow trips. (and on marina docks - with supervision!!)

It goes without saying that you need good, child size PFDs and Mustang is indeed the way to go. If they wear them from day one it won't be a struggle to get them to wear them later when they are more mobile.

Looking ahead, get them learning to row as soon as they are able, and start them in a sailing dinghy by the time they are 6 or 7. Before you know it they'll be in their 20s and maybe boat owners themselves!

But good on you for planning to sail with the newborn - its so sad to hear people say "yeah, we used to sail, but then the kids came along........"
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Old 01-04-2007
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Thank you all for such wonderful info...we love to sail and have three other boys (16, 15, & 7) but this will be a first with a baby on board. We are really looking forward to the adventure!
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Old 02-27-2007
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Some members at my club have also suggested a hammock, I've been asking around as well, I'm due just after the sailing season. Has anyone been pregnant and been able to sail? We don't want to not go, although by the end of the summer no one else will fit in the v-berth...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdysharp
Some members at my club have also suggested a hammock, I've been asking around as well, I'm due just after the sailing season. Has anyone been pregnant and been able to sail? We don't want to not go, although by the end of the summer no one else will fit in the v-berth...
My wife sailed throughout her pregnancy, and we were very new sailors at the time, learning on a 28 foot boat in an area with high average winds, but flat water.

The only "problems" I can recall is the odd occasion where she would end up on the low side after a tack and literally be unable to haul herself up to weather. This was in the last trimester, our son was born near 10 lbs so she wasn't small. Getting in and out of the dingy also got interesting at times.
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Old 02-27-2007
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Regarding sailing and pregnancy:

Your husband/significant other will be doing most of the sailing as you will have trouble spinning a winch or really doing much of anything the last tri. One word of warning: my wife got sea sick easy on her first tri with our first child, not our second. With the second, she fet very relaxed on board (isn't pregnancy wierd??!!!). Go sailing and do what you can. Your body will tell you what can/can't work. We sailed with both boys in the womb, and after. You will (or we did) also find that if you want a great night sleep, put the kiddo aboard. Something about the boat and motion rocks them to sleep really well. Also, you will find that you "overheat" really easy on your last tri, which can make a summer tough (depending on the temperature).

Just some jumbled thoughts.

- CD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
We also got one of those cloth chairs, (see in photo, behind port wheel)
I've never seen a setup like that before -- port and aft wheels. Is the idea to have redundancy in case one fails?
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