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Old 12-11-2012, 06:21   #1
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Question Baby on Board?

My wife is due in March with our first child (a girl) and we're considering taking the baby along with us when we go sailing in September or October. We have two weeks charter coming up on a 46 foot Moorings cat (or equivalent) and can take it anywhere in the world. Right now, we're most interested in Tahiti.

Have any of you sailed with a newborn child (less than a year) and what are your thoughts/ suggestions on the topic?
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:36   #2
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Re: Baby on Board?

We've sailed with our own children at that age and we practice the law that states, "You can't fall off the floor". We keep the bilge ceiling baby safe and stayed wary of our steps. This of course assumes that anything else that may fall to the floor is secure. We also found a new function for the wine bottle storage well that is at the center of some dining tables. We found this was a perfect place to "plant" a young child when eating,- easy to watch, feed, and remain the center of attention as the "centerpiece" at the table.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:38   #3
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Re: Baby on Board?

my daughter sailed from bundaberg to darwin at 5 weeks old,she is nearly 18 now and will soon have her own boat to live on.......think carefully about introducing ones children to expensive habits at an early age!!!!

other wise i cant see a problem,just watch the sun,it's mum that will have the hard work if she gets seasick down below
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:24   #4
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Re: Baby on Board?

We've only done day sails with our daughter when she was an infant and a couple of overnights now that she is a toddler. Sailing with an infant is much easier than a toddler- its when they get mobile that things get challenging. Since we were sailing in relatively protected waters, we secured her portable cot to the mast and settee. It was wedged in there pretty solidly and lashed well on all 4 sides. If you are looking for a temporary solution on a charter, this would work well. Just be sure you get one of the older school portable cots with a solid frame underneath for attachment.

We have gotten a tremendous amount of use out of our Beco Gemini baby carrier. When the weather was calm, baby happily stayed on my chest while sailing. Its also incredibly handy when going ashore as we can wear her on our backs- much easier than trying to lug a stroller into a dinghy for when little legs get tired.

Babies do really well on boats. You have to give a little more thought as to keeping them safe but its really not an issue. A well fitted PFD, wide brimmed sun hat and sun protective clothing, a secure place to sleep and you are good to go.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:15   #5
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Re: Baby on Board?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimsy View Post
..........................- its when they get mobile that things get challenging....................................
I certainly agree with this! The babies were easy, but when they were 2 to 5 or so, we had to enforce a rule regarding their areas of access under sail,- Cockpit only depending upon conditions, etc. We had a tremendous scare when a loop of the mainsheet lifted our three year old son off the deck during a gybe. Fortunately the wind was fairly light and I was able to hold him up and grab the tension from the sheet. Our greatest risk was always the running rigging.
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Old 12-11-2012, 13:23   #6
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Re: Baby on Board?

The only time when it's really challenging is around 8 months to 2 years when they are quite mobile but still to dumb to consistently follow rules. Before is easy peasy and afterwards it's fun.


Over the first few months we took our carseat with us and placed it in the cockpit out of the way and out of the sun. That way you have a clearly defined place to securely fix your little one when you suddently need all hands for the boat.

The only things you really need to care for are:
1) A long flight is often not an ideal start. If you can find a good destination with a shorter distance it will be much easier. We did only 2-3hr flights. At age 4 and 5 ours hapily did a 9hr flight.
2) sun - easy, just keep her out
3) heat - check how warm your car seat and baby carrier and stuff really is in the tropics
4) hapiness: Don't plan to sail many miles, instead make family hapiness a priority and you will have a blast !
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