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Old 04-03-2014, 18:09   #1
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Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

Hi All,
We have been cruising for two years making our way from NYC to NZ since May 2012. This year however will be very different as we just became parents of a beautiful baby girl.
We hope to start cruising again in May, leaving for Tonga or Fiji and than aiming for Australia in October/November. Are there people out there who have done this? Any experience w immunizations in foreign countries? what medicines to bring, what sleeping arrangements worked/did not work?
Thnks!
Arjan
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Old 04-03-2014, 18:38   #2
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

I think a 3 month old baby is far too young to do a watch by herself. But maybe in another 3....


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Old 04-03-2014, 19:13   #3
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

Arjan,

We have a US couple on CF with two girls, one born last year in Mexico. They are Rebel Heart and Red Charlotte. Send them a PM. Talk to your NZ doc about the immunization issue, it is different for pediatric vs. adult; and whether the child is breastfed is a factor, as well.

Another source of information is IAMAT, the international association of medical assistance for travelers, publishes charts of the world and what innoculations it recommends for adults, and pamphlets of doctors in foreign lands who have signed on. One joins by making a small donation, or a large one--I'm sure they'd appreciate that!--and they send you lots of paper...or at least that's how it worked when we were doing it. They probably have a web site, these days.

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Old 05-03-2014, 17:35   #4
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

Yeah, I'd contact Rebel Heart. I've read their whole blog(s) as we'll be cruising with a small child too. The nice thing about the Rebel Heart blog is that Charlotte doesn't sugar coat it. To paraphrase her, Eric was born to be on the water. As you start to learn from her posts, she isn't quite as comfortable there. Not that she doesn't like it, but it obviously comes more naturally for Eric.

She admits that certain things were much more annoying than expected because of the kids. Here's a quote,
Quote:
Cruising with babies sucks.
When they are really little you can just lay them down and sandwich them between blankets like a hot dog, but once they start wanting to sit and crawl, and the boat is bumping and you feel drowsy from Bonine or a little bit seasick and you are just holding a baby in your arms or in a baby carrier or they are stuck in a seat or in a berth while you are underway, or dealing with their older sibling, or trying to pee, or trying to cook, or trying to do ANYTHING…..yes, it’s a run on sentence, but FOR ME, I have not enjoyed sailing with little kids. I think 3 years old and up may be the magic number for leaving to go cruising with kids.
Another example is that before the birth of their child she was convinced on the idea that cruising to Mexico while pregnant and then having their baby there was a good idea, against the advice of many people close to them. She went back later and noted in a post that for several reasons what they did wasn't a great idea and she probably should've gone home or something to have the baby.

It's refreshing to hear someone flat admit that 'everyone else' did know better in this case. But the fact that they've really been through almost everything you'll encounter, makes their blog a wealth of info for someone in your position.
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Old 05-03-2014, 17:40   #5
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

One other nice thing to note... infants don't get motion sick, so you don't have to worry about anything there. Also, until about six months old, they are pretty much immobile so can't get into much trouble on the boat. At 9-12 months the fun will start as she begins to really explore.
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Old 05-03-2014, 18:45   #6
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

Out of the first 19 years my wife and I were married, we cruised about a dozen years or so. At that point we were doing deliveries to support our addiction. On our first Hawaii to Calif delivery my wife got seasick for the first time. We didnt know why, but she got over it in a day or two. A few weeks later we found out she was pregnant, which explained the seasickness. On our next delivery from Hawaii to Calif (4 months along) she was fine other than sleeping a little more than usual. I only did coastal trips for the next 2 years with pickup crews. Another Hawaii trip when the baby was 16 months old, and the wife wanted to get back to sea. We took an old friend since I would not do a long passage without a windvane with only 2 people. It wasnt long after departing Hawaii, that I figured out that instead of an extra crew, we should have taken a baby sitter. The baby was still nursing, but got seasick anyway, which made mom seasick, and made for an unhappy family. A few days out everything settled into a routine, but the wife wanted to sail, not just babysit. Taking care of a curtain climber was a hell of a lot more work than crewing. As far as the OPs question, I dont know anything about the immunization issues, but how things will go at sea will depend (I think) a lot on the devision of labor before the child. With just 2 people, you will really be single handing much of the time. It is workable, just not easy. Other people may have had completely different experiences. Dont give up, just adjust to the situation. Best of Luck. _____Grant.
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Old 05-03-2014, 19:17   #7
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

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Originally Posted by Certeza View Post
One other nice thing to note... infants don't get motion sick, so you don't have to worry about anything there. Also, until about six months old, they are pretty much immobile so can't get into much trouble on the boat. At 9-12 months the fun will start as she begins to really explore.

My infant was motion sick from a ferry ride... She is and was not a puker and was being rocked pretty good in big pacific storm swells and threw up all over herself and me and was quite upset. Wife was laid out pretty good too
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Old 05-03-2014, 19:52   #8
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

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My infant was motion sick from a ferry ride... She is and was not a puker and was being rocked pretty good in big pacific storm swells and threw up all over herself and me and was quite upset. Wife was laid out pretty good too

Really? Never heard of that. Are we talking infant or cruiser/toddler? Usually babies don't get motion sick until at least 6 months. They are very near sighted and inner ear isn't fully developed yet.

After 12 months all bets are off, and a huge portion of kids over 2 years are prone to motion sickness.
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Old 05-03-2014, 19:54   #9
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

We cruised with our daughter when she was 10-18 months old. The biggest issue, unless she was sleeping in a secure berth, one parent had to be on baby watch at all times. This means that there is only one person available to do any of the boat work, sail changes, whatever.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:16   #10
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

Having trouble remembering her exact age but it is likely she was over 6months old. They do grow up fast
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:08   #11
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

An interesting note about infant, or adult seasickness is that the 16 month old adjusted after a couple of days and didnt get sick for the rest of the 25 day passage. The trip had everything from flat calm to pretty rough conditions, none of which bothered him. My own experience is that if I have been sailing often, I dont have a problem at all on a passage, but if I have been in port (or on land) I feel rough for the first day or 2, but not really sick. By the third day I am looking for the biggest meal I can prepare. I have heard of people that stay ill for a whole passage or people that get sick again each time the conditions get rough, and that must take a lot of the fun out of cruising, but I think you will find that overall most people (and infants) will get used to the motion after a few days. Dont give up too soon. _____Grant.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:24   #12
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

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Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
An interesting note about infant, or adult seasickness is that the 16 month old adjusted after a couple of days and didnt get sick for the rest of the 25 day passage. The trip had everything from flat calm to pretty rough conditions, none of which bothered him. My own experience is that if I have been sailing often, I dont have a problem at all on a passage, but if I have been in port (or on land) I feel rough for the first day or 2, but not really sick. By the third day I am looking for the biggest meal I can prepare. I have heard of people that stay ill for a whole passage or people that get sick again each time the conditions get rough, and that must take a lot of the fun out of cruising, but I think you will find that overall most people (and infants) will get used to the motion after a few days. Dont give up too soon. _____Grant.
Same experience here. If I haven't been at sea for a while I could get green around the gills the first day out, especially if it's a bit bumpy. But after a day or so I am immune to anything. My wife however, no matter how long we have been at sea, if it gets bumpy she get's queasy. Never actually throws up but feels bad, has no energy and just wants to lay down.

Then there was a guy I hired as crew on a delivery that got deathly ill as soon as we left the dock and was chumming the fish until we tied up at the next port. This was in very moderate conditions. He jumped ship, went straight to the airport and caught the first plane back to the states.

Another crew I hired had who had never been on a boat in her life was solid from the first minute she got on board.

Just never can tell.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:11   #13
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

We can't imagine it. A couple of reasons. First, we don't see how practically you could enjoy the cruising with the time and energy the baby takes plus we think you'd need to take an additional person for that reason, either to help with the baby or help with the sailing as for all practical purposes you're now single handed.

Second, we would personally be scared. There are various risks to babies. While many never need a doctor, many others do require medical care and timeliness is critical, far more so than with an adult or older child. We can't imagine being two days from any medical care and a baby needing it. And babies do get seasick but with greater possibility of complications.

We're not parents but are very heavily involved with orphanages so are use to children of all ages. It's just if we had a three month old, it would be the center of our universe and we'd only think about what was best for it at that age. We're not judging you as everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but you did ask the question.

So for us we'd suggest day trips, weekends when you had a trusty sitter on land perhaps in a few month. Bluewater cruising when child reaches perhaps three. And it's each person's tolerance for risk. But on that off chance something happened to the baby while cruising, it would be so hard to ever forgive and stop second guessing yourself.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:13   #14
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

look at the bumfuzzles blogs.. they had and raised 2 kids while cruising, against everyones advice.......

ye dont stop your life for a kid but add the child to your life as a part of it, and keep living..... works best that way.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:21   #15
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Re: Bluewater Cruising with 3 months old baby

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look at the bumfuzzles blogs.. they had and raised 2 kids while cruising, against everyones advice.......

ye dont stop your life for a kid but add the child to your life as a part of it, and keep living..... works best that way.
There is a big difference between raising kids and taking an infant with you. I would also say that just because one person doesn't encounter problems doesn't mean others won't.
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