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Old 08-07-2006, 16:21   #1
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Question Babies on Board

Hey looking for any advice, info or encouragement for having babies on board. We plan on getting a Lagoon 41 and have 3 girls 9,7, and 16 months. We may have another child also. I'm worried that if I wait on the younger ones, the older girls will have lost that child-like sense of wonder about the world but then I'm also just worried about the younger ones being too young. We plan on cruising for a few yrs. Any advice is helpful. We already homeschool so thats no problem. Just the thought of a new baby on board worries us.
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:48   #2
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We are getting ready to have our first and the admiral and I have discussed this issue and we're really not worried about babies on board. We will be adding some "Special equipment" to handle the additonal action.
First, a car seat to hold a kid in the cockpit when we both have to work at a sail changes or are other wise occupied inview. We will sew an adjustable kid size harness (attachment point in the rear) so when they get older they can wander around a little more. Lifeline netting is a must and a given.

We were both raised that kids getting hurt is a given. They learn not to do things, or do them more carefully when it hurts. Our jobs as parents are just to prevent them getting permanently damaged, and to prevent as much general little damage as reasonably possible. But the Car seat thing provides the "extra hands" that you need when something has to happen fast. I would be interested on hearing more of your thoughts!

Ian
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Old 09-07-2006, 13:34   #3
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I'm not so much worried about them getting hurt as I am about just the time and effort required to look after a baby. We've had 3 and the first was hard, the second really hard and the most recent one wasn't that bad. But even though we have older daughters for helpers, the first 6 months or so was still rough, especially until she slept through the night.
So we're more or less just thinking about the family logistics, with older kids needing to be schooled by mom, me watching the boat and the third kid at times then you've got a new baby needing constant care. Like I said it's hard enough on land in a big house and now we're gonna go onto a boat a little bigger than 2 bedrooms, sailing to parts semi-unknown.
I'm sure it can be done, nothing is impossible, I just wanted to know from some other folks is it worth going out now or maybe waiting a year or two. I'm thinking of waiting a yr or two, at least until all of the doctor visits and shots are done.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:03   #4
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I dont think I would try it on a mono, but at least on a cat you can get some privacy and peace. It is also far more baby friendly (except for the steps down into the hulls!) Get the older girls converted before they turn into surly teenagers that nothing impresses
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Old 10-07-2006, 13:43   #5
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As I have said before in this day and time children are pampered. It wasn't that long ago that a 6 or 7 year old would have lots of responsibilities including chopping firewood, gardening, etc. One of the things that I emphasize as a parent is teamwork. A family requires teamwork. Otherwise parents end up doing it all. (Especially Mom's) On that note I would suggest that you need to have jobs for the kids that require them to help, taking some of the load off of you and which in turn will teach them to become self sufficient. (Kai's idea)
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Old 17-07-2006, 10:10   #6
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I just found a place On Deck Sports, and their prices for netting are extremely low! 2'X42' for $50 because I did nto make the minimum
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Old 11-08-2006, 18:20   #7
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My husband and I have lived aboard for 11 years and are expecting our first child this September. Our biggest question about having a baby on board is what do you do about diapers? We don't have a water maker and couldn't carry enough water for cloth diapers and disposable seems unrealistic, too. Has anyone dealt with this successfully, especially related to long-term cruising and ocean passages?
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Old 11-08-2006, 19:14   #8
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Sorry if I misunderstood what you do (cruise VS lieveaboard), but if you spend a lot of time underway, make up a way to tow the dirty cloth dipers, this works well with mops and rugs as well....amazing how clean things come back after a day being dragged... be safe
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Old 11-08-2006, 20:21   #9
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Arrrr Boy!

Our son moved aboard with us when he was 38 hours old and has been a liveaboard boat kid his entire life. He'll be three years old in six weeks.

Being our first child, we kind of went hog wild on the safety issues. We live on a monohull. Naturally, we netted the entire lifeline perimeter and made custom sunbrella pannels to fill-in the railing areas around the stern and gates as soon as he learned to crawl. Below, we made custom net enclosures on his bunk and settees for day time use. One thing which worked great was a 3/4 inch piece of plywood which fit snuggly between the first & second ladder rungs which prevented him from going up on deck when we weren't watching. We are dock dwellers and he has somehow developed a keen sense of caution whenever he gets near the edge of the dock and lifelines. He's fallen from the max heights of his bed and through the companionway and the only dammage was to our ear drums upon catching his breath. He hasn't fallen in over a year and has never fallen overboard or off the dock. He loves playing in the water but I'm still not comfortable with his swimming ability. Patience is all it takes.

We heeded Charlie's advice early and give him simple responsibilities and include him into all aspects of day-to-day chores and decision making. We gave him his own set of plastic tools and he absolutely LOVES getting into the engine compartment with his plastic wrench and hammer.

We impose few rules upon him other than wearing his lifejacket before we get into the dinghy and holding onto the lifelines until we're ready for him. He still gets his bumps & bruises and gets scraped-up from time-to-time.

The car seat in the cockpit works great so long as it's near the helm. He used to frett a bit while we were casting our lines but he's even over that now. He has yet to want to leave the cockpit when underway.

We try to lead by good example and he's becoming a fine young sailor.

And I'm sure everything'll work out just fine for the rest of you adventurous parents and parents to be... so long as you use common sense and keep your guard up.

Enjoy,

Kirk, Cath & Stuart ~~~_/) ~~~ the Gallivanters
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Old 11-08-2006, 20:59   #10
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We have lived aboard for 11 years and spent a year (2003/2004) sailing from Seattle to the Sea of Cortez and back up to Chula Vista, CA. We would like to cruise again, but in the meantime, we're living at the dock while we wait for the birth of our son. We love the ideas on how to prevent them from climbing the companion way and for building independence. How in the world do you get salt out of a cloth diaper after dragging them at sea? Wouldn't the slightest bit of salt give them diaper rash and leave babies uncomfortably damp? Has this worked for you or anyone?
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:03   #11
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Iíve always found dried-on sea salt to be very irritating.
I dry my skin (with a dedicated towel) immediately after exiting the water, never allowing the salt to dry on my body.
Salty fabrics will not satisfactorily dry out. The salt is hygroscopic, and absorbs moisture from the air.
Rinsing salt-water washed fabrics requires copious quantities of fresh water.
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Old 12-08-2006, 11:50   #12
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Any other ideas regarding diapers?
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Old 12-08-2006, 20:07   #13
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Check out the book "Adventures with Children" by Nan Jeffery. She devotes a section of the book to discussion about kids and diapers and how to deal with them both on a sail boat.

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Old 12-08-2006, 21:22   #14
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Just to clear things up while I did pass on the info about giving jobs to kids and while I would love to take credit for the idea. Credit is due to Kai Nui for the Idea. Thanks Kai.
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Old 17-08-2006, 07:24   #15
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We are trying to go cruising with 4 kids presently aged 6yrs, 4yrs, 2yrs, and 2mo. It will be sometime before we even have a boat so I hope to avoid the entire diaper issue.

I have heard, read, imagined, (I don't really remember) that clothe diapers and some rope is the key to babies. When the diaper is dirty, you just tie it to the rope and throw it over board for a good cleaning. Then rinse the salt out? Don't have any clues other than that.

If you haven't breastfed, I would SUGGEST it STRONGLY. It's lways ready to go. I plan on breadfeeding my youngest until he is 10 or so! (That's a joke.) Really, until his is 4 maybe. If we were at home I'd wean earlier--2yrs. But being at sea it would be very helpful to have an instant supply of fresh, wholesome, antibiotic rich milk for a plethera of ailments from eye infections to diaper rash to dehydration due to vomitting--gosh the list goes on and on. Breastmilk is worth its weight in gold.

I'm trying to learn how to keep the kids entertained when they need to get some energy out. I'm sure that on a boat there is gads to be done but what is there to do--get my drift?

As far as kids being pampered--too true! I'm trying to regard them as slave labor and keep them as busy as can be making my life easier. Not working so far but I don't give up easily.

Chanda
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