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Old 17-04-2016, 11:35   #16
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Re: How young is too young?

There are so many sailing blogs written by families, many with small children. Start here:WOMEN AND CRUISING - Advice, Resources and Inspiration for Women Cruisers
Necesse Family - WOMEN & CRUISING
The TOTEM Sailing Family Answers 12 Questions from WOMEN & CRUISING - 2015 update
and get the book by Behan Giffird, Voyaging with Kids, A Guide to Family Life Afloat.

Denali Rose
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. Dorothy Parker
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Old 17-04-2016, 12:19   #17
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Re: How young is too young?

Another good blog by the parent of young children sailing both the tropics and high latitudes: Twice In A Lifetime

I haven't read Mike's book, South from Alaska, but Lyn Pardey calls it "Essential reading for anyone contemplating voyaging with very young children."

- David
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Old 17-04-2016, 17:07   #18
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Re: How young is too young?

We cruised with our child when he was 16 weeks old. Educated on board, visited many different countries, he grew up different from other kids but is well adjusted and a capable fellow. Now 26 years old and a professional diver. We gave him the choice each year to go to school somewhere but he chose not to. The biggest problem was finding other kids along to way, and we had to plan to find places. When we did deliveries we had to negotiate with him for a cash deal at the end of each one. Usually about $500 and this was when he was 10 years old. He became quite good at business, saves his money and hates shopping for non essentials.

It was funny talking to other cruisers after long passages as all they talked about was the sailing aspect. We found that was the easy part, the most difficult was the home schooling. It takes a lot out of you but gives you the freedom to travel.

I asked him recently about the way he grew up and would he change it ?? The answer was that he has no regrets. He even likes the fact that we gave him just initials " LJ " for his name, he has no other.
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Old 17-04-2016, 18:53   #19
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Re: How young is too young?

I am just loving these posts by the people who have done/are doing this! Keep it coming, because it is an "outside the box" way of life, and not for everyone, but for those who do it successfully, so very rewarding.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 17-04-2016, 20:02   #20
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Re: How young is too young?

I totally agree with you Ann. I am more cautious because I had a terrible time with my son. The pregnancy and infant stage were tough for me. So tough he is my one and only. But I have no doubt that sailing is great for families.
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Old 21-07-2016, 19:02   #21
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Re: How young is too young?

Hi! Now, I never cruised with mine, but I lived aboard as a single mom while pregnant and for two years after he was born, with my first son. He is seven now and certainly he will remember now, whereas he doesn't remember the first two years of his life. But this cruise is for you, right? Not for the baby! You have cruised before and will again I imagine, so I say go for it. Don't put it off because of a baby and certainly don't put a baby off because of a cruise!. And I must tell you, a new baby stays where you put it. A toddler.... well... buy duct tape. A baby is much easier on a boat than an 18 month old! Take advantage of that short time before crawling!

Now, the first month a baby is born is an adjustment, obviously for new parents. It's amazing how much time that tiny thing will take up. But after you get settled and get into a new routine as parents, you should be just fine. I think it depends on what kind of new parents you are also. Some new parents are nervous. If you think you will be that way, wait a bit longer. I was not nervous at all. I was weird, or so I've been told. People have had babies forever, it's not new, people get crazy these days.

Cruise away! Then cruise again when the baby is older and can remember it with you. It will be two very different experiences for you, I promise. My sons are 7 and 4 and they have been on boats all their lives. We are moving back onto a boat shortly to liveaboard. I miss the days they were babies and didn't think it was funny to jump off the bow to surprise mommy on the back deck.....
Kids are great until they start crawling.... lol

PS- definitely bring a lot of diapers.
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Old 21-07-2016, 19:34   #22
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Re: How young is too young?

Originally Posted by BrieGrande View Post
And I must tell you, a new baby stays where you put it. A toddler.... well... buy duct tape.
Most wisdom words I read for some time.

With our first son, we were anxious for him to give his first steps and were pretty much shocked when an old toy store owner told us, "Don't stimulate the little brat, the longer he's just laying around, the better"

When my second son first started to move around, I shouted to my wife: "Oh God, he's starting to move! Bring the ropes! Fast!"

As harsh as it might sound, for the first months, babies are basically sleeping, eating and pooping machines with an inbuilt siren that sometimes goes off. Pretty easy. Once they start to move is when parents are screwed

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Old 21-07-2016, 21:39   #23
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Re: How young is too young?

I have no experience sailing with an infant, but I do have experience with kids. First, babies don't come delivered. Your partner will need prenatal care, and if all is well, you're lucky and can continue sailing. If she's suffering extreme morning sickness, preeclampsia, perhaps the placenta suffers some anomaly, you'll need medical attention.

Assuming the baby is delivered healthy, you have to hope your spouse provides ample milk. Some women don't and formula is going to be hard to store. My daughter caught a non specific virus when she was only four weeks old and I lived in the hospital and office for three weeks. On a boat? You may be lucky, you may not, question is what's your risk tolerance and are you and your partner on the same page?

Do either of you have a history in the family with childhood conditions? Ear infections? Skin ailments? Digestion issues?

If things change, then your cruise is over. Not saying it can't or shouldn't be done, as many great and capable people have. But it takes two to make a baby and so you need to be on the same page before conception.
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Old 21-07-2016, 23:03   #24
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Re: How young is too young?

Our four children were born aboard and grew up cruising. Don't hesitate to take them. There are heaps of basics to consider from the obvious consideration of nappies (we used traditional terry towelling type with nappy liners and we even washed and reused the liners!) to longer term issues of storage of baby food, buying and using sterilisers / infant food, provisioning for them, infant toothbrushes/toothpaste/ teething gel etc etc and carrying infant medicine. However, we found illnesses and injuries tended to be less than our 'landed' peers. Don't hesitate - just go.
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Old 30-08-2016, 15:42   #25
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Re: How young is too young?

My eldest lived aboard as young as 1 1/2, my middle daughter came home to a boat, and the youngest was born aboard. She's lived every day of her life aboard except for when we've done some visiting.

I have been the primary child caretaker. My husband the primary boat caretaker. When we've done long passages with very little people, we've had additional crew. (I was nearly worthless as a crew mate, though I did what I could.)

The youngest is 3 1/2 now, so she still requires a lot of attention and assistance, but I'm being able to handle more crew responsibilities... (Though I believe we're going to be taking crew for at least some of our big trips in the near future...)
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Old 31-08-2016, 18:36   #26
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Re: How young is too young?

My daughter was also born on board, she is almost 5 now and swims like a fish. She absolutely loves life on board and as I also grew up the first 11 years of my life on a cruising boat and wouldn't change it for the world - I would say go for it! For sure the 1st year is hard on the mum, if breastfeeding, but as others have said babies don't move too much and with a secure bunk and some toys to look at, they can be left alone for manouevres etc. once they start walking you just have to make sure the boat is safe for you would in a house anyway!

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