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Old 29-04-2017, 15:53   #1
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Newborn saftey

We are a cruising couple with our first baby due in 10 weeks and i am trying to decide on safest place for her when
1. We are on deck moving a boat on a calm day and i need to put her down to go pick up a moring and dad will be steering and need hands free. I am thinking under the dondger in a 1. basenet or 2. car seat so she can still see whats going on and is quick and easy to get in and out. Also keeping in mind that anything can happen even on a calm day, like wether turning quickly, ect.
2. When we are on deck dealing with bad weather, or emergency of some sort either at anchore or moving and both me and dad need to be hands on tending to situation. Car seat or basenet under dodger or either option bellow. I am concerned about her being left alone bellow by her self, especially in a basenet where she can be rocked and rolled around in windier/rougher conditions.
Thoughts?
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Old 29-04-2017, 16:19   #2
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Re: Newborn saftey

I write as a cruiser and a high-risk pediatrician who spent 25 years taking care of children whose accidents were caused by a lack of sensible behavior by their parents.

Two days ago, in a force 9 gale, our cockpit was swamped by a 20 ft+ wave...

The baby needs to be in a safe location below decks.

Have you considered how you will swim with a baby in a car seat in bad weather after the boat sinks? Does the car seat have a self inflating flotation device?

Some of the most tragic pediatric cases I managed in 25 years of pediatric ICU work were drowned and near-drowned children whose parents failed to foresee all the possible ways tragedies on the water occour. Helping transplant teams harvest the organs of brain dead infants is not a nice way to spend a night on call.

From a medical perspective children in the first 1-2 years of life need to be near first world medical care.

You need to put the child's safety before your own personal ambitions.
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Old 29-04-2017, 16:24   #3
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Re: Newborn safety

a. It should be simple enough to assign one person to 100% baby watch. Dad should be able to do EVERYTHING himself during this period. You're new to this, so why risk the unthinkable? Singlehanding just aint' that hard, so you have 10 weeks to learn the basics. Get to it. Accept that bumping a piling is far less important that dropping a baby. If you can't accept that, sell the boat.

b. When they start to crawl, full body harness, well fitted (most don't without adjustments). But that still means one person on watch, no distractions.

We either used a car seat when we needed her secure, or just padded her in a bunk with lee cloths when we needed something more like a bassinet.

Yes, you can come up with safe places to put the little dear, but really, you won't be comfortable with it at first.

(20 years ago, a scratch-up pre-digital snapshot. Like the PFD?)
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Old 29-04-2017, 16:52   #4
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Re: Newborn saftey

Put the child down below behind a leecloth. We took our 9-month-old full-time cruising, and though she needed lots of attention and I essentially singlehanded a lot, mom could always put her down and come on deck to help. When the child gets active enough to crawl over a leecloth, just put it on the sole. Begin to teach it obedience from its earliest days, so that it will stay below when told.
It works. I did it.
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Old 29-04-2017, 17:26   #5
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Re: Newborn saftey

Congratulations !!!

I think sudden unexpected movement of the boat or equipment can be a major risk.

It seems down below is safer as it is closer to roll and pitch center. You must make 100% sure no object can get free and this can be difficult in any boat: books, utensils, etc. etc. etc.

The other factor is, I think, many kids get frightened when they are left alone and cannot see (yes) the mother. So when there is no danger from movement / moving objects it would seem the cockpit is the better place.

I think at all times the baby would need to be in some sort of crib (nest) like the ones we use in cars.

Our neighbours have a new baby here but they do not go sailing with her - they just come and spend time onboard during week-ends.

All the best,
b.
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Old 29-04-2017, 18:59   #6
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Re: Newborn saftey

Cruisingmuum,


Lee cloth, settee berth, and make the cloth really high. Normally, they're about as high as the shoulder to cushion measurement of the largest crew member, but you can add see through pvc shade-cloth like Breezeway - in a dark color, so she can see through it - and take it most of the way to the overhead, so she can't get thrown out of there, even if the boat overturns. You will need hand rails or something else on the overhead to tie the lee cloth up to. You could even make it so it would "reef", as you only need the highest when it is really hairy out. More likely you'd be hove to on the offshore tack during such bad weather.

Ann
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Old 01-05-2017, 06:20   #7
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Re: Newborn saftey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingmuum View Post
We are a cruising couple with our first baby due in 10 weeks and i am trying to decide on safest place for her when
1. We are on deck moving a boat on a calm day and i need to put her down to go pick up a moring and dad will be steering and need hands free. I am thinking under the dondger in a 1. basenet or 2. car seat so she can still see whats going on and is quick and easy to get in and out. Also keeping in mind that anything can happen even on a calm day, like wether turning quickly, ect.
2. When we are on deck dealing with bad weather, or emergency of some sort either at anchore or moving and both me and dad need to be hands on tending to situation. Car seat or basenet under dodger or either option bellow. I am concerned about her being left alone bellow by her self, especially in a basenet where she can be rocked and rolled around in windier/rougher conditions.
Thoughts?
I am expected to be beaten up but.. Something in the order of a dog crate, secured below?
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:19   #8
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Re: Newborn saftey

wot ann said plus harness and tether so no getting out of bed while parents are both busy and cannot save baby.
tether and harness work also on land when toddlers want to go where mom and dad donot wish to go.
(i dreamed of this when my kid was a toddler and i worked night shifts.... going to the beach sola was a total nightmare, as was shopping for his clothing. he run off and hide-- i could not find him anywhere.. oopsy)
start with swim lessons very young.
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Old 01-05-2017, 16:52   #9
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Re: Newborn saftey

Zeehag, about the swim lessons, isn't the timing critical on that? Something like 6 wks. old? Totally agree a harness and tether are a great deal, and never too soon to introduce it, either, best by 6 months or so, I'd say.

We met a kid, a toddler at the time, whose mom said she had taught him to float on his back if he fell in, and I'm pretty sure it was before 8 wks....

It was kind of funny, he was born in the Caribbean, and the next day moved aboard the boat. It had lifeline netting when we met them, and he had never done much walking ashore, only on the boat, and was like a young monkey climbing everywhere. Well, come into New Zealand, and he took off running, but he hadn't learned turning and stopping yet, so there was a harrowing time when we'd hear him bawling, dash out above decks and there he was in the water again, floating on his back and hollering for Mom. She'd pick him out of the water, hose him off with the fresh water on the dock, and let him aboard.
It only went on for 2 or 3 days--maybe the hosing off was an aversive stimulus, eh?
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Old 01-05-2017, 17:28   #10
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Re: Newborn saftey

For an infant I would make a way to secure the car seat down below. Anything else has the potential to send them flying. As soon as they are crawling its going to be Harness time. I also wouldn't have a toddler on deck without a PFD even at the dock. They could be sitting in 1 place for and hour and you look away for a second and they are off on a field trip. I was a single dad with full custody from the time my son was 2 till I got remarried when he was 7. I refused to give up doing things but I had to compromise and change how I did lots of things. Main thing I did when we were on the boat was a PFD and if it was rough at all a helmet. I think it save him a couple of good knocks.
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Old 01-05-2017, 22:30   #11
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Re: Newborn saftey

early swim lessons used to be called waterproofing baby. yes i think 6 weeks or so-- the swimming reflex is still active then. my sister and brother in law did this with jade, my niece.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:06   #12
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Re: Newborn saftey

They sink like rocks. Right to the bottom.
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Old 08-05-2017, 19:36   #13
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Re: Newborn saftey

There is a couple, Lazy Gecko, pretty sure that has a video of setting up the baby's area. They used the quarter berth area I believe. I thought it was well done. Do not know exact episode.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:29   #14
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Re: Newborn saftey

Out of curiosity - what is your cruising area? You could spend plenty of time (years) cruising just the Chesapeake where safety can be reached in hours and where lots of public services are available.

There are books out there that can give you a perspective of what its like from a kids perspective on cruising. Check out Melanie Neale's books:

BOAT GIRL: New Book by Melanie Neale

Also, her Dad has a book:

https://www.amazon.com/All-Same-Boat.../dp/0070464340
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Old 23-05-2017, 23:51   #15
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Smile Re: Newborn saftey

Hey Congrats on the first child!

I'm still dreaming about my future family sailing around the world. I can't think of a better way to raise a family.
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