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Old 09-09-2012, 11:11   #16
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

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Originally Posted by Mimsy View Post
I still wouldn't feel comfortable with my 2 year old trying to swim in waves any kind of waves if she fell in, nor my 12 year old nor myself or my husband for that matter. Perhaps in flat glass conditions but not in any kind or waves. To each his own I suppose.
Cidnie, I couldn't agree more. Perhaps in a perfect weather situation, but that doesn't really exist. There are super busy anchorages, night time dinghy rides, who knows. I want my kid bobbing up and down so I can scoop them out. We practice swimming and playing in the water at the beach.
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Old 09-09-2012, 19:00   #17
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

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Hi Caitlin,

We are currently on our shakedown cruise and have still to work this out to my liking. Part of the problem is that I'm 17 weeks pregnant with our second and big and clumsy (and only going to get bigger and clumsier.)

We need a better swim step, I'd prefer some kind of platform for getting on and off our Hans Christian and into the dinghy. Right now I cannot safely get myself and my daughter (on my own) into our boat - so that needs to be fixed.

In addition we have a Walker Bay dinghy but need to get the Walker Bay Tube Kit to make it more stable. Right now if I fell in, I couldn't pull myself into our dinghy without flipping it, so that also needs to change.

We still have work to do, but that's why people do a shakedown cruise.

Cora is 2 years old and we religiously have her in a life jacket. As for the newborn, until the baby is old enough to fit into an infant life jacket I will most likely wear them but as soon as they fit a weight limit for an infant, they'll also be in a life jacket and then held in my arms for transport.

Hope that helps. If you want to read up on our current shake down cruise, we are at: Rebel Heart - The Saga of the Rebel Heart
Thanks so much Charlotte. We have been discussing different swim step designs too. We'd like to DIY. The trick is finding something sturdy and safe that sits on the side of the boat, but is also removable and not hard to store. Phew!
PS Love you blog!
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Old 10-09-2012, 21:54   #18
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

Thanks for the compliment on the blog! Things are a bit slower since island life is slower but I've got some posts coming up.

I'm trying to plan out a good swim step too. I'm sure we'll DIY it a well. Would love to see what you come up with.
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Old 13-09-2012, 17:55   #19
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Re: Toddler wearing on Board

Hi again Red Charlotte. Im thinking about something like this but:
a) that doesnt cost so much!
b) has a deeper step
I'll keep you posted.
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Old 13-09-2012, 20:31   #20
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Re: Toddler wearing on Board

Oooh, a great start! I'd also need something like a rope ladder below it for pulling yourself out of the water should you a) fall in and/or b) go swimming by the boat

Thanks for the link!
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Old 13-09-2012, 21:34   #21
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Re: Toddler wearing on Board

We have a flat transom so are also looking at installing a fold-up swim deck to make climbing in and out of the water easier but in rough weather it can be quite dangerous trying to board at the back of the boat, so I love your idea of a step/ladder hybrid!
Hmmm... more research is in order!
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Old 13-09-2012, 21:55   #22
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Re: Toddler wearing on Board

Our kid sailed at five days old.

We lashed his car seat into the cockpit until he was big enough to wear the smallest PFD. We clipped him to the boat then and he's now 11 and still has to wear his PFD on deck. He likes jumping around on the foredeck striking superhero poses.

He wears it swimming. We anchored out recently and he swam to a beach about 500 metres away and back. Nobody mentioned that was pretty impressive.

About the only issue was when he was four or so and fell down the companionway. Just bumps and bruises, but "one hand for the boat" is now fully automatic.

This is him at four years old:



Giving them even a "fake" job gets them interested.
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Old 13-09-2012, 23:06   #23
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Re: Toddler wearing on Board

Great advice, and a great photo - thanks s/v Alchemy. Happy, healthy, outgoing kids. That's what we're aiming for too!
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Old 09-10-2012, 18:53   #24
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Great advice, and a great photo - thanks s/v Alchemy. Happy, healthy, outgoing kids. That's what we're aiming for too!
I know I got here late in the chatter but I've cruised with kids as young as 3 months.
Before we had kids we did a 5 year run. My son was 3 when I realized I preferred him at the helm over my wife during anchoring.
Kids do great. The one essential thing I'd suggest is a car seat for each kid for when the storms roll in. They always do.
My kids are home schooled. We did 4 years when my daughter was born, another 6 months when she was 7 and the only problems we had was between the kids competition over who was a better fisherman.
Bring lots of books, snacks and DVDs.
My kids can talk to anyone with conference. My son is 12 and is tutoring 2 high-school kids. It's the best thing you can do for kids. Just go for it.
As for waves, know your stuff and never show weakness.
I'll be heading to the Bahamas for a few months this winter. If you're heading that way let me know.
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Old 10-11-2012, 23:59   #25
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Re: Toddler wearing on Board

Start 'em young and this is what they do, well before they are teens....

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Old 11-11-2012, 09:22   #26
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Re: Toddler wearing on Board

Jimbo, such a great video! My daughter (2 years old) watched the whole thing. Thanks!
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Old 16-04-2013, 16:29   #27
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

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teach the children to swim BEFORE they learn life jackets, yes. teach em from 6 months of age or younger.
This is a very late post...but on swimming...correct on teaching them to swim early. I 'm a boater and a nanny. I teach infants to swim in the aster or live the aster. Have a 14 mos old who dog paddles and blows bubbles...fantastic
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Old 16-04-2013, 16:32   #28
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

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Apparently the trick is to start them in the water early. Once they are 6 months old, they have lost the automatic ability to close their mouths. Or their esophagus? I can't remember which now. Before 6 months of age the child experts say they still have their instinct based on their time in the uterus.

Once I did the research and realised the above, we started immediately, 3 months after birth. First games of blowing bubbles and lots of laughter. Then holding our breaths and going under. Then it was just like learning to walk and it came naturally to him, just like it will to any kid few months old. He has no memory of learning to swim, just like land kids have no memory of learning to walk.

It takes much more time and effort to teach a kid to swim than to buy a life jacket. But you gotta hit that age window for them to learn by instinct and games rather than by lessons about technique.
Start before 6 mos...the love of water will be there before they fear it. Have a 14 mos who dog paddles andputs his face in aster on his own....he started at 2 mos.
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