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Old 13-04-2012, 15:09   #1
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Toddler wearing on Board

For all you moms and dads who babywear on board but don't want to take pictures to show the folks back home and freak them out.

Don't worry, we did it for you

Toddler Wearing on a Boat | Toddler on Board

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Old 01-09-2012, 22:10   #2
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

Hi Charlotte

Sorry Im so late to this! Thanks for your post. We are finally, seriously thinking about maybe, possibly (!) having our first child, and you've touched on one of the things I think about a lot - the logistics of getting on and off the boat, especially into a tender. I mean, I struggle with it myself some days, and Im not lugging a little one along!

How did you find living onboard with a newborn?

Thanks for your advice
Caitlin
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:27   #3
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

We did it with my baby sister 30 years ago.

She did it again with her own kids 2 years ago during a Pacific crossing.

We personally fell pregnant at sea in the early 00s and then waited until he was useful before cruising again. At the age of 8, he was doing solo night watches. Now he is 11 and can tell us our latitude with a sextant.

The key is no life jackets, good swimming ability and lots of responsibility. Less video games the better.

Donīt worry, Caitlin, you will work it out when leaping into the dingy!
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:51   #4
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

jimbo, I'm sure you meant to say life jackets- not no life jackets.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:24   #5
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

No lifejackets. That way they learn to rely on their swimming ability instead of thinking they will be saved by an external device. Makes them more responsible.
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Old 02-09-2012, 13:12   #6
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

teach the children to swim BEFORE they learn life jackets, yes. teach em from 6 months of age or younger.
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Old 02-09-2012, 13:30   #7
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

Yep, Zee!

I started teaching our son when he was 3 months old. He would hang on to my neck, we would both take a big breath together and then dive to the bottom of the pool and swim around with our eyes open. Now he can freedive down to 9 m without a mask or fins.

He truly is a fish!

He only uses a lifejacket in populated areas of nanny states, but we haven't been to one of them for a long time.
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Old 02-09-2012, 14:34   #8
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

We've tried teaching our 2 year old- started at 6 months and it is not her thing at all. We use a life jacket religiously. I also wear one because I know if she went in I would be going in right after her and would need the extra buoyancy to keep her safe until we can get back on the boat.

Not every kid takes to water. I suppose the good news is that she has a healthy respect for edges.
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Old 02-09-2012, 15:56   #9
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

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.
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Old 02-09-2012, 16:04   #10
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

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.
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Old 02-09-2012, 16:36   #11
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

There was drama here last week. We were one of 4 boats that was getting hammered against a concrete wharf by a surprise change in weather. We all got together and started getting each boat off one by one. The first boat had a non-working engine, so we swam an anchor out in order to get them around a corner without more damage. Put on my fins, mask, lashed our Fortress FX-37 to a couple of jugs and a lifering and started swimming. There was a 3' chop thumping us all against the wharf and it was just easier to swim than use a dinghy. It was on sunset and another yachtie and my son jumped in with me. Once the light line holding the flotation was cut, the anchor fell to the bottom and then of course the 2 jugs started floating off. Since he is a fish, he just automatically took off across the waves and rescued one jerry jug, while the other yachtie got the other one. A life jacket would have slowed him down. And he still treats it all as one big game.

2 days ago, we left a wharf where there are always people available to throw off a line. Of course, Murphy's Law meant that everyone magically disappeared just when we were ready to toss off a strategically placed bow line. We were 5 m away from the wharf, dinghy was in the davits. What to do? Wait for someone to appear or take action? Action!

So the fish-son goes into the water, swims across, clambers up the wharf, tosses off the line, dives back in, swims back to the boat and hauls himself aboard just as I put the engines in gear.

Good skills to have as a kid on the water or as crew on your boat. I am a proud Dad.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:18   #12
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

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Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
Donīt worry, Caitlin, you will work it out when leaping into the dingy!
Thanks for the encouragement Jimbo! Why am I thinking that getting on and off the dingy will be the least of our worries??

Im sure we will be fine - I keep telling myself that there is no better time in our lives to take the plunge - happy, carefree and the opportunity to be full-time parents.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:37   #13
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
...

2 days ago, we left a wharf where there are always people available to throw off a line. Of course, Murphy's Law meant that everyone magically disappeared just when we were ready to toss off a strategically placed bow line. We were 5 m away from the wharf, dinghy was in the davits. What to do? Wait for someone to appear or take action? Action!

So the fish-son goes into the water, swims across, clambers up the wharf, tosses off the line, dives back in, swims back to the boat and hauls himself aboard just as I put the engines in gear.

Good skills to have as a kid on the water or as crew on your boat. I am a proud Dad.
In future, double up your lines with just a loop around a cleat/piling when you're preparing to depart. In that manner you can cast off one end of the lines from the deck and let them run around the cleat/piling while being gather up from the other end. Better than a kid/person in the water...and less exciting.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:09   #14
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
In future, double up your lines with just a loop around a cleat/piling when you're preparing to depart. In that manner you can cast off one end of the lines from the deck and let them run around the cleat/piling while being gather up from the other end. Better than a kid/person in the water...and less exciting.
Sterns lines were as described, but a total of 7 lines and 2 anchors made the process a little complicated. That bow line needed a human to toss it off. An onboard human that could swim sure came in handy!
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:09   #15
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Re: Toddlerwearing on Board

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Hi Charlotte

Sorry Im so late to this! Thanks for your post. We are finally, seriously thinking about maybe, possibly (!) having our first child, and you've touched on one of the things I think about a lot - the logistics of getting on and off the boat, especially into a tender. I mean, I struggle with it myself some days, and Im not lugging a little one along!

How did you find living onboard with a newborn?

Thanks for your advice
Caitlin
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
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