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Babies In the Cockpit


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#1 Nessun Dorma

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:26 AM

Ok all you CA people who cruise or have cruised a lot with infants or little babies on board long-term, or who haven't, but have seen it all (I see you Estar), it's time for a piece of babies-in-the-cockpit advice.

I have adult kids who plan to have families -- and who want to have them join them on board with us for 3 to 4 weeks at a time. Confession: when I had young kids I couldn't wait to leave them with Grandma to go sailing, so i don't quite get this, and I don't have much experience with long-term cruising with infants and babies and really young kids on board and in my cockpit. I've always skipped the "kids' chapters in any books on sailing.

Growing up, I was placed on board my Dad's boat as an older infant and (my older brother tells me) allowed out of the cabin by age 4 or 5. Offshore, no lifejacket, just a tether. My Dad's advice was "you can't swim, better stay on the boat". With no lifejacket, I always held on tight. The good old days; I loved my father but I'm not sure that's a good model.

When my adult kids were young, I always stuffed them below into a pilot berth or quarter berth with lots of pillows if things got even a little rough. But that was when they were maybe 6 or 7, and I confess I just never had infants or a child less than 7 on board for more than a day-sail or an overnight or two. I didn't venture far or charter until my kids were older and could swim and listen to directions. So I never confronted the babies-in-the cockpit issue.

A few nights ago, Mrs. ND, my daughter, and I were talking about having new infant grand-babies on board -- for many weeks or more at a time -- and Mrs. asked if they made "boat seats" for babies. Something with built in secure latches to lock it in the cockpit or saloon/cabin, but that, unlike a car seat, would float if, god-forbid, there was an accident or Grandpa became angry and threw the screaming child overboard. She naturally assumed such a thing existed because it made sense.

I said I'd never seen one. I told her most people used infant PFDs, which had gotten pretty good. I told her that we had friends who did that and that in most circles an infant in a carseat in a cockpit without a PDF is considered negligent and just bad. I think that's the USCG position, for what that's worth.

So I figured I'd tap into the CA knowledge bank. Since a baby can't wear the PFD AND be in a seat in the cockpit at the same time, what do people do? How do long distance cruisers take care of infants and really small kids in the cockpit? You can't be weeks at sea and just keep the poor buggers below deck (my first instinct). When they are in the cockpit, are they held in arms? Tethered as I was? In a car seat? In life jackets with strobes? And what conditions dictate an infant being places below?

Having thought about it on and off for exactly 48 hours, I vote "no PFD but a stock or custom seat attached to the cockpit".

I know most folks say NEVER put a baby in the cockpit and thus never have them above deck without a PFD. But I'm not sure why, if the seat can be custom fitted to REALLY ATTACH safely to the boat. It seems that if used right, a car or some custom "boat seat" would be an added safety resource on a reasonably stable (read: large) boat. I think more important than floating an infant who goes overboard in the water is actually keeping the kid on board. Maybe that's my Dad talking.

That's why adults are secured with harnesses. Most injuries are from falling while moving on board, a sudden heel or roll-over, or getting in the way of moving gear. Almost all drowning incidents are from falling overboard. It feels like those risks are greatly reduced for an infant or toddler if they are secured to the cockpit in a seat.

That way, a baby can sleep, eat and be with her family while they are in the cockpit, without skipper or crew worrying if she will fall or get hurt on a tack or if a rogue wave hits and Mommy can't hold on to Junior. To me the main thing is just keeping the kid on board, not equipping her with a PFD if she goes overboard.

Then I got carried away and starting thinking of all the neat safety features you could build into a seat like that. Like a sea-water activated inflation collar on the seat in case it went over, a Baby OB flag and strobe on a coiled metal roll that popped up in the water, a weighed bottom and little keel stub to keep it upright and give it an LPS of close to 180. Maybe even a zip up awning ... its own EPIRB.

Anyone want to invest?

#2 Soņadora

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:59 AM

Celia was 5 mos old when she went sailing with us. Mama carried her in one of those back pack (front pack?) thingies when she was in the cockpit. Down below we kept her in the v-berth with a contrived 'fence' to keep her in. Our v-berth is about as close to a womb as you can get. Bob designed the best v-berth I've ever seen in a 30'er (unlike a lot of v-berths that look more like tombs or prison cells).

When she could fit into a life jacket (> 1yr) she wore that and she stayed in the cockpit. We always feel pretty safe with kids. Our cockpit has nice deep coamings and based on my experience with family, any boat I ever have will have deep coamings. When she started venturing out onto the deck, someone always went with her, holding on to her life jacket tether. The kids love sitting on the low side and getting dragged through the water. Little Celia was no exception. She would sit stradling a stanchion with someone attached to her tether.

Don't over think it ND. The little ones are just as happy below as they are above, and your deep cockpit will be a very safe place. Sure, we were freaked out at first with our first two daughters, but then we found they loved playing with their barbies below. Sure, would have been great to have them in the cockpit, learning how to trim a sheet before they could walk, but they were much happier playing with Barbies and today they still love spending time on the boat.

edit:

here's a couple pics of her when she was pretty fresh...(crappy cell phone pics)

Attached File  2007_05020011.jpg   63.33K   15 downloads

Attached File  2007_05020012.jpg   47.72K   13 downloads

and the following summer playing in the cockpit


Attached File  100_1924 (Small).jpg   64.88K   8 downloads

#3 olaf hart

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:31 AM

Infant, use baby front pack carriers and car baby capsules lashed down below
Breast feeding is easy with the front pack, and no bottles, formula and heating to worry about.
Both our boys usually breast fed on the downwind leg, once the kite was up, when we were racing.
Once they can crawl, they slept in a netted area on the V berth, and we used baby float vests with a small tether.
When they could walk, we just insisted in the vest and tether when they were on deck.
We had decklines running from the cockpit to the anchor cleats, so they could run around where they liked.
I had to fish them out a few times, but they soon learned not to go over the side.
Some people net their lifelines, probably a good idea. We just relied on experience and it worked fine.
We met a family cruising with four children last year when we came down the coast, they treated their 40 foot cutter like a play gym.
Like a ten year old doing flute practice on the cross trees at 8pm in a beautiful anchorage.
A special experience.

#4 floating dutchman

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:52 AM

I don't do serious off shore cruising, three or four days with the young fella (6) is normal.
We took my daughter for her first sail last weekend Just shy of three months, She sat in her car seat on the cabin floor and smiled when we hit a bigger wave, her brother was driving most of the time!
The young fella is now part of the regular crew for the wed night beer can races.

I'll come back after the girl is in bed, (young fella is at the grandparents) with what has worked, what hasn't and what I think may be helpful.

#5 Joli

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:08 PM

Both our kids were on the boat within a month of birth, it depended on how Mrs Joli felt. Infants are happy in the car seat, they like the motion and seemed equally happy above or below deck, we would wedge the car seat in somewhere. When they were a year old and could sit up and crawl they had the run of the boat below and in the cockpit. On nice days we would fill up a tub of water in the cockpit, they would play for hours in that. At 2 they were fitted with life jackets and would go up and down as they wanted but when up they wore the life jacket. At dock or anchor we would drop in the bottom washboard so they could not get out in the middle of the night. Night sailing, the kids just crapped out and climbed in their bunks.

Kids are remarkably happy to be aboard. Bring toys, books, blankets... they entertain themselves and don't drink all the beer.

Funny story; we were transporting a friends boat after a race with the kids and another couple. The kids, maybe 4 and 7, were below playing, the adults were in the cockpit enjoying the sun. We happened to look below and the kids had taken all the cushions and sails to build a slide out of the v-bunk down to sole. They were using foul weather gear as the sled. My friend looked at me and said "maybe I should take the knife and flares out of my gear".

Now they live on the boat during the summer if they aren't interning or studying abroad and they drink all my beer and rum!

ND, you'll love having grand kids aboard.

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#6 Innocent Bystander

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:13 PM

Briefly.

All 3 of mine were sailing before 1 year, depending on season and my deployment schedule. Up until around 3 or 4 years of age, plan on 1 adult/child who plans on doing nothing except taking care of the kid. Car seat strapped down below when it just isn't possible or when sleeping. On deck in good conditions in a front carrier and MAYBE allowed to crawl around in the cockpit well. Our cruises with kids were never on a schedule or planned for long daily runs.

Once mobile life jacket and tether required to go on deck. Jacklines to leave the cockpit at anchor at first and transition to underway in very mild conditions. Consider lifeline nets but watch the gaps. We had nets and for some reason, our kids really liked going up into the bow pulpit so it took a removeable "fence" of netting to keep them from climbing down the anchor rode. Below, we had to wrap a blanket around the companionway ladder as the youngest was a climber. Sleeping was in the vee berth with a baricade across the aft end. Once they were competitive swimmers (6 or 7?) we relaxed the tether requirement and started easing up on the life jackets although they normally grabbed jackets on their own when the wind came up. Of course, since then the state of MD has implemented life jacket requirements for under 10.

Ran into kid seasickness only once. Middle one about 21 months old and we were mooring across from Townsville to Victoria in calm winds (and fog) with some slop. Breakfast came back up and then she was fine.

Some of our best memories are of our 18 month old son climbing up the stern ladder and shouting "Geronimo" as he jumped into the nettle pool with a huge grin, climbed out and did it again (and again and again).

#7 Zonker

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:21 PM

Our daughter sat in a car seat for one Chesapeake summer when she was about 8-10 months old. The car seat was strapped down in the cockpit so our hands were free for sailing. I don't think the USCG would think you negligent if she's strapped in and can't escape. It was WAY TOO HOT for a PFD for an infant without overheating the wee tyke.

It's also hard to get USCG PFDs that work with infants <1 year old. They aren't big enough (20 lbs and above are the usual weight range). The French have some good ones that we got hold of.

Our test to determine if she could leave the cockpit without a lifejacket was "swim around the boat 3x wearing the sort of clothes you would be wearing if you fell in". Passed the test at age 9. In rough weather she stays in the cockpit at parent's directive.

#8 sculpin

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:25 PM

As a baby we had him in a front carrier (usually on me) when above deck. Below deck he was usually in a car seat that we had screwed down in the v-berth, where I could see it from behind the wheel. He was pretty happy there, we'd hand him a bottle and his blanket and all was well.
The next year, once he was mobile, we instituted the rule of above deck = PFD on. While underway he was usually teathered to an adult or to the wheel pedestal on a fairly short teather. From about 5 years on we have let that go unless he is on the foredeck and it is at all rough, in which case we teather him to a padeye up front. Kids do love to get sprayed!

#9 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:45 PM

My son has been sailing with us since he was about 4 weeks old. We figured as of now he has spend 10% of his ENTIRE LIFE sailing :D
When he was an infant, he spent a lot of time in his car seat bungied into the cockpit. That worked great for him and was very safe unless the entire boat sank.

WARNING: We found out most infant-toddler lifejackets WILL NOT hold the child face-up out of the water reliably. The one that did is no longer sold - a SOSPENDER lifejacket that is a hybrid auto-inflatable/foam unit.

#10 European Bloke

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:47 PM

We took small kids sailing and did the whole lifejacket, tether and padded den in a birth down below thing.

When cruising in the Netherlands I was really impressed with the common approach to small kids over there. They had a couple of mounting points in the cockpit for car seats. When the kids needed to be restrained for some reason, sleeping, or a manoeuvre that required all the adult attention, then they attached the seat to the most appropriate mounting and strapped the kid in. Our biggest problem was always constraining kids when we needed to dock, deal with the lock or a sail change.

#11 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:54 PM

I was used to singlehanded sailing, so my wife's job was kind wrangling and mine was sailing.
One day she wasn't watching close enough and we were headed towards a closed bridge with wind and current on the stern. My then-3-year-old decided to turn off the switch for the engine :o

BTW - We had a pack-and-play folding crib that fit our double berth for sleeping.

#12 Becalmed

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 02:03 PM

PFD them...
http://www.salusmari...uct/bijoux.html

Kiddie car bucket when they sleep. My three have been cruising since 1 week old. My youngest guy has had a couple of dunkings but they have been dockside (most dangerous time with kids) or during the dinghy transfer. He smartened up pretty quick, however that happens when they are more mobile. Kids love wearing their pfd if you wear yours (as best you can), and if it has pockets for "stuff" and toys.

#13 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 02:33 PM

My son has never been overboard, but his younger cousin has.
Went like this:
ME: Put this pfd on your (then 6 year old) son.
BROTHER: He doesn't need it just to walk around. He is a good swimmer anyway
ME: Put it on or go home.

(fast forward about *5* minutes!!!)

Nephew bends over to look at a fish and goes headfirst into the water. The the "good swimmer" shrieks and screams his head off floating around the marina until I get around to fishing him out :rolleyes:

#14 Nessun Dorma

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 03:06 PM

Thanks to all who have made suggestions thus far. I appreciate it. I fear that in my rather long late-night post, my question may have gotten lost. Once a child is 20 months or 2 years old, walking and stable, I'm fine with a PFD and tethering them to the boat (I'd never tether to an adult for the obvious reason). My issue is what do people do with real infant, babes in arms, kids who maybe can;t crawl yet and can;t really walk. I saw the choices as:

1. Not let them out of the cabin. That makes no sense to me for extended cruising when the adults will often be outside in the cockpit. Plus I don;t think its healthy for the kid. But it's safe, and I know many folks do that on daysails or short trips. i just can;t see doing it fdr weeks.

2. Buy the best infant PFD you can get and bring the cild into the cockpit -presumambly in someone's arms or on the sole becasue you can;t really wear an infant PFD in a car or bouncy seat. My issue with this is 'shit happens', and having a PFD on a 3month old who goes overboard due to a rogue wave or gust doesn't seem safe.

3. As European Bloke says, do as they do in Europe -- place the child in a seat that ATTACHES to the cockpit (in multiple places) and bolt them in WITHOUT a PFD. This strategy empahsizes keeping the baby on the boat, and allows adults to be hands free.

My guess is that a combination of the above is what's done most often, but I'm surprised at how few people seem to use seats or have any way of easily securing them to a cockpit -- versus shoving it shovewhere or on the cockpit sole.

Bob, maybe you need to design me a little custom GRP seat and attachement latches in both cokpits? :)

#15 pointyend

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 03:32 PM

You should check your local laws too. In Connecticut for instance, it is the law that all kids under 12 on board a recreational vessel underway must have on a non-inflatable PFD if above deck or not in an enclosed cabin. The cops in CT tend to be all over the PFD regulations, going as far as pestering us during races to show adequate PFDs for all on board.

Every single yacht club I've been to in CT has similar requirements for kids on the docks. It just makes sense really, and kid and infant PFDs are so much better now. You hope for them to stay on the boat, but it's best to plan for the worst and give them some way of staying afloat.

#16 us7070

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 03:32 PM

actual seatbelts bolted into the settee work pretty well for attaching a car seat. you absolutely need somewhere you can strap them in and forget about them, knowing they are safe no matter how much they are screaming, when the boat really needs your attention.

even if you have an arrangement for the cockpit, you obviously still need something down below to get them out of the sun, wind, rain etc...

older kids - who won't suffocate, if they roll over - enjoy a "playpen" made by a lee cloth on a berth, but you really do need to be sure they are old enough.

#17 PNW Matt B

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:35 PM

ND, actually, I think the most common method is to strap the infant to an adult's chest. By far the safest method; the kid's always with you, the kid's always completely monitored, and if you go overboard, the kid's as safe as you are (assuming appropriate clothing). Plus you don't have to fetch the kid and it's a lot harder to accidentally smack them with loose gear, lines, etc (most people instinctively do a very good job of protecting their torso anyway, and adding an infant ups that caution quite a bit).

My wife and I used that method with both our kids while sailing, hiking, and numerous other outdoor activities. In very short order you become completely accustomed to the kid being there and the kid not only has more fun and is more comfortable but you do, too.

#18 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:36 PM

We did #3 quite a bit. We also tied the car seat below in a bunk. IMHO the lee clothes weren't enough on their own for an infant because he/she could get their neck wedged in to the gap at the ends. I saw no danger having our son in the car seat sans PFD unless we got torpedoed or otherwise sank too fast to deal with him.

Thanks to all who have made suggestions thus far. I appreciate it. I fear that in my rather long late-night post, my question may have gotten lost. Once a child is 20 months or 2 years old, walking and stable, I'm fine with a PFD and tethering them to the boat (I'd never tether to an adult for the obvious reason). My issue is what do people do with real infant, babes in arms, kids who maybe can;t crawl yet and can;t really walk. I saw the choices as:

1. Not let them out of the cabin. That makes no sense to me for extended cruising when the adults will often be outside in the cockpit. Plus I don;t think its healthy for the kid. But it's safe, and I know many folks do that on daysails or short trips. i just can;t see doing it fdr weeks.

2. Buy the best infant PFD you can get and bring the cild into the cockpit -presumambly in someone's arms or on the sole becasue you can;t really wear an infant PFD in a car or bouncy seat. My issue with this is 'shit happens', and having a PFD on a 3month old who goes overboard due to a rogue wave or gust doesn't seem safe.

3. As European Bloke says, do as they do in Europe -- place the child in a seat that ATTACHES to the cockpit (in multiple places) and bolt them in WITHOUT a PFD. This strategy empahsizes keeping the baby on the boat, and allows adults to be hands free.

My guess is that a combination of the above is what's done most often, but I'm surprised at how few people seem to use seats or have any way of easily securing them to a cockpit -- versus shoving it shovewhere or on the cockpit sole.

Bob, maybe you need to design me a little custom GRP seat and attachement latches in both cokpits? :)



#19 us7070

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:47 PM

ND, actually, I think the most common method is to strap the infant to an adult's chest. By far the safest method; the kid's always with you, the kid's always completely monitored, and if you go overboard, the kid's as safe as you are (assuming appropriate clothing). Plus you don't have to fetch the kid and it's a lot harder to accidentally smack them with loose gear, lines, etc (most people instinctively do a very good job of protecting their torso anyway, and adding an infant ups that caution quite a bit).

My wife and I used that method with both our kids while sailing, hiking, and numerous other outdoor activities. In very short order you become completely accustomed to the kid being there and the kid not only has more fun and is more comfortable but you do, too.



i'm sure it worked for you, but to me, it seems really dangerous on a boat.

what if you fall, or just loose your balance and get knocked up against something? i can only imagine this works in the flattest conditions, especially if you have any kind of job to do on the boat.

can you grind a winch, or trim a chute with a kid tied to your chest?

also, if you fall overboard, the kid's head is underwater until you get him out of the pouch.

#20 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:53 PM

Seriously - I would never have done that.

#21 PNW Matt B

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:05 PM


ND, actually, I think the most common method is to strap the infant to an adult's chest. By far the safest method; the kid's always with you, the kid's always completely monitored, and if you go overboard, the kid's as safe as you are (assuming appropriate clothing). Plus you don't have to fetch the kid and it's a lot harder to accidentally smack them with loose gear, lines, etc (most people instinctively do a very good job of protecting their torso anyway, and adding an infant ups that caution quite a bit).

My wife and I used that method with both our kids while sailing, hiking, and numerous other outdoor activities. In very short order you become completely accustomed to the kid being there and the kid not only has more fun and is more comfortable but you do, too.



i'm sure it worked for you, but to me, it seems really dangerous on a boat.

what if you fall, or just loose your balance and get knocked up against something? i can only imagine this works in the flattest conditions, especially if you have any kind of job to do on the boat.

can you grind a winch, or trim a chute with a kid tied to your chest?

also, if you fall overboard, the kid's head is underwater until you get him out of the pouch.


Actually, the kid's safer. Every adult human reflexively protects their chest and head in all conditions, and doing so automatically protects the kid. On your back, yes, there's a risk, but infants are worn on your chest, not your back. The gear's also padded (if you get the "outdoor gear" kind) and it really isn't that easy to injure an infant protected that way. And the kid's head is not down on your chest; it's at about neck level. Low enough that being in the water would be a bad thing, not so low that the kid's head is submerged if you're wearing a properly sized PFD.

Yes, you can grind a winch or trim a spinnaker. You might need to change your stance, but that happens pretty automatically. If you've never done this and try it just before going out on the boat, it's probably not going to work very well. But strap a kid to your chest for a couple of hours around the house and you'll adjust pretty quickly.

It's far more dangerous to have the kid strapped into a seat in the cockpit. Loose or broken gear winds up in the cockpit all the time; people fall into the seat and now that reflexive protective gesture is more harmful than not; lines swing across the space in uncontrolled jibes or crash tacks. Putting the seat in an out-of-the-way spot is worse, first because that's where people toss things without thinking about it and second because it's harder to check on the baby while you can't help but observe the kid's welfare when they're strapped to your chest.

Ask a childcare professional what they do with infants. Ask a maternity ward nurse or pediatrician what they recommend. We did.

#22 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:09 PM

Our baby seat was up under the dodger and well out of the way of any sheets or winch handles.
We weren't doing a freaking racing series with 20 people throwing things around the boat :rolleyes:
It wasn't hard to check on him - he was right in FRONT OF ME!

#23 sculpin

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:19 PM



ND, actually, I think the most common method is to strap the infant to an adult's chest. By far the safest method; the kid's always with you, the kid's always completely monitored, and if you go overboard, the kid's as safe as you are (assuming appropriate clothing). Plus you don't have to fetch the kid and it's a lot harder to accidentally smack them with loose gear, lines, etc (most people instinctively do a very good job of protecting their torso anyway, and adding an infant ups that caution quite a bit).

My wife and I used that method with both our kids while sailing, hiking, and numerous other outdoor activities. In very short order you become completely accustomed to the kid being there and the kid not only has more fun and is more comfortable but you do, too.



i'm sure it worked for you, but to me, it seems really dangerous on a boat.

what if you fall, or just loose your balance and get knocked up against something? i can only imagine this works in the flattest conditions, especially if you have any kind of job to do on the boat.

can you grind a winch, or trim a chute with a kid tied to your chest?

also, if you fall overboard, the kid's head is underwater until you get him out of the pouch.


Actually, the kid's safer. Every adult human reflexively protects their chest and head in all conditions, and doing so automatically protects the kid. On your back, yes, there's a risk, but infants are worn on your chest, not your back. The gear's also padded (if you get the "outdoor gear" kind) and it really isn't that easy to injure an infant protected that way. And the kid's head is not down on your chest; it's at about neck level. Low enough that being in the water would be a bad thing, not so low that the kid's head is submerged if you're wearing a properly sized PFD.

Yes, you can grind a winch or trim a spinnaker. You might need to change your stance, but that happens pretty automatically. If you've never done this and try it just before going out on the boat, it's probably not going to work very well. But strap a kid to your chest for a couple of hours around the house and you'll adjust pretty quickly.

It's far more dangerous to have the kid strapped into a seat in the cockpit. Loose or broken gear winds up in the cockpit all the time; people fall into the seat and now that reflexive protective gesture is more harmful than not; lines swing across the space in uncontrolled jibes or crash tacks. Putting the seat in an out-of-the-way spot is worse, first because that's where people toss things without thinking about it and second because it's harder to check on the baby while you can't help but observe the kid's welfare when they're strapped to your chest.

Ask a childcare professional what they do with infants. Ask a maternity ward nurse or pediatrician what they recommend. We did.


+1

And as the guy driving I was probably the least likely to go in the water.

#24 PNW Matt B

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:33 PM

I should add that in rough conditions the babies went in the v-berth and were usually asleep in minutes. Wish I could sleep that easily. That berth remains the kids' domain and has always been well padded and easily secured.

#25 SereneSpeed

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:37 PM

First, thanks ND. I was going to start a thread like this sooner or later. Our first child is due at the beginning of May. My wife is already daydreaming of sailing with the little one :) (sometimes I feel so damn lucky!)

Here are my questions:

1) Has anyone found a lifejacket that is Baby Bjorn compatible?

2) Our car seat is large (!!!). Does anyone know of a smaller brand that might work better on a boat? We are using a Britax Chaperone for a car seat. But, on a boat, I don't feel the need to have such a large (high speed) impact resistant seat...

3) How do the child seats support the little ones when the boat is heeled?

4) What are people doing with the diapers on multiple days out? :ph34r:

BV, I'm in the process of designing a small dodger that covers just the companionway. And, I'm designing something that might allow us to attach a car seat just inside the companionway, viewable and reachable from the cockpit, but able to be offset to one side to allow my wife and I to still use the stairs.



#26 PNW Matt B

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:24 PM

1) Has anyone found a lifejacket that is Baby Bjorn compatible?

2) Our car seat is large (!!!). Does anyone know of a smaller brand that might work better on a boat? We are using a Britax Chaperone for a car seat. But, on a boat, I don't feel the need to have such a large (high speed) impact resistant seat...

3) How do the child seats support the little ones when the boat is heeled?

4) What are people doing with the diapers on multiple days out? :ph34r:

BV, I'm in the process of designing a small dodger that covers just the companionway. And, I'm designing something that might allow us to attach a car seat just inside the companionway, viewable and reachable from the cockpit, but able to be offset to one side to allow my wife and I to still use the stairs.

1) Not specifically. I liked my West Marine inflatable the best as I could adjust it to fit alongside the kid, no straps on or close to the kid's face, and in my pool testing I always ended up (with a doll, not the kid) leaned back slightly with the kid's head above water. Never needed it or tested it *with* the babies, who're now five and four and have their own PFD and tether.

2) Agreed smaller is better - what about one of those baby bucket units that detach from a base? You can get extra bases and could strap one in the cockpit and one in the cabin.

3) I'd put it fore-and-aft - the car seats generally have padded sides up to protect the baby's head, which is really all you need. Some blanket folding should take care of the rest.

On long tacks you might consider turning the seat but I don't think it'd be necessary, just possibly more comfortable.

4) Double-bagging and keeping a sealing trash can in the cockpit.

#27 Estar

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:54 PM

My issue is what do people do with real infant, babes in arms, kids who maybe can;t crawl yet and can;t really walk.


With our cruising friends who have had kids that age . . . .mostly they have made/used a very secure nest down below. One of the adults is always on baby attention detail. At anchor, or really stable sailing conditions, that adult would bring the baby up to the cockpit, but that adult is on baby duty and is not to do any sailing activity - usually cruisers the age to have kids that young have no money, so usually they have not had fancy seat or pack solutions, we have seen things like a blanked lined plastic wash tub wedged in the cockpit well. The kids seem to be resilient. Any decently secure arrangement will work. In any sort of unstable conditions they are in the nest below.

I don't know if esthetically Bob will allow you to net the life lines, but full perimeter netting is usually the sure sign of a slightly older kid on board a cruising boat.

Diapers are the harder problem. Three solutions - a garbage bag collecting the used ones in the anchor locker. Drag used cloth ones behind the boat in a mesh bag to clean, and then rinse/dry in fresh water. Or hate to say it, but on passage chuck over board.

#28 mrgnstrn

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:05 PM

I'll give you our experience, good or bad, along with some of my opinions, good or bad.

Our first child-boat experience was a 26' Pearson Ariel (cousin to the Triton in EVERY way). We took one of the two side berths, and turned into a crib. I made what ammounted to a lee cloth for it, but it was mesh, and as tall as his shoulders, and had a fiberglass batten to make it rigid on top. Along with a buunch of pillows and some well-placed waternoodles taped over corners, it worked great. He was not allowed on deck at while sailing unless he was held. We didn't do any overnights in that boat on the hook, and our sailing trips were limited to maybe 5 hours at a shot.
He was ~18+/- mos at the time.

Then we bought the 35' boat just before he turned 2yrs. For that boat, we had 2-3 ideas:
When he was still 18mos - just after he was 2yrs, we put a pack-n-play in the main cabin, tied in place with some line to prevent shifting/tipping. We also stuffed pillows/cushions around the edges to prevent his head from smacking anything hard thru the mesh of the pack n play.

When he was ~2.5yrs, we added on to this by putting a standard car seat in the cockpit, lashed down into one of the seats, and buckled him in. it faced aft. It was out of the way of the companionway, and was in the cockpit of a 35' lead mine.
My theory and opinion was with that boat and that arrangment, we didn't need a floating car seat. The car seat would litterally have to have been ripped in half for it to come loose from it's 6 lashings of 3/8" line. Thus flotation any of the remaining pieces of seat would be useless. The boat capsizing never entered the argument, because it's a 35' lead mine in the Chesapeake. We used some judgement here; if it was nasty and wavy, they stayed down below.

The car seat doesn't have to be "current" or fancy. did you know that car seats "expire" because supposedly the foam breaks down. Boat use it a perfect way to recycle these things, since you aren't going to get into high impact collisions at sea. Alternatively, thost plastic kid-seats that you mount to the back of a bicycle could work, mounted to the hatchboards, for example. The only real requirement is to pin the kid in place in a way that they are protected from the elements and can see daddy for comfort.

For down below, we continued to use teh pack and play until he showed he could walk around with little trouble, then we just stuffed him back in the quarterberth. We made up a curtain and used a cheapo spring-loaded curtain rod to give him a little space to himself.

Then he moved to the V-berth when he was able to climb up there with no problems.

Your biggest concern will likely be night time. We had to block the companionway ladder with the hatchboards (read: no ventilation) so that the little guy didn't crawl out into the cockpit at night without his lifejacket.

Good luck, and PM me if you have any further questions. We are on kid #2 with this setup.

-M

#29 Nessun Dorma

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:23 PM

"Diapers are the harder problem. Three solutions - a garbage bag collecting the used ones in the anchor locker. Drag used cloth ones behind the boat in a mesh bag to clean, and then rinse/dry in fresh water. Or hate to say it, but on passage chuck over board."

We already decided on cloth dragged behind then washed. Not optimal, but hey.




My issue is what do people do with real infant, babes in arms, kids who maybe can;t crawl yet and can;t really walk.


With our cruising friends who have had kids that age . . . .mostly they have made/used a very secure nest down below. One of the adults is always on baby attention detail. At anchor, or really stable sailing conditions, that adult would bring the baby up to the cockpit, but that adult is on baby duty and is not to do any sailing activity - usually cruisers the age to have kids that young have no money, so usually they have not had fancy seat or pack solutions, we have seen things like a blanked lined plastic wash tub wedged in the cockpit well. The kids seem to be resilient. Any decently secure arrangement will work. In any sort of unstable conditions they are in the nest below.

I don't know if esthetically Bob will allow you to net the life lines, but full perimeter netting is usually the sure sign of a slightly older kid on board a cruising boat.

Diapers are the harder problem. Three solutions - a garbage bag collecting the used ones in the anchor locker. Drag used cloth ones behind the boat in a mesh bag to clean, and then rinse/dry in fresh water. Or hate to say it, but on passage chuck over board.



#30 Heron

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:58 PM

We faced similar issues with our kids on our J120. Our daughter came on board regularly starting at 3 months and is now 3. My son was 2 when we bought the boat and is now 8. Small solutions can make it really safe and keep it fun.

We built a crib for my daughter on one of the salon berths with a leeboard that is as high as her crib rails. When anchored, we block the companionway at night (using the ORC tie-down we installed) so that we don't worry about any kids up on deck alone at night. We enforce a rule that they wear lifejackets when on deck or out of the cockpit if the boat is moving. However, and this is our big issue, we place the most emphasis on keeping them on board. If it's rough or when my son is racing with us at night, we use harnesses and tethers to keep them attached to the boat and make use of our clip in points. We did use the baby bjorn with my daughter when the weather was calmer.

Generally, when underway they spend a mix of time in the cockpit and down below.

On longer trips, diapers go in the lazarette with the rest of the trash and have stayed there for up to a week without any issue.

My wife wrote an article about our approach in the August 2011 issue of spinsheet for those who are interested in more detail.

See p. 49.

http://issuu.com/cde...ocs/aug_ss_2011






Heron




#31 Paps

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:12 PM

Shit I thought this tread was about "Babes" in the cockpit :(

#32 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:52 PM

Evolution of diapers:
Start with high tech diaper genies or other $$$$ yuppified devices.
Eventually realize that if you put them in plastic bag, tie it off, and then double bag it they won't smell.

#33 Slick470

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:03 PM

Good thread. We're about to discover the joy of an infant on board as well. Our first is due in about a month. So, keep the creative ideas coming.

For diapers... I thought one of these would come in handy. BearVault I figure if it locks food smells in well enough to keep the bears from wanting it, it might do a good job keeping bad smells in. Plus it's strong enough to take a beating in a lazarette.

#34 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:13 PM

When you open it ............. :o :o

#35 Silverbullet

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:13 PM

Bumbo seat. I wish they made them for adults.

Posted Image

#36 Cherie320

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:20 PM

Just to add to all the good advice so far. When the babies get to be old enough to express their own opinion, which can still be quite young, you would be advised to consider their input before purchase. As an example, my niece did not like the Sterns small child PFD configured with padded shoulders and chest floatation. It was brand new and purchased specifically for her. But she had other ideas and held our day sail on SF bay until we worked out the problem. She wanted to wear the vest type child PFD, that looked more like mom and dad, even though it had the wear and tear of a prior season. YMMV Pat

#37 Slick470

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:26 PM

When you open it ............. :o :o

I'm not saying leave it in the sun or anything. Damn that would be bad wouldn't it :blink:

#38 sculpin

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:56 PM

Just to add to all the good advice so far. When the babies get to be old enough to express their own opinion, which can still be quite young, you would be advised to consider their input before purchase. As an example, my niece did not like the Sterns small child PFD configured with padded shoulders and chest floatation. It was brand new and purchased specifically for her. But she had other ideas and held our day sail on SF bay until we worked out the problem. She wanted to wear the vest type child PFD, that looked more like mom and dad, even though it had the wear and tear of a prior season. YMMV Pat

Ha! I had to return a Salus because "it doesn't have a seahorse on it" (mustang). D'Oh!!! I seriously contemplated cutting the tag off a Mustang and sewing it onto the arguably more comfortable and superior PFD.

#39 Veeger

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:37 AM

When my kids were of that age, I only owned a little Herreshoff America catboat. Stuck the wee one in one of those fold up umbrella strollers chocked off between the bunk and the centerboard trunk. Worked great!

#40 The Owner

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:10 AM

We started our girl twins out on a J22 (no lifelines), daysailing at just about 2. They had lifejackets and tethers that would not allow them to fall out of the boat. To this day they recite "one hand for the boat, one hand for me" as they walk around (they are now 6). We sailed that boat just for fun for one summer and then got our current boat (C&C 25 Mark II) that we day sail a bit and race. The girls have a very good sense when on and around water, docks, etc. Not to mention great balance. We used Extrasports until this summer, now using Mustangs. We do stil have the child tethers for the rough days.

I will add this becuase I am not sure anyone else has. One of things I always do when I sail with my wife and/or kid(s) is wear my own PFD or Spinlock. It's just good practice.

#41 rattus32

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:41 AM

Bumbo seat. I wish they made them for adults.

Posted Image


That is awesome!

My youngest got her initiation at 6 weeks on a bareboat in St. John. The boat had a fruit sling in the cabin, out went the fruit, in went baby while underway. Was the only time we took a "helper" along, a nanny to give Mom a break. At that age, rocking rocks, nausea not more than on land, and bright colors dominate their (fuzzy) view. Brief trips into the cockpit now and then, but the big exposure was onshore at various markets.. ain't nothin' like a baby to get the conversation going all day at the market!

We lashed down a car seat for cockpit exposure - usually at anchor, and PFD'd in the dinghy, but didn't rely too much on just that. Full (clean) diaper bag makes a great parental-assisted PFD if it's got good zippers!

All in all, a great experience. Mom got what she wanted (diaper, dinner and coffee duty covered), daughter got a most gentle climate and water introduction and I got to sail the boat. And change diapers. Every 2 hours.

This was maybe below your mobility threshold, but I don't think there's any lower limit for age on boats given proper prep, love and vigilance.

Mike

#42 Innocent Bystander

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 11:50 AM

Diaper Genie

ND,

On the diaper issue, we used one of these for weekending/coastal sailing. It actually works and as long as we could dinghy ashore (we happily paid the $2.00-$5.00 trash fee some marinas collected) at least every 4 days or so, it worked well. Carrying used cloth diapers on a weekend is not particularly enjoyable.

Adds to the trash problem on passages but great when you are only out for a few days.

#43 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:56 PM

More advice:
Your wife may have been willing to climb Everest without oxygen or a Sherpa pre-baby. Doesn't matter. Something happens to the female brain when they have a baby and suddenly EVERYTHING is dangerous. My wife was like "what if the baby gets too hot - too cold - too much sun - bitten by bugs - sunburned and bitten - bitten and cold - etc OMFG :o :o ". I had to do a little speech about how if being exposed to heat, cold, and bugs killed babies then the human race would have gone extinct 100,000 years ago :rolleyes:
That said, you do need to have shade and bug screens.
More important, you need to be able to handle the boat in any condition minus the aid of the baby-handler and be confident about it. The very first trip we did my wife was nervous for about an hour and then after seeing how much fun* the baby was having, we stayed out 3 days instead of the planned day trip B) Had to get a supply delivery in Annapolis -thanks Mom!

* Not that the baby never cried, but certainly no more than normal. Babies seem to love the motion.

#44 us7070

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:29 PM



ND, actually, I think the most common method is to strap the infant to an adult's chest. By far the safest method; the kid's always with you, the kid's always completely monitored, and if you go overboard, the kid's as safe as you are (assuming appropriate clothing). Plus you don't have to fetch the kid and it's a lot harder to accidentally smack them with loose gear, lines, etc (most people instinctively do a very good job of protecting their torso anyway, and adding an infant ups that caution quite a bit).

My wife and I used that method with both our kids while sailing, hiking, and numerous other outdoor activities. In very short order you become completely accustomed to the kid being there and the kid not only has more fun and is more comfortable but you do, too.



i'm sure it worked for you, but to me, it seems really dangerous on a boat.

what if you fall, or just loose your balance and get knocked up against something? i can only imagine this works in the flattest conditions, especially if you have any kind of job to do on the boat.

can you grind a winch, or trim a chute with a kid tied to your chest?

also, if you fall overboard, the kid's head is underwater until you get him out of the pouch.


Actually, the kid's safer. Every adult human reflexively protects their chest and head in all conditions, and doing so automatically protects the kid. On your back, yes, there's a risk, but infants are worn on your chest, not your back. The gear's also padded (if you get the "outdoor gear" kind) and it really isn't that easy to injure an infant protected that way. And the kid's head is not down on your chest; it's at about neck level. Low enough that being in the water would be a bad thing, not so low that the kid's head is submerged if you're wearing a properly sized PFD.

Yes, you can grind a winch or trim a spinnaker. You might need to change your stance, but that happens pretty automatically. If you've never done this and try it just before going out on the boat, it's probably not going to work very well. But strap a kid to your chest for a couple of hours around the house and you'll adjust pretty quickly.

It's far more dangerous to have the kid strapped into a seat in the cockpit. Loose or broken gear winds up in the cockpit all the time; people fall into the seat and now that reflexive protective gesture is more harmful than not; lines swing across the space in uncontrolled jibes or crash tacks. Putting the seat in an out-of-the-way spot is worse, first because that's where people toss things without thinking about it and second because it's harder to check on the baby while you can't help but observe the kid's welfare when they're strapped to your chest.

Ask a childcare professional what they do with infants. Ask a maternity ward nurse or pediatrician what they recommend. We did.


i accept your experience on the matter - it sounds like it worked for you.

just to be clear..., i wasn't advocating that the car seat be strapped in the cockpit - i think down below is best, for the reasons you mention.

yes, there are times when strapping them in the cockpit is ok, and it certainly depends on the boat.

but I still think everyone needs a safe down-below option for when weather or other circumstances require 100% of the crew's attention.

#45 kdh

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 04:38 PM

We already decided on cloth dragged behind then washed. Not optimal, but hey.

We managed to stick it out with cloth diapers with Adele. Ashore without a service. A wool diaper cover like this helps.

Posted Image

Giving a huge amount of unwanted child care advice and not being grossed out by your own kid's/grandkid's poop seem to be in the genetic program.

#46 SereneSpeed

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:24 PM

PNW Matt B and the rest, Thanks.

To this day they recite "one hand for the boat, one hand for me" as they walk around (they are now 6).


My parents taught me that too. To this day (I'm 29 now), when I'm singlehanding, I say that out loud as I make my way forward for sail changes, anchoring, etc.

#47 Paps

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 09:38 AM

Hey come on people, no one laughed at my joke?

Seems as soon as the talk moves to small super efficient pooping machines everyone gets all gooey!

#48 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:15 PM

ND,

Lots of great advice here, not much need for more. A few small tweaks.

Rather than screw up a beautiful boat with built in latches for a temporary problem (hopefully they all grow up) I think you'll find that a sail tie works just fine and is plenty strong enough to hold the seat in. You could use Sk-75 if you don't think the sail tie is strong enough :D

Glad you're worked out the diapers issue, it was the big one we bumped into. Do remember that Sun Burn is probably the worst enemy, it sneaks up on micro crew.

Finally, on the long list of things it takes to adequately crew a given boat, I'd suggest you simply add one adult per infant. Just as you'd never hoist the chute without enough crew to get it down properly, you shouldn't head out without enough crew to tackle the micro crew members. That probably means playing man-on-man coverage until they are at least 3 or 4 and then you can start to move to a zone, but when you're a man down you need to hustle.

Just remember, this is the group that will be hauling your sorry ass around when you're the one who needs to be tied to the cockpit seat to keep you from falling in the scupper and it's your diaper they're moaning about stuffing in a bag in the laz. :P

Sailing is without doubt and absolutely the best thing that ever happened to my kids! Full stop!! I can hardly wait for more micro crew to come along!!!

BV

#49 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 02:44 PM

We used bungies and sail ties to hold the car/infant seat in various places. Worked fine. You are all sailors - you can tie knots ;)

#50 kdh

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:22 PM

Shit I thought this tread was about "Babes" in the cockpit :(

I found this funny, Paps. To prove it: Posted Image

#51 kdh

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:40 PM

This thread reminded of this trip to the islands. Good times.

Posted Image

Posted Image


Here she is now.

Posted Image

#52 floating dutchman

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 08:48 PM

One thing about the infants life jackets is that they are not very good at holding babies head above the water, seems that it's just difficult to make a life jacket for an infant that works well. We had this issue with FD jnr until he was about four (was two when we bought the boat). When he was little we would tie the life jacket to the boat.

Nappies: all we do was buy smell proof bags from the supermarket in the baby department, cheap as chips and work really well. the trick was to squeeze the air out before you tie them off, and don't just tie the handles together like my wife insisted on doing.

The UV in here is real strong, I was in Hawaii in 2000 and could believe how mild the sun was there, Babies spending long times in the cotpit is a bit of a no go and the motion sends kids to sleep anyway so chuck em in the for-peak and enjoy the sailing.

#53 Paps

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:33 PM


Shit I thought this tread was about "Babes" in the cockpit :(

I found this funny, Paps. To prove it: Posted Image


Thanks KD Posted Image

#54 MoeAlfa

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 03:23 AM

We've started using a good, environmentally friendly, babicide. Took a while to get rid of the last ones, but no problems since.

#55 Anomaly2

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 05:12 AM

Hey come on people, no one laughed at my joke?

Seems as soon as the talk moves to small super efficient pooping machines everyone gets all gooey!


It WAS funny Paps. BUT, I was waiting (praying?) for you to follow through/complete the hijack.... Where is YOUR photo of babes in the cockpit? Wait, its' almost too late. I've already learned about trolling with cloth diapers, folding diapers up like some origamii exercise, stuffing them in some plasitc pail which must smell simpy divine if sailing in the triopics. Jeez, Paps, just one starter photo and you mighta spared us all that.....

#56 Paps

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:03 PM


Hey come on people, no one laughed at my joke?

Seems as soon as the talk moves to small super efficient pooping machines everyone gets all gooey!


It WAS funny Paps. BUT, I was waiting (praying?) for you to follow through/complete the hijack.... Where is YOUR photo of babes in the cockpit? Wait, its' almost too late. I've already learned about trolling with cloth diapers, folding diapers up like some origamii exercise, stuffing them in some plasitc pail which must smell simpy divine if sailing in the triopics. Jeez, Paps, just one starter photo and you mighta spared us all that.....


Yes, sorry anom, as you say its too late now, they are on a roll!!

#57 Becalmed

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 03:50 PM

Thanks to all who have made suggestions thus far. I appreciate it. I fear that in my rather long late-night post, my question may have gotten lost. Once a child is 20 months or 2 years old, walking and stable, I'm fine with a PFD and tethering them to the boat (I'd never tether to an adult for the obvious reason). My issue is what do people do with real infant, babes in arms, kids who maybe can;t crawl yet and can;t really walk. I saw the choices as:

1. Not let them out of the cabin. That makes no sense to me for extended cruising when the adults will often be outside in the cockpit. Plus I don;t think its healthy for the kid. But it's safe, and I know many folks do that on daysails or short trips. i just can;t see doing it fdr weeks.

2. Buy the best infant PFD you can get and bring the cild into the cockpit -presumambly in someone's arms or on the sole becasue you can;t really wear an infant PFD in a car or bouncy seat. My issue with this is 'shit happens', and having a PFD on a 3month old who goes overboard due to a rogue wave or gust doesn't seem safe.

3. As European Bloke says, do as they do in Europe -- place the child in a seat that ATTACHES to the cockpit (in multiple places) and bolt them in WITHOUT a PFD. This strategy empahsizes keeping the baby on the boat, and allows adults to be hands free.

My guess is that a combination of the above is what's done most often, but I'm surprised at how few people seem to use seats or have any way of easily securing them to a cockpit -- versus shoving it shovewhere or on the cockpit sole.

Bob, maybe you need to design me a little custom GRP seat and attachement latches in both cokpits? :)



For really small infants, the bucket is great, as is a well padded buck with lee cloths. The Bijou jacket we had worked with the kids in the bucket, albeit not fully strapped in. Lifejacket on deck, you never know.

#58 jimbojones

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 08:02 PM

Another vote for the baby bjorn. My daughter started sailing as soon as the boat launched following her birth at 4 months old. As other have said for young kids, 0-3 years one person needs to be on "kid watch" duty. I think lifeline netting is an absolute necessity for anything other than a cat with large and deep cockpit as well. In my view, with respect to those talking about strapping kids in car seats in rough conditions, when they are really little you ONLY take them out when it is 100% benign conditions. IMHO, I think it is a very unwise parent who takes a toddler out when they know rough weather is a real possibility. We spend an enormous amount of time aboard and sailing with little ones is not sailing with your buddies. You need to make short hops and have a very clear path to safe harbor in short order if things look remotely troublesome.

Call me a wuss but I love my daughter too much to knowingly put her at obvious and unnecessary risk when she is utterly incapable of dealing with it herself. School age kids are another story entirely, but a toddler or baby, N.F.W.! Until the kid is old enough to be an active crew member(whatever age that is for the kid in question, maybe 6 maybe 12...), you need to alter your vision of what sailing is and think short hops in perfect weather.

That said if I was sailing on a 50 foot condomaran rather than a 28 foot 5ksb I would feel a reduced need for such a conservative view.

#59 jimbojones

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 08:18 PM

Or hate to say it, but on passage chuck over board.

With all respect given to Estar,
Please, Please Please do not chuck them over, I really don't want to be bumping into your kids diaper when I am swimming. I have had enough experience running into adult turds and used toilet paper while swimming and snorkeling lets not add the plastic diapers to the mix. We used cloth diapers ashore and just double bagged onboard, we also got our daughter potty trained at 16 months so we only had one sailing season to deal with diapers.

Chucking them overboard is an enormously bad/lazy solution to a simple problem that can be solved by reserving a bit more space to trash onboard. If you need to do something on long passages go with a cloth diaper and just wash it. Its cheaper and less space intensive since you don't need to carry all the disposables too. You just need enough to have one on the kid, a couple ready to go and a couple being washed/used as bait.

Since the thread is about kids I will add that I would really like my daughter to be able to swim in as trash free an ocean as possible.

#60 us7070

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:01 PM


Or hate to say it, but on passage chuck over board.

With all respect given to Estar,
Please, Please Please do not chuck them over, I really don't want to be bumping into your kids diaper when I am swimming. I have had enough experience running into adult turds and used toilet paper while swimming and snorkeling lets not add the plastic diapers to the mix. We used cloth diapers ashore and just double bagged onboard, we also got our daughter potty trained at 16 months so we only had one sailing season to deal with diapers.

Chucking them overboard is an enormously bad/lazy solution to a simple problem that can be solved by reserving a bit more space to trash onboard. If you need to do something on long passages go with a cloth diaper and just wash it. Its cheaper and less space intensive since you don't need to carry all the disposables too. You just need enough to have one on the kid, a couple ready to go and a couple being washed/used as bait.

Since the thread is about kids I will add that I would really like my daughter to be able to swim in as trash free an ocean as possible.


i assume he meant biodegradable diapers..

boats are pumping out on offshore passages anyway.

tossing a biodegradable diaper in the ocean is probably better than putting a plastic one in the land fill

cleaning would use a lot of water, and i doubt you would want to use salt water.

#61 Soņadora

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:58 PM

This thread reminded of this trip to the islands. Good times.

Posted Image

Posted Image


Here she is now.

Posted Image


Great pics kdh, but you got balls showing those. I have a bunch of 'unsecured baby' pics too, but didn't show them for fear that I'd get lambasted by the childless about having kids on deck without them being securely duct taped to the boat.

We tried with our first kids to keep them thoroughly padded and strapped in, but everyone became so miserable about it that we gave up and instead adopted a policy of aggressive observation. When they were little, we always had a hand on them. As they grew, we too emphasized "one hand for you, one for the boat" and to this day they follow that.

edit: just noticed the harness, but wait...mama isn't wearing a PFD!

#62 kdh

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:17 PM

Sons, we always used a harness when she was little. Now it's lifejackets when not below and permission to leave the cockpit. If conditions are other than obviously safe, the kids go below.

Works for us. We mostly listen to our common sense. I also tend to stay in the bay with kids on board who aren't experienced sailors.

#63 SereneSpeed

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 01:03 PM

It's official, babies LOVE sailing.

Well, ours does. She sleeps as soon as the boat rocks.

We had our first sail of the season yesterday. It was our little girl's first sail ever. It went very well. Perfect weather.

And Bob, I just saw your pic in Gatekeeper's thread, congrats!

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#64 Slick470

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 02:57 PM

Posted these in Ajax's "taking over" thread but thank you Serenespeed for reminding me about this one. Took our now almost 4 month old out for her first sail last weekend on the Chesapeake. She slept well down below in her car seat lashed between the mast and the keel grid, but liked being out in the breeze better.

Posted Image Posted Image

Ditto on the Bob comment... hopefully we'll see some pictures from that proud grandpa taking her out sailing soon :)

#65 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 06:52 AM

Big News from our daughter, she's "with child"!! YA! The Admiral and I are already planning tie-down points for the car seat and (gasp) I may have to get some sort of spray dodger.... (gasp again). Sailing today, I did notice a LOT of water flying around.... babies don't like that cold Pacific salty stuff.... (gasp)... oh well, maybe a car seat with a flip up back like the one Serene posted.

The Admiral is in HEAVEN and I'm stoked too. Fresh crew on the way!!! YA!!!

BV

#66 floating dutchman

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:12 AM

Big News from our daughter, she's "with child"!! YA! The Admiral and I are already planning tie-down points for the car seat and (gasp) I may have to get some sort of spray dodger.... (gasp again). Sailing today, I did notice a LOT of water flying around.... babies don't like that cold Pacific salty stuff.... (gasp)... oh well, maybe a car seat with a flip up back like the one Serene posted.

The Admiral is in HEAVEN and I'm stoked too. Fresh crew on the way!!! YA!!!

BV

Your daughter is preggers and all you can think about is how to set the boat up.

Thats awsome. B)

#67 European Bloke

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:52 AM

Congratulations. My kids love going sailing on grandpa's boat. Beware that the Admiral will have you doing DIY at home in preperation...

#68 Ajax

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:59 AM


Big News from our daughter, she's "with child"!! YA! The Admiral and I are already planning tie-down points for the car seat and (gasp) I may have to get some sort of spray dodger.... (gasp again). Sailing today, I did notice a LOT of water flying around.... babies don't like that cold Pacific salty stuff.... (gasp)... oh well, maybe a car seat with a flip up back like the one Serene posted.

The Admiral is in HEAVEN and I'm stoked too. Fresh crew on the way!!! YA!!!

BV

Your daughter is preggers and all you can think about is how to set the boat up.

Thats awsome. B)


+1

#69 kimbottles

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 12:17 PM

Big News from our daughter, she's "with child"!! YA! The Admiral and I are already planning tie-down points for the car seat and (gasp) I may have to get some sort of spray dodger.... (gasp again). Sailing today, I did notice a LOT of water flying around.... babies don't like that cold Pacific salty stuff.... (gasp)... oh well, maybe a car seat with a flip up back like the one Serene posted.

The Admiral is in HEAVEN and I'm stoked too. Fresh crew on the way!!! YA!!!

BV


Very nice Beau! Congratulations to you and Stacey! (Oh yeah, to your daughter too.)

#70 Greever

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 12:48 PM

Bump. :)

#71 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:05 PM


Big News from our daughter, she's "with child"!! YA! The Admiral and I are already planning tie-down points for the car seat and (gasp) I may have to get some sort of spray dodger.... (gasp again). Sailing today, I did notice a LOT of water flying around.... babies don't like that cold Pacific salty stuff.... (gasp)... oh well, maybe a car seat with a flip up back like the one Serene posted.

The Admiral is in HEAVEN and I'm stoked too. Fresh crew on the way!!! YA!!!

BV


Very nice Beau! Congratulations to you and Stacey! (Oh yeah, to your daughter too.)


All,

Thanks for the good wishes! Yes, Stacey is over-the-moon about a grandchild and has been cooking all manner of "special" recipes to aid in the early morning sickness phase etc.... There are little tiny cloths appearing along with various devices that I'm guessing I'll have to learn to use.

Flying Dutchman, I fear I'm relegated to "getting the boat and house ready" for the new arrival, which isn't that bad a thing to be tasked with. I've already determined that I'm going to loose my quarter berth, as that's the best place to stash the little one when it needs to have a berth, and yesterday I was scoping out lashing the car-seat to the aft end of the salon table, as that's the best dry place where those of us up on the weather deck can see the munchkin and it'll see us, until it gets so rough we have to close the doors. Our daughters both get motion sickness when below on a rough day, so I'm sure I'll be tasked with only putting to sea in very calm weather.

I can't tell you how excited I am about having a new crewman to "bring up right". I'm rounding up tiny fids, bits of old tarred marlin and some ancient three strand so the tyke can learn to splice. This kid has no idea what they're in for. I took our kids to sea very early and made sure they knew how to sail before they knew how to ride a bike. My goal here too!

Now, where to stow dirty diapers! Yikes!!

BV

#72 kimbottles

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:11 PM

I took our kids to sea very early and made sure they knew how to sail before they knew how to ride a bike. My goal here too!
BV


I am not so sure I can support this one, I think of those two skills as equally essential to survival.

Cycling and sailing, the two must have skills.....

#73 kdh

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:30 PM

Congrats BV. I hope you get a girl.

#74 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:27 PM


I took our kids to sea very early and made sure they knew how to sail before they knew how to ride a bike. My goal here too!
BV


I am not so sure I can support this one, I think of those two skills as equally essential to survival.

Cycling and sailing, the two must have skills.....


Kimb,

My kids were raised on a sailboat and hauling a bike around was tough - heaps of rust. For a poor landlocked kid, I'd agree with your position. :P


Congrats BV. I hope you get a girl.


kdh,

I'd like a girl too - I think a grampa spoiling a little girl would be a BLAST. I really want about a half dozen and I want 'em to grow up quick enough to crew S'agapo for me in my dotage. Then again, I also want a few boys to crank the halyards. Kids are the best thing that can happen to a person, grandkids are almost as good, IMHO.

BV

#75 European Bloke

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:40 PM

Our daughters both get motion sickness when below on a rough day, so I'm sure I'll be tasked with only putting to sea in very calm weather.


Now, where to stow dirty diapers! Yikes!!

BV


There's nothing like changing a propperly flooded nappy down below when it's a bit sporty.

#76 kimbottles

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:37 PM

My kids were raised on a sailboat and hauling a bike around was tough - heaps of rust. For a poor landlocked kid, I'd agree with your position. :P
BV


That's why they make carbon-fiber bikes with titanium components.

#77 Joli

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:31 PM

Congrats Beau! Don't forget to add fishing poles, beach toys, and various paddle boats. Our kids grew up on boats it was the best. They loved it, we loved it and today they both have a deep love of sailing.

#78 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:55 PM

Joli,

Yes! The Admiral and I were staring at S'agapo's broad aft deck and thinking of the windsurfers, sailing dingy, kite board, etc, etc, etc, and thinking: "There goes Stacey's Beach" But it's going to be lost to a good cause.

BV

#79 kdh

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:00 PM

Congrats Beau! Don't forget to add fishing poles, beach toys, and various paddle boats. Our kids grew up on boats it was the best. They loved it, we loved it and today they both have a deep love of sailing.

Here's my trainer. Doubles as a tender.

Posted Image

#80 SereneSpeed

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:00 PM

The little one was helping me pack the spinnaker this weekend...

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#81 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 06:36 PM

SSpeed,

Very cool! I used to toss my son into the Spinnaker turtle, and he'd "hide" from his mom.... pretty funny to watch the bad squirming around on the cabin sole "sneaking up" on people.

Kids-n-boats - there's not much better!

BV

#82 Beer Fueled Mayhem

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 06:44 PM

2 years ago. In our line bag when she first started to come out with us. PITA when we had to ease the downfucker!
Attached File  IMG00520.jpg   55.77K   7 downloads


Now. We're thinking if she dresses as a frog.......
Attached File  DSC_5521.JPG   79.75K   7 downloads

#83 Bob Perry

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

Violet is learning to swim first. This was her third lesson.
Now I'm glad we built the pool.

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#84 Hike, Bitches!

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:35 AM

Sorry, I missed this thread earlier.

When my daughter was little, we had the use of a Tartan 3000 whenever we wanted it, that belongs to my stepfather. My first wife and I took our honeymoon on it (the baby was already here...14 months old.) :rolleyes:

The stbd settee on the Tartan was convertible...you could use the backrest as a, well, backrest, or you could put it at the inboard edge of the settee and secure it also..instant playpen!

Additionally, when we were maneuvering the boat and could not attend to the baby (she is now a senior in college!!!) we took the car seat along and strapped it to the base of the mast with sail ties & then would strap her in it as we approached whatever situation required all hands on deck. Little Rebeckah was not always happy, but at least she could see whomever was at the helm and we could talk to her.

She grew up to be the captain of her high school sailing team & taught summer camps at our sailing club her first couple summers home from college too. B)

Here's a crappy cell phone pic of her driving the 4KSB this summer when she was home.

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