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hethj7

Taking baby on boat - Safely

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hethj7

So next season, we'll be adding another one to our crew as my wife is due with our second daughter May 1st. We often hear of people taking young babies on boats, but we're concerned how to do this safely. Simply just putting the carseat on the floor of the boat doesn't seem like the greatest idea to me. She'll be too small to safely use any type of infant life vest I've seen. Any thoughts or ideas?

My oldest daugher is 22 months and loved being on the water the past summer, but she was big enough to use the infant vests on. Next year should really be fun with her as she'll be old enough to start participating a little more, even if it is just riding the tube with mom:yahoo:

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jackson

We had the same situation last year when our second son was born in March. Our infant car seat is a Graco and the interior plastic is filled with foam. We got an extra car seat from a friend and tested how well it floats and it floats really well with up to about 30lbs in it. We just put him in the car seat in the boat with a 12v fan pointed at him. Through the summer he was out in the boat a ton. We are lucky that he loves to be outside and he was happy to be in the boat all day. We were even stopped once and after some discussion with a very reasonable officer (who had young kids), he agreed that it was likely the safest option, but technically still against the law.

Bottom line is that we decided the car seat is the safest place when the boat is moving and may be better than an infant life jacket when you think about things like heat, head support, etc etc. You and others may decide something different.

Just keep the little one out of the water for the first season. Lake water and infants don't mix well.

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Michigan boarder

Infant car seat for sure, that's what we did with ours. That, combined with a whole lot of extra caution.

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Molarbu

Congrats, we had a baby in June and we placed her in her infant seat and strapped a life jacket to the handle. She was so good on the boat due to the combination of noise, wind, motion, and activity around her. May 1st is my birthday, I'm hoping your baby comes that day!

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NewMalibu

Congratulations! May 1 is a great day for a b-day (my birthday as well! :)). we have 3 kids and have tried many options. Purely from a comfort perspective, putting the baby in the infant car seat and putting the car seat in the walk way or removing the observers seat and putting the car seat in there (Amy Muzzy suggested this to my wife) were the best options. Make sure to put the Bimini up though.

that being said, it always made me uncomfortable to have the kids on the boat without their life jackets (because even though a carseat might float, it cannot right itself if it were to go into the water). So we ended up having someone hold the babies with their lifejackets on.

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dlb

We have 4, all we're on the boat as soon as possible. The life vests stated 15 pounds minimum, kept them in the vest all the time. Now about lake water and diapers, that thing absorbs half the lake....

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LS-One

Does an infant car seat allow the baby to float face up like infant jacket does ? I don't know I haven't had a baby in a long time.

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Bobby Light

Good thread I'll be coming back to this in a few months.

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Bill_AirJunky

No kids for me. But I have lots of friends with them. And regardless of whether you use a car seat, life vest or whatever, a couple things always seem to make things go a LOT better.

Start swimming lessons EARLY! The earlier, the better. Even before their 1st birthday. Obviously at that age their not learning any advanced strokes. But they are learning how to hold their breath, open/close their eyes, dog paddle & just be familiar in the water.

And teach them to wear a vest, ski or wakeboard WAY before you go out on the boat. On the living room carpet. Out in the yard. On the beach. etc. The sooner you get the kids used to wearing the vest, the sooner all of us don't have to listen to the kid wailing because they don't want to wear it. We even teach kids to SkySki on the grassy lawn for this very reason. :rockon:

I know, sounds a little rough. But it's pretty easy to see the difference in the kids who are thrust into the water as opposed to the kids who are exposed to it slowly & in a controlled environment. Good luck & enjoy the little ones on the boat. We've had them out behind the boat on a tube at 7 or 8 months old. And riding SkySki or wakeboard by themselves by about 2.5. Mom will pop a gasket but it can be done. :crazy:

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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malibudreaming

Does an infant car seat allow the baby to float face up like infant jacket does ? I don't know I haven't had a baby in a long time.

This is critical, would hate to see a baby strapped into a car seat floating face down unable to right itself.

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CrystalSurf

We've used these life jackets with our kids and any other babies that have come on board. They are for 9-25 lbs and seem more comfortable than other types of life jackets. I find babies love the boat and generally fall asleep with the engine noise, waves, etc.

http://www.salusmarine.com/product/bijoux.html

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hethj7

No kids for me. But I have lots of friends with them. And regardless of whether you use a car seat, life vest or whatever, a couple things always seem to make things go a LOT better.

Start swimming lessons EARLY! The earlier, the better. Even before their 1st birthday. Obviously at that age their not learning any advanced strokes. But they are learning how to hold their breath, open/close their eyes, dog paddle & just be familiar in the water.

And teach them to wear a vest, ski or wakeboard WAY before you go out on the boat. On the living room carpet. Out in the yard. On the beach. etc. The sooner you get the kids used to wearing the vest, the sooner all of us don't have to listen to the kid wailing because they don't want to wear it. We even teach kids to SkySki on the grassy lawn for this very reason. :rockon:

I know, sounds a little rough. But it's pretty easy to see the difference in the kids who are thrust into the water as opposed to the kids who are exposed to it slowly & in a controlled environment. Good luck & enjoy the little ones on the boat. We've had them out behind the boat on a tube at 7 or 8 months old. And riding SkySki or wakeboard by themselves by about 2.5. Mom will pop a gasket but it can be done. :crazy:

Thanks for the tips. We've generally done all those with our oldest daughter, who is just 22 months old now. She'd wear her vest around the house and we'd introduce splashing and stuff in the tub. By the time we hit the lake, she loved it. My wife has been looking to get her in swim lessons over the winter and next summer I hope to have her on the wakeboard with me perhaps. We'll see.

This is critical, would hate to see a baby strapped into a car seat floating face down unable to right itself.

Exactly. One poster mentioned putting a life vest around the carrier's handle, which is a good idea. But, if we can't be assured that thing will float upright, my wife probably won't allow it on the boat. I'd hate to see an accident happen that left the whole family in the water and our youngest was left there floating face down. It's horrible to even think about it. Our lake is pretty calm and depending what we had going on that day, I could maybe see keeping her in the carrier, but as a general rule, it doesn't seem like a great idea to me.

We've used these life jackets with our kids and any other babies that have come on board. They are for 9-25 lbs and seem more comfortable than other types of life jackets. I find babies love the boat and generally fall asleep with the engine noise, waves, etc.

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

Thanks for the link! I think that is the first vest I've seen for babies under 15 lbs.

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dlb

We've used these life jackets with our kids and any other babies that have come on board. They are for 9-25 lbs and seem more comfortable than other types of life jackets. I find babies love the boat and generally fall asleep with the engine noise, waves, etc.

http://www.salusmarine.com/product/bijoux.html

There is no doubt, that the best lullaby for the little one is the sound of horsepower in action, :yahoo:. Hear a little :cry: , and it's time for a tow. ;)

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Steve B.

None of my own :( but lots of my friends kids. My buddy's jet boat would put his son to sleep Instantly !

I absolutley love having kids on the boat. My only advice is protect baby's skin ! Proper sunglasses. Lot's of fluids and trash bags for diapers.

Congratulations,

Steve B.

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Koop

We've used these life jackets with our kids and any other babies that have come on board. They are for 9-25 lbs and seem more comfortable than other types of life jackets. I find babies love the boat and generally fall asleep with the engine noise, waves, etc.

http://www.salusmarine.com/product/bijoux.html

Used this jacket for all three girls.......works awesome. I kept my girls in the walkthrough sitting in the car seat unbuckled, towel across the dashes for a little more shade, and kept a spray bottle in the cupholder to mist the little ones.

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Nitrousbird

My daughter just turned 1 and spent all summer on the boat. I didn't think a car seat on the tarteboat was a safe option, so it stayed in the truck. I got her a nice infant vest...not a place to cheap out as you want your little one as comfortable as possible. Bimini top is a must, as is dipping her in to cool off regularly.

My daughter started hating the jacket late in the season due to becoming more mobile and the jacket doesn't allow for that, but she will be happy with the next step up for next season.

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Guest J-Ro

We either held ours or built a liitle nest out of fenders and towels. We use the vest that does NOT have the zipper up the front. Those zippers are really rough on their necks and chins.

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ColinP

Instead of the carseat, we had an inflatable baby bath with some towels over it which worked great for keeping our little guy safe in one spot. It was almost like a little airbed for him. It fit perfectly in front of the driver or in the walkway and the baby would sleep for hours! The sound and motion of the boat must have been very soothing.

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augie09

We either held ours or built a liitle nest out of fenders and towels. We use the vest that does NOT have the zipper up the front. Those zippers are really rough on their necks and chins.

And I've heard horror stories of toddlers that have figured out how to unzip the front zippers on life jackets.

edit: and of course I just realized my avatar is my 2 yr old in a front zip lol we are looking for a back connect one, like puddle jumpers for next season.

Edited by augie09

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elc

We put my son in an infant jacket at 2 months. We built him a little bed out of towels and he would sleep in front of the driver. My buddy has twin babies and they sleep in the same spot.

My three year old learned to swim about a year ago and we feel so much better when we are around the water (even though he wears a jacket all the time). He is also more comfortable and enjoys the water a lot more now that he can swim. I couldn't agree more with Bills statement "it's pretty easy to see the difference in the kids who are thrust into the water as opposed to the kids who are exposed to it slowly & in a controlled environment." We taught our boy how to ride a wakeboard on grass then I pulled him in the pool, and finally got him use to being in the lake by himself (this one is huge, so they don't panic). He now asks to ride his ski when we are at the lake/river.

Edited by elc

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jetskipro550

We had our little one out on the boat as early as 6 months. Would have been earlier, but she was born in November. Most of the time we just held her. Towards the end of the summer when she was larger we put her in an infant life jacket.

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Lance B. Johnson

the best boat guy I know is -BS-. Been riding with him for a few years now and never seen anything close to unsafe. Hopefully he will chime in here as they have a little one.

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Steve B.

What a great thing to look forward to heth. Maybe, once you get going you could take some pics.

The only other things I was going to add was, for the first few outings, cater to her. In other words, short outings, not too hot or too cold, hopefully calm waters, etc. Stop for ice cream afterwards, ha.

I can't imagine a better time, then bringing kids up on the boat.

Steve B.

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Michigan boarder

What a great thing to look forward to heth. Maybe, once you get going you could take some pics.

The only other things I was going to add was, for the first few outings, cater to her. In other words, short outings, not too hot or too cold, hopefully calm waters, etc. Stop for ice cream afterwards, ha.

I can't imagine a better time, then bringing kids up on the boat.

Steve B.

You know, that's good advice there too. We lived on the lake so the rides were short anyway. But I compare this to downhill skiing. I prefer a good 6 hour day, but I know my 5 year old will not last more than a couple or hours, tops. I want her to really enjoy skiing, like our boys and my wife do, and not have it turn into a negative thing. So we have some short trips planned here locally (if it ever snows), and will adjust our plans as she devleops and enjoys more time. That's really a good point Steve.

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dino7

The main problem with the infant life jackets is that the zipper gets up into their neck, I took some athletic tape, folded over the top 3" or so of the zipper on both sides , and wrapped the tape around thru the arm hole, creating like a v-neck. This way we could zip it most of the way up without it being uncomfortable for them. Then we would just lay the baby in the carseat in the walkthru. Honestly, we would often leave the life jacket completely unzipped alot of the time on our home lake, but kept it zipped when going to public waters. Using this method, we had our son out at 6 days, our daughter at 4 days. As long as it didn;t get too hot out, and we kept the outings down to 2-3 hrs, the babies were totally fine.

So next season, we'll be adding another one to our crew as my wife is due with our second daughter May 1st. We often hear of people taking young babies on boats, but we're concerned how to do this safely. Simply just putting the carseat on the floor of the boat doesn't seem like the greatest idea to me. She'll be too small to safely use any type of infant life vest I've seen. Any thoughts or ideas?

My oldest daugher is 22 months and loved being on the water the past summer, but she was big enough to use the infant vests on. Next year should really be fun with her as she'll be old enough to start participating a little more, even if it is just riding the tube with mom:yahoo:

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