If you think having a baby means you have to miss out on boating days or you have to find a babysitter, think again.
Boating with a baby or young toddler certainly has its challenges. But taking your baby with you boating can be both safe and fun. And what better time to introduce them to the joys of boating than now? Here are five tips on how to take your baby or toddler boating.
Get the right lifejacket. The Coast Guard recommends waiting until your baby is at least 18 pounds to take them boating, as that is how big they need to be for a baby’s lifejacket to fit properly. Make sure they are always wearing a lifejacket, and never put them in a non-floating device.
Create a safe environment. Make your boat as child-friendly as possible by stowing away anything that is breakable or might be dangerous to your child. Also, set aside an area where you can put your baby or toddler down without the risk of them falling overboard.
Start small. Keep your first few boating excursions with your baby or toddler short, as you can’t be sure how they will react, and you may need to end it quickly. Start small so they begin to enjoy it, then slowly extend your adventures.
Protect them from the sun. It’s important to protect babies and toddlers from the sun. Use strong sunscreen on them and reapply it frequently. Also, have a shaded area available for them.
Bring supplies. Pack all of the gear you need, plus extras. Don’t forget to pack food, juice, formula, diapers, wipes, extra clothes and sunscreen.