When planning travel, many new families want to know, “Is it safe to bring my baby or toddler n a boat?” The answer is yes, but of course, as with many familiar pre-baby situations, you might have to make a few modifications to your accommodations. Here, we’ve outlined 12 tips for baby-proofing your boat holiday, and making your travel as easy for the whole family as possible. If you want even more suggestions on how to tailor your trip to your family, fill out a request form and one of our expert holiday planners will be in touch with you ASAP.
- Bring an infant life jacket: Baby life jackets come with head cushions and straps that keep the jackets from sliding off. Just make sure you find one that fits your baby’s size.
- Figure out a sleeping schedule: In some ways, the smaller space might make it easier for you to keep an eye on your little one. But constant vigilance is still necessary. Your baby likely won’t fall offboard, but they’ll have a higher chance of bumping into a sharp stainless steel corner or falling down the stairs.
- Book a catamaran: Catamarans have a slower, smoother cruising speed and come with more space than other sea vessels, making both bedtime and naptime more pleasurable. (And by the way, Zizoo offers tons of catamaran options in every destination to perfectly accommodate your family’s needs.)
- Try and plan your trip for a calm weather day: There’s only so much checking and rechecking of historical weather data you can do to plan for a perfect trip, but keep in mind that a wind speed of no more than 15ish knots would be ideal.
- Get a skipper: Instead of switching off between full-time parenting duties and full-time sailing duties, book someone who’ll do all the sailing and routing for you. At Zizoo, we offer the option to add a skipper to almost any boat.
- Don’t use a car seat to seat your baby on board: Car seats are not floating devices and therefore not safe for securing your babies to on boats. The safest place for your baby when the boat is underway is on your lap.
- …But feel free to use a crib in the cabin: Of course, this might only work if your cabin is big enough, but if you can fit a crib in there, it’ll be worth the peace of mind and comfort that a contained crib might get you and your baby.
- Create shade: Whether it’s by outfitting your baby with a boat, or fitting your boat with a biminitop, protect your family from dehydration and sun sickness with lots of shade.
- Pack waterproof diapers: Unlike regular diapers, waterproof diapers won’t absorb moisture (and won’t fall down), and will do a much better job of keeping any mess contained.
- Download some shows on your phone or tablet: Service might be tricky when you’re cruising the seas, so make sure you have some cartoons ready for your baby to watch during downtime.
- Have your baby sit in the cabin during docking and cast-off: Things can get physical when you’re docking or casting off a boat and a baby should be nowhere near the action.
- And last but not least, bring extra diapers: However many you normally use, double it, and then pack a couple more. You don’t know what provisions will be available to you when you’re at your marina or on water, so stock up on this most essential of baby products.
Some babies will love the fresh air and gentle rocking motion of boats, while others might get fussy when placed in such a foreign environment. Either way, when you’re traveling with a baby, it’s best to keep your routes shorter than usual.