Updated: Sep 21, 2019
It can be daunting to plan a sailing trip with an infant, but don't worry, we've done it and we will tell you how
In this series of blog posts, I will focus on holidaying with family members of all ages, to give you an objective insight into pros and cons, based on our own experiences.
“Yachting holiday is impossible with a baby” - NOT TRUE!
If you are at that exciting stage of your life and a new baby has just joined the family but you are apprehensive about how it will impact your sailing, I assure you that you have nothing to worry about! Babies love boats! Yes, they seriously do!
Don't worry about all the 'gear' you are told you need to keep an infant alive, there are very few essentials you will need to bring with you.
Sleeping - your baby can sleep in any of the bunks. The one with either lee-cloth (preferably) or dense netting should be ideal as it will prevent your baby from falling out.
Feeding - if you are breastfeeding, you don't need anything but if you are bottle feeding, you will need to bring bottles, formula and perhaps a travel bottle steriliser if you are fussy about sterilising. Most charter yachts are equipped with a microwave which makes sterilising easy.
Changing - bunk covers are often waterproof and make a handy, wipe clean changing station. Just to be on a safe side, you may want to bring a quick dry foldable mat with you.
Moving around - you should bring a baby carrier or a sling for getting on and off and moving around the boat with the baby. It will make you both safer and more comfortable.
Babies love the rocking motion of the boat and the sound of water. It reminds them of their comfortable and safe surroundings of the womb. When they are awake and alert, ever changing scenery and all the activity keep their minds and senses busy.
My son was taken out sailing for the first time when he was four weeks old and I was worried sick about how will I manage. We bought his first life jacket and brought the usual supplies - nappy bag, spare bottles, formula, spare clothes and a spare blanket. He fitted quite snuggly into his baby carrier in his life jacket and an extra blanket protected him from the breeze.
He slept overnight in a bunk with a lee-cloth up and barely moved an inch - the rocking motion of the boat and the sea air did their magic. On our own boat, we stuck some colourful stickers around his bunk. You can so this on a charter yacht too but make sure that the stickers can be easily removed and that they would not damage the cabin finish.
There is always room in any of the plentiful lockers on board to safely store your travel stroller and perhaps a car seat. I found car seat (and bungee) very useful for making sure that my son was safe if I had to turn a way for a couple of minutes. I would strap him in, ensure that the seat was secure from sliding or falling and that was it - simple, yet effective.
We would love to hear from you
It is more than likely that there is a lot more to be said about chartering with a very young child, and that's where you come in. Please either comment with your own experiences, tips and tricks or simply post questions that I may be able to answer for you. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org - we would love to hear from you!
Your WannaGoSailing Team