9 Things To Consider Before Taking an Infant on a Boat

Taking an infant on a boat trip can be a wonderful experience for the whole family, but there are important safety considerations and planning to ensure a smooth ride for everyone. Here are some key things to think about:

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  • Age and Weight: The U.S. Coast Guard recommends waiting until an infant weighs at least 18 pounds (around 4-11 months old) before taking them on a boat. This is because they will be able to wear a properly fitted life jacket, which is the most critical safety element.

  • Life Jacket: Make sure to get a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket specifically designed for infants. It should fit snugly but allow for movement. Look for bright colors to increase visibility in case of an emergency.

  • Sun Protection: An infant’s skin is very sensitive to the sun. Keep them out of direct sunlight as much as possible by using a canopy or umbrella. Sunscreen is not recommended for babies younger than 6 months, so focus on keeping them covered with clothing and hats.

  • Weather Conditions: Choose a calm and sunny day for your boat trip. Avoid windy or choppy conditions that could make the baby uncomfortable or seasick. Be prepared for quick weather changes by bringing extra blankets and layers of clothing.

  • Fresh Water and Supplies: Pack plenty of fresh water for formula or mixing breastmilk. Bring extra bottles, diapers, wipes and a change of clothes in a waterproof bag. Don’t forget snacks if your infant has started eating solids.

  • Entertainment: Bring along familiar toys and books to keep the baby occupied. The gentle rocking of the boat might be calming for some babies, but others may get cranky. Be prepared to hold your infant for extended periods.

  • Plan for Feeding: If breastfeeding, you can nurse on demand as usual. If bottle-feeding, make sure to pre-measure formula or pumped breastmilk into individual bottles for easy feeding.

  • Keep it Short: Especially for the first boat trip, keep the outing short and sweet. An hour or two is plenty of time for a young infant. This will help avoid overstimulation or crankiness.

  • Extra Hands: Consider having an extra adult on board to help out with the baby. This will allow you to relax and enjoy the trip more.

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By following these tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience for you and your infant.


9 Things To Consider Before Taking an Infant on a Boat
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9 Things To Consider Before Taking an Infant on a Boat
9 Things To Consider Before Taking an Infant on a Boat
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