The idea of sailing with children can sometimes cause rise of the heart beat and spreading of the pupils, even with experienced sailors. Correct, it's not an easy task and you have to think about a lot of things in advance, but it's not such complicated as it seems to be. What is the real truth about sailing with children, what to expect during your sailing holiday with kids and how to handle it like a pro – read here.
Little sailors in training
Whether you are sailing with older toddlers or older children, follow the instructions and understand potential dangers, so you can include them in some aspect of the sailing process, and things will get easier. But how to sail with small babies, stubborn toddlers, and teenagers, and not let your dream vacation turn into an action movie with repetitive cliffhanger? Well, with the baby category it's pretty easy until they start to walk. The other two categories will still require a bit more of planning, a more careful selection of boats for charter, some minor modifications on the vessel itself, and a crew schedule.
Baby on board
Small babies are in fact ideal companions if you take your carrycot with you. Babies like to sleep in the carriers, the carriers are good for breastfeeding and when your baby is in the cargo – you can always keep an eye on them. When choosing a carrycot we recommend you to contact your local baby wearing group to make sure that you have chosen an ergonomic carrier that supports the child's proper age-related position, and which will not harm your back while carrying your baby for longer time. But also have in mind that your carrier is made of lightweight material so that your baby and you don’t get really hot on a sunny summer day. Apart from linen ring slings and cotton scarves, nowadays there are also versions of soft structured carriers.
Cloth diapers are a great choice for sailing. Apart from keeping the environment safe, avoid the olfactive storage problems of the used ones, and you can wash them anywhere you have fresh water and detergent. Besides that you will always find laundry service near or in the marina. And if you've just visualized your grandmother hand washed clothes in the brook- we have some news for you. Today's cloth diapers cling on a velcro or buttons same as one-time diapers and they are not only easy to use but also beautifully colored.
As for sleep, forget about classic baby beds and let yourself enjoy the charms of co-sleeping. There is always one cabin in which the bed stretches from wall to wall so the baby has nowhere to roll. Clamp-on feeders are also a great thing, as well as taking little space, they are small, foldable and they fit in every bag, so there is no fear of rolling and rocking on wavy sea.
When it comes to the first baby steps, cabins are the ideal place to go. All the edges are still rounded, and the entire interior is baby proof and tailor-made for sailing. On the railing net, you will definitely have to put a secure baby net, but you must always keep an eye on your new freestyle walker, despite the protection you must always have.
If you make your sailing routes shorter and better planned, life with smaller children on a sailing boat will be much easier. Rather than sailing for 4 hours, split it on 2 + 2 h and stop somewhere where kids could have fun or where they could easily run.
We do not have to remind you to bring your child's favorite toys with you. It would be nice to take some kind of tablet or laptops, but it would be best if your sailing goes gadget-free. The best way to have fun is to "ask them for help". Engage them in the sailing process by assigning tasks according to the age: younger ones can for example help wash the deck, older can help while navigating. It is also a good way to start learning how to sail slowly and through the game. So, their happiness will be bigger if they feel like a full member of the crew.
Last but not least: life vest, sunscreen and hat - and your mini sailors are ready to enjoy the new sailing adventure. The
dose of fear will certainly be present, but parental fear is the most normal phenomenon and is constantly present. If you are well organized, take care of all the safety measures and you will afford yourself and your children unforgettable holidays.