Is it safe to take a baby on a boat?…What type of baby boat gear do I need?… and other questions about bringing a baby on board your boat

As a new parent (or even new grandparent), it’s only natural to be nervous about taking your new baby on a boat. That anxiety is probably even greater if you are a new parent that is also new to boating. But, with the right precautions and some common sense, introducing a child to the life of boating at the beginning of their life isn’t that hard.

Boating became a big part of our life well before kids. It was a carefree lifestyle of cruising to waterfront destinations, leisurely anchoring out and partaking in quite a few happy hours on the dock.

baby bed on boatWhen starting a family was the next step for my husband and I in life, we heard a lot of comments like “you’ll probably sell the boat when you have kids” and “get ready, things are going to be different”.

Well, they were right about one thing – things were different. But we definitely did not sell the boat.

Having a little bundle of joy may have changed the way we boat a bit, but it didn’t change the fact that we are boaters. A baby on board our boat brought new experiences and new adventures.

boat familyDespite our somewhat feeble attempts to plan around boating season, both of our kids were born in the middle of summer. We had to take a break from boating a few weeks before and a few weeks after, but both were on our boat at 2 weeks old.

Although there may not be an official course for “how to boat with a baby”, my experience having two summer boat babies made me a bit of a resident expert.

With a focus on boat safety and special accommodations for cruising with kids, you can make boating as a family both enjoyable and safe – creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Boating with Baby Best Practices

My articles on this site about boating with a baby are some of my most popular. With two boat babies under my belt, I am happy to share my best practices for things like:

In my recent article in Lakeland Boating magazine entitled “Baby on Board: Boating with the newest addition to your crew” I also shared more tips on my personal experiences and how to prepare to boat with a newborn baby.

You can read more about boating with baby in the full original article (opens PDF) from Lakeland Boating Magazine.

Lakeland boatingCruising with Kids Column in Lakeland Boating Magazine

As a boater with two boat kids I am thrilled to sharing my experiences in a summer column for a regional boating lifestyle magazine in the Great Lakes region called Lakeland Boating. My “Cruising with Kids” column started in 2016, running during the summer months (May, June, July), and is now in it’s second year.

Be sure to check out my recaps of these columns as they publish, along with links to the full PDFs.

2017 Articles:

May 2017: Gear up for Safety: Choosing the Right Life Jackets for your Kids

June 2017: Fun in the Sun: Protect Your Kids from Harmful Summer Rays

July 2017: Baby on Board: Boating with the Newest Addition to Your Crew

2016 Articles:

May 2016: Spring Prep for Kids: Get your kids ready for the best boating season ever

June 2016: Summer Fun Bucket List: 10 Must-Do Activities for your Boat-Loving Kids

July 2016: Raised on the Water: Inspiring the next generation of boaters

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Diane Seltzer

Founder at
Diane is the founder of as well as the boating lifestyle site Active in the boating industry, Diane is the marketing director for SureShade, maker of patented retractable boat shade systems, and founder of Marine Marketing Tools, a collaborative site for sharing marine marketing best practices. Diane is also author of the children's book The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl.

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