Baby On-Board: Boating with the Newest Addition to Your Crew


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:

Lakeland boatingThis article originally appeared in my summer Boating Kids column for the regional boating lifestyle magazine Lakeland Boating.

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Diane Seltzer

View posts by Diane Seltzer
Diane is the founder of as well as the boating lifestyle site Active in the boating industry, Diane has also led the marketing for multiple recreational boating businesses and startups and is the author of the children's book The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl.
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