And before you get excited, no. Not for us! For our boat! One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, how young is too young to take a kid on board a sailing boat. And our answer is, they’re never too young to come on a sailing holiday!

Now, that doesn’t mean that having a baby or toddler on board doesn’t require extra preparation, additional consideration and plenty of fore thought. Because it definitely does! And yet, with a few tips and tricks, having a baby or toddler doesn’t have to be the reason that you DON’T book that sailing holiday you’ve been dreaming of.

Here are NINE tips that we have if you are on the fence about whether or not to take your little one sailing with you:

Have a baby sized PFD on board. You can buy these yourself or contact whoever you’re sailing with to see if they have one that is suitable for your child. Our recommendation is to have one that is specifically fitted to your precious wee cargo. When looking at PFD’s for baby, there are a couple of things to remember. First of all, a crotch strap is a NECESSITY for a child sized PFD. Secondly, think about comfort. Babies and toddlers just love to try to wriggle out of whatever is restraining them, and if they are comfortable in their PFD then they are far less likely to get grizzly and fuss if they are wearing it. A wide V-shaped neoprene crotch strap wont ride up between baby’s legs like a non-padded strap will and contoured panels, neck support and adjustable straps all contribute to bub feeling more comfortable in the PFD. Also, fit the PFD to bub before you leave home. Introducing the PFD as fun and a dress-up item helps your child associate the item with play and positive feelings before the sailing holiday even begins! Something like this PFD from Oceantot is ideal.

When we are organising a sailing holiday with any clients with children of any age, we always think about the type of boat that we are going to charter. Things that we consider include: How old is the child? Are they walking yet? What is within bub’s reach and can the boat be baby-proofed? How easy is the deck to walk on or run around on? Are there any sharp items on the deck that we need to baby proof? Of course, supervision is always going to be the most important safety factor when children are on board. And being able to count on your Skipper and Quartermaster to keep an eye out for your kids alongside any other adults on board is a huge load off any parents mind. Our experience with children (did you know that Mahina formerly worked as an au pair in France?!) means that we are able to tailor the itinerary and passages to suit you and your family, whether that means docking each night so that the kids can adequately run off their energy on land or arranging to be under way and relocating when it is most agreeable to you and your child, like during naps. Small adjustments can often make a huge difference in the success of a sailing holiday with a little one, and the peace of mind that comes from child competent crew cannot be bought!

If you are thinking about a sailing holiday in Croatia and want to be sure that your baby or toddler will have an enjoyable and safe time, get in touch with us! We love having families on board and would be happy to talk to you about your baby related sailing holiday needs.

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