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Old 04-05-2010   #1
montanaskye's Avatar
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
Bringing the Baby

Hi! We want to start bringing our 8 month old baby on flat water floats, both day trips and overnights. Any good tips or "systems" for making this safe and enjoyable for all? We've already got the infant PFD, but otherwise we need some help from those experienced river parents! For example, do you just hold the baby the whole time, or do you have another good way for them to be comfortable in the raft or driftboat? Thanks!!

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Old 04-05-2010   #2
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 84
I usually attach mine to the boat with 20' of heavy duty steel chain. If it's starts crying I place it on top of a paco pad and let it out on a hundred feet of prussic cord.

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Old 04-05-2010   #3
montanaskye's Avatar
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
That works too
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Old 04-05-2010   #4
Riparian's Avatar
Little Village, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,350
You're going to hell! Me too, since I laughed really hard at your post.

Originally Posted by Marco Esquandolis View Post
I usually attach mine to the boat with 20' of heavy duty steel chain. If it's starts crying I place it on top of a paco pad and let it out on a hundred feet of prussic cord.
Uh, I'm just gonna go find a cash machine.
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Old 04-05-2010   #5
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Knife Fork of the Spoon Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 365
I straped a car seat to the decking on my frame. Let my little one chill in that with a hand on her and mescaline
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Old 04-05-2010   #6
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1965
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 175
Leave the kid at home. Seriously. I've bee rafting for 40 years and I can tell you no matter how safe the water appears, shit happens. It's crazy to expose anybody who can't swim to that risk, but when they are too young to decide for themselves it's criminal - literally. If there was an accident you WOULD be charged with child abuse
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Old 04-05-2010   #7
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
8 months might be kind of young for a multi-day, but only you can make that decision. What do 8 month olds like to do? Touch things, crawl, taste things, etc. How much of that goes on on the boat?

I started taking my son on the town run (2 hour trip) at 18 months. By that time, he wanted to paddle, wanted to wear a PFD, and loved the water.

He is 5 now and has only been on 3 multi-days. He still needs toys (a kite with an upstream breeze is amazing for everyone) and other distractions (fishing pole, paddle, etc.) on the water.

Maybe take your baby camping or hiking and stick to day runs for a while. But again- only you know your child, your ability, and your level of patience with his/her level of impatience.
"There is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?" -Wind in the Willows
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Old 04-05-2010   #8
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
I didn't start mine until almost 5. I have had my son in swimming classes for 3 years prior to that.

If you end up going through with it make sure you provide shade for the mother and the child. I like bimini tops much better than umbrellas. Bring lots of extra clothes, I was amazed how much clothes my kid went through on Deso. Luckily, my wife over packs.
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Old 04-05-2010   #9
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 151
little ones on the boat

i'll throw in my 2 cents here.
first of all, there are people that feel strongly on BOTH sides of this issue- and differences of opinion are what make the world go round. disagreeing doesnt mean that anyone is right or wrong.
that having been said, life is full of calculated risks. i, for one, FULLY support getting kids out on the river as soon as possible. i have two girls- one just turned three and the other just turned one- and i've done many, many overnight floats with them. the keyword there is FLOATS.
to me, the rewards of watching your kids play in the sand, gaze at the stars, chase little lizards, etc. when they COULD be glued to a television set or video game system outweigh the risk associated. runs like ruby/horsetheif (you can even WALK blackrocks on a well-maintained trail if you're not comfortable with the flows, etc.) labyrinth, etc. represent AMAZING opportunities for some family time "away from it all." of course, people might give you strange looks at the put-in when you're strapping your car seat to the frame. i've gotten the same looks with my girls on my back at ski resorts. again, it's calculated risk. the truth of the matter is that the car ride to the put-in was statistically FAR more dangerous than your time on the river, assuming that you're paying close attention to your child's needs and safety.
my bottom line is this: trips with young kids aren't the time to be boozing or running big water, but done correctly, the'yre invaluable experiences for the young ones and the old ones alike.
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Old 04-05-2010   #10
Upper Florida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 21
Car seet with an unbrella

We started our kids at 5 and 6 months. For sure strapping a car seat to the frame works, then hook up an umbrella for shade. It really is a great way to spend quality family time. The San Juan when the waters warm is a good multi-day trip. wading in the river with your baby opens up a new world for them they love the feel of the river currents and the mud baths! When they get older the Paco pad on a prussic cord is the trick.

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