Last summer my wife and I took our 8 month old down the Chama on the 4th of July weekend. I was super nervous to pull the trigger and go for it; after being on the water for a couple hundred yards we were comfortable with it. We had such a great time we did it again this year with our first son who is now 20 months along with our new son that is 8 months old. Obviously, We didn't take a planned parenthood class
. Going to do the Chama again in the next 10 days with my wife's family.
I agree with Kerry on the drive being as dangerous or more dangerous than the float down the river.
My best advice/consierations would include:
1. Pick a river you are super comfortable with and respect it like tough whitewater.
2. Consider water and air temperatures for a newborns
3. Keep a PFD on them
4. Have an adult in charge of each young child (under 5)
5. Sunscreen/bug spray
6. Umbrella on your raft for shade
7. Be very careful in camp. I found it was much more dangerous for little kids starting to crawl and walk. Keep life jackets on them if camp is really close to the water.
On the last trip a week ago, we strapped a play pen on a deck board for the kids to lay in and sleep on the flatwater. Will post a picture soon.
Overall, these two trips have provided us with some of our fondest family memories so far. I would highly reccomend doing it if you and your wife decide to go for it. Bottom line, weigh the pros and cons. My kids are the most precious things in my life.