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Old 11-27-2007   #11
rivermanryan's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 580
Mesa Canyon is a great kid float at moderate levels. For more info, I know there are a couple threads on this subject floating around on the buzz.

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Old 11-28-2007   #12
four corners, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 102
Babies and rafting???

I'm a new Dad and looking for some advice on getting my new baby started with the outdoors. My wife is on the same page as myself; she wants to start him early as well.

I took my 6 day old son on a 3 mile hike, more of a walk. (he slept the whole time)

I'm looking for some specific adivice and wisdom concerning young babies and river trips. I'm looking to take my new son on a couple easy overnight river trips this next season; he will be 9 monthes in June. What has worked well or hasn't worked well concerning seating, placement on boat, shade, camping (sleeping), clothing, changing diapers, etc?

I'm really excited about taking my family down some rivers, but don't want to over do it. I really hope my kid loves the water, boating, and fly-fishing but I understand that this needs to be his choice. Any advice on introducing kids to your hobbies and passions without burning them out???

Obviously, I not going to drag him around every weekend. I'm just looking for some thoughts and advice from parents who have already experienced this.


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Old 11-28-2007   #13
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
Be sure to check out this MB thread from earlier this year where this topic was discussed at length: How old should a child be?
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Old 11-28-2007   #14
nowhere, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 123
if you plan on taking your kiddo out...
in a sense play represents childrens work, a meaningful set of activities that will help them relate in a special way to their surroundings. Maybe before going out on an overnighter try to expose your child to the things he/she will encounter on the trip while in the backyard or on hikes, ie moving water, fish, etc...maybe reading some childrens books...hang out in the raft/boat to get a feel out in the back yard...daytrips would be good....enjoy the days with your child....
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Old 11-28-2007   #15
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
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Brian, the key to ensuring that your baby loves the water is showers. With every child I know who loves the water this has been consistent. Hold him on your chest and put him under the running water now. The feel, as well as the sound, of the running water will soothe him and later become a source of comfort, not fear. Also take him swimming way before he gets on a raft. As far as seating, when my son was that age, someone held him the whole time and he had a PFD on. At 9 months they really can't sit on a thwart alone.

I was camping with my son by the time he was three weeks old. I took along a cardboard shoe box with a foam pad in it to ensure he wouldn't get wrapped up in the sleeping bags. He wore a footed sleeper.

Originally Posted by JBL View Post
Be sure to check out this MB thread from earlier this year where this topic was discussed at length: How old should a child be?
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Old 11-28-2007   #16
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Knife Fork of the Spoon Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 365
A few more ideas.... My wife took a cheep class at our local rec center for moms and infants swim class. Not that you want your infant swimming down the river but it taught her to hold her breath which is a pretty basic reaction and got her use to bigger bodies of h2o. 2nd we set up our tent and sun shade in the back yard. We did naps and feedings while in the saftey of the back yard. Then we did a couple of sat night back yard camping missions so she would get use to the tent ect. Worked out great!! Then onto mellow camping trips and some day floats 1-2 hours Dotsero stuff. You just have to be ready to change plans and roll with it.
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Old 11-28-2007   #17
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 129
Great advise so far. I took my wife and 2 year old down pumphouse for an overnighter this fall. It was the weekend after Gorefest and the only downfall was that the 4x4 road was open down to the radium warm pool (it opens after Labor Day?). Freakin' jack-ass fest down there. We ended up camping below Radium Rec. area which was fine. Having multiple options for take-outs was great, along with having other friends along, since the little one takes a whole adult out of rigging/setting up camp/ cooking/ etc. Number one comment from the little one: "Where is there more whitewater?" Gotta love that!
We did the infant swim lessons, and it wasn't just mama in the pool, we both went most of the time. During these lessons, she didn't really learn to put her head under, but could almost blow some bubbles, and got some quick dunks to her eyes. She did get to use the PFD to float around the pool.
Then letting the kiddo climb/ play around on the boat for a while before going also seems to familiarize them. My girlie would climb around on the frame on the trailer for hours if I let her! Also a great idea to do some backyard or car camping trips before loading up on a boat for an overnighter. We picked up a sweet childs 20 deg. bag, I think its Sierra Designs? Hasn't been a problem, especially with her between M & D.
Have fun, there really is nothing like seeing these things through their little eyes!
I'm looking forward to ski season, just got a pair of 67 cms for the Molly Hogan!!
What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook. HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Journal
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Old 11-29-2007   #18
four corners, New Mexico
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Thanks for all the advice everyone!

JBL, thanks for pointing out the previous thread.


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