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<span style="color:#800080;">My dh wants to take our dd kayaking this summer (sitting on my lap with a life vest on)....my first reaction is NO. She is our first and I guess I am very protective. He says I am not adventurous and I feel wrong. We kayaked 2 seasons before I got preg. She will be one year this summer and we have already started waterbabies...what do you think? Am I being ridiculous?</span>
 

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I don't think it's very safe, personally. I would never do it. Besides at a year old she won't probably be happy sitting on your lap for that long, she'll want to be standing or walking, getting into stuff, reaching over the side to touch the water.<br><br>
When Abi was about 6 mos. old my aunt convinced me to take Abi on a small raft down a very slow-moving river in Lake Tahoe. It was so shallow in parts that I could have walked next to the raft in the water. I rented a life-vest for her which she hated because it was so bulky that she couldn't reach around it to suck her fingers. I couldn't easily hold her either, with the bulk. I felt like I was holding a large chunk of foam instead of a baby. (I couldn't think of chaning her diaper either, because that would mean removing the vest. There was a strap going between her legs. ) She was starting to stand with support and wanted to stand at the edge of the raft and lean over, and you know how top-heavy babies are. She was happy sitting for about oh, 2 minutes. The rest of the time she was fussing and wanting to get the vest off and suck her fingers, and move around. It was not the best raft ride I've ever taken. And it was only about 90 minutes.<br><br>
Darshani
 

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what kind of kayaking? -- lake kayaking on a calm day in a tandem kayak-- I'd go for it.<br><br>
Do you have access to a canoe? She'd probably be happier sitting in the bottom of the canoe playing with stuff at a year. I see folks doing that all the time in northern minnesota. My own dd LOVED it at 18 months -- life jacket on the whole time we were near the water/docks/etc. Make sure whatever you do you (a). test the fit of the life jacket in a pool or something and (b). have a life jacket with a grab handle on the top --- so if she falls off the dock you can just grab the handle and swoop her out.
 

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Can't imagine a baby would enjoy kayaking. Not to mention that kayaks are famous for tipping (in fact, aren't they made to do that so they can accomodate rough water)?<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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I vote for canoeing as well! My little lady (now 19 months) went on several canoe trips with us last summer and she loved it! We'd take toys for her to play with, snacks for her to munch on, and it was great!
 

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I think it depends on the kid. We never took my daughter kayaking until she was 2.5 or so, because she wouldn't sit still. We took my son at about a year, because he was the kind of kid who would sit in our kayak with a bucket of rocks and throw rocks in the water for over an hour. He loved it.<br><br>
We had a two person kayak, and he say in between us. He had a life vest, and it was a very wide bottomed kayak, not a sea kayak. We use it all the time, it's never tipped.<br><br>
I agree a canoe would be a lot of fun as well, and easier to sit in.<br><br>
Take care!
 

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We got a one-seater kayak this summer that has an extra big opening, because we assumed that we would probably have one kid on our laps at times. But this was quiet lake paddling, and our kids are a little older. I'm not sure if I would do it with a one-year-old for the reasons you suggest--inability to sit still, big bulky life jackets that may be uncomfortable, etc.<br><br>
We've taken the kids in a canoe as well (dd#1 actually made a decent bow paddler!), but not together--that seemed a bit ambitious. DH went along side us in the kayak, to assist if we capsized, which luckily did not happen.<br><br>
If your mamabear radar is going off, I don't think you are being ridiculous. There will be plenty of time for kayaking with your dd, if you don't feel ready this year.<br><br>
Mia
 

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I don't think there is anything ridiculous about not going if you are not ready. We take our kids out in a kayak, from probably around 18 months. They had to be able wear and deal with a life jacket, and could sit still for longer periods and enjoy the ride. Our kayak has a space between us so the kids can be sitting at my feet. We have only gone out in lakes and calm rivers, and we bring lots of snacks and I can even nurse. But I think it is very important that you feel comfortable and that your child is able to wear a life jacket, which can be tricky at such a young age. They are so bulky and it makes it hard for them to move. Oh and make sure that the life jacket has a strap that connects the back to front that goes between their legs, so they can't slip out. Anyways, go with your gut instinct, and I am sure there will be lots of oppurtunities to take your child out when you feel ready.
 

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...
 

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I've also gone kayaking with my 1yo ds in a one seater, and he loved it. We went on a quiet lake, and for only 30 min or so at a time, but it was great.<br><br>
The summer's still a long way off. Wait until then to see how your ds is, and how you feel. There's a lot of factors to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to all the responses! You've given me great information and advice. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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The guide that we used when deciding [not] to take DD on any of the small boats (row boat, canoe, kayak, and inflatable raft) on our bitty little quiet lake at the cabin was whether she would get enough out of it to make it worth the risk. Since the risk was so huge, IMHO, we decided to wait until she could understand more and enjoy more. Also, she hates lifejackets!<br><br>
If you don't feel right about it, do NOT take her. A water accident is not the kind of thing that any of you would recover from well enough that you would be able to forgive yourself for when you didn't feel it was right in the first place, YK?<br><br>
Good luck whatever you decide!
 

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Okay, so this isn't a new thread. Oh well.<br><br>
DH and I are paddlers. We've always stuck to gentle, leisurely paddling. My MIL is a whitewater paddler. My dad and brothers are all paddlers, too. It's addictive and generally marvelous.<br><br>
DS is 4.5 months old and we'll be paddling with him starting this month. For now, we'll be paddling with him in a front pack on short, 'float downstream' trips. Later, we'll paddle with him in a tandem kayak, sitting in his own seat between us that is rigged for immediate release in a safety situation and he'll ALWAYS been in a life vest.<br><a href="http://www.outdoorplay.com/store/Product3.0.asp?DeptID=542&SKU=BRE_PEA14" target="_blank">http://www.outdoorplay.com/store/Pro...&SKU=BRE_PEA14</a><br>
View more photos to see the child seat. With a little baby wrap that pops on top of this, but slides off VERY easily in case of tip, it should work great. Also, the dog leash tether is a great idea.<br><br>
I agree that if it doesn't feel right for you, you shouldn't go. Just examine WHY it doesn't feel right. I often have these society-based initial feelings that tell me to do/not to do something, but when I step back and think rationally for a moment, I know it's just the US culture talking instead of reality.<br><br>
Also, you can always go out and do a short test-paddle. If you don't feel good, go home. If you're surprised and enjoy it, WONDERFUL!
 

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There was a really great article about 10 years ago in Mothering Mag about a family that kayaked across Canada. They started out struggling with fertility before the trips. Then the woman got pg twice and they kayaked all throught he pregnancies and births of both kids.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lotusdebi</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have some concerns about the dog leash tether. How do you work it so that there's no strangulation/ entanglement concern?</div>
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When we did it, my son was right in front of me so if the leash had gotten tangled around him I could've fixed it. But it was attached to the back handle of his life vest so unless he was standing up in the boat, I don't see how it could have happened. We used a retractable leash so there wasn't extra to get caught up on. Basically it was there so if we capsized he wouldn't float off in a different direction.
 
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