Infants and Boating

There is a lot of questions out there about when it’s appropriate to bring an infant boating. In reality, having a baby should not stop you from boating at all! There are proper precautions to take of course, and here are a few tips to help make your decision a little easier.

If you think about it, it’s easy to go boating with an infant more so than a toddler. At that age they are exploring, climbing, jumping off things, you name it! With an infant, you have to make sure they are equipped with the right personal flotation device (PFD) and your all set!

Regulations state that an infant should not be traveling on a boat until it is at least 18 pounds and is able to wear a PFD.  An infant PFD has a built in head cushion with a loop handle at the top, along with a strap that goes between the legs which keeps the jacket from sliding up.

Another important factor is getting on and off the boat with the baby. When boarding, your baby should already be in his or her PFD. Of course how you get onto the boat with your infant is personal preference, but here are a few ways we’ve come across that seem to be most popular with parents. Some people may pass the baby to someone else already on board, and with this, people may feel uneasy about handing a baby to someone over the side of the boat. While others feel that it’s safer to securely hold onto your baby while others help you as you get onto the boat.

One very important note to remember is that you should not place an infant in a car seat or other non-floating device when cruising in a boat. It’s just not safe.

We hope these simple tips help you when making your decision to go boating with an infant!