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Tips for Boating While Pregnant and Boating with Babies & Toddlers

Lake Life With Molley And Chad Podcast

Release Date: 07/08/2021

State Dock Poker Run 2023 show art State Dock Poker Run 2023

Lake Life With Molley And Chad Podcast

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Lake Life With Molley And Chad Podcast

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Lake Life With Molley And Chad Podcast

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Lake Life With Molley And Chad Podcast

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Episode 4:  In today’s episode, Molley and Chad invite their friends Katie and Brian to the studio.  Molley and Katie are going to talk about Boating While Pregnant and Boating with Babies & Toddlers.  They provide some important tips to help you to enjoy a fun and safe day on the lake.

Molley begins by explaining how her pregnant boating experiences took place during different “seasons” in her pregnancies with the kids.

Tips for Boating While Pregnant

Tip #1 Make Sure You’re Aware of Your Balance

The boat won’t be a stable on the water, so you want to take extra care to maintain your balance to avoid a fall.  Katie remembers a pregnant friend who wanted some photos standing on the bow.  Again, it’s not a good idea for the safety of the mother and baby. 

Tip #2 Avoid Consuming Alcohol

Many people assume you shouldn’t consume alcohol while pregnant.  However, it you decide to do so on a boat, the risks of a fall increase significantly.  There are already variables, including the hot sun which can have an impact on you.

Molley recommends drinking sparkling or fruit-infused waters.  It’s important to remain hydrated.

Tip #3 Make Sure Your Life Jacket Fits

This can easily be overlooked.  As you get further into your term, your body obviously changes.  That personal flotation device will eventually fit differently, if at all.  Make sure you try it on before heading to the lake.  Ski belts or noodles can also help when you’re simply floating.  Being in the water is a great way to get some muscle relief.

Tip #4 Be Aware of the Sun’s Impact

Always apply plenty of sunscreen before and during your boating adventure.  Hydration is a key issue on a hot, sunny day.  The various activities and interactions may distract you from consuming your regular amount of water.  Be mindful of it for you and your baby. 

Tip #5 Prepare to Deal with Nausea

Make sure you speak with your doctor about various ways to cope with nausea, before your boat trip.  This is especially important if you or your pregnant guest is new to boating.  Sea sickness can ruin your experience.  Take a bag of crackers, sunscreen and waters.

Tip #6 Talk to the Boat Owner

It might be a good idea to remain fairly close to the dock or marina.  You might experience some discomfort or unfortunately an emergency.  Being 1.5 hours away from your dock can make for a miserable and very risky trip. 

Tip #7 Know the Size of the Boat

If you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to avoid smaller crafts and speedboats.  There’s a lot of bouncing and bobbing.  Pontoons are perfect for cruising the lake.

Tips for Boating with Babies and Toddlers

Tip #1 Take Grandma with You!

Grandmas are terrific babysitters and might enjoy the chance to get out on the lake. 

Tip #2 Minimum Weight Limits

Believe it or not, you’re supposed to be a minimum of 18lbs before you go out on the boat. They must also wear a life jacket.  This is a Coast Guard regulation.  The puddle jumper PDFs are Coast Guard approved, but make sure you check your specific model.  Remember, to keep you child hydrated throughout the day.  Those life jackets can get hot. 

Tip #3 Swim Shirts and Rashes

It’s a good idea to have your children wear swim shirts and other protective clothing, while boating.  The direct sun and the sunrays reflecting off the water are going to intensify the risk of sunburn and heat-related sickness.

Tip #4 Have a Couple of Spare Life Jackets

Boating is a great way to ensure your child get a good nap or even goes down for the night.  You might decide to leave them in their PFD until you can get back to the house, to avoid waking him/her up.  When that happens, that jacket can easily get left behind, the next time you head out.  Having a couple of spares enables you to remain in compliance with Coast Guard regulations and to have a safe time on the water.

Tip #5 Avoid Sunscreen for Babies Under 6 Months Old

This may come as a shock.  Shade is the best option.  Even then, it’s going to be a bit of a challenge.  Because the infant’s skin is so thin, the skin can absorb more chemicals that the average person.  Keeping your baby hydrated is going to be extremely important.  Remember, babies don’t sweat like older children and adults.  Hydration is a key way to keep them cool. 

Tip #6 Make Sure Your Boat Owner is Comfortable

Taking a baby or toddler on the boat may require some changes to the normal routine.  You should discuss the situation with the boat owner to make sure he/she is comfortable with the situation.  If you have specific concerns, talk them over with the captain. 

Tip #7 Get Young Children Used to Wearing a Boat Hat

This is another way to protect your child from the harmful rays of the sun.  We usually think about sunscreen on arms, shoulders and other areas, but the top of the head is easily exposed. 

Tip #8 Plan the Day

Before you go out, make sure you have set aside some nap time.  Plan to go to a cove or other area the enable babies and toddlers to rest and recharge.  Trust us, everyone else on the boat will appreciate it too!

Tip #9 Pack Plenty of Extra Supplies

Once you’re out on the water, it’s hard to restock.  Take a few extra diapers.  Pack some extra waters, juice, food and snacks (even goldfish – if you must).  If your baby is still nursing, make sure your breast milk is properly chilled and protected.  Molley recommends putting it in a separate cooler to avoid temperature changes.  Accessibility is key for the mom.  Yes, you can also pump on a boat or pontoon, as needed.

Tip #10 Dealing with Dirty Diapers

Okay, it’s going to happen.  Make sure you bring extra bags to deal with dirty diapers.  Ask the captain if he has a preference for where to stow it.  Also, be attentive.  Please don’t forget to take the dirty diapers with you when you get off the boat.  Be courteous to your captain.  It may not be something he/she is prepared to deal with at the end of a long day.

Boating with Older Kids (2-5 Years of Age)

Tip #1 Have a Plan of Attack

It’s a good idea to plan out which toys and activities are going to be part of the boat outing for the day.  Tubes and floating toys are great ways to give them something to do. 

Tip #2 Be Careful is Your Kid Is Afraid of the Water

Don’t force the issue.  You want everyone to enjoy the experience.  If you child is apprehensive, it’s okay.  Let them get used to being on/in the water.  Once they feel more comfortable, it’ll be much easier. 

Tip #3 Teach Your Child about the Boat

This is an excellent time to begin teaching your child about the boat.  The horn and fire extinguishers are important safety equipment.  There may come a time when you’re glad he/she knew where to find and possibly even use them. 

Make them part of the overall experience.  There are all types of simply jobs they can do.  It’ll give him/her a feeling of responsibility and accomplishment.  It’s important that the child learn to respect the water and understand how to enjoy it safely.

Dealing with Adverse Weather Conditions

During the summer, it’s not uncommon for a storm to pop up.  Remain calm and the children will come to trust you, even more. 

That’s a wrap for this episode.  I hope you found it helpful, insightful and maybe a little entertaining.

Thanks for Listening!

If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider sharing it with your friends.  We hope to see you out there soon.  Until next time, here’s to warm weather and calm waters!

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