Babies and Toddlers on Sailing Boats

“How are you going to raise a baby on a sailing boat?”

“I am not sure, but many people have done it before.”

It was the most common question and my usual response when people found out we were living on a sailing boat when I was pregnant. Now Orbit is a toddler I get asked how we raise a toddler on a sailing boat.

Its interesting when you do something different to the norm (e.g. raise a child on a boat), people (particularly people who do not know you very well) are happy to point out all the things that could go wrong. There was an underlying and unspoken assumption that we had not considered what could go wrong. We had, and we had also considered what could go right.

When pregnant I was searching the web for ideas on the practicalities of raising a new born and toddler on a sailing boat. There is information out there, but not very much and not much in the specific detail of how to do specific tasks. Also, most baby ‘equipment’ is designed for a house, to go in rooms with lots of space and easy access to 240 volt electricity. Both of these are in minimal supply on a sailing boat so not practical.

I’ll pass on my experiences of raising a newborn and toddler on a sailing boat, both in the marina and when sailing. You’ll see my experiences are a mix of fantastic advice from others who have done it before and a process of working it out as we go along.