Tag Archives: Bathing babies and toddlers on sailing boats

A rainbow in the shower

You know that feeling when you have a toddler under your supervision, you know they’re somewhere in the boat/house/apartment but you can’t see them and its very very quiet … too quiet … During the week, I had one of those moments.

This is what I found –



My initial emotion was relief. I was relieved that Orbit was a. on the boat (the fear of him falling in the water never goes away); b. not doing something that could hurt him; c. not causing any damage; and d. not making a big mess to clean up.

IMG_4629The next emotion was delight. I was delighted that Orbit had found something constructive and creative to do.

I asked Orbit what he was drawing and he said a rainbow. We had seen a few rainbows over the previous few days and I was fastinated by his ability to transfer what he was seeing onto the walls of the shower.

Drawing rainbows in the shower has now become part of Orbit’s going to bed routine – dinner, potty, drawing rainbows, shower (washing off rainbows), clean teeth followed by play time with the Skipper and then bed.

Bath crayons are great (thanks Julie for suggesting them). They clean off really easily in the shower (a washer and water is all that is needed) and I think Orbit enjoys removing the pictures as much as drawing them. Am definitely going to be stocking up on bath crayons prior to going cruising!

How do you give Orbit a bath?

I was at Play Group this week and one of the mothers asked how we bath Orbit. She confessed she didn’t know much about boats. “Do you have a shower on the boat?” she asked, quite tentatively. After clarifying that we do, she asked how we bathed Orbit.

Orbit's first bath - he wasn't happy

Orbit’s first bath – he wasn’t happy

Bathing Orbit has been one of those things that has changed as he’s grown.

When he was a new born, we started out bathing him in a small storage container on the saloon table. We’d boil the water and then cool it down to temperature with cold water. The only reason why we boiled the water was because I kept forgetting to turn on our hot water system, so it became our routine. Orbit screamed the whole time he was in the bath for the first time, but he soon got used to it.

The initial small storage container didn’t last long and we were soon at the shops buying a bigger one. We were able to work out the ratios of how many kettles of boiling water to how many kettles of cold water we needed to get the temperature right pretty quickly.

Watching the Bedisloe Cup

Watching the Bedisloe Cup

Once Orbit could sit up on his own, it was time to move the bath on to the cockpit floor. Sitting up coincided with splashing – lots of splashing and it was easier to bath him in the cockpit (which is after designed to get wet) then try to protect the saloon from the water.

By this stage, we were up to a fairly large storage container. The amount of water required to fill it enough so it covered his legs meant we were doing ratios of boiled water (in the kettle) to buckets of water, when we were in the marina.

Bath time in the cockpit

Bath time in the cockpit

When we were at anchor, Orbit’s bath water was rationed, he was lucky if it covered his legs. He did’t seem to mind, water was water, and it didn’t mind how much or how little he had.

The ‘bath’ was also a blessing on really hot days in the marina. I could pop some water in the bath and Orbit had his own ‘paddle pool’, keeping him cool and entertained at the same time!

Orbit has now out grown the bath, so he has a shower. This uses a lot less water than the bath and is also a lot faster (as long as I remember to turn the hot water system on in time). We are going to keep the storage container though, we might need it as a paddle pool for next summer!