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Life Jacket For Baby?


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Got a question......Me and the wife have a babysitter for the opener but after that we will bring our son. We usually spend 3-4 days a week on the lake. Our son is 1 month old and will be going in the boat with us.....do they make life jackets for that age? What to do?? Thanks

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There is a infant life preserver, i'm not sure of the size. We had one for my six month old, they are designed to keep them face up in the water. If they were to fall in.

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I dont recomend a 1 month old in a boat anytime! Just too much could happen. Even in a lifevest a 1 month old wont last long in the cold water. Not too mention the air temps can be bitter. I recomend waiting a year or so.

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The smallest they make is an under 30 pound size, quite big for a 1 month old. Getting the jacket on them could prove nearly impossible. We had ours in the boat at 3 months and it was fine, but 1 month may be pushin' it a bit. I can tell you one thing, you won't be hitting the water 4 times a week with that young one. grin.gif

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I took my son out when he was 6 months old. After that trip he didn't come along till the next open water season. Way too much work and worry and the risks outweigh any tiny piece of pleasure you might get. If you plan for the worst and you should, you have to imagine your 1 month old in the water should something happen. The little guy won't stand much chance.

Me being a new dad, whenever is saw a father and son in a boat out fishing I pictured myself with my son and couldn't wait for the day I'd be able to do the same. That day will come and the wait will be well worth it. Later one he'll be tying on and baiting his own hooks, reeling in his own fish and stealing your tackle. laugh.gif

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I tried looking for one a couple of years ago for my little boy. Unfortunatley had no luck. I guess you can find some at Target for infants - here's a link.... http://www.target.com/gp/search.html/ref=sr_bx_1/601-1633306-3774560?field-keywords=infant+life+jacket&url=index%3Dtarget

good luck and happy fishin'

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I bought a "under 30lb" vest on-line through cabelas for $15. It fits my 8 month old pretty well, but as the others posted it may be a little cumbersome for a 1 month old. Another tip that I have done with my little ones is to buy a cheap lawn furniture umbrella and stick it into an empty seat base in the boat. This provides some nice shade for the little ones to nap under.

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I dont have kids, but I just can't imagine that anything good can come out of taking an infant on a boat ride. Take the money for the lifejacket and get a babysitter. And if something were to happen, you might have a hard time convincing a jury that taking a month old on a boat is a "safe" thing for a parent to do.

BD

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I know what you mean. Last summer we took my son out 1 time I believe. He would have been 3-4 months. And it was only on the pontoon, and even then only about a 20minute boat ride. Like was said before, you definitely won't be out 3-4 times a week..........try per month.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

About the umbrella. Keeping the little one out of the sun it a must. What ever you do don't have the umbrella mounted in a way that if a gust comes along it doesn't take the whole kid-&-kabootle with it.

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What we did was put the baby in their car seat and tied a floatation device to the car seat. We only did this on nice calm days on quiet lakes that we new well. No hooks/fish in the boat. Just easy slow pleasure cruises. I even took the precaution of staying in shallow water to be sure my wife and I could handle anything that happened. I think fishing is out with a baby in the boat. When they get older 2 - 3 you take them fishing and share a pole.

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Great question!

As an expecting father and avid fisherman, this has been brought up in my household! We found infant to 30lb life jackets that we purchased, And I am going to rig some sort of an umbrella. It is good that others stated there apprehension of bringing an infant, but, On nice days that are calm I see no problem with taking your new addition out for a spin. Common sense just needs to be liberally applied as with anything in regards to kids.

Good Luck! And start them young!!!!

Cory Frantzick

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My daughter started going out on the boat at 8 months. She is now 18 months, and LOVES the boat. I wanted that and want to keep it that way, so we try to make the trips with her fairly frequent.

Here are a few things we learned and/or rules we follow, some just like many of you have already posted:

1) No fishing and no fishing gear in the boat when she's with. (that will change soon, subject to negotiations with my wife, I say when she's 3 she's ready, my wife says wait until 4...)

2) Never just me, baby only goes when both the wife and I can both be on the boat at the same time, one focuses on driving, the other focuses on baby.

3) The boat rides started at 30 minutes, and have steadily but slowly progressed to about an hour.

4) Nice, calm days only, and only on a couple local lakes with low boat traffic.

5) My wife is CPR certified, I should be also, and will do that soon.

6) When she's ready to be on land again, we dock, we don't force her to stay out longer than she wants to, and more and more, it's the opposite, she doesn't want to come in at all and cries when we try to take her out of the boat at the dock!

One thing interesting to note. She has never had ANY fear of water, which to me has always been a dangerous thing. She doesn't mind going completely under, none of it. So I started her in swimming lessons, in part to teach her that water CAN be dangerous, and while it's great to love water, a little bit of healthy respect (i.e. fear) of it is a good thing as well.

I'll also note that in the beginning she absolutely hated the PFD (she's still in the infant model until she reaches 30 pounds), but as time has gone by, she associates the PFD with going on the boat and now looks forward to it and can almost get it on by herself. (but can't get it off by herself, those handy clips are indeed pretty child proof)

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Great topic and timely. The new kids life jacket law just went into affect on friday...

here's the story from the DNR press release:

Kids life jacket law goes into effect May 6 (2005-05-06)

A new requirement, for children under age 10 to wear a life jacket while boating on Minnesota waters, was signed into law by Gov. Tim Pawlenty Thursday and went into effect Friday, May 6. Called the "Grant Allen Law," the measure was named in memory of the child who drowned after falling out of his father's boat in 2003.

The new law requires that a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket be worn by children younger than age 10 in boats that are underway or otherwise not tied up to a dock or permanent mooring.

There are a few exceptions to the law. Children are not required to wear a life jacket if they are in a boat's enclosed cabin or below decks, or on an anchored boat that is being used as a platform for swimming or diving. Also, children on board commercial or charter vessels with a licensed captain are exempt from the life jacket wearing requirement.

Boat operators who violate the law are subject to a written warning for the first offense and a petty misdemeanor for a second offense until May 1, 2006, and a petty misdemeanor for any offense on or after May 1, 2006.

For more information, visit the DNR Web site www.dnr.state.us or call (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).

SUMMARY

- requires life jacket to be worn by children less than 10 years of age when aboard watercraft in Minnesota when the craft is under way (not tied up at a dock or permanent mooring)

- exemptions from wearing:

- when in an enclosed cabin or below the top deck on a watercraft - when on an anchored boat that is a platform for swimming or diving - when aboard a charter (passenger) craft with a licensed captain.

PENALTIES

- written warning only for the FIRST offense - until May 1, 2006

- petty misdemeanor for second offense during period above and any offense on or after May 1,

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I have to say that bringing your child in the boat is perfectly fine and as long as you plan accordingly you will be as prepared as possible. You can't prevent everything.

Nobody has any right to tell you what the right age is. If you are on the water with your wife those 3-4 times a week then this should be no problem. You can take turns fishing. You will find that you may want to spend more time watching the baby then wetting a line.

My wife and I have taken our kids 3-season camping since they were born. They have also been on the pontoon with us and we have graduated my 4rd old daughter to a new bigger child PFD cause she's finally outgreown the toddler one. My 2 yr old is still in the infant/toddler jacket and she comes swimming/floating with us all the time. We also take them out in the canoe which many will agree poses far more hazards than a fishing boat. Both of us are CPR certified and my wife is cert'd for infant CPR too.

I say go for it cause you want your children to join in your activities, not restrict them. I can't belive the people who say they won't fish around there kids till 3-4 yrs old. My daughter has been fishing since she was 2. People like that are the ones who won't take their kids out in the first year or wash their hands all the time......

People lived in canoes and in the woods long before anyone ever heard of the words ANTI-BACTERIAL or PFD

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Hey..thanks for the positive replies and the ideas as to where to get a jacket. As for all you that slammed me and told me babies don't belong in boats and that I won't fish 3-4 days this summer, i'm sorry for you. You need to live a liitle more! Whats more dangerous.....an evening outting in a 19 1/5 foot boat on a small protected lake or a 70mph drive down the local freeway. All babies do is sleep and eat...so she sleeps in her chair in the front with mom and when she is hungry she wakes and gets feed. We toss our bobbers out and sip on a cool glass of lemonade. That my friends is summer with a baby. I'm sorry if you had to experience different. Have a good one and again thanks to the positive and open minds out there...see ya on the water!! grin.gifgrin.gif

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Take it easy. I don't think anyone was slamming you. Nobody likes to hear about drowned babies that's all.

I have a 2 yr old son, a 5 week old daughter and a brand new boat. I have an infant lifejacket (smallest I could find) for my 2 yr old son. I wouldn't put it on my baby no way even though I thought about it.

It is now the law for kid's to wear them too. So it looks like she won't be in the boat with me until she grows into the jacket unfortunately. I loved the sound of your post though. I can't think of anything better than relaxing on the lake with my family.

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We are expecting our first child anyday now and this topic has already been discussed. We have not purchased a life jacket yet but have looked for them. I have been in the boat with my young nieces & nephews without much trouble. I agree with the others that common sense and some proper planning can make for a nice afternoon on the water. They do make infant life preservers for a reason - people use them.

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Sorry if my post was interpreted as a slam. I intended to share what we did. I did not intend to dictate what others should or should not do. Personally I am not comfortable with hooks near babies but others can make their choice. I think it is great they have infant life jackets now. My youngest is eight now. When my kids were babies I could not find an infant life jacket.

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Oddball,

I couldn't agree with you more. People seem to take for granted the dangers of driving their vehicles down the freeway. The reason they do this is because they feel as though they have control while on the road, when in actuallity they have less control because they can't control the other thousand vehicles on the road. We drive our children around daily with no apprehension of the drunk drivers, crazy punks, or (Contact US Regarding This Word) on the road yet we get ourselves up in arms surrounding a child in a boat. It is very intersting how the human psyche works but that is what we deal with.

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Sounds like a rationalization to me. The events you describe are not correlated. Just because you drive safely to the boat landing, doesnt mean that you "avoided" the risk because the "riskiest" part is over. Taking the child on a boat is adding risk. It's not "less" risky.

And I am not sure that driving is more risky. In general, more people who drive have training, there are street signs, rules, etiquette, etc that govern and dictate our driving behavior. And I bet the % of people who have cocktails while they boat on a sunny saturday afternoon is higher than the % of people stumbling out of a bar at noon on that same saturday.

The sun and exposure for a 2 hour boat ride is way more dangerous (long term) then any 15 minute car ride.

My advice is merely to keep your young ones out of danger. I'm not saying you are a bad parent, I just think it's a tell tale sign when you can't find an "Infant" sized PFD anywhere.

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W O W !!!!!!!!!!!

A simple question and the guy gets just bashed.

Since it is a law maybe we could just try help the guy out rather than ridicule him.

Have a safe weekend.

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I don't think he's being bashed. It's all just a matter of opinion. If I want to throw the proverbial ice scoop, I have a right to do so.

BD

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We had our baby on April 14th, 2004, and the baby was in the boat by Memorial Day weekend. No apprihention of having the baby in the boat. We had found the infant life jacket at Gander Mountain in Fridley several weeks before going out. We simply took our son out in his baby carrier/carseat, and put the lifejacket on him. My wife and I shared the responsiblity of watching our son. I mainly watched him as I was busy baiting and removing fish from my wife and older son's hooks.

The baby slept most of the time tucked up neatly under the console of our boat, out of the elements. I honestly think he slept better in the boat with the slight rocking motion of the light wind on the lake.

Like one person said common sense is the best thing a person/parent can have. No, I won't take my now one year old out on Mille Lacs with 4 foot waves. Just pay attention to your surrounds, and everything will be fine. If you were to ask me, I would rather take a baby on board any boat, than my now one year old because he is very mobile. Just have to take some more precautions to prevent an accident from happening that is all.

As much as I hate to say it, I am 26 years old, and I have survivied everyday life so far, and I didn't wear a bike helmet, didn't have safety scissors, played with toy guns, played video games, and you know what, I have turned out just fine. And I am taking that into account while raising my two sons. If there are so many "safety precautions" nowdays because of children hurting themselves, then there should be a lot less population on earth because those "safety precautions" weren't there when the "older generations" (myself included) were children. Just my opinion though, and everyone is intitled to theirs as well.

Just a question...Of the people who replied above about it being a "bad idea" to take a infant/baby on a boat, how many have children?

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My boys always took a great nap under the console. Now, I just keep busy rebaiting hooks and watching for rods flingin' past my head when they're along. grin.gif

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I have two children, if anyone has kids that have been on the water more then mine they're lucky kids. I've been on more fishing outings with my kids where I didn't fish because I learned that you have to change your way of thinking and tailor those trips to your kids needs.

My wife isn't that excited about fishing so when the kids and I go, we go without MOM. Taking a baby along isn't any bother if your not the one caring for them. If your in my situation all responsibilities are on your shoulders. If for one second anyone thinks I'd leave my kids home because they're to much trouble think again. I quit my job 9 years ago for a new job, raising my kids! Now picture yourself and a fishing buddy hitting the lake with a 6 month in toe. A sleeping baby NOT. He didn't get back to sleep till we got back to the truck. Mother wasn't there when baby got fussy. Mother wasn't there when baby got hungry and mother wasn't there when the diapers needed changing. At that age I knew a 6 month old couldn't care less if they were tucked under a counsel or at home playing on floor. When they get old enough to explore and can appreciate the sights and sounds of being on the water then thats when you should take them for their benefit. As I said earlier to me it wasn't worth the risk to bring a baby along just because I wanted to go fishing. If you can share the responsibilities with your wife then good for you. I plan for the worst and the worst can't happen. Darn right I'm protective and as a father I should be. If you don't watch out for your kids who should?

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ST, your a Mr. mom grin.gif Thats cool, theres alot of kids out there now days that have no one to take care of them. Its nice to hear there are still some parents rasing there kids right. I have 3 kids under 5 and it is a hard job, I'm still learning and trying my best.

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