Sailing Parents: Would You Take Your Baby to Sea?
There’s a big old brouhaha about the sailing parents, Eric and Charlotte Kaufman, who required a dramatic rescue after their 1-year-old Lyra fell ill on their sailboat in the ocean hundreds of miles off of the coast of Mexico. Many in the media maelstrom have been criticizing their decision to take off on that adventure with a baby and a three-year-old in tow, putting both of their kids in danger. (And our own Richard Rende weighed in as well on whether that was “safe risk taking.“)
I have to say, I’m more fascinated about the logistics of a seafaring adventure with a 1-year-old who doesn’t understand safety and the word “no.” I’d be terrified that my baby would toddle toward the edge and get washed overboard, or end up tangled in the ropes and sails. And I’m wondering how you entertain a baby for long hours at sea—their ship wasn’t very big, so the number of toys available for their two kids, ages 3 and 1, would be pretty minimal. Plus, there’s the other logistics—like how you’d clean cloth diapers (or what you’d do with disposable ones). Of course, with all the hours at sea, perhaps you could potty train your baby early?
While their sea rescue was dramatic (and probably pretty pricey, considering they needed the Navy to come after them), any seafaring adventurer could require the same thing—even a seemingly healthy 20-something—if something goes awry.
I’ve often dreamed of packing up and taking my kids on an around-the-world adventure, but I’ve always imagined doing that now, when my kids are 9 and 7—not when I have a toddler in tow. And I’d definitely be sticking to dry land. (It was hard enough dealing with my then-one-year-old’s stomach virus in a hotel room in the middle of China—I can’t imagine managing an illness in the middle of the ocean!)
What do you think: Were they adventurous or crazy to set off on that trip? What’s the most adventurous place you’ve taken your baby?
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