I have a 6 year old that comes out with me ALL the time. I also have a 5 month old that I would love to take out with me also. We ONLY hit water that is glass and all have the proper PFD’s. I am OVER conscious of the surroundings and we have never had any issues. I have had her out with me once before, but my wife was with me holding her. This kid would sleep in the front of the canoe…she is that laid back. Anyone have any tips or advise from experience?
Under the conditions you descibe
and with a baby PFD, you s/b fine.I didn't take mine out that young, but they were out at very early ages.Just make the trips short and be careful of the sun.
Is the other child with you? If you dump for whatever reson,dealing with 2 children in the water could be challenging.
One child per adult and jackets that fit
We really fit tested the jackets playing at the lake beach first. Then we carried them with us. Watch for the sun.
Infants heads are heavy and are not floated by the usual vest-like PFD. Get one with the big foam doughnut that goes around the neck under the head.
Infants are also very prone to hypothermia and sometimes develop airway-threatening laryngospasm if they inhale water.
I think the first time I took my daughters out in a canoe they were around 2. In warm, calm water with appropriate gear I might have done it earlier.
Might want to do some pool sessions with your child first.
Mine were about 3, I think.
Same rules as FrankNC. They still, at 16 and 13, have no fear of water.
As everyone describes
My kids were six months old and one year old (that one was born in May). By the time they were each two they were on BWCA trips.
The infant cant wear sunscreen so sun protection is a must. PFDs can be an issue. My kids are grown now and horsecollars were all that we had back then. One kid did not mind them and the other one screeched.
what to put her in??
We have a pfd with the big collar…but I can’t think of what to place her on so she is comfortable. I obviously dont want her STRAPPED TO or IN anything… I got nothin…lol
I bought my son his first pfd before he was born. It was an LL Bean infant pfd with a horse collar. I also promised my mother-in-law that I wouldn’t take her grandson out in the kayak until he could hold his head up by himself. She forgot the promise, and I remember the day that she proudly announced, “look he’s holding his head up.” When I answered, “Great, now he can go kayaking,” she quickly told my son to put his head down. He was in a kayak within the week.
I assume you just held him in your lap?
OK by us
Just as a data point, not a recommendation or anything, but we started with long day trips and multi night camping trips with our boy at age 2. But we were very conservative about paddling conditions, always wear PFDs, and paddle a relatively huge 18’ Wenonah Sundowner.
When my son was very young, I just held him in my lap. I paddled an Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro SOT, so it was no problem having him perched there. Not long later, I would put him in the tank well behind me. I removed all straps from the boat to insure that he would not be attached to the boat in case of a capsize and my wife followed close behind in case of he fell out. Later, when my son was three and his sisters were one, we would take all three out. By this time I was also paddling an Innova Sunny inflatable. We paddled with the kids on easy lakes on sunny days or in bays on the coast or the intracoastal. My son was probably two or so when he first fell out. At this time he was positioned in front of me in the Sunny. All of our kids love to reach into the water and grab leaves and sticks. I always thought that I could simply reach down if he fell out and grab him. When he actually fell out, he was just out of reach. Although a few strokes would have put me next to him, this would have taken several seconds and since he was my first-born, I didn’t want to risk it. Into the lake I went and lifted him back into the boat. He was fine and after I climbed back onto the boat, we were back on our way.
Each of our children have now fallen out before they were three years old. In each case, the ease with which we dealt with it was due to the fact that we have SOTs and an inflatable, everyone wears a pfd, and we only kayak with the kids in environments that we consider safe.
By the way, my kids are now 6 yrs old (twin girls) and 8 years old (a boy) and each has their own child-size kayak (Ocean Kayak Kea SOTs). When we kayak on the lake or the coast in the summer, they never stay in the boats the entire time. Much of their time is spent swimming and floating around our boats in their pfds. On the way to school this morning one of my daughters said, “Dad, you’re addicted to kayaks.” Oh well… There are worse faults.
a paddle works better
Didn’t start ours until they were about
20 months old, walking, talking. PFDs with crotch straps, and fairly good disciplinary rapport about in-boat behavior. Easy rivers with occasional rapids well known to me, and a couple of friends along in solo canoes to run safety. Never had a problem, but I know some people would rather cut grass in a thunderstorm than take toddlers along.
1 adult per child
I agree, one adult per child, if you dump it that will be all you can handle.
Otherwise, go for it.
One of my tips is that the parents wear
PFDs as well as the kids. It disgusts me to see couples of no particular competance on Atlanta’s metro Chattahoochee, in say, November, with the kids in life jackets and the parents in shirtsleeves. If a spill should occur, not unusual for such folks, then they have a canoe full of water and no PFDs to assist them in recovering the whole mess.
kids in canoes
Our daughter is now 16 but she began on the river at about 8 months. First trip was in a raft but at about 1 we were canoeing. I didn’t think the available PFD’s at the time were very effective or comfortable so I designed a floating car seat. She was strapped into it and the whole thing floated. Had a sun shade. Used it many times until she outgrew it and I passed it along to a friend with a small kid. Seat sat on a platform mounted to the gunwales in front of the bow paddler on one boat. Another boat had a platform mounted on the gunwales in the center. Seat was never fastened to the boat or platform.