Baby Essentials…Updates

31 01 2015

I can’t believe First Mate is already a year old. Where does the time go?!?! I spent a great deal of research, thought, discussions leading to infant items to have on a boat. Now that First Mate is one, this list has changed. I have sold a few of my infant items that First Mate has grown out of or doesn’t like and there are new items that I want you to consider.

We have since sold the Fisher Price Rock-n-Play sleeper. I sold this back in June after I saw First Mate site up and roll right out of it onto the bed cushion. The second item I sold was the Ingenuity ConvertMe Swing. I am a big fan of this swing/bouncer but First Mate grew out of it and we don’t have the storage space to store the swing. I sold this swing in August although First Mate probably outgrew it in May or June. The third thing that we no longer use is the Bumbo seat and feeding/play tray. I had such high hopes for this item but First Mate was not into it. I finally stopped putting him in the Bumbo when we would arch back and actually wiggle out of the seat (maybe I should actually use the buckles that come with these baby things!)

Here are my essential items for a one year old who lives on a boat:

1. Baby carrier. A cool, breathable one if you live in a warm climate. We own a Performance Ergo that is lighter in weight than the original Ergo. This is nice because it is not too hot for First Mate (or me). I bought this Ergo ages ago for Capt’n in Training before I knew of other brands. I am actually in the market for a new carrier since the Ergo is definitely showing wear and I am considering a Tula and Kinderpack.

ergo mom ergo

2. Good quality umbrella stroller. Although I wear First Mate a lot, there are times when I really need to use a stroller. I love umbrella strollers. They are lightweight, compact, and can have just as many options as a full size stroller. I had a Maclaren Volo stroller with Capt’n in Training but it got damaged during hurricane Sandy, so I recently bought a Bumblebee convertible stroller. After using both strollers, I actually prefer the Maclaren. The Maclaren is easier to maneuver and fold than the Bumblebee. The Maclaren Volo is partly made of mesh so it is highly breathable, which I love in the warm climates. The Bumblebee i made of a really nice fabric and I love the colors but has recently gotten moldy from the cool and damp Florida winter. I also found that the Maclaren is is easier to maneuver than the Bumblebee. The Bumblebee frequently gets stuck and is difficulty to turn. However, I do not like that the Maclaren Volo does not recline.This is a big issue for me since First Mate will often fall asleep on long walks. I love that the Bumblebee reclines almost flat and First Mate will sleep soundly in that position. Since we keep the stroller on the deck of the boat, I would like one that is made of UV resistant fabric and that is rust resistant.

stroller DSC00079

3. Swing. We have one of those Little Tyke plastic swings. Yes, they are made for the outside, but we have hooked it up to use inside the boat. First Mate loves it. Capt’n in Training even likes pushing First Mate on the swing. This keeps First Mate occupied if I am mopping the floor or working on a hot stove.

4. Feeding booster seat. This booster seat can be used for feeding time or to secure to the cockpit for sailing trips. I love it. They are inexpensive (which is a bonus), made of plastic so they will not rust, lightweight and portable, which are all great adjectives for items on a boat!


5. Stainless steel feeding items. We are trying to reduce the use of plastic in our family. While glass is a great alternative to plastic, it is not realistic for our lifestyle. So I have turned to stainless steel. I purchased for Capt’in in Training an Ecovessel water bottle, which he loves. It is blue and has sharks on it, which makes it even better. You can purchase these through Ecovessel’s website, Amazon, but we bought this water bottle from REI. The only downfall is that it is not insulated. Next time around I would love to buy an insulated water bottle. I purchased two insulated sippy cups from Ecovessel for First Mate: one for water and one for milk. First Mate loves these sippy cups. The top is a Nuby brand silicon mouth, the handles are made of plastic, but the liquid container is made of triple insulated stainless steel. We love them. They are super easy to clean and keeps beverages cold. For snacks I bought an Ecovessel stainless steel snack cup. This cup comes with two silicon tops. The first one has slits in them so the child can stick their hand through to retrieve snacks. The second top is solid to keep snacks fresh, and for travel. We used the plastic version for Capt’n in Training.  I love the idea of having the child self feed while keeping a mess to a minimum. However, First Mate has managed to remove the top of the cup, thus creating a mess every time he eats from this cup. I still love and use the cup daily, so I simply turn my head to the mess and let the dogs clean it up!


6. Life jacket and harness. I can’t stress enough the importance of a child’s harness and proper life jacket for sailing with children. We purchased a West Marine children’s harness and attach it to the children when we are under motor in the ICW. I am also a huge proponent of life jackets (pfd) with a collar. God forbid your child falls in the water, but if they do, the collar will make sure they face with their head up rather than face down in the water.

DSC00572 DSC00335

What are some toddler items you can’t live without?