Boating with Alexis

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in BABY, FUN TIMES, PHOTO

A month ago we took Alexis on her very first cruise around the Bay and into the Gulf. Again, with the heat and the sun, it’s very difficult to do anything outdoors with a small baby, but we decided that if we make it an early outing, it should be fine.

I had no clue as to how Alexis would react to the heat or the boat or the speed. It was a total shot in the dark.

We used out favorite Lavanila Baby Block and wore a UPF50+ swimsuit that my friend Elena bought as a present for Lexi.

We went slowly at first, wading through the bay to get to the open Gulf. She was fine as long as she was in the shade and then when we turned to face the morning sun, Andrew opened our super convenient Mutsy parasol that we brought along. She was starting to fuss and then we picked up some speed and Yeehaaawww! Lexi LOVED it! As soon as we were moving and the wind was blowing, she was a happy girl. She wasn’t crazy for having to hear a lifevest, and because of the size of the boat, she technically didn’t have to. But we felt more comfortable if she did, at least while we were moving fast.

We spent the rest of the time alternating between cruising and going really fast. She even had her first taste of beer. Just kidding, of course, but she definitely tried to, pretty forcefully. I had to get her attention with one of the boat gadgets, before she stuck her finger into the opening of the bottle.


The picture below on the left is her face when we sped up a little bit – she was loving it and making cute happy noises :)

So the picture below:

If you remember, the first time Lexi met J, she freaked out and cried for 30 minutes after he attempted to take her into his arms. We figured it was the beard. So this time, he purposefully let her touch his beard to show her that it was all cool. And while there were no tears, you can judge her reaction by the two photos at the bottom. haha!

Oh and here’s some EYE CANDY for car lovers, which I once was, until I got pregnant and decided that my life is now too important to race around in fast vehicles. I still love beautiful cars, but just looking at them is enough nowadays :)

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Comments (55)

  • HollyR

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    Looks like such a fun day! I love the swimsuit, Lexi looks cute in anything, but still… I cracked up at the picture of your face when she tried touching the beer bottle lol, too cute! My daughter (7 yrs) who we adopted 2 years ago, freaked the first time we got her on a boat, I thought she was scared (because I am a little uneasy on water, and we werent sure if she had ever been on a boat before), but no…she was SCREAMING to go faster lol, kids crack me up!!!!!!

    Reply

  • Tara

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    looks sooo funn! I so wish I lived near an ocean (but I can’t leave my family in MN, I just can’t do it) So beautiful! We have lots of lakes, but the ocean, is just so amazing to me! :) beautiful photos!! Seems like a very lovely day!

    Reply

  • megan

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    GASP!! Why is she not wearing a PFD in most of the photos and when she does have it on it’s not done up? Pretty sure that’s about the same as not wearing one. Sorry to be the PFD police but this is one thing that I can’t get over when I see people post photos of their babies on boats without a life jacket.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Because the boat is 37 feet and a life vest isn’t necessary. We only put it on when we were going fast. It’s a big boat, with an experienced captain, in open water with no boats around, going at moderate to slow speeds. By law, you just have to have a lifevest around, not necessarily on on a boat this size.

      Reply

      • Shannon

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        The law is always the absolute bare minimum for safety – think of car seat laws versus recommendations. I figured you’d want more than the bare minimum for Lexi, no? Beyond that, it’s a good idea to get them used to ALWAYS wearing a PFD when on the water; that way, when they’re older, they don’t think twice about it and won’t fight wearing it. It’s easier to start now than to try and talk a two-year-old into it without a screaming match.

        Reply

      • Tawny

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        What is the point of the life jacket you are using for her though? It’s not an infant jacket and it’s not buckled up so there really is no use in even having it on her at all unless it ‘s on properly or made to properly fit. The way you have it on her would do literally no good what so ever.

        On the other hand, I agree with you. What a lot of people don’t understand, is when you live surrounded by bodies of water, you don’t hear of accidents or deaths and it’s because everyone is so educated on boater’s safety and water safety. I grew up surrounded by water and it was mandatory to pass boater’s safety in 7th grade. We might have one fatality every 10 years and it was usually a drunk boater that flipped their own boat.

        I do agree with others though. The sooner they get used to wearing one, the better! By far, hands down.

        Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Oh and once she starts walking, she will have one on at all times, because she can fall in the water. But while we have to hold her inside the boat, slowly cruising around, I don’t feel there’s any danger at all. It’s not like a boat this size can capsize with tiny gulf waves for no reason.

      Reply

    • Kelly

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      Agreed. Having grown up on boats, it’s just not worth the risk, no matter how small. My father would not let us as babies/children and now our kids even near the dock without a PDF. Please reconsider your position on this one Elena.

      Reply

      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        I’ll look into it. We have gone boating a few more times after that and I just don’t see what the danger is for an immobile infant on a large boat nowhere near other boats. I’d be more worried if the area was busy with boats, because like in cars, while you can trust your driver, you CANNOT trust other drivers.
        But I appreciate the concern. I’ll talk it over with my husband and will look at a couple resources. Thanks! 😉

        Reply

        • Alexandra

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          Sterns makes great life jackets that are neoprene and are much trimmer on a small baby. We had my son in one at 3 months and he did fine in it. Our family rule is everyone under 13 has a life jacket at all times on the dock or boat. Last summer when he was tiny, I always thought what if I was holding him and tripped on my own feet and he flew in the water.

          Reply

          • Meg

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            I completely understand where you all are coming from, but have to agree with Elena. My son is eight months old, and I would not insist he wear a life vest on a boat this size, especially if he didn’t like it. He has not started crawling or walking yet, and I always make sure I (or someone else) is holding him. Once he starts walking, I will make him wear one at all times, but until that time I do think it is unnecessary.

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Exactly!
            I do see where everyone is coming from but in that situation I felt pretty safe boating in empty waters on a big boat.

            Reply

          • Ciara

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            But still even holding her you could slip and fall. What happens then? That is a rather open boat and things could go wrong. It’s better safe than sorry in my book. The only boat my son has ever been on is a ferry and it is 460 feet long and the passenger cabin is completely enclosed. I feel comfortable with him not wearing a life vest on a vessel that size but on a 37 foot boat too many things could still go wrong.

            Reply

      • Hanna

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        THIS. I also grew up on boats, and Elena, if you care enough about this baby to spend nine months barricaded into your house, you should care enough to get her a proper PFD and do it up properly. Having Lexi wear an oversized, unfastened lifejacket is MUCH more dangerous than having her go without. If she fell in somehow, she would be held facedown in the water– ALL the flotating would be against her back, and shoulder joints don’t flex in a way that would let her out of the jacket without someone else to help. How fast could you turn and retrieve her? If you were very, very good, I’d give you 15 seconds, if you weren’t moving. If the boat is in motion make that 30 seconds, a minute. Too long.

        Reply

  • Carol

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    Love the pictures and the post! I grow up in a litoral city and since i remember i was boating like every week w/ my mom! After spending 10 years there we moved inside the state but i still miss the beaches very much! Im pretty sure lexi will be a water baby! Are u planning On put her at swim classes?

    Reply

  • HMG

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    Wow great pictures and you look great! Babies really should be in a type II Coast Guard approved PFD regardless of the type of boat. You really never know when an accident will happen.

    Reply

  • Sue

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    Alexis is adorable in that striped swimsuit! However, size of the boat notwithstanding, not having her in a life jacket is extremely negligent. Just last month a boat capsized in the Sound and three children were killed, none wearing a life jacket. If you were in an accident, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to help her. What if you hit your head? Or were thrown backwards? Plus, try treading water holding an 18lb baby. She should ABSOLUTELY be in a life vest the ENTIRE time and it should be properly fastened. If she’s uncomfortable, then don’t go on a boat. Regardless of how experienced the captain is, you cannot account for the other vessel operators. Her discomfort is second to her safety. Always.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Ok to be completely fair, the boat that you’re referring to that capsized was a smaller boat with 27!!! People on board, partying drunk on 4th of july next to a million other boats.

      If I saw a single boat in the vicinity, I would have been a lot more concerned.

      But in the end you’re right, even a minuscule chance isn’t worth taking.

      Reply

  • Chrissy

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    I know you are probably sick of these type questions, but where did you get her little dress? I love the colors.

    Reply

      • Chrissy

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        Yep, that’s the one. I thought it might be from Zulily. I get most of my cute baby stuff there, too!

        Reply

  • Elena C.

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    Ohhhh the eye candy :)
    You Missy are pretty much an eye candy yourself in that lovely dress :)
    Loved the beard touching part :)

    Reply

  • Meg

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    I love Alexis’s swim suit! She is such an adorable little girl! I have been meaning to ask, and the sposie photos reminded me, have you decided to try cloth diapering out again? I completely understand it is not for everyone, and it can be very challenging with a newborn (it was for us, anyway!). We cloth diaper full time now with an eight month old. After I found a routine that worked for me, it became fairly easy.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Yes we did. I wrote a post about it a few weeks ago. We are currently doing 70/30 cloth/disp. While trying to figure out the brand. I think we’ll go with bum genius and then do sposies at night until we feel confident we can do cloth at night too.

      Reply

      • fran

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        Lovely photos – Andrew looks such a proud Daddy! What software do you use for the HDR effect?

        Reply

          • fran

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            My mistake then!, sorry I use photoshop, and can do a quite good HDR effect with it, though Topaz does a better job – your last two photos look very similar!

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            It’s just the type of editing I occasionally use. I guess you’re right, it does have an HDR-ish effect. I just over saturate the photo, up the back end of the tone curve and then dodge the main areas. My girlfriend who is a photographer showed me the technique. It gives it a film kind of look.

            Reply

      • Meg

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        Very cool! We love bumGenius as well! :)

        Reply

      • lara

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        Fitteds and wool for night! So awesome. Good wool is pricey but it’s totally breathable and TOTALLY bulletproof!

        Reply

  • Lake Girl

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    This is why life jackets on babies and children are important:
    The first day our boat was in the water this year we took our 18 month old grandson and our daughter out for a cruise around the lake. An alarm sounded on the boat but we couldn’t figure out what it was. A few moments later we saw the smoke coming from the motor. When we removed the cowling flames shot up. If we hadn’t been able to extinguish the fire (burning next to the fuel line) with the onboard extinguisher we would have had to jump in the very cold water and swim to shore. Although we are all strong swimmers, and our daughter is a lifeguard, it would have been very difficult to swim with a toddler not in a life jacket.

    Reply

    • lara

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      That is so scary and a really great point!

      Reply

  • Hannabert

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    Not to be a pest and I know that you and your husband are very diligent parents and I understand that the boot exceeds the length requirements that mandate an required life jacket but it would probably help if you buckled the life jacket when you put it on her.

    Reply

  • Ana

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    Kinda off topic but Lexi being nervous of J made me think, :) I’ve always wonder if babies and animals are pure judges of character. WDYT? I bet they feed off our response /demeanor in each situation but there have been times when our dog will completely spaz out over someone even when it is a good friend of mine I am excited to see and then some strangers she loves from the get go. I can’t help but put a little weight into who she warms up to. :) Kids I’ve nannied for are the same way. Or maybe it’s just cause I’m not digging the vibes I get of J from the 4th of July pictures -totally lameo to judge someone like that, I know. :(- and I’m trying to read into Lexi being leary of him too. lol

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Not off topic at all. :)
      I’ve thought this very thing myself in other situations I’ve been. Lexi has taken to some people virtually immediately and others- she’d cry every time they pick her up.
      In this case though, J is one of the coolest kindest sweetest people I know and I think the only vibe she’s getting from him are “cigar smell, beard, loud voice and sunglasses” lol Oh and the fact that when she was in the middle of stranger anxiety stage, instead of approaching her carefully he just took her in his arms with the “Oh babies LOOOOVE me” lol

      Reply

  • Bailey

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    You guys have the best adventures! Not to mention photos! It looks like Lexi really enjoyed herself. How fun to be able to do that! BTW I think you’re doing a wonderful job with her. She was very safe, it’s a huge boat, and she was in your arms with no other boats around. You take very good care of Lexi. Keep up the good work!

    Reply

  • Anna

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    Is it your boat guys :))) I don’t like cars but this one looks shiny :)) your new one???:)

    Reply

  • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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    So here’s the deal. I totally see where most of you are coming from.

    However, thinking it over, I still think that the situation on the boat was very safe. Glassy water, no boats around, experienced captain, lifevests within reach in case of a fire or something else, high boards, so it’d be very hard to trip, plus whoever was holding Lexi stayed in the seat the whole time. I can’t think of situation where not having a lifevest on, but instead near, in this case would be detrimental.

    That being said, I would evaluate any other trip the same way, and act accordingly. I agree that the smallest risk isn’t worth taking, but during this boat trip I don’t feel there was even the smallest risk.

    Reply

    • Rebecca

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      I understand that you feel the situation was safe, and it’s great that you have life jackets available. The fact is, though, the PFD Alexis is pictured wearing would not have done her any good in the water since it does not fit properly . If you still don’t want to put her in a PFD on the boat at all times, at least be sure you have a coast guard approved infant vest on board that fits her correctly.

      Also, putting it on her when the boat is going faster but not buckling the vest is the same as not wearing one at all. Possibly worse, because it seems like having the big, bulky, open vest on her would make it harder to keep ahold of her.

      Reply

      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        That vest is the one we bought specifically for Alexis, infant vest for her size.

        my thinking behind it:
        If the boat were to catch on fire or something were to happen, we’d have time to properly fasten it before jumping in the water.

        Since there were no other boats and we weren’t going fast even when we “sped up”, I did not see the urgency or the danger that would necessitate wearing a life vest.

        Will I evaluate each situation every time we go on a boat? Yes! And if there are any boats in the vicinity, I’d be even more inclined to have her wear a lifevest after the warnings here.

        Reply

      • MMS

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        I think my attitudes toward boating safety stem from the fact I grew up on a lake and my parents still live there. When we are on my parent’s large party barge, my daughter did not wear a life vest, as like most babies, she hated it, and it is legal in Florida. Again, whomever was holding her remain seated, the boat was going slowly (this party barge has no fast speed). When we take out my parents smaller ski boat, my daughter did wear a vest because it is the law on that size vessel, and because I knew we would be going faster. It was important for me to find a life vest with a strap through the legs. This ensures the vest would not raise above the baby’s head if they were to be submersed. My infant jacket was also much thinner with a zipper front. I certainly can see all the points of commenters suggesting it’s not worth it to take any risk, but honestly, before reading this, it would never have crossed my mind to put my daughter in a life vest on the party barge. People just never have done it where we live (unless required my law on smaller vessels) and boating has always felt so safe to me it was never something I considered. I appreciate all the input. It makes me think about choices we made, and what could have been the consequences. Thankfully, we have never experienced or been around anyone who was in any type of boating accident. Kind of goes to show we often parent as a product of our culture or how we personally were reared. Good conversation.

        Reply

        • MMS

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          I think my attitudes toward boating safety stem from the fact I grew up on a lake and my parents still live there. When we are on my parent’s large party barge, my daughter did not wear a life vest, as like most babies, she hated it, and it is legal in Florida. Again, whomever was holding her remain seated, the boat was going slowly (this party barge has no fast speed). When we take out my parents smaller ski boat, my daughter did wear a vest because it is the law on that size vessel, and because I knew we would be going faster. It was important for me to find a life vest with a strap through the legs. This ensures the vest would not raise above the baby’s head if they were to be submersed. My infant jacket was also much thinner with a zipper front. I certainly can see all the points of commenters suggesting it’s not worth it to take any risk, but honestly, before reading this, it would never have crossed my mind to put my daughter in a life vest on the party barge. People just never have done it where we live (unless required my law on smaller vessels) and boating has always felt so safe to me it was never something I considered. I appreciate all the input. It makes me think about choices we made, and what could have been the consequences. Thankfully, we have never experienced or been around anyone who was in any type of boating accident. Kind of goes to show we often parent as a product of our culture or how we personally were reared. Good conversation.

          Edit: We used this one: http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Overtons-Infant-Vest&i=16692&aID=600H5&merchID=4006 and this one: http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=OBrien-Infant-Qubicfit-Vest&i=693751&aID=600H5&merchID=4006.
          Overton is our go to source for boating items.

          Reply

    • Anne

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      Shit still happens… Better safe than sorry

      Reply

      • Ciara

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        I’m sorry but I agree with this. Plus it’s better for her to get used to wearing them now instead of fighting with her when she is older.

        Reply

  • Jess

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    I want to echo everyone else who is begging you to put that baby into a coast guard approved life vest. You keep citing that the water was smooth and no one else was around, but what if YOUR BOAT runs into trouble? What if your boat catches fire or runs aground? You could lose that baby that you love so much and you would feel guilty for the rest of your life.

    Reply

  • Deanna

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    Im going to have to agree with Miss Alexis…..facial hair is yucky.

    Reply

  • Amanda

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    The most adorable swimsuit on the most adorable baby!

    Reply

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