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Old     (ferral)      Join Date: Sep 2007       06-14-2010, 8:46 PM Reply   
I was wondering if any of you riders/parents have some advice. My wife and I have a 3 month old daughter and we are planning to take her out on the boat for the first time tomorrow afternoon. The problem we are having is that she hates her life vest. We've put it on her twice now to try to get her used to it, but so far she has cried and/or screamed. Its only stayed on a few minutes before we took it off. Anybody else have an experience like this? Can we expect her to just get used to it after a little longer? Or after a few more tries? I really want us to all be able to go out on the water together. Of course I realize every kid is going to be different, just trying to get some idea of what I may be in for.
Old     (mdaijogo)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-14-2010, 8:48 PM Reply   
We had our daughter out in her vest. She fussed a lot with it on. However, it changed once we got on the boat and moving. Granted, that was with my daughter. She may react the same way or completely different.

Old     (mastercraf)      Join Date: Jul 2009       06-14-2010, 9:09 PM Reply   
Have a few cousins who have infants-2 year old now. Always brought them in the boat, but always with life vests. They fuss, but if you introduce them to it before getting to the boat it seems easier to make the transition. For example, put them in it for 20 minutes a day in different locations. Then they wont correspond lifejacket with boat. So when they see the boat they can not worry about not being put into a lifejacket they will worry about other sensory things...seemed to work with my cousins kids.
Old     (dohboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       06-14-2010, 9:27 PM Reply   
Three months old? She won't put up that much of a fuss until she falls asleep. Both my daughters fell asleep with the boat moving. It seemed like almost instantly they were out.
Old     (elc)      Join Date: Jan 2008       06-14-2010, 9:52 PM Reply   
My boy fussed until he was about 16 months. He is two now and asks for his jacket when he gets on the boat.
Old     (bjeremi)      Join Date: Mar 2006       06-14-2010, 10:00 PM Reply   
What kind of vest is it. We took our son out at 4 weeks and while he didn't really like the vest that much he got use to. Couple of pics from outings all the way up to 11 months. It took us a while to decide on the lifevest.
Attached Images
Old     (bjeremi)      Join Date: Mar 2006       06-14-2010, 10:01 PM Reply   
Can't find the 11month one right now. Will post when I find it.
Old     (bjeremi)      Join Date: Mar 2006       06-14-2010, 10:03 PM Reply   
Found it and yes the poor kid has his dad's oversized dome.
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Old     (ferral)      Join Date: Sep 2007       06-15-2010, 12:36 AM Reply   
Thanks everybody. Sounds like we just need to give her more time in the vest and just see how she reacts once we get on the boat and get moving. The only bad thing here is that my daughter is a bit odd - she has stopped falling asleep in the car and instead spends most of the ride crying. Hopefully the boat will be different.
Old     (hyperlite)      Join Date: May 2009       06-15-2010, 5:05 AM Reply   
Just keep her in a vest and she'll be fine.
Old     (chris4x4gill2)      Join Date: Sep 2009       06-15-2010, 6:36 AM Reply   
I have the same problem. My 10 month old HATES his vest. It is similar to the one J Brenner shows above except it zips up in the front.. We havent had him in the boat yet because of this. I guess I need to try getting him use to it more at home.
Old     (clayton191)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-15-2010, 8:34 AM Reply   
We tried to buy vests with simular experience as you guys above -- so now when the boat is out -- the baby visits grandma hahahhah
Old     (desotodave)      Join Date: Mar 2009       06-15-2010, 8:40 AM Reply   
As everyone has said, put her in the vest, lay her in her infant car seat in the shade and she should sleep like a baby!! We have had 4 kids, and done the same with all of them. More of a problem when they are 1-2. They want to run everywhere!
Old     (nelson)      Join Date: Jan 2009       06-15-2010, 9:08 AM Reply   
We have had my daughter out since she was 1 week old. Have a few different vest we have the one like Brenner and it has worked great, my daughter is 11 months now and walking and it still works good. Best advice we where given is get them in the water as soon and as much as possible even at the pool with there life jacket on then they get used to it and the playing in the water takes there mind off the jacket. I know it sounds weird but it worked we can be on the lake all day long. Give her a few breaks to play on the beach if there is one or let her jump off the back or play in the water with someone then back in the boat and she is playing with toys. Our boat has turned into a really expensive play pen but it is great being on the lake with your kids.
Old     (jmcdanie)      Join Date: Oct 2009       06-15-2010, 9:12 AM Reply   
My son is now 11 weeks old and we took him out for the first time when he was 6 weeks old. We used a life vest like the one pictured above (neo with zipper in the back). We had orginally had a Body Glove vest that was made of the other material and zipped in the front. That one was not as comfy as the neo one we bought. He never really fussed when we put it on him, but we tried it for a few minutes inside in the air conditioning and when we take him out, he is kept in the shade (when it is above 90 degrees we do not take him out). Once he is on the boat, he is out like a light due to the rocking motion.

Possibly helpful WARNINGS: (these may seem like common sense, but I had other parents tell me that they never thought of this when taking the little ones out on the boat.)

-Make sure the baby is always in the shade unless they are old enough to wear sunscreen.

-Do NOT strap the baby into anything like a seat (though, we commonly set him in a vibrating chair, but do not strap him in). The vests are only rated to 30 pounds, so if you put them in a seat that weighs 20 lb, then the vest will not float them both. I prefer to have one person in the boat dedicated to the baby at all times to create shade or pacifier as needed.

-Make sure the baby is wearing clothes for the weather you are in since the vest tends to hold in alot of heat since it wraps most of the body. If you had to wear your PFD all day and are too hot with what you are wearing, chances are the baby is too hot if they are wearing the same type of clothes.

Good luck and be safe!
Old     (suthaforce)      Join Date: Feb 2004       06-15-2010, 9:13 AM Reply   
Here is our baby girl. We did loosen the straps so she could take a nap. When she is all buckeled up she can barely move, but its a neccesity. Im with Clayton, when we are boarding or out with friends she visits grandma.
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Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-15-2010, 11:14 AM Reply   
The main thing is to make sure you don't take it off when they start fussing. They need to understand the rules, and no amount of fighting is going to change it. Our kids vests go on when we walk down from the house. If they are around water, they wear it.
Old     (tre)      Join Date: Jul 2002 Location: WI       06-15-2010, 11:57 AM Reply   
My daughter hated the vest until she turned two and we were able to buy her a vest without the giant pad in the back of the neck. She now loves the life vest and the water because the toddler vest is so much more comfortable then the infant vests. She hated the infant vest every step of the way. Now she knows she needs the vest and asks for it when we are going to go into the boat (or the water).
Old     (ferral)      Join Date: Sep 2007       06-16-2010, 11:40 PM Reply   
Lot's of good tips here. We continue to put the vest on her in the house every day, and even got a few minutes without crying today. Progress! Still seems we have a ways to go. Unfortunately, Grandma isn't an option since one is 1800 and the other is 3000 miles away. And since my wife is afraid to take the boat without me, it means she doesn't get to ride again until our daughter is ready to join us. The vest we have is also just like the one in J Brenner's pictures, so it sounds like we bought the same as most of you and are having similar experiences. I was thinking about bringing the infant seat for her, but how do you put her in it without strapping in? Whenever the buckles are open, they seem very awkward and end up under her or poking her or something.
Old     (bstphen24)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-17-2010, 12:31 AM Reply   
The vest you have appears to be the best neoprene one I've seen yet. I don't have any pictures but the best infant vest that I have found is the one that I wore when I was an infant. Both my daughter and son (6 weeks old) seem much more comfortable in it and cooler. It is an old nylon sesame street one, still in perfect condition. Both seemed to fuss some when we would put them on at home, though our son is much better. We have now had our son our twice with us and the same thing that happened with our daughter happened with him. He was out cold in about 5-10 minutes. Sometimes we bring is car carrier and just set him in it if just hanging out and if not he is being held by someone in the front corner. Either way I'm sure you will figure out what works for you and I'm sure your wife will get some water time as well. I'm just glad to see you guys figuring out how to go out, instead of reading "just had a baby no time to use the boat need to sell it". I think that is the absolute wrong excuse for selling a boat as I believe they are such a great way to get the family together.
Old     (PictureMeRollin)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-17-2010, 11:19 AM Reply   
Good advice!

Originally Posted by psudy View Post
The main thing is to make sure you don't take it off when they start fussing. They need to understand the rules, and no amount of fighting is going to change it. Our kids vests go on when we walk down from the house. If they are around water, they wear it.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       06-17-2010, 11:44 AM Reply   
I started out with the same challenge. My daughter (now 4) has grown to hate the boat completely, so it's no longer an issue.
Old     (jame04)      Join Date: Nov 2007       06-17-2010, 12:01 PM Reply   
we have had our 7 month old grandson on the boat. when moving always have the vest on. he's even floated in the lake! we had his jumper, which he loves hooked up to the tower and let him jump, of course while anchored
Old     (helman)      Join Date: Feb 2010       06-21-2010, 4:06 PM Reply   
Know this is a late reply...but just got back from a week at New Melones... :-)

Both my little ones fussed at first (18 mnth and 2 1/2). Now my oldest wants to wear hers around the house all the time..... We have similar vests to the pics above (neoprene with zipper in front). My kids are suprisingly good on the boat. I give my daughter a little spray bottle with water which keeps her entertained squirting everyone and my son just falls asleep. Mom and dad (with spotters) board to the max....good times!
Old     (dizzyj)      Join Date: Jul 2003       06-21-2010, 9:02 PM Reply   
Here is Charlie. Hes 4 months. Been out on the boat since week 1. He drives the sickest d-ups you have ever seen. Were lucky, he doesnt fuss with the jacket much. Also the water is ~65 degrees year round so there is always a cool breeze.
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Old     (pickle311)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-22-2010, 11:13 AM Reply   
Guess I'm lucky. We've been taking our little guy out on the boat since he was 6 months and he loves it. He ask for his life jacket at the house and will wear it around just because he wants to go out on the boat. We started him off in the same vest that Dizzy has in his picture above and he never fussed about it at all. We brought along the carrier too and he would lie there and go to sleep while we had a good time.

Last edited by pickle311; 06-22-2010 at 11:13 AM. Reason: .
Old     (chris4x4gill2)      Join Date: Sep 2009       06-22-2010, 11:57 AM Reply   
We got a new vest that zips in the back instead of the front last week. Tried it on at home and it went well. Took him to the lake Saturday and he absolutely loved being in the water. Was very content to sit with Dad or splash around for almost an hour. Then he started getting tired since it was time for a nap anyway.

All in all, a success. Thanks for the suggestions guys!


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