Prepping for Baby

Almost 30 weeks on Costa Brava, Spain.
Almost 30 weeks on Costa Brava, Spain.

In just a couple of days I will be 32 weeks pregnant. This means that I have approximately 8 short weeks to get my act together and ready our boat for our new bundle of joy. And, that is assuming she doesn’t make an early entrance – which I have a feeling she just may (why give daddy any extra time to finish his flooring and decking projects?). SHIT IS GETTING REAL. I had a minor freakout moment the other day when I realized that the only thing I had let myself buy yet was an adorable baby bathing suit – totally practical, right? I mean, who needs diapers when you have a bathing suit?

While I didn’t immediately go out and buy everything I think I’ll need, I did get serious about my registry. I plan to use the registry as a way to organize my shopping list. I decided to use Amazon’s Baby Registry because I’m addicted to Amazon Prime you can add things from all across the web. It is really easy to use because you just add a button to your web browser and click it anytime you see something you want to add.

So, what exactly are we planning to buy?


Our little sea squirt’s room is going to be what we are currently using for our shop. This is the walk through space from our salon to the aft cabin and accommodates a bed slightly larger than a twin XL. It is close to the aft cabin, so it is almost like co-sleeping but eliminates my fear of Jason accidentally rolling over onto our baby in a heavy sleep.

1 The bunk we’re going to use for the baby is pretty high off the ground, so the Guava Lotus Travel Crib with its side access zipper will be the perfect solution for us. We’ll find a way to secure the feet of the crib in place and will be good to go. The mesh sides will allow plenty of air to flow through the crib as well.

2 I am toying with the idea of one of the older model Summer Infant Travel Bassinets (the new ones are much shallower), but wondering if it is worth having another piece of gear in such a small space. What I like about using a bassinet first is that the baby will be more contained in a smaller space, but I honestly have no idea if that even matters. Boat mamas/pappas out there – what do you think?

3 The baby isn’t even here yet and I am already in love with aden & anais muslin blankets. I was lucky that my coworker gifted me with her old stock, but I still have my eye on this Sailing Seas themed bundle. These blankets are big, lightweight and from what I hear pretty darn versatile. Sun shade? Nursing cover? Photo shoot prop? Check. Check. Check! I also plan to master swaddling as well. 😉

Getting Around

4 I discovered the Doona Car Seat/Stroller while going to the hospital for a routine ultrasound. A woman grabbed the car seat by the handle, pushed a button and out popped the stroller wheels. They were built in to the seat! The next time I saw this contraption was at the airport. I may have startled the new dad who was just trying to get through security, but when he said it was one of the best purchases they made and worth ever penny I knew I wanted it on my list.


Who says you can’t nurse and hike at the same time? Photo courtesy of Michelle Walker.

I also plan on doing a lot of baby wearing. Whether it is just going for a walk with the dogs, or keeping the baby calm while Jason sails us to somewhere fun for a night out at anchor, I imagine she’ll be strapped to one of us pretty often. I like the idea that the Ergo Baby 360 Carrier can work for someone my size (5’3″) and Jason’s (6’3″). Add in the infant insert and we’re covered for longer than I’ll likely want to baby wear. I also like that this carrier can be used for front or back carrying.



6 Lets face it, there will be times when I just need to put the baby somewhere so that I can get things done. Can’t a girl make herself a bowl of cereal? From what I hear, this Fisher Price Rock & Play Sleeper is exactly that “somewhere.” I like that it folds nearly flat when not in use and love that I found a used one on Craigslist. Note: The Rock & Play was recalled in April 2019. We recommend the Baby Bjorn Bouncer for lounging.

7 I plan to nurse and the Boppy is supposed to make it just a little easier. It is also a great way to position the baby for tummy time or next to me on the bed when I don’t want her to roll anywhere. I figure if she hates it, the dogs will love it. They already love curling up in my Snoogle while I’m at work.

Baby Toby enjoying some snacks in the cockpit in his Fisher Price booster seat while visiting Kewalo Basin Harbor in Honolulu. Photo courtesy of Sailing Illusion.

8Once our little sea squirt can sit upright, I imagine the Fisher Price Booster will earn its keep. Whether we want to feed her in the salon or cockpit, this seat will be the perfect feeding station. Or, maybe she just wants to hang with us and watch the sunset. Either way, our baby girl will have her place to sit. I had originally had the Bumbo on my list but switched to this version. Its cheaper and has a longer usage time as it appears most babies outgrow the Bumbo by 9 months.

Toys and Education

Indestructible books are perfect for boat babies
Photo courtesy of Christina Ann

9 I love the idea behind Indestructible Books. They are books built for babies (and boats) and are sand proof, drool proof, waterproof, rip proof and tear proof. Essentially everything proof. If they get dirty, you just rinse them off. Given how hard Jason and I are on everything we own, I imagine our little one will be the same way. I can’t wait to get my hands on a few of these.

Baby Charlie playing with his Green Toys after a dinghy ride to the beach. Photo courtesy of SV Lea Scotia.

10 I’m such a sucker for products and brands that claim to do anything good for the environment. So naturally, I was drawn to Green Toys. They are made with 100% recycled materials, are non-toxic, and contain no BPA, Phthalates or PVC. They also come highly recommended by other boat parents in the Kids4Sail Facebook group.

Clothing & Gear

11I admit that I have tortured myself a few times by wandering through a baby gap or two, but I have been really good about not buying things on impulse. While I have a few clothing items on my registry, I’ve actually collected a bunch of used clothing from friends looking to unload some of their old stuff. Reduce and reuse, am I right? Craigslist can also be really good for this. When I went to go pick up the rock and play sleeper, the owner had bags of old newborn and 3 month clothes they were willing to unload for a $1. And, they looked barely used. I’m also a sucker for a good deal. With millions of New Yorkers, and a significant percentage of them procreating, there are a LOT of deals to be had.

Obviously these are just a few of the items on my wish list, but the major ones. What else do I need? Anything I got completely wrong? With the boat being such a small space I don’t want to load up on a ton of stuff just because, everything has to earn its keep. Any advice from more experienced boat moms & dads?

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  1. Love this post! I did my registry on Amazon too! The flexibility of having WAY more options than one big box store was key for me. And hello, Amazon Prime always and forever. I loved the aden + anais swaddles too. We used those day in and day out the first few weeks. It sounds like you are planning to nurse so you may want a bunch of the peripherals that accompany nursing (nursing pads, nipple shields, boob cream…you know, the glamorous stuff. Lol) if you don’t already have them. And maybe even consider having more bottles/nipples on hand (even back up formula just in case) until you figure out what works for you (you can always return). Did I miss a diaper pail on your registry? Don’t get the Ubbi brand…we HATE it. 😉 I’m curious if you are planning to have any sort of swing for the boat? That and the rock-n-play were my go-to life savers. Jase slept in the rock-n-play the first three months. 🙂 Anywho, enjoy these last few weeks!!! And post more baby belly photos. xo

  2. I would suggest looking into the LilleBaby carriers for baby wearing. They do not require an insert for infants (goes from 7-45lbs) and has 6 different positions you can wear it in. I started with the Ergo and ended up returning it. Everyone has their own opinion on baby carriers though 🙂
    Good luck prepping for baby!!

    • I second the lillebaby. I have a 9 week old and absolutely love it. He’s been in it since week one with no insert.

  3. We have a 10 month old on board so this gives me a chance to reflect on how we did it! 🙂 we had a bassinet/inflatable boat looking this g for when she was much younger. Now she’s just on one of the beds and we have a giant Lee cloth up to keep her contained. Love the green toys and the indestructible books. Books are often on the menu here! We have the stokke collapsible bathtub which is great. We currently keep it filled in the cockpit and bathtime/playtime/clean up happens 3 times a day after meals! There is an infant insert to use with it. I did get the boppy but probably wouldn’t get it again. Yes it’s handy but in conserving space, it’s nothing a few regular pillows can’t do. They do have a travel one though which might be with looking at. We have a similar high chair and have found that putting a plastic matt underneath makes clean up alot easier! I babywear slot. A stretchy wrap for a tiny baby was so snuggly and cozy and comfy. A linen ring sling is the one I use most now since it’s so quick to put on and scrunched up so small. We also have a woven wrap and an ergo performance which have their purposes as well!

    That’s my brain dump on babies on boats! Let me know if you have any questions! 🙂

  4. Looks like I might be the only male to reply here.

    After following this blog since its beginning (think: Jason trying to get the boat ready for the original sail to the Bahamas, seasickness, watching the new boat sail into NY City, the wedding story and now the baby) I would like to add my two cents.

    Now 68 and healthy, I am having the time of my life with nine grandchildren. This part is more fun than my kids were, mostly because then I was dealing with the pressures of life and a young family. Seven year old grandson Angus and I euphorically drove home from the Senators/Rangers game yesterday, won by Ottawa in overtime. (Sorry New Yorkers but we live in Ottawa). My oldest grand-daughter of eleven years and I went clothes shopping last week and the only rule was that she buys whatever the hell she wants (no parental influence allowed) 🙂 All the grandkids go for overnighters on the boat with Heather and I.

    So life is greater than I thought it could be. I bring all this up at a time when the current focus is on the upcoming baby and various fun pieces of baby paraphernalia etc. But this baby will not only arrive but keep on getting older and contrary to popular belief, there is no bad age. Every age is great and you won’t want to see any of them leave (including the terrible twos and sixteen yr olds)

    To all the younger generation of new parents with babies coming or already arrived – let me assure you of the following facts: Picture having twins and that’s what one baby will be like. Two children are like raising four and finally, if you go all out and have three it goes up geometrically. Those foolish 🙂 🙂 enough to have four have simply gone to plaid. Finally, the last morsel to chew on is that being a grandparent beats everything, hands down and you simply won’t qualify – unless you have that first baby.

    All the best