Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Preparing the Boat for a Baby

I am nearing the 30 week mark of my pregnancy, and that means one thing. We have to get this boat ready for a baby. I will be considered full-term in 7 weeks, so at the very latest we should have the boat entirely prepared for her arrival by then!

Slowly, we have been cleaning up the boat in preparation (and I mean really slowly...we really have to do a major overhaul sooner than later!) The quarterberth went from being our storage bin to being a storage bin in the back and a sort of ''nursery'' in the front. I use the term nursery very lightly. Basically, we bought a couple of plastic drawers and filled them with her clothes and cloth diapers, blocking off the rest of the quaterberth from view. (As you can see from the pictures, I am in the process of painting the ugly white plastic, and covering the front of the drawers with pretty fabrics).

The nav desk is right there, so Justin has rigged it so that the top of the desk is completely flat. We covered that up with a pad, and that is the changing table. Above that, I took some netting and hung it up with a few books in it.

One thing that I have heard fantastic things about was the tummy tub, and I really wanted to give it a try with our little one. If you do a search on youtube, you will find some fantastic videos of babies LOVING these. Some people find them a little creepy (you have to hold their head up at all times, at least until they are able to on their own), but they're quite amazing to me in that the babies really seem to absolutely love being in them. A lot of people ask why we didn't just buy a bucket, but we have been assured that the tub is not just any ol' bucket, so we trusted what we heard and purchased one. Thankfully, it was a tiny bit smaller than I had anticipated, but that still didn't mean we had a place to put it! For now, the best place we've come up with is above the nav desk/changing table. I attached a couple of small ropes and a clip to make it easy to hang, so we'll see what we think of it up there! So far it hasn't been in the way, but we may find that it gets in the way of the changing table. Hard to say, but for now it works.

Every baby needs a fire extinguisher hanging in their nursery...

On the starboard side, we moved what had once been our olive oil/balsamic vinegar/spaghetti noodle/wine storage back to the galley, and have replaced that with frequently used baby items (or what we assume will be frequently used). We have the Ergo and slings (thanks Jon and Kelli!), some baby washcloths, a few toys, a bottle, and a couple of soothie pacifiers.

One of my favorite stuffed animals (a puppet, actually) from when I was a little girl.

Also, we will be hanging the Happy Hangup (thanks again, Jon and Kelli!) on the starboard side, over a cushion (just in case *something* would happen, she would only fall a couple of inches, instead of a couple of feet!) We are hoping that she likes it, and expect that it will become a fairly permanent fixture over there, at least for awhile.

The awesome owl picture is from Auntie Angie, and the 'welcome baby' sign (to the left of the owls) is from Grandma Caron. Grandma also made her the cute teddy bear that is in the Happy Hangup!

For the times where we'd like her in bed with us, we purchased a bassinet (super cheap on craigslist!) which will probably go on my side of the bed, or we can move it into the main salon during the day if she seems to prefer sleeping in that instead of the happy hangup. I'm sure she'll want to change things up!

Justin's favorite stuffed animal from when he was a boy.

It's a work in progress, but we are pretty happy with the way the boat is looking. A few things will have to be tied down if we want to go out for a sail, but the great thing is that we should still be able to go out just fine. We expect that we'll get out on the water far less in the next year than we would like, but at least we'll still have the option. We won't be filling our boat with random baby crap that we'll never use, because we just can't afford to, spatially.

I expect that many of my posts in the upcoming months (years?) will be far more baby related, but I will work my hardest at relating those posts to living on a boat. I have been following many boat family blogs that are very entertaining to read, and I hope that some of our ideas will be inspirations to others that living on a boat with a baby isn't a terribly strange or scary thing to do.

I expect many of Justin's posts in the upcoming months will be of the new boat and our adventures with that. We haven't been down to work on it much lately, as we just haven't had the time/money (especially money) to do much to it. It's slightly frustrating, but sometimes, that's just the way it goes.

And since I haven't posted one in awhile - here's a picture of the growing belly!


  1. Yay for baby and boat posts! While Cora doesn't have a fire extinguisher in her bunk, she does have leaky chainplates! Oh the joys of parenting on a boat. And there are a lot of joys. You'll love it!

  2. You've done a great job of making it homey, she will feel so welcomed! Are the nesting hormones raging yet? I was so cavalier when I was pregnant with V until the last month. And then I drove. Tig. mad. With O, I wanted to get rid of everything as soon as I hit the second trimester. Still do...

    Looking forward to seeing more baby liveaboard related posts! ~ Serena