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Baby on board?


vanboosh
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We've been living on a narrowboat for about 4 years and we (I mean, I'd rather a dog, but what can you do 😝) are now thinking about babies. So we're thinking about getting a fat boat, possibly with two rooms, cost permitting, so we can have a bit more space. Does anyone have any experience with firstly being pregnant on a boat, followed by having a new born? Is it silly? Should we be moving to land for a few years first, then maybe come back to boating when the kids are a bit older?

P.s. We have a permanent mooring.

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26 minutes ago, vanboosh said:

We've been living on a narrowboat for about 4 years and we (I mean, I'd rather a dog, but what can you do 😝) are now thinking about babies. So we're thinking about getting a fat boat, possibly with two rooms, cost permitting, so we can have a bit more space. Does anyone have any experience with firstly being pregnant on a boat, followed by having a new born? Is it silly? Should we be moving to land for a few years first, then maybe come back to boating when the kids are a bit older?

P.s. We have a permanent mooring.

 

 

Folks have had babies (in fact big families) on narrowboats for literally centuries, however it doesn't mean it will work for you. How do you get on at the moment (truthfully) do you end up arguing and one at one end of the boat and one at t'other end ? It will be many times worse with a baby.

A widebeam will be more space-friendly but is still a very restricted space for all of the 'stuff' a baby needs - whenever we went out for the day or a couple of days the car was loaded with a crib, 500 nappies, changing mats, 5 dozen changes of clothes, pram, push chair, bottles, steriliser etc etc etc.

 

How much spare space do you have ?

I reckon a baby and its accoutrements takes up more space than 2 or 3 adults - could you live with another 2 people and all their stuff in your existing boat ?

 

Do you go out cruising or just live in the marina ?

Is your cruising area compatable with a fat boat ?

Does you marina have moorings for a fat boat ?

 

Many folks (even today) happily rear a family on a boat, can you? - only you can decide, but plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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3 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

 

Folks have had babies (in fact big families) on narrowboats for literally centuries, however it doesn't mean it will work for you. How do you get on at the moment (truthfully) do you end up arguing and one at one end of the boat and one at t'other end ? It will be many times worse with a baby.

A widebeam will be more space-friendly but is still a very restricted space for all of the 'stuff' a baby needs - whenever we went out for the day or a couple of days the car was loaded with a crib, 500 nappies, changing mats, 5 dozen changes of clothes, pram, push chair, bottles, steriliser etc etc etc.

 

How much spare space do you have ?

I reckon a baby and its accoutrements takes up more space than 2 or 3 adults - could you live with another 2 people and all their stuff in your existing boat ?

 

Do you go out cruising or just live in the marina ?

Is your cruising area compatable with a fat boat ?

Does you marina have moorings for a fat boat ?

 

Many folks (even today) happily rear a family on a boat, can you? - only you can decide, but plan for the worst and hope for the best.

 

We get on great, so that side of things I'm not worried about. Its the space/practicality/safety aspects, really. I'm pretty sure we'll have to go for a wide beam, which would 'help' with most space issues (Not sure how much help, but if we moved to land, I'm not sure how much bigger a space we could get anyway), but I'm still not sure about practicality/safety stuff.

 

We're on the Thames (as in on the river not in a marina, but we're on the marina wall, so hookup, permanent mooring, etc.) so space for the boat isn't an issue.

Apart from one or two big cruises, most of our cruises are day/weekend trips, but we're prepared to stay put for a while. 

 

I know a couple of families that have moved onto boats when the kids we're a bit older, but I haven't met anyone with a newborn/first child yet. 

 

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I know one couple who brought up their first child on a narrowboat, but as soon as the second was due they moved back onto land. I've known 3 other couples who fully intended to bring up children in their narrowboats, but when reality hit they also sold up and moved off the water. One woman even wanted to have a home birth on the boat when they were still fitting it out, but she was advised it wasn't a good idea by the nurse/midwife in case there were any complications.

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If you fancy it, do it, you cant do it when your dead. After 30 years admitedly without youngsters on board we have moved back to a house, its a nice house in a fab area, its no where near as good as living full time on a boat. Much of the stuff modern day families have for their babies is just unnecessary crap, cut most of it out. A widebeam would be awesome. We lived on narrow and wide over the years. If you realy enjoy boating life, you will miss it moving into a boring house and you will never get your time back. You are dead for ages. King Charles the first was beheaded in 1649 and no body has seen him since ;)

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We have a 3 year old on ours and soon another, full length narrowboat, you can make it work if you want. As already said most stuff bought for children is unnecessary clutter that gets used for a couple of days and then gathers dust anyway. Children would rather ducks, walks, boat rides and adventure than extra space for boring plastic toys. 

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9 minutes ago, CanalRetentive said:

We have a 3 year old on ours and soon another, full length narrowboat, you can make it work if you want. As already said most stuff bought for children is unnecessary clutter that gets used for a couple of days and then gathers dust anyway. Children would rather ducks, walks, boat rides and adventure than extra space for boring plastic toys. 

^^^^^^^^^^^ this this this!    You make the child's life till it can hold its own and it will repay you a thousand times over.  You dont need stuff, enough to keep it safe, clean and healthy and your full attention when you can. That's all they need, the space is outside and the security inside. 

 

But Yes, get a dog as well. 🙂 

 

 

Edited by Chagall
honesty
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1 hour ago, blackrose said:

One woman even wanted to have a home birth on the boat when they were still fitting it out, but she was advised it wasn't a good idea by the nurse/midwife in case there were any complications.

Our first was born during a brief sojourn in a flat, but the second was born in the fore cabin of the wideboat Progress (semi-converted still at that time, and now under restoration by Chris Collins - see thread). I was watching from an overhead hatch. The midwife was egging Di on to be quick as she'd never attended a birth on a boat and it was near the end of her shift. She had me pin up newspaper to cover the rough timber shearing, then after a bit she told me to put a kettle on. I assumed the time was nigh, but when it boiled she told me to make a pot of tea. It all went to schedule though.

They were brought up on boats and were about 7 and 11 when we went barrel boating, and they were (sort of) home educated from that point. They don't seem to have suffered greatly from it  😃

 

Tam

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Thank you for all the replies, everyone! All very encouraging, really. It seems totally doable, especially on a wide beam if we can afford the 'upgrade' (although I would very much miss our narrowboat). We're not super into possessions and would definitely be more into the 'experiences' side of bringing up kiddos and you can't get much more of an experience than living on a boat!

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Just now, system 4-50 said:

A baby having a scream-all-night session on a boat could be a problem if you have neighbouring boats close by.

Shouldn't be a problem where we are. We're on the river so bow to stern/end to end (not sure if there's a proper word for that?) and we're right on the end with the bedroom at the back - no neighbours that side!

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I was born on and lived my entire childhood on a 45’ sailing boat, if you have any questions about what it’s like from the child’s perspective. Now live on my narrowboat just me and my daughter but she’s 10 and didn’t spend her early childhood on boats. 

298174B2-B450-48B5-9D6C-235F12B6FB53.jpeg

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On 10/01/2022 at 17:53, mrsmelly said:

If you fancy it, do it, you cant do it when your dead. 

 

⬆️⬆️⬆️ This.

 

You're a long time dead. If it doesn't work then at least you tried and you won't spend your life wondering 

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We had the first on a 45` narrowboat, just tied on the towpath, not a proper mooring, pregnant again so built a 62` narrowboat and travelled with it all over the place then pregnancy no. 3 sold the boat (not just because of the kids) and bought a tiny 2 bed house - 3 kids in one bedroom, then the whole family moved into a three bed house,  Now have a small boat in France and two of the (now adult) children love it - the other one doesn't really get boats. Anyway he's got about 20 guitars so he can't fit on a boat.  Still got the same wife so it can't have been that bad! Oh, there was a selection of cats as well. There is never a perfect time to have a family and if you wait until you have got the right house, the right job and all that silly planning stuff you will end up old and grey and childless.

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5 minutes ago, Bee said:

We had the first on a 45` narrowboat, just tied on the towpath, not a proper mooring, pregnant again so built a 62` narrowboat and travelled with it all over the place then pregnancy no. 3 sold the boat (not just because of the kids) and bought a tiny 2 bed house - 3 kids in one bedroom, then the whole family moved into a three bed house,  Now have a small boat in France and two of the (now adult) children love it - the other one doesn't really get boats. Anyway he's got about 20 guitars so he can't fit on a boat.  Still got the same wife so it can't have been that bad! Oh, there was a selection of cats as well. There is never a perfect time to have a family and if you wait until you have got the right house, the right job and all that silly planning stuff you will end up old and grey and childless.

The last sentence sums it all up in a nutshell. 

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13 minutes ago, Bee said:

There is never a perfect time to have a family and if you wait until you have got the right house, the right job and all that silly planning stuff you will end up old and grey and childless.

 

Indeed. 'Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans'

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