Wednesday, October 10, 2012

But what about getting the baby off the boat?

Just like our dog, Moishe, our daughter, Helina, needs to leave the boat from time to time. In order to transport our dog on and off the boat, we developed a special technique that we affectionately call "Dangle Dog." As the name suggests, Moishe is dangled over the water as he is handed off from one set of hands to another. We've found this exchange to be a safe and effective way to move our dog on and off the boat.

In general, a dog is excellent practice for a baby; however, not all techniques that work with dogs also work with babies. Dangle Dog is a great example of a technique that doesn't transcend species (at least not canine to primate). Dangle Dog is safe for Moishe because in the unlikely event that he falls in, he would instinctively start paddling (albeit poorly) once his paws hit the water, which would keep him afloat until we could rescue him. Unlike our dog, Helina doesn't have an innate ability to swim (at least not that we are aware of), so as you might imagine, transporting her on and off of the boat is quite daunting. Since the idea of Helina falling into the water is absolutely terrifying, "Dangle Baby" is not being practiced while boarding Sea Gem. 

Transferring the baby from one person to another is simply not a safe option for getting her on and off the boat, so Eric and I had to figure out a way for one of us to safely board with our baby in tow. Our solution? I wear her. Literally:

Helina in her Baby K'tan wrap
With the help of our Baby K'tan wrap, Helina can be easily and comfortably secured to my torso. This is an ideal way to carry her because it leaves my hands free to steady myself as I board, which wouldn't be possible if I were holding Helina in my arms. There are times when we have carried her off of the boat while she was strapped into her car seat, but for safety reasons, the wrap is our preferred method of transport.

Of course, wearing the wrap does nothing to prevent me from falling into the water with her attached--there is always a chance that could happen; however, with Helina strapped to my body, at least I'd know exactly where she is if I/we were to fall in (and then I'd just flip onto my back to keep her head out of the water).   

Eventually, Helina will be too heavy to be supported by the wrap (and my body), and Eric and I will need to revisit our boarding options. My hope is that by the time she outgrows the wrap, she'll be treading water, which will give us peace of mind and a whole host of boarding options (maybe even Dangle Baby).  

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