In addition to all of the obvious safety concerns we had when it came to raising a child aboard a boat, I was also concerned about how the actual environment might affect Helina's development--specifically, her ability to walk. Although the movement of the boat while docked is usually subtle, the boat is constantly moving, and considering that children are less than stable when they first start walking, the motion--however slight--was something Helina would need to contend with and master in order to become a mobile, bipedal baby.
Well, the day I wasn't sure would come (at least for awhile) has arrived. Two weeks ago, our little babe took her first (clumsy) steps, and now, Helina can walk all over the place:
As I watch Helina walking around the boat, I'm amazed by her ability to respond to the movement of the water. She pauses when the boat begins to sway and then cautiously takes a few more steps, all the while maintaining steady footing.
She stumbles every now and then, of course, but given the fact she is walking on unstable ground, I'd say she's doing pretty well given the unique challenges of her environment.