Any mums on here live on a canal boat?(14 Posts)
I'm due to give birth in 7 weeks and I live on a 33ft narrow boat in a marina.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to be doing this by myself and I could really use some help/ advice from any boat mummys out there.
How do you bathe the baby?
How do you shower without leaving said baby?
Where does the baby sleep?!
Help please!! Thanks x
Oh wow, I'd love to live on a boat! I'm sure there is another mumsnetter who used to live on a boat - I remember reading something.
I don't have experience of this, but there are lots of people with lots of ideas I'm sure you'll get good ideas. I do know you can bath the baby in a sink or a bucket cos that's how I'm doing mine some of the time in Tinyhouse.
To shower I put the babe in her cot & leave the bathroom door open so I can hear her. And then shower really, really fast.
The lady on the boat opposite me lives on a much bigger boat than me but she has 3 children, she seems really lovely, I need to go and talk to her when I'm not at work all of the time!
It's just my boat is very small so I'm not sure where I'd put a cot or anything.
Also I have a toilet on my boat but no shower so I shower at the communal showers at the marina so I'm thinking I'd have to put the baby in the car seat and take it with me when I go and shower? I literally have no clue!
Never lived on a boat but did not have bathroom when I had ds1 over 20 yrs ago. Used communal showers in students union. Simply put baby in the pram and wheeled him in. Would not use car seat as too close to ground re splashes etc.
With ds1 I never really used a cot either. Had one but he hated it. In terms of baby bath even after 5 children I think they are fairly unnecessary at least at the beginning when baby fits into a sink or bucket. However once baby is a bit bigger you may consider it until he/she can stand and have showers with you.
1) bath baby in kitchen sink until 2 years fine. Then just sit in it. They can join you shower once old enough to sit in tray whilst you shower
2) if you have a double bed get a sleepyhead pod for them to sleep in first 7/8 months. Then they can continue co sleeping with you, or you can add a small cot bed mattress to floor and stand up in the day
3) as shower if away from home I would probably take baby over in car seat as mentioned whilst small so they can stay in in whilst your shower. They can shower them with you also and line car seat with towel and wrap them in there whilst you get changed then get them changed. Or put baby in sling, and take changing Mat and towel over and lay baby on that on floor near you
A sling is probably easier than getting a pram also. Saves spare and easier getting on and off.
We hardly used the baby bath, glad it was a donated one! Sink if you have one? So much easier to put stinking baby with poo-Nami deluge straight into sink fully clothed and then derobe cherub one layer at a time, baby vest w envelope necks are perfect to take off downwards vs over the head. Can even rinse the worst off at the same time as the baby dependent on sink space! Not glamorous, but practical!
I also wonder if a nappy bin would serve you well? Some people swear by them, some think they're useless. I was in a tiny one bed flat so rather close quarters and found one invaluable post c-section when I'd rather not be moving much.
How you feeling about it all? Not prying but wondering from your OP.
There's a thread in pregnancy called 'baby in a one bed flat' that might give you some hints (I'm not sure how to link on my phone/the app)
I did it for 8 months with a 2 year old DD. It was brilliant. All her toys were the small, easy to store type (ie picture cards, jigsaws etc), and even now she prefers tiny toys over big lumps of plastic. My boat was cold so I bought her an electric blanket to heat up her bed before she got in. Made a huge difference. She was very VERY sensible about safety onboard and knew to never leave the cabin without me, even if the doors were open. Can recommend it wholeheartedly.
My only difficulty was getting pre-schools to acknowledge my mooring as an actual address, which made applying for a place really frustrating!
My boat had a shower with a fairly deep tray. No idea if yours is the same? I fitted a plug and made a sort of splash pool for her to have a bath in. But for a really little baby, I'd probably just spread a towel on the floor and use a washing up bowl.
If you need a shower, just shower! A baby is unlikely to fall off the boat, esp if the doors are shut. I don't know your boat layout, but for a very young baby, I'd put her on the bed and stop any rolling by building a raised wall by stuffing a few rolled towels or cushions under the duvet. If older, a bouncy chair in the doorway of the bathroom so she can see you (the really cheap type that folds flat and can fit under a bed)?
Baby can sleep in a carrycot for a while. Then.... again it depends on your boat layout. Mine was two berth so DD had her own tiny cabin. If you have a master cabin and room for a pull-out bed in the living space, I'd probably have given DD the proper bed, just because having a bed permanently out for naps and early nights is a good thing. You can then use the living space unhindered, well past baby bedtime, and pull out your own bed when you feel tired yourself.
I'd recommend getting to know good places to go if the weather is awful. Somewhere your child can stretch its legs and run around. Also, use the showers at the local swimming pool as a good opportunity to have a damn good wash!
Feel free to message me if you like.
I'm sure I remember reading about a mesh sling that you can carry the baby in whilst showering. Might be worth looking into?
Thank you for your replies! I think I posted this in the wrong place as well...
Good friend of mine spent her DS's first year on a canal boat - don't know what they did about showering but she did say they used a baby hammock for him to sleep in.. Worked perfectly apparently and he was an excellent sleeper!
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