How to Kayak With a Baby

Have you ever dreamed of exploring the waterways on a kayak, only to be worried about how accommodating it is for your baby? Are you a new parent looking for ways to get out on the water with your baby? Kayaking is a great way to explore nature and spend time outdoors with your little one. Kayaking with a baby can be tricky. Between acquiring the right gear and managing safety risks, there’s certainly no shortage of logistical considerations. 

How to Kayak With a Baby

But don’t let this deter you – by understanding what precautions must be taken and implementing them properly, kayaking will open up an entirely new world of adventure with your little one in tow! So, put aside any anxiety or reservations that come alongside taking an infant into deep waters – we’ll discuss all the necessary tips and information on how to kayak with a baby you should know before braving out onto lakes and rivers with your family.

Necessary Items

Before embarking on your first kayak trip with your baby, having all the necessary items is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for you and your little one. Here are some essential things you’ll need to bring along:

  • A properly sized life jacket for both you and your baby
  • Sun protection such as sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses
  • Plenty of water and snacks for both you and your baby
  • A waterproof bag or container to keep any necessary items dry

10 Tips on How to Kayak With a Baby

Tip 1: The Right Gear

When kayaking with a baby, having the right gear is crucial.  As mentioned before, having adequately sized life jackets for you and your baby is necessary. Try on the life jacket beforehand to ensure a proper fit. In addition, consider investing in a hat with a chin strap for your little one to provide added sun protection and prevent it from falling off in the water.

Tip 2: Start Small

For your first kayaking trip with your baby, it’s best to start small. Choose a calm and shallow body of water, such as a lake or pond, to familiarize yourself with paddling and handling the kayak while keeping safety risks to a minimum.

Tip 3: Pack Smart

 Also Important to Pack Smart

Not only do you need to pack the items mentioned above, but it’s also important to pack smart. Bring extra diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes for your baby in case of any accidents on the water. It’s also recommended to bring different layers for you and your little one in case the weather changes.

Tip 4: Consider a Tandem Kayak

Consider using a tandem kayak when kayaking with your baby. This will allow a hands-free experience as your baby can sit in front of you or on your lap, making it easier to tend to their needs.

Tip 5: Practice Safe Paddling Techniques

You must practice safe paddling techniques for yourself and when your baby is along for the ride. Keep a firm grip on the paddle and avoid sudden movements that may disrupt the kayak’s balance.

Tip 6: Keep Your Baby Entertained

Sitting in a kayak for an extended period can be uncomfortable for your baby. It’s essential to bring along some toys or activities to keep them entertained during the trip. Just make sure they are waterproof!

Tip 7: Take Breaks

Babies can get restless and fussy like adults when sitting in one place for too long. Take breaks during your kayaking trip and allow your baby to stretch their legs on land.

Tip 8: Be Aware of Your Surroundings

 Be Aware of Your Surroundings

When kayaking with a baby, it’s essential always to be aware of your surroundings. Look for any potential hazards, such as overhanging branches or strong currents. It’s also good to check the weather forecast before heading out.

Tip 9: Have a Plan B

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned, especially regarding babies. Have a backup plan if your baby becomes fussy or uncomfortable on the kayak. This could include taking a shorter trip or finding a safe spot to dock and take a break.

Tip 10: Have Fun!

Last but not least, remember to have fun! Kayaking with your baby may require extra planning and precautions, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to bond with your little one. So relax, enjoy the scenery, and make unforgettable memories with your baby on the water. Happy paddling!

Now that you have all the necessary tips and information on how to kayak with a baby, you’re ready to embark on your first kayak trip with your baby! Remember always to prioritize safety and be prepared for any unexpected situations. But most importantly, have fun and enjoy this particular time with your little one in the great outdoors.

8 Safety Measures to Keep in Mind

1. Always Wear a Life Jacket

Life jackets are crucial for your and your baby’s safety on the water. Make sure they fit correctly and are worn at all times.

2. Check Weather Conditions

Before heading out on your trip, check the weather forecast and be aware of any potential storms or strong winds. It’s best to avoid kayaking in unsafe weather conditions.

3. Avoid Alcohol Consumption

Just like driving a car, it’s important not to drink alcohol while operating a kayak. This can impair your judgment and increase the risk of accidents.

4. Stay Hydrated

 Keep Your Baby Hydrated

Remember to drink plenty of water and keep your baby hydrated during your kayak trip. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and affect your ability to make safe decisions.

5. Use Sun Protection

Protect yourself and your baby from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen, wearing hats and sunglasses, and seeking shade when necessary.

6. Have a Map or GPS

Make sure to have a map or GPS device to help navigate your route and avoid getting lost on the water.

7. Inform Others of Your Plans

Let someone know where you will be kayaking and when you expect to return. This way, if there are any concerns or emergencies, help can be sent to the correct location.

8. Trust Your Instincts

If something doesn’t feel safe or comfortable, trust your instincts and err on caution. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when kayaking with a baby. 

Overall, remember to prioritize safety, plan ahead, and have fun on your kayaking adventures with your little one. Keep exploring and enjoying the great outdoors with your baby by your side. The possibilities for adventure are endless!  So strap on those life jackets, grab your paddles, and prepare to make unforgettable memories with your baby while kayaking.

5 Things to Avoid When Kayaking with a Baby

1. Rough Waters

Avoid kayaking in rough or choppy waters, as this can increase the risk of accidents and make it difficult to tend to your baby’s needs safely. Stick to calm and shallow areas.

2. Overpacking

 Avoid Bringing Unnecessary Things

While having all the necessary items for your baby is essential, overpacking can make your kayak trip uncomfortable and potentially unsafe. Stick to the essentials and avoid bringing unnecessary things.

3. Long Trips

Babies may not have the same stamina as adults regarding extended periods of sitting in a kayak. Keep your trips short and allow plenty of breaks to prevent discomfort or fussiness.

4. Unfamiliar Routes

Stick to familiar routes when kayaking with your baby, as this will help you navigate any potential hazards or unexpected changes in weather conditions.

5. Ignoring Your Baby’s Needs

It’s essential to always prioritize your baby’s needs and comfort while on a kayak trip. Pay attention to their cues for food, diaper changes, or breaks. Remember to plan and be prepared for any potential situations that may arise. 

Overall, listen to your baby and make sure they are happy and comfortable throughout the entire trip. So grab your gear and prepare for fun and safe kayaking adventures with your little one! 

Frequently Asked Question about Kayaking with a Baby 

Can I Use Any Type of Kayak for Kayaking With a Baby?

Using a stable and wide sit-on-top kayak for kayaking with a baby is recommended, as it provides more stability and space for both you and your little one.  Avoid using narrow or tippy kayaks that may be more difficult to control with a baby on board. 

How Old Should My Baby Be for Kayaking?

It’s essential to consult with your pediatrician before taking your baby on a kayak trip, as every child develops at their own pace. Generally, it’s recommended to wait until your baby is at least six months old and can hold their head up steadily before taking them on a kayak. 

Can I Kayak Alone With My Baby?

 When Kayaking With a Baby

Having at least one other adult with you is always recommended when kayaking with a baby. This way, someone can assist in emergencies or unexpected situations. If you plan on kayaking alone, inform someone of your plans and location beforehand. 

What If My Baby Becomes Fussy on the Kayak?

Babies can become fussy or uncomfortable on a kayak, just like in any other environment. Make sure to have a backup plan in case this happens, such as taking breaks or finding a safe spot to dock and tend to your baby’s needs. It’s always best to prioritize your baby’s comfort and safety. 

Can I Take My Baby Kayaking in Winter?

Taking a baby on a kayak trip during winter months is generally not recommended, as the cold temperatures can be dangerous for you and your little one. Stick to warmer seasons when kayaking with a baby. 


Kayaking with a baby can be a fantastic experience, but it’s essential to take steps to make sure everyone is safe and comfortable. There are many tips and tricks on how to kayak with a baby that can help you have a fun and successful adventure. Going slow, choosing the right type of kayak, investing in the right gear and accessories, and having an extra adult for assistance are all essential steps for a smooth kayaking experience with your little one. 

So don’t wait anymore – trust the process and hit the waters with your baby! Whitney Houston said it best – The Greatest love of all is easy to achieve when you equip yourself with the necessary knowledge.

Photo of author

Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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