Kayaking With A Baby: 7 Things To Consider Before Kayaking With The Little Ones!

Kayaking is a fun sport to be active, bold, and adventurous. As a passionate rider, everyone would like to share this quality time with their partners and babies. Now the query comes, “Is it safe to go kayaking with a baby?”

We won’t recommend bringing infants on kayak journeys indeed. However, parents can kayak with toddlers (2 to 5 years old) in the same boat. From 7 years old, children can learn kayaking in their kayak. In every case, a parent must be cautious about several factors like – environment, extra gear, life jacket, etc., to ensure the safest trip.

When Can Babies Kayak?

When Can Babies Kayak

There is no specific age for babies to go kayaking. Instead, it is totally up to their physical strength, capabilities, and maturation. 

US coast guard has listed some conditions to follow:

He should be mature enough to sit still.Toddlers (at least 2 to 5 years old)
He must weigh around 18 lbs.
He must be capable of floating himself on the water.
He must fit into a life jacket.

So, toddlers are a good fit for the trip if they are capable & mature. Even then, a parent needs to

So, toddlers are a good fit for the trip if they are capable & mature. Even then, a parent needs to keep an eye on them for 100% safety. A Toddler is supposed to share a tandem kayak with his parents. When he becomes more mature (around 7 to 10 years old), he can even learn kayaking. Once they are experienced and confident, letting them roam on their kayak would be great too.

What Type Of Kayaks Are Suitable For Kayaking With A Baby?

There are two types of kayak available in the market that are good for carrying babies or family trips.

Sit-on-top kayak

  • ‘Sit-on-top kayak’ offers the top position (above the water level) to the paddlers to make paddling faster and easier. As the top position gives them freedom while paddling, grown teens love ‘sit-on-top kayaks’.
  •  These kayaks provide a higher gravity center to ensure superior stability. Thus, the boat won’t sink easily.
  • They don’t provide any enclosed cockpit to roam or rest.
  • If the kids are planning to jump and swim, a ‘sit-on-top kayak’ will be the best option.

Sit inside Kayak: 

  • A rider needs to sit inside (below the water level) for paddling in an a’ sit-inside kayak’.
  • As the cockpit is enclosed, toddlers will have room to play, nap or move around. 
  • The paddler might feel confined inside.
  • The lower gravity centre offers effective & efficient turnings.
  • Easy and effortless paddling.
  • Fantastic for toddlers as they won’t topple over easily.
Sit-on-top kayakSit-inside kayak.
It doesn’t have an enclosed cockpit.The enclosed cockpit offers better space for roaming.
The paddler feels true freedom while paddling.The paddler may feel confined.
It is the best option for experienced children and teens.It is the best choice for kayaking with a baby.

Check Essential Factors For Kayaking With A Toddler! 

Let’s check some essential factors to ensure 100% safety and security to the toddlers.

Choose a calm environment: 

During the starting period, a parent should choose a calm river for kayaking with a sunshade. He should select an area that is quite familiar to him and be confident to face any emergencies. After kayaking five times with their baby, they can start thinking about facing challenges. 


Using water-proof clothes might be helpful while kayaking as getting wet is natural during such journeys. Parents should bring extra clothes for babies as they can get wet/dirty quickly. Remember to pack clothes in a water-resistant bag.

Essential gear: 

Don’t forget to carry essential gears like – paddling gloves, cooler, sunglasses, hats, water-proof shoes, etc. Parents must have some extra gears and life vests for emergencies.

Life jacket: 

Though toddlers always hate life jackets, parents should make them wear a life vest to avoid accidents. In a waterway trip, unwanted accidents might occur anytime. So, be prepared!

  • Generally, life vests are available for infants who weigh 8-30lbs.
  • A child should weigh around 30 to 50 pounds to fit in a life jacket.
  • Adult PFDs are suitable for guys with 50 to 90 lbs.

Don’t forget to apply sun protection: 

Prolonged sun exposure might hurt the soft & sensitive skin of babies. So, apply sunscreen to the toddlers within an interval of two hours.

Bring Some Fun Toys: 

Children might get bored quickly in waterway journeys. So, be a clever parent and surprise them with their favourite toys when they feel unenthusiastic.

Never tie a toddler with a kayak: 

If the toddler cannot sit still in the kayak, it will be better to skip the trip until he becomes capable. Never try to tie him with the kayak for sitting still. Trust me; the situation might get worse later on.

How To Choose A Life Jacket For Kids & Infants? Check Tips Now! 

We have come with exclusive tips to assist the parents in purchasing the best jacket for their kids. So, let’s jump in!

Purchase The US Coast Guard-approved jacket:

Only buy the jacket that has got approval from the US Coast Guard. Be cautious to check the printed approval seal before making a purchase.

Choose the perfect size: 

If the baby is not fit to wear the PFD, the kayaking is dangerous indeed. If the jacket is too large or too small for the little ones, it might not float him in the water.

Choose the right type: 

According to the US Coast Guard, type II life jackets are mainly for infants. It is capable of providing a breathable position in the water. 

On the contrary, type III vests are for children and teens who have learned swimming already.

Select the vest as per the baby’s weight:

The weight might vary as per manufacturers. So, check the label if the vest is suitable for the baby’s weight.

The Best Infant PFD in 2021: Check Our Prime Recommendation!

Wearing a life jacket is essential in every waterway journey. We have picked Stearn infant classic vest as the best infant PFD in 2021.

Stearn Vest Classic Vest:

Infant life jackets of the Stearn series offer a protective nylon shell along with leg straps and handles. The handles will help you to grab the child during emergencies quickly. Thus, the Stearn life vest is undoubtedly the cheapest yet most attractive choice in 2021!

kayaking with infant life jacket

kayaking with infant


1. Can you go kayaking with a baby?

Yes. If the baby is mature enough to sit, float and fit in the PFD properly, he is good to go for kayaking.

2.Can you take one-year-old canoeing? 

Canoes offer a comfy & dry space to enjoy a trip with the kiddo. As a person can easily paddle a canoe, the other can hold the baby in the meantime. So, yeah, it’s ok to canoe with a one-year-old baby. Likewise, taking a classy infant PFD and baby gear is a must.

3. Can you get ripped from kayaking?

Kayaking is undoubtedly a good form of cardiovascular exercise as it can easily burn 350 calories within an hour of paddling. Though cardiovascular workouts might be boring, kayaking won’t ever bore the riders; instead, keep them fascinated.

Final Words: 

Every kayak lover dreams of kayaking with his little kiddo. To make the trip more fascinating and enjoyable, ensuring proper safety for the baby is the greatest priority. In this article, we have thoroughly discussed kayaking with a baby along with the utmost details. So, pick up the best kayak and PFD for the kid and enjoy!

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