May and June are the best months. You won't find much happening in April as weather is still unpredictable and the season does not really start until may. May Half term can be good as there are lots of children, but is usually 50% or so more expensive, so with a baby that does not need other child comforts other weeks will do. We took our 15 month old granddaughter one year in May - no problems.
We have had our little girl sailing from an early age. Also have seen numerous boats in and up the coast of Holland with babies aboard, car seats held by bungee cord and or rope in cockpits etc. One family we were rafted next to said they used luggage straps ( the ones you can identify your suitcase by) to secure the cot in a cabin.......
Think if you go for it with a positive can do attitude you will have a fantastic time
Good luck and enjoy
[was thinking late April next year, is there a better time for weather i.e. not too hot/windy.
With a baby I would leave it to May/June. As has been said weather unpredictable in April and more importantly flights to Preveza do not usually start until first week end in May. Would not advise travelling with baby from Athens or Corfu to S Ionian. Most flotillas dont start until May in any case.
Just go for it but remember that you're newish so you need to be able to keep the little one out of the way. Also you need to plan you're sailing as if one adult "isn't there" - if the darling wee bairn has managed to hang herself upside down in the baby bouncer and is gaily banging her head on the cabin sole you need to get to her straight way - not possible if you're in the middle of reefing in a squall for example. Not a real issue - just remember to make sure the bairn's safe and secure before you commit someone for a short time, that sort of thing.
I'm sure you're happy driving with the baby in the car. It's no different - in fact it's probably a lot safer. Just make sure you have the proper set up to look after her. Car seats are brilliant and I can't think why boat builders don't put ISO-fix fittings in the cockpit....
Whilst it seems you've had only positive replies so far, you should be aware of a few not so good things.
The weather can be unpredictable at any time of year in the Ionian, I once had to helm with a tiller for 7 hours when the wind got up to and was consistently F8, that was early June.
Flight delays both in Greece and England are frequent, even without delays the queues in Preveza can be very long and slow. Don't even mention Manchester or Gatwick.
In certain harbours you may find it impossible to moor away from noisy neighbours/bars, eg Preveza town, Fiscardo.
It has been known for flotillas to sail in pretty poor weather/strong winds when there are flights to be caught, although if in the S Ionian you shouldn't be too far away.
Having said all that, it's a great place to go, although personally I'd wait a couple of years, I've seen too many examples of 'Daddy's going sailing so we've all got to go'', with glum faces all round. I'd wait until any child is old enough to know and enjoy what's going on. Then you've a chance of having more than one trip.
If you really must go next year, any chance of leaving child at home with grandparents and going to learn by yourselves?.......no. I thought not!
I would encourage you to take the baby. We have sailed successfully with ours (now 5 & 6) since the oldest was 15 days old.
When they were tiny the hardest part was always entering & leaving port as the kids pick up on any anxiety. One solution is to take a travelling cot with a zip roof or sides so that they can be secured even when asleap. This means that you can ignore the inevitable yelling whilst you make the boat safe / tie up/ get underway etc. If you have not found a lifejacket that fits yet - keep looking as they exist and take plenty of sun lotion
Actually, we did do that for a week first - we took an end-of-season week in the North just to get a hang of the place and the berthing fun.
Originally Posted by Whiskey Bravo
Now that you point it out, it did give us two very valuable extra pointers for when we went with the little fella - i) always ask the lead crew in the morning if the destination is susceptible to afternoon wind build-ups (thinking Vasilliki (sp?) and Frikes in particular), and if it is then arrive good and early and it'll be fine, and ii) sketch out somewhere less distant to bail out to if the winds do go against you. On that latter point the lead crew were brilliant at letting us know where the other SH flotillas would be, so that there was always somewhere with a welcoming bit of assistance as a back-up.
In the end, we've only had one unpleasantly long haul in heavy winds in 6 years, but that was of our own making (too far away, downwind, away from the rest of the flotilla, on the last day of the holiday).
We sailed in the solent with our little 'un but hes only now turning 9 months so is a bit different to yours.
Essentially, we fixed a car seat to a saloon cushion using a luggage strap for manoevers or emergencies (only 2 of us on board). Otherwise he was strapped to one of us in a baby bjorn.
Get a popup travel cot with built in mossie net for him to sleep in. This can easily be wedged into a berth or even tied to a saloon cushion using thin lanyard as long as the cot you buy has loops on it.
Our baby generally seems happier on the boat than at home. possibly due to the wave motion or maybe due to the closeness of boat living.
As long as you have a "full time baby sitter" (usually mummy) the 9 months baby is easier on a boat rather than an older kid (say 5 or 6 years). They cannot still walk and they will not get bored because of spending a long time in a boat and have nothing to do. Older kids get bored much easier. You can keep the baby busy the same way you would do at home. Of course no need to say AVOID bad weather. The baby may be too young to realise bad weather but will be tough on you.
I took my kids (6 and 8 then) on a long 27 hours (+26 coming back) passage last year and to keep them busy they had lots of papers and pencils to draw, we had to play with them games plus the usual electronics toys (you know PSP and staff like this). This summer we made another 17 hours passage. We try to sail mostly during the night because they sleep most of the time. Of course this is really tiring for myself as I need to be on watch the whole time but it's best for the kids.
Before taking them into so long passages we made lots of smaller ones (4-5 hours during the day and 12-13 during the night) so gradually they got used to.
Go for it.
>May Half term can be good as there are lots of children, but is usually 50% or so more expensive
I'd check the cost with www.latesail.com around Jan/Feb. There are discounted charters in the Caribbean over Christmas and New Year which is unheard of before and indicates how bad the market is.