Can You Kayak With a Toddler? Guidelines – 2022

If you’re a kayaker, then you know that it’s a great way to get some exercise and have some fun. But what if you have a toddler? Can you Kayak with a toddler? The answer is yes, but there are some things you need to keep in mind.

Here I’ll talk about the basics of taking your toddler kayaking, as well as some tips for making the experience safe and enjoyable for both of you. Read on to find out more! 

What Do You Need to Kayak With a Toddler?

First of all, you need to make sure that the child is at least 7-8 months old. That’s because until their neck muscles are strong enough, they can’t support their head in the water.

So, besides having a baby who’s ready for kayaking, you’ll also need:

A Life Jacket:

You can’t kayak with a toddler without a life jacket, period. So make sure you get one that fits your baby properly and is snug but not too tight.

Proper Kayak:

Make sure you choose a stable kayak with two separate cockpits. In other words, there should be a spot for you and one for your toddler. Make sure the child’s cockpit has proper footrests as well because it will make things much more comfortable for them.

Extra Supplies:

You’ll also need sunscreen, snacks, and water for both of you. You might want to bring along a waterproof bag or cooler if your baby needs bottles or special food.

Life Vest:

Make sure you wear your life vest properly whenever you’re out kayaking because it can save your life in case something goes wrong. Now that you know what to take with you, let’s talk about the actual kayaking part.

Can You Kayak With a Toddler?

In general, it’s very possible to kayak with a toddler as long as you pay attention and respect their limitations. So let’s talk about that:

Right Place

First of all, choose the right place and conditions for your kayaking session because there might be some conditions where your baby will simply not enjoy being outside. If there’s a lot of traffic or if the weather is bad, it’s best to choose another day.


We know that toddlers get tired sooner than adults, so it’s best not to go kayaking for more than an hour or two since you never know when they might start feeling tired and cranky. Take shorter trips and stop along the way to play on shore and eat snacks.


Toddlers make mistakes on purpose sometimes and you never know when they might do it in the water as well, keep a close eye on them at all times.


Once your little one starts getting tired of kayaking, you’ll need to store the kayak properly or you might end up with scratches.


Make sure you hold the paddles properly, otherwise your baby might get hurt by the blades when they accidentally hit them or someone else.

Where Can You Kayak With a Toddler? 

There are lots of places where you can kayak with a toddler, but make sure you choose wisely and avoid busy areas if possible. Here are some ideas:


Ponds may be ideal for toddlers who are active and enjoy water since they provide a lot of space to play and individuals aren’t in a rush to get anywhere. Additionally, if the water is warm enough, there are typically places where they can play onshore as well as go for a swim.

On a lake

A kayak with two cockpits is perfect for parents who want to take their baby on a lake trip. This way, your little one will have their own seat and you won’t have to worry about them all the time or if they’re napping.

Remote sites

Kayaking on remote sites with little traffic and still water is not only a great bonding experience for you and your child, but it’s also an opportunity for them to explore. They’ll be able to play ashore and take in all the sights without worry.


Taking your baby kayaking on a river may be fantastic fun because it’s always exciting for them to approach waterfalls or rapids. Plus, if you pick between bridges, you’ll get to stop and look around more frequently.

Ocean kayaking

If your baby loves walking on dry land then it might be best to avoid taking them kayaking on the ocean because of all the waves. That said, if they like playing with water and splashing around, then they’ll probably love it especially when you stop along the way at various places.

Benefits Of Kayaking With A Toddler

Kayaking is a great activity for adults to spend time together with their little ones because there are lots of great benefits that you both can get from it. So, here are just some of the benefits of kayaking with your baby:


When you’re out kayaking with your toddler, you might not feel it because the paddling part of kayaking is actually quite easy. But it’s a great exercise for both you and your baby, so you can stay healthy together.

Family Time

Not only does kayaking help you work out as a family, but it also gives you an opportunity to spend quality time together which is always wonderful for toddlers. So it’s a great activity for improving your emotional bond.

Fun Factor

Besides the top benefits mentioned above, there are lots of fun activities you can do during or after kayaking with your baby to make the experience truly memorable. So check out our tips below for more info!


So, there you go! Can you kayak with a toddler? If you follow the tips and safety measures we’ve outlined here, then it’s completely possible.

But we also recommend taking someone along with you who knows what they’re doing and being mindful of your surroundings at all times. Try not to rush and enjoy yourself while kayaking with a toddler.


Q1. Is kayaking with a toddler dangerous?

If you follow the tips listed here then there shouldn’t be any problems. Just remember that kayaking is an outdoor activity which means it’s not 100% safe unless you’re in a protected area with very calm water. 

Q2. Can I kayak alone with my toddler?

It’s only advisable to kayak with your baby if someone else can help you to keep them safe so they don’t fall in the water. So, kayaking alone with your baby probably isn’t a good idea unless you’re really experienced or willing to risk it by taking someone along with you at all times. 

Q3. What do I need to kayak with a toddler?

You’ll need your baby and yourself, and that’s it! You don’t really need any special preparations before you set out. But make sure your baby is wearing the right clothes outdoors, use sunscreen if necessary, and carry spare diapers just in case. 

Q4. What size kayak can a 10-year-old use?

It depends on the size of your 10-year-old. You’ll need a kayak that is large enough for both you and your child to be comfortable in. But make sure they also fit inside it properly!

Q5. How do I find a life jacket for a toddler?

This will depend on the age of your little one, but generally you should look for a life jacket that is designed specifically for toddlers. You can easily get these online or at your local kayaking store.

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