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SUP Paddleboarding with baby in Mozambique

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I’d seen it more than a decade ago in Barbados. I remember it vividly. I was at one of my favourite hidden beaches in a family holiday, when a young couple, super-fit and active, turned up with a little baby.

The female placed the baby at the front of a paddleboard, back before SUP became a well-known thing, and off she went. Her partner was on his own board. They had no life jackets or safety provisions. But they were obviously extremely able and proficient.

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I watched, mesmerised, for ages, as they paddled off into the distant sea, to my total disbelief. The baby remained still and appeared to be so well-trained. I’d never seen or heard anything quite like it then, as an impressionable young girl.

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As someone who never dreamed of having children, little did I know I’d one day have my own baby girl.

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Here we are, on an island off the coast of Mozambique. She is now 16 months old. And as soon as I found out that the private island hotel we are staying at had paddle boards, these memories flashed up again.

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Determined, I set her up with an infant life jacket, showed her what would happen on dry land and off we went. It was incredible.

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She remained still and intact waved bye bye to anyone she saw o land on the beach. She loved the experience, pointing at shells, the sun and even a passing dugong! It was as though she innately knew she had to sit still for her safety.

It may not seem like much. But after seeing what I did as a younger girl, I was so impressed, it felt enriching and liberating to take my baby out on my own paddleboard.

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She cried when I removed her and set off further into the deep blue on my own. It’s set then, I’m sure she will take to it like a natural, soon!

I’d love to hear how sporty and adventurous you are with your babies / little ones. At what age have you started them with outdoor activities and which activities?

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