Getting back into the swing of things after a pregnancy is not the easiest thing to do. In general, it seems there is always something else you can be doing. Laundry seems like it is a bottomless pit, dinners are standing and on the go quick meals, the dishwasher is always full and it’s hard to keep track if they are clean or dirty, house cleaning is done by piece by piece, and sleep is completely over rated. How do you find time to work out between bath time and bedtime routines?
A few things to keep in mind before starting an exercise program:
- Get your doctor’s approval.
- Be patient with your body! You just carried a baby for 9 months and are getting used to a new lifestyle full of changes.
- Make sure your have a well-manufactured baby carrier and know how to wear it safely with your baby.
- Keep your baby’s airways always open and not covered by any fabric.
- Make sure your baby’s head and neck is supported safely throughout any movements.
Here are some easy things that you can incorporate throughout your week to get you back into the swing of a workout program.
Start walking. Put your little person into a stroller or a carrier and take a walk around your home or apartment complex. Another option is to walk after you pick your little one up from daycare or another childcare service you might be using. If you feel like it’s too dark outside in the morning or at night, you could also strap your baby to your chest with a carrier and walk around your home for 20 or 30 minutes. This gets you moving and the baby will love exploring whether it’s inside or outside.
If you’re using a baby carrier, you can incorporate dance moves into your walk. Put on some of your favorite Disney songs and groove around your home to the beat. This will keep your child awake too if you’re worried about them getting another nap that might disrupt the nighttime sleep schedule.
Some of the best carriers to use when working out with your baby are soft structured carriers.
If you need the motivation of others, find a baby workout program in your area. This will build a support group around other working out moms or dads and your babe will love to watch all the other children throughout the class.
Use YouTube videos. While we are still discussing wearing your baby you can try out some online dance videos through GroovaRoo.
Use your baby as your weight. The following exercises are very easy to do with your child as the weight. Make sure your child is already establishing good head support and a strong neck. Usually this will happen by 6 or 7 months of age. You can always discuss this with your pediatrician.
Hold your baby centered and use a wide stance to avoid pinching your child’s legs with your hips. Or to get the proper form, use a chair behind you. Tap your butt each time and don’t spend more than a second seated. Try doing 15 – 20 reps.
Hold your baby either centered or, if you are strong enough, on the same side of the body as the leg that is in front. Try the static lunge first, where you keep a staggered stance the entire time. Complete 10-12 reps.
Tricep Skull Crushers
Lay down on your back on the floor, hold your child up and bend at the elbow toward your head. Make sure you make funny faces at your child the hold time. They will love it. Repeat 6 – 8 times.
While laying on your back, hold the child centered and stable. Bring your baby straight down toward your chest. Repeat 8-10 times
Sit on a chair and hold your baby in front of you. Pick your baby up and down while making fun faces. Repeat 6 – 8 times. If you are getting stronger, try to add the chair sit into the full motion with the shoulder press.
Lay down on the ground. Place your baby sitting on your hips, raise them up, breath and then lower down. Try completing 15 – 20.
There are also ways to do exercises that entertain your child too.
Lay your baby between both arms, slowly descend into a pushup position and raise back up. Give your little one a kiss on the forehead as you come down and back to your starting position. Repeat 6 – 8 times.
Wide Sumo Squat
Place your baby between your legs. Squat down with a baby toy. Drop the toy and pick it up with the opposite hand each time. If the baby is content, perhaps just touch the baby’s belly as you squat down and up. Repeat 12 – 15 times.
Other ideas for working out with your baby can be found on this Mommy and Me website.
Try to spend 30 minutes a day doing some sort of activity playing with your child outside normal house work. As you try to implement these activities, they will become habits before long.