Hi friends! How are ya? I hope you’re having a great morning so far! I’m off to get some work stuff done (new Fit Team workouts go out next week) and then spend the rest of the day swimming with the crew. I hope you have a wonderful day.
For today’s post, I’m chatting about babywearing! It’s funny because I feel like those days were a LIFETIME ago, but I have so many friends who are currently pregnant or have new babies. (It allows me to soak up some baby snuggles without debating our “two and through” rule.”) When the girls were itty bitty, babywearing saved me. It enabled me to get things done around the house, cook meals, and also enjoy keeping them close and happy at the same time.
As you guys know, babywearing is holding your baby close to you using a carrier. It’s a clever way to go hands-free while you get some chores done, run errands, or even doing some exercises. Working out with a carrier is a great way to get your body moving and burn some calories, and the repetitive movements can also help calm a fussy baby. I still have the “mom sway” all these years later, and I hope it never goes away. 🙂 Today, I’m sharing a roundup of the best babywearing exercises that my friends out there can do without compromising bonding time with your babies.
The 10 Best Babywearing Exercises
(What do you think about my baby model? lolol)
Squat to calf raise
Make sure your feet are underneath your shoulders (hip width or slightly wider is good) and toes slightly turned out. Focus on sitting back, while keeping your chest lifted and a tight core. Inhale to lower, exhale to rise. Make sure that your knees go towards your toes, but not far past your toes. Sink your hips as low as your flexibility allows, exhale to rise, coming up onto your toes. Lower down, squat and repeat. This exercise will also increase your heart rate.
For this squat variation, you’ll take a very wide stance and turn your toes out. As you sink down, keep your chest lifted and endeavor to get your thighs parallel to the floor. Make sure your knees extend towards your toes but not past your toes. As you rise from the squat, exhale and think about engaging the inner thighs.
Hold onto a sturdy countertop or something as needed for balance support.
Upper body workouts are usually a good choice when you’re exercising with a baby in the carrier. You keep your feet hip or shoulder width (whatever feels more stable) and perform your biceps curls here. Make sure to keep your elbows glued to your sides and arm for full flexion and full extension of the arm.
Keep a slight bend at your elbows and bring your arms out to the side, stopping at shoulder height. Lower down with control.
For your lunge setup, make sure your feet are hip distance apart, and think about sinking down instead of forward as you lunge. Watch the front knee to make sure it doesn’t extend past your toes.
Alternating curtsy lunges
Start with one leg forward, and toes angled out 45 degrees. Step your other foot totally back behind the front, so that your foot is behind the opposite shoulder. Sink low into a curtsy lunge, them as you exhale, squeeze to rise. Make sure that you take a nice big step back and to the side for your curtsy lunge.
Stand in front of a wall and keeping your back against the wall, walk your feet forward until your legs make a 90-degree angle. Hold here and breathe. If this is too much for your knees, stand up more to take some of the pressure on your knees.
Single arm row and triceps extension
Squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep your elbows close to your torso. Keep your back flat, and exhale as you press the weight back. As you press the weights back, think about really squeezing your triceps to lift your arms. Keep the other hand on your baby to keep them secure as you lean forward.
Bench triceps dips
To modify, bend your knees. As you complete your dip, make sure that your elbows stay pointing straight back, keep your chest lifted, and shoulders down.
Here’s a quick video tutorial on all of the moves!
Some tips for postpartum exercise and working out with your baby in a carrier:
– Are you cleared to exercise by your doctor or midwife? If you haven’t had your 6 or 8 week checkup post-birth, I would wait, and focus on walking (if you feel up to it and depending on your birth and recovery), diaphragmatic breathing and and SMART pelvic floor work (like learning how to contract and fully relax your pelvic floor. A pelvic floor physical therapist will help you!).
– Make sure that your baby is the proper size for the carrier. Various types of carriers have different weight and height requirements. I personally loved the K’tan for the newborn phase and the Ergo when the kids were a bit older.
– If your baby isn’t old enough to have good head control, make sure that they’re snuggled close to you and their head is supported by a wrap carrier. They should also be secure, and high enough for you to kiss their head. Oftentimes, new mamas will wrap their babies too low on their bodies. I like to watch YouTube tutorials from each wrap or carrier company (like the Ergo or Baby K’tan channel specifically) on proper wrap carries.
– Watch your core and make sure you’re breathing the entire time. Because the baby is wrapped, it’s easy to lose the focus on supporting your body with the core. Engage your core during these exercises as you’re breathing.
– Hold onto a sturdy countertop for balance support if you need it.
– As there’s excess relaxin in the body post-birth, this can make us more prone to injury through overstretching. Focus on finding a full range of motion within a safe range for your body.
– Move up in intensity slowly. You may be just getting back into your workout routine, and this can be compounded by an extra human weight attached to you. Try to do these exercises as bodyweight exercises before exploring them with the baby in the carrier.
Friendly reminder that this post is not medical diagnosis or treatment. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness changes and honor your body. Be smart, k?
So, tell me, friends: did you ever work out with your baby in a carrier? We did lots of long walks and hikes, and I used to frequently put P on my back while I was cleaning the house, but I haven’t done a ton of babywearing workouts – this post was a lot of fun to put together. 🙂