Most new moms really want to spend as much time as possible with their newborns. In some cases, the thought of leaving them for more than a few seconds is anxiety inducing. But moms also really want to shed those pregnancy pounds, especially those of us who gained a little more than was medically necessary. Luckily, you don’t have to compromise: you can spend time with your baby and work out at the same time.
Exercise #1: Baby Squats
Every new mom dreams of being able to get back in her pre-pregnancy jeans. One of the best ways to get back in them is by building some muscle in your legs. To do this exercise, stand up straight. Take your baby, holding her upright against your torso, always supporting the head. Then, with your feet shoulder width apart, bend your knees. You don’t want to do a full blown squat, but rather a “mini” or “baby” version. The main thing to remember is that you want to go down far enough to get worked out, but not so far that you’ll lose your balance. Come back up, and repeat. Keep doing them until you can’t do them any more. My son, who had colic for the first 3 months of life, loved this move. It calms a crying baby, and it gives you a better body! What could be better?
Exercise #2: Slalom Moms
This exercise was inspired by the slalom skiers you see on the Olympics. It’s a great way to work out your butt and your legs. Stand up straight with your feet together. Hold your baby upright against your torso, always supporting the head. Now, slightly bend your knees. Next, swing your rear from right to left, as far as you can go while still maintaining your balance. You’re sure to feel the burn after you do several of these. This was another colic calmer for my son.
Exercise #3: Newborn Lifts
Pre-pregnancy jeans aren’t the only goal: we’d also like our arms to look decent in a tank top, or at least a tee shirt. The answer? Newborn lifts. In a standing position, hold your baby out in front of you, with your hands under his armpits. You can use your fingers to support his neck if he doesn’t have good head control yet. Now, with your arms straight and parallel to the floor, lift your baby straight up, about 6 inches to 1 foot depending on your abilities and comfort level. Lower your baby back down until your arms are parallel with the floor. Repeat until you can’t do any more.
The best part about exercising with your baby is that he’s gaining weight as you’re getting stronger. This means that you can continue using these exercises as your baby becomes a toddler. Don’t worry if you can only do a few repetitions of each exercise at first. You’ll get stronger with every repetition you do. Before you know it, you’ll be back in those pre-pregnancy clothes!