It can be hard to structure a workout when you’re no longer the boss of your time. Before your baby was born you were able to take leisurely stolls, stop by the gym after work and hop on the treadmill when the urge struck. Now you’re spending your time caring for a little one who allows you only minutes of precious free time when she’s napping or playing – and those minutes aren’t often long enough for the kind of work out you need to lose the baby weight. Fortunately, there are ways to work out with a baby.
Go For a Walk or Jog
The easiest way to exercise with a baby is to put her in the stroller and go for a walk. The stroller adds a bit of resistance and the faster you walk the more calories you’ll burn. You might even get lucky and have your baby drift off for a nap while you walk letting you hike or jog up to an hour burning a great deal of calories in a single outing. If your baby isn’t comfortable in a stroller or likes to be closer to you, try wearing her in a front carrier or backpack for older babies. You’ll dramatically boost your calorie expenditure and be able to hold your baby close.
Your baby will love to help you do crunches. Simple lean her on your knees and crunch up to see her. If she’s a wiggle worm or tries to roll off, you can simply do your crunches while she plays with her toys. An ab routine usually takes less than ten minutes and can be broken up into parts between the floor gym and bouncy chair.
Dance or March
If you have a fussy baby, and who doesn’t, you’ve probably already discovered the power of movement to soothe her. Why not use that movement to your advantage? Rather than just pace the house, march in place for fifteen or twenty minutes wearing your baby in a carrier or in your arms. Turn on some music or put in your ear buds and dance with your baby. She’ll love the interaction and movement and you’ll be surprised at how many calories you can burn in a few songs.
Invest in a bike trailer and pull your baby along while you bike. The extra weight and resistance will add up to a lot of extra calories burned.
Pushups, Squats and Lunges
You might not be able to lift weights with an infant playing around you, but you can do some other forms of resistance training. Drop and do twenty push-ups when your child is playing contentedly and then do some squats. Alternate your squats with lunges and hold your baby for a bit of resistance when she starts getting fussy. Just be careful to not lose your balance. Squats might be the better option for baby resistance exercises.
Babies go through many developmental stages in the first year. There are different ways to play with these babies at all of these various stages. Baby toys are fun for both parents and babies, but you don’t always need toys to play with your baby. Here is how to play with your baby at almost any age without the assistance of toys or games.
Making Baby Faces
At her earliest stages, your baby needs to learn faces and facial expressions. So prop her on your knees or lie over her on your bed or a blanket. Then just make faces at her. Smile, make a big O with your mouth, stick out your tongue, etc… Not only will she be amused and fascinated, you might also be rewarded with a returned smile.
Object permanence is another major developmental milestone for babies. Fortunately, there is a great way to play that helps baby learn it and enjoy it. Peek-a-boo! Hold a blanket, washcloth or burp cloth in front of your face. Then, say something along the lines of, “Where’s Mommy?” Pull the blanket away, smile at your baby and say, “Peek-a-boo!” This is a game that young babies enjoy as well as toddlers.
Babies of all ages like to look at things and take tours. Very young babies can be fascinated by taking a guided tour of the backyard or looking at all the pictures on the walls. Older babies love to look at nature and interesting objects, and who better to guide them through their discoveries than you! Take your baby new places, hold her up to see, and explain to her what everything is. She might not be able to talk yet, but she is storing up the words and closeness.
Talking and Singing
Most babies simply love the sound of their parents’ voices. So one of their favorite games is simply talking and singing. Talking to your newborn or infant is stimulating. Older babies enjoy songs with hand motions and funny rhymes or activities. The more you talk and sing to your baby, the better exposure she is getting to language skills. And of course, she is interacting with you in a fun way, which she loves.
Older babies love to play airplane. Lay on your back with your knees in the air like a dying bug. Place your baby tummy down on your legs so that her head is by your knees and she is looking at your face. Grab her sides or her arms (depending on age), raise your legs up to a level position and let her “fly.” Move your legs gently to simulate flight, but be sure to hold on tight as your baby can jerk suddenly and fall.
Are you expecting a new addition to your family? You can find some of the best baby clothes here. Do you have a friend’s baby shower to go to and are not quite sure what to get as a gift? If you are not an experienced parent, you can ask anyone who has had a baby or currently has babies about how much they go through baby clothes. In fact some babies can go through 4 or 5 outfits in one day! It’s almost like it’s a fashion show due to the number of clothes that babies can go through!
If you plan on buying baby clothes for a baby, keep the following in mind; You need to establish the purpose for the clothes that you are buying. Are you buying the clothes because your baby really needs them? Or, are you buying the clothes for other activities? What is the weather like and what will it be like 3 or 4 months from now. Are the clothes for a special occasion or for daily use?
Once you know what type of baby outfit you are going to buy, it’s always good to shop for one size bigger than what the baby is currently wears. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that babies grow very quickly. Buying one size ahead will save you a lot of money in the long run and the baby can still wear clothes that are a little baggy!
If you are buying an outfit for a party, make sure that you buy darker colored clothing for the baby. Darker colors hide stains better and won’t need cleaned as often.
You can find high quality used baby clothes, often getting as many as 4 or 5 outfits for the price of a new one. Since babies grow so fast, often their outgrown clothes show little to no wear. Stores like Babies-R-Us and Kid to Kid have a large selection. You can always look in your local papers and online discount suppliers for any type of discounts that are available for baby clothing as well.
Regardless of the occasion for your purchase, when buying baby clothing, make sure that you talk to the workers at the stores you shop at. They have had a lot of experience in selling these clothes, and they will be sure to help you find exactly what you are looking for.
A baby stroller is one of the most fundamental essentials of baby gear. Popular parenting advice will suggest you purchase a large travel system complete with coordinating infant seat, but that may not be what is best for you situation. If you’re ready to buy a baby stroller, consider the following:
If you are having a singleton, or one baby, there are plenty of options for you in regards to stroller selection. But if you are having twins or this baby is closely following his older sibling, you must consider your need for a double stroller. For our purposes today, we will assume you are looking for a standard, one-baby stroller.
If you live in the city, your needs will be different than if you live in the country on rougher roads. Your location can make a difference in the style of stroller you buy. In suburban or rural areas, much of baby’s travel will be by car, but in the city, walking or public transportation is most common.
This means urban dwellers must consider the durability and portability of their stroller more so than suburban dwellers. If your stroller is traveling miles every day and bumping up and down stairs, it is most likely worth the extra cost to have a stroller that folds in a single swift motion to be throw in the back of a cab and can withstand more than a few bruises and bumps.
There are four kinds of baby strollers that have varying uses. You should buy a stroller that suits as many of your needs as possible.
Prams – A pram or baby buggy is the oldest style of stroller. To ride in a pram, the baby lays flat on his back. These are most suitable for very young babies who are usually sleeping and not interested in seeing the world. They also tend to be expensive and are considered a luxury item as they are used for only a short period of time and their function can be handled by other, most practical varieties.
Travel Systems – The travel system is a life saver for many parents. The stroller usually has a means of snapping in an infant bucket car seat for convenience until your child is ready for the standard seat with its multiple reclining positions. The system has other available options such as cup holders, compartments, and a basket underneath for storage. Travel systems are bulky, however, and the more conveniences yours has, the larger it is – even when folded.
Umbrella Strollers – The simplest of strollers, umbrella strollers, collapse into the smallest storage option. This means they lose many of the perks of travel systems including multiple cup holders, storage compartments, and baskets. But many still do come with a tray for a baby stroller and attachable storage bags or cup holders. The primary drawback of umbrella stroller is that they do not accommodate infant car seats or even very young infants as they do not recline more than forty-five degrees.
Jogging Strollers – Finally, a jogging stroller has large rugged wheels and a special design to make it easy to handle one handed. It is the largest of the stroller options, but best for rural or bumpy roads. A jogging stroller can go places other strollers can’t but the one place it probably won’t go is into the trunk of your car as it is exceptionally large even when collapsed.
After a good meal, a baby needs to burp. It may even be a good idea to burp a young baby a few times during a meal to help prevent little spit-up accidents. These occur when a bubble gets caught in the baby’s tummy. When it finally rises up to become a burp, it pushes a bit of milk along with it causing some spit-up. By burping a baby periodically, you can avoid some, if not all, of these spit-up episodes.
There are many ways to burp a baby. Your choice of style will have to do with your and your baby’s preference. In all of these, remember that a baby has little or no neck control and can be injured with rough handling.
The shoulder burp is a classic. To burp a baby on your shoulder, first lay a blanket or burp cloth down to absorb any drips or spit-up as they can travel down your back. Then gently lift the baby to your shoulder placing her stomach again the top of your shoulder. Ball your hand into a fist and knock on her back gently as if you were knocking on a door. You may also pat her back with a flat palm. Keep her upright for a while and eventually all bubbles should rise up and out as a nice big burp.
If the shoulder burp doesn’t work for you, the lap burp might be a great way to soothe your baby while burping. Lay your baby on her tummy on your knees (while you are seated.) Then gently pat her back and/or bounce your legs up and down slightly to jiggle free any loose air in her belly. Be sure her tummy in on top of your knees so that she is getting a bit of pressure on her stomach. This is not only soothing for most babies, but helps air to rise as well.
A final option that is recommended by colic and fussy baby experts is a seated burp. While seated, place your baby in a seated position on your leg. Lean her forward into your palm so that her tummy is pressing on the heel of your hand and your fingers are helping to support her head. Hold her as close to upright as possible without compromising her airway. (Babies slump over and their chin drops to their chest making it hard for them to get a deep breath.)
While holding your baby upright, bounce your knee firmly ten or twelve times to free any bubbles. Then gently pat her back to help her burp. Repeat a time or two if the burp doesn’t come or switch to a shoulder burp after the bouncing to ensure all burps are out.