How to Work Out With a Baby

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to workout with a babyIt 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.

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Do Crunches

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.

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Go Biking

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.

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How to Dress a Baby

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Family & Parenting

how to dress a baby The rules to dressing a baby are simple. Once a baby has learned to regulate her body temperature, which happens within days of birth, she should be dressed the same way as you, but with one additional layer.

What this means is that if you are wearing a t-shirt, shorts and tennis shoes, you can dress your baby in essentially the same outfit. Pull on a one-piece t-shirt, or onesie. Then put on the coordinating pants or skirt. Your baby won’t need shoes for many months, but she should wear socks to help keep her feet warm.

General Tips for Dressing a Baby

For the additional layer, you have a few options. Many parents put a hat on their baby and this is an excellent idea. But a lightweight jacket, hoodie, or sweater may be an excellent idea as well.

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Dress a Baby in Layers

The best bet to dress a baby is to always have her in layers. This way you can remove a jacket when it’s warm outside, but put it back on should the air conditioning make a room cool. Babies sitting in strollers are not especially active, but they may not be getting much air circulation either. To check your baby’s temperature and comfort level, feel her chest or back. Baby’s feet and hands are often cool to the touch thanks to developing circulation.

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Your Baby’s Shoes

Babies don’t need shoes until they start crawling or pulling up to stand. And even then, they are not really required unless the baby is outside on an abrasive surface. Hard sole shoes should be avoided while your baby is learning to walk. Use soft soled crib shoes or even slippers to protect your baby’s feet but to let her feel the ground as she is learning to balance. Babies also tend to curl their toes and feet, and hard soled shoes can fit their little chubby feet uncomfortably.

Your Baby’s Socks

Many parents have a hard time finding socks that stay on baby’s active feet. Socks help keep your baby’s temperature stable, but can be kicked off in seconds with the right movements. Find socks that roll or cuff at the top as these stay more securely on baby’ feet without making indentions around baby’s ankles the way elastic topped socks might.

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How to Buy a Baby Stroller

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Family & Parenting

how to buy a baby strollerA 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:

Your Baby:

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.

Your Location:

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.

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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.

Your Uses:

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.

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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.

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