Exercising with your baby creates a bond between you both, providing you with an activity to share that fosters positive self-esteem. It also allows a mom to suffer less from the baby blues—and Mom's cheery disposition is certainly a plus for the entire family! During those first few weeks when your baby is tiny and you're not yet ready for rigorous exercise, you can still be active doing the following:
- Kegels: These can be done while nursing your baby, while rocking him to sleep, or even during your relaxation times. The great thing about Kegels is that you can do them just about anywhere, anytime.
- Walking: Make sure to walk at a pace you are comfortable with, not doing too much too fast. Rather, gradually increase the length and intensity of each time as you are able. Walking can be done with your baby secured in a sling or carrier, or riding in a stroller. Keep in mind that running with a jogging stroller, taking it over bumpy ground, or toting your infant using a bike trailer is not recommended for children younger than 12 months, since babies don't have the neck/head control needed to safely travel this way.
- Abdominal Breathing: This is relaxing to do while baby is sleeping or snuggled on your chest.
- Stretching: Put your baby on the floor next to you and practice gentle stretches.
- Playing: Spend time daily playing and cuddling with your baby.
Remember that when your baby is awake, he is actively watching how you move. When you stretch or exercise in front of your little one, eventually he will be able to mimic your movements.