How to Exercise Wearing a Baby Carrier (5 Great Babywearing Workouts)

Are you eager to get your pre-pregnancy body back, but don’t know how you’re supposed to work out when you always have a baby with you?

Does your baby cry every time you set them down to exercise (or do anything really)?

Exercising with a baby carrier is a great way to burn some calories without having to find a sitter. It’s also a good alternative in the winter when you can’t always get out and walk with the stroller.

But how are you supposed to exercise with a baby strapped to you? Is that even safe?

In this post, we’ll talk about getting back in shape postpartum and how to use a baby carrier safely. We’ll also go over five great babywearing workouts to get you back on the right track.


When To Exercise Postpartum

Always get the okay from your doctor/midwife before getting back into an exercise routine. Give yourself and your body time to recover after birth. I mean, you just grew another human for nine months and then pushed it out of your body!

Take Note

Most doctors recommend waiting at least six weeks before exercising again, eight if you had a c-section. Listen to your doctor and don’t jump in too soon.

It’s also important to start slow. Gradually increase the length of cardio and amount of resistance training. Listen to your body, and don’t push yourself too hard.

Give yourself some grace. Don’t be in a rush. Remember, it took nine months to grow that belly, so give yourself AT LEAST nine months to get it back where it was.

Note

If you have diastasis recti, which is the over-separation of the abdominals during pregnancy, avoid any exercises which strain the midline or cause the belly to protrude outwards, such as crunches or planks. Also, be sure to avoid exercises with twisting, backbends, or heavy lifting.

These exercises could worsen the separation and leave you looking pregnant longer (source). Give your abdominals time to heal before engaging in these activities.

Related Reading
How To Find The Best Prenatal Exercise DVDs

Benefits Of Exercising With Your Baby

Here are four benefits of babywearing exercises.

  • Fitting in your fit time: You won’t have to set aside time to go to the gym or hire a sitter with babywearing. Plus, you can workout anytime and anywhere with a baby carrier.
  • Bonding time: Working out with your baby in tow will give you quality bonding time. They’ll love the movements, and you can make it even more fun by singing songs and making funny faces.
  • Helps baby’s development: Exercising with your baby can improve their muscular strength and motor skills as well.
  • Creates a healthy family habit: Not only will you feel healthier, but your baby will also see how important exercise is and how it should be a normal part of daily life.

Exercising Safely While Babywearing

Every carrier is different and will have it’s own safety guidelines, but here are five basic safety guidelines to follow with any baby carrier.

Baby’s Airways Are Open

You should be able to see your baby’s face at all times while in the carrier. Tip up their chin and turn their head to the side. The carrier should be tight enough to support them fully`, but not so tight it restricts your baby’s breathing (source).

Position Your Baby Properly

Their head should rest on your chest, and you should be able to kiss them. Do not place them too low or too high in the carrier. Your baby’s legs should be positioned like a frog, with their knees higher than their bottom. Avoid any carriers where their legs would dangle straight down, as these do not promote healthy hip and spine development, and could potentially lead to hip dysplasia (source).

Practice!

When trying out new carriers, always have a spotter to help you or practice close to the ground over a soft surface, like a bed.

Check Your Carrier For Wear

Be sure to check your carrier for wear, tears or any other damage before every use.

Follow Manufacturers’ Instructions

Before using your carrier, know the weight and height limits and how to put it on and position your baby properly. Read the instructions to know at what age/weight/height your baby can switch positions.

Five Babywearing Exercises To Try

Believe it or not, there are many exercises you can do with your baby in a carrier. They range from cardio, to body resistance, to light weights. Below are five babywearing workouts to get you back in shape.

1. Yoga Restorative Floor Practice

  • Difficulty level: Easy.
  • Length: 20 minutes.
  • You will need: You, your baby, and a carrier. Yoga mat and yoga strap (a belt, scarf, or rope will also work).
  • Type of workout: Restorative yoga practice including strengthening and stretching, awareness, controlled breathing, and mental restoration.
  • Workout Summary: This gentle yoga practice helps to stretch and strengthen your arms, obliques, shoulders, and hamstrings. It relieves lower back pain and calms your mind. I like to do this practice whenever I’m feeling stressed or anxious to help relieve some tension. It helps me focus on my breathing and opens up my body.

2. Low-Impact Cardio Workout

  • Difficulty level: Medium.
  • Length: 20 minutes.
  • You will need: You, your baby, a carrier and open space.
  • Type of workout: Low-impact cardio – works the legs and the core. It includes walking in place, lunges, side climbers, side-to-side stepping, hamstring curls, and gently twisting and stretching.
  • Workout Summary: This workout will bring your heart rate up and get you sweating. You’ll really feel it in your legs! I enjoy this workout because it makes me feel accomplished and burns off the baby weight, but is not too intense. Plus, the constant moving and bouncing puts my baby to sleep almost every time.

3. CariFit Post-Natal Workout

  • Difficulty level: Medium.
  • Length: 15 minutes.
  • You will need: You, your baby, a baby carrier, and open space.
  • Type of workout: This workout is specifically geared toward postpartum women. It engages the whole body, and includes cardio, strengthening, stretching, and balancing. It includes exercises, like squats, hamstring curls, lunges, and standing side crunches.
  • Workout Summary: It’s great for toning your postpartum body. With a warm up, cool down, and 20-second breaks to get a drink, catch your breath, or interact with your baby, it’s perfect for new mamas. I love that Cari, the instructor, goes over what good form should look like and reminds you to breathe correctly.

4. Total Body Workout

  • Difficulty level: Medium.
  • Length: ~20 minutes.
  • You will need: You, your baby, and a soft structured carrier. Also, an open space, dumbbells (5-12lbs), a sturdy bench or chair, and a resistance band (optional).
  • Type of workout: Whole body workout focused on strengthening. You will complete three sets of each superset and 10-15 reps of each exercise (all of which are listed in the description under the video). Exercises include dumbbell deadlifts, curl to press, walking lunges, dumbbell rows, squat to kickback, dips, crunches, toe touches, and planks. The core exercises will be done without baby in his/her carrier.
  • Workout Summary: With this workout, you really feel the burn in your legs, arms, and core. It’s all about building and toning your muscles, which also increases your metabolism and burns off the baby weight. I love this workout because it includes abdominal exercises, and many of my personal favorite exercises, like dips and planks.

5. Babywearing Dance Class

  • Difficulty level: Easy.
  • Length: 4 minutes.
  • You will need: You, your baby, a carrier, and open space.
  • Type of workout: Dance, cardio.
  • Workout Summary: So, this workout is truly a lot of fun. GroovaRoo has many babywearing dancing YouTube videos, but this is one of my personal favorites. You could do as many dances as you’d like for a single workout. It’s fun to learn the moves, burn some calories, get your heart rate up, and entertain your baby.

Getting Fit With Babywearing

Babywearing is a great way to get some exercise in when you have a baby who refuses to be put down. With babywearing exercises, you can get back into a healthy routine, while bonding with your baby.

There is a variety of low-impact cardio, resistance, weight, and even yoga exercises you can do with your baby attached to you. It could be something as simple as walking or dancing, or it could be more of a regimen with reps and sets of squats, lunges, bicep curls, and calf raises.

Do you exercise while babywearing? Share some of your favorite exercises with us in the comments and be sure to share this post with all of your babywearing friends.

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