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Getting in shape with baby slings


cindy crawford's baby sling

Cindy Crawford
and her baby sling

Style and fitness icon Cindy Crawford shares how she used a sling to do her post-baby workout

"Since having my son, I find I have a lot less time to work out, and it's nearly impossible to do it at a scheduled time," Cindy Crawford says. "My prenatal yoga teacher encouraged us to walk up to five miles a day. I only made it that far once, but I did walk two to three miles a couple times a week. And now I do those same walks with my little guy in a sling."

Having a new infant doesn't mean you're chained to the crib

Baby gets:  a natural womb-like environment close to mom while mom gets to experience an active life while getting to have her baby close. 
You get:  in shape while forming a bond with your new baby.

Soothing you and your baby at the same time

Whether it's walking, yoga, tai chi or jumping jacks (ok, just kidding about the jumping jacks - don't do that), baby is soothed by your familiar heartbeat, scent and movement.
As with any exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor before you begin. Also be sure that your baby is safely in the sling at all times.

water walking

Water Walking

Walking

Walking is a wonderful way to get started exercising with your baby sling. Start slowly and gradually increase as you build your stamina. For babies under 6 months, the cradle position is excellent. For toddlers, try the back position or hip position.

Once you build up your stamina, try water walking. Using either the shallow end of the pool or the shallow part of the ocean, put baby in a
SolarVeil Water Sling and let the water's resistance help increase the intensity of your workout.


Yoga

Post-natal yoga is a wonderful way to bond with your baby and has many benefits.

  • Physically  Tones, strengthens and increases flexibility.
  • Mentally   Trains you to focus your mind and energy where you want it to go - away from stress and in to the task at hand.
  • Spiritually  Encourages awareness of how you fit into your environment. Links the body, mind and spirit.

    Some great positions to try:

    • exercising with baby slings The Tree Position
    • yoga with baby slings The Warrier II Position
    • baby sling yoga The Half-Moon Position


    Always remember your balance and stick with baby-friendly poses.

    Tai Chi

    Tai Chi is so soothing, it may be hard to believe something this relaxing would have any physical benefits. How does Tai Chi work anyway? Well, you can look at it from the Western view or the Eastern view...

  • Western view  Tai Chi promotes proper body posture and alignment of the spine. This improved posture relieves pressure and improves blood flow and the digestive system.
  • Eastern view  The body has a bio energy system. This energy is transported through your body much like your blood is transported through your veins. If your bio energy is blocked, sickness results. Tai Chi’s movements regulate and stimulate the bio energy flow. 

    No matter what view you take, Tai Chi’s movements strengthen your body’s muscles, ligaments and tendons. These in turn support your joints, keeping you much like a well-oiled machine. Another benefit is that your focus on your body and its relation to the surrounding environment increases your physical/mental awareness. And the amazing thing is that it is easy and enjoyable. Bonus!
    Some Tai Chi positions to try:  The High Horse Stance, The Low Horse Stance and The Forward Stance.

    Here we go!

  • Now where did I put that diaper...   While you'll want to travel light, don't forget baby's necessities: a diaper or two and some baby wipes. You can tuck the diaper(s) and wipes in your baby sling if you're using a Mamma's Milk Wipes Pack (a soft, flexible baby wipes holder) - you don't want to put a hard plastic wipes case in your baby carrier with your baby. Your baby sling will be your changing pad.
  • Switch it up  If exercising for an extended period of time remember to switch the shoulder your baby sling is on and switch baby's position in the baby carrier - especially newborns who can't yet move themselves. 
  • I'm not sweating, I'm glowing   When it's hot out, consider using a SolarVeil baby sling , which provides maximum coolness for both you and baby. SolarVeil's patented fabric also protects baby with an SPF of 70+. Be sure when choosing a SolarVeil baby sling that it has extra fabric to cover your baby's delicate face.
  • Brrr...it's cold   In cold weather, you'll be warm from exercising but your baby will not. Dress him/her accordingly.
  • Seeing stars  If you're ever feeling unsteady or dizzy, stop immediately. Either try a different position or slow down.
  • Go! Slow!  Even if you used to exercise before giving birth, give your body and baby time to adjust to this new routine. You can increase the intensity as you build up your stamina.
  • An added bonus   Many babies are soothed to sleep in baby slings by the combination of movement and the warmth mom puts out while exercising. Do your exercise right before nap time or night time and you can eliminate the putting-to-sleep struggle.
  • No more bumps  Stick to smooth surfaces. This will help you keep your balance and prevent your movement from jostling your baby. 
  • For toddlers  If your toddler is getting restless, take them out of the baby carrier for a while. Take a break. Then you can resume.
  • If at first you don't succeed... Remember, this is a first for both you and your baby. The biggest "secret" is to make sure that both of you are well-fed and well-rested before trying any exercising with baby carriers. Take it easy and remember to have fun.

    Jude Kuipers is the mother of two children and the owner of
    Mamma's Milk , a baby carriers company. She lost the baby weight with the help of her baby sling. Jude lives in Florida with her children Jaxon and Savannah and her college sweetheart and business partner, Treavor.