Posts Tagged ‘mommy and me’

Fun Summer Exercises with Baby

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

IMG_0202-2Let’s face it. As moms, we tend to put our needs last on the list. But we still need to take care of ourselves. For me, I need exercise. It is part of my sanity to fit back into pre-baby jeans and have a release of some kind. With one baby, I seemed to still satisfy this need easily. Enter baby 2, and I’m still overweight and sitting here in my “I just had a baby jeans.” Regardless, there are some ways you can incorporate exercise into your life with babies. Here are some great exercises to try this summer.

Run, Jog, Walk:

For me, having a jogging stroller has been a blessing. With one baby, we used it all of the time. I got in a good run and she got in some entertainment at the park. Now with two, I have a double jogger. It’s a beast to push and run, but I’m working on it. Take your baby with you to a park, walk your local downtown neighborhood, or just check out your street you live on. Walk, jog, or run. Do what is easiest for you. Remember that baby needs to have good head control before placing him in a jogging stroller. I waited until after 6 months with both of my kids. Don’t forget a sippy cup filled with water and some water for you, too. Stay hydrated and get in a good workout.

Wear Your Baby:

If you are just super busy and don’t have the time, put your baby in a carrier like a Tula or Boba and get some errands checked off your list. Wearing your baby on the front will be a workout. For me, bending down while babywearing is not an easy task. Try doing squats and lunges with baby in tow. Do them outside in a grassy area where you can get some Vitamin D.

Put baby on your back and go for a hike with a friend or loved one. Wear comfortable walking shoes and remember sunscreen for baby. My son Levi instantly falls asleep while being worn on my back.

Take Your Workout Outside:

You can use a stroller to increase your activity. Besides just walking, use your stroller to get more calories burned. You can do squats and lunges while holding onto your stroller. Just remember to hang onto your handle. Try going up hill and getting more of a workout, too. Not easy but worth it!

Also try doing push-ups or sit-ups on a blanket or mat outside. Baby will love to sit and watch you. For an added weight, hold your baby while you complete each repetition.

If you have access to a swimming pool, take baby for a swim. The simple motion of lifting and lowering your baby towards the water is a great arm workout. Plus, babies love the water. The bonus is awesome bonding time.

Classes and Home Workouts:

Try finding a class that offers mommy-and-me options. Yoga can be done safely with baby in a baby carrier. Classes that are tailored towards mom and baby needs are great for you both! You can use your baby as a weight and experiment with ab exercises too. Just remember to keep your safety and baby’s safety a top priority. If all else fails, pop in a dvd and pray for nap time!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two little ones in Northeast Indiana. After writing this blog, she is inspired to get to the Y in the morning!

Can Music Make Your Baby Smarter?

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Can Music Make Your Baby Smarter?Of all the activities my three-year-old daughter and I have done together music classes have been one of the most enjoyable. When she was four months old I enrolled her for a summer session of Music Together. We’re just finishing up our fourth semester, and I have already signed up for the next one.

The classes themselves have been a lot of fun, but watching her flourish musically has been amazing. She bops to the music, memorizes all the songs, makes up her own words and loves playing instruments. One of the great things about most music classes is that there’s usually no age restriction, so you can start as soon as you feel ready. Even though most of the classes are somewhat structured, children are encouraged to participate and have fun so you don’t have to worry about a short attention span.

Some of the most popular music classes are Music Together, Musikgarten, Kindermusic and Gymboree. While they’re all slightly different, they tend to follow the same basic style. Each class focuses on parent-child involvement, letting them play instruments, vocalize at different pitches, sing fun songs with accompanying movements, and make rhythm a whole-body sensory experience.

The babies and toddlers are just having fun, but they’re doing so much more. Babies will respond to music by making their own sounds, advancing language and vocal development. Lots of movement, including dancing, rolling, marching and kicking helps develop gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are used when they grasp and release instruments and move them from hand to hand. Being around other babies and parents also gives them an opportunity for social development.  Studies have shown that babies who participate in interactive music classes smile more, communicate better, and show a more sophisticated brain response to music.

Some of the music programs have strict start and stop dates, but others will let you join at any point in time. Gymboree even offers a free trial class so you can see how your baby responds to music before signing up. Music is such a fun way to learn– you’ll both have a great time making music together.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.