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Mom + baby yoga: 4 poses to try with baby

Four easy ways to say “Namaste” to your infant.

Mom + baby yoga: 4 poses to try with baby

Maybe the most ridiculous question for a new mom is: “And what are you doing to take care of yourself?”


My answer was, “Well, on good days, I shower.”

Between breastfeeding, sleep regressions and literal mountains of laundry, the first thing to go during the first year of parenthood is, of course, self-care.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are some wonderful ways that yoga poses for both mom and baby can bring some much-needed fun, tactile stimulation and contact that is so crucial for babies (and moms) during the early stages of development.

Plus, the best thing about yoga is that “a little is a lot,” which is all there is usually time for. Even just “a little a little” can go a long way to feeling physically and mentally rejuvenated and relaxed.

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There are so many new muscles that are being used in that first year of parenting. I can remember that I began to almost physically lean to the right, child or no child, because that is where I always kept my daughter—right on my hip. These poses helped and are an enjoyable way to stretch, breathe and squeeze some yoga in without requiring a babysitter!

Here are 4 yoga poses to try with your new little babe.

Balancing Table

This is a great way to get a full body stretch.

Come onto your hands and knees and place your baby lengthwise under you with his head so that you can make eye contact with him.

Extend your right hand forward and your left leg back.

Look down at your baby and then bring your gaze out in front of you.

Switch sides, saying “hello” as you transition to left hand forward and right leg back.

Babies are learning in the first year that they are “active agents” in their lives and that the world is not just filled with lights and sounds.  They learn that a smile can elicit a predictable response—from many, but particularly from a parent. Gazing and sharing a “hello” aids in this social development.

Peekaboo Puppy (Downward-Facing Dog)

Morning yoga with my baby girl. She just turned 9 months! She's growing so fast, soon she won't fit under my downdog!�

A photo posted by Inspiration For New Mommies (@mommyworkouts_) on

Place your baby beneath you so that when your head lowers, you are at the same level as her face.

Place your baby beneath you so that when your head lowers, you are atthe same level as her face.

Press back into downward dog and then make this an even more powerful arm strengthening exercise by bringing your elbows to the ground while keeping your legs stretched.

Give her a little kiss and press back into downward dog. Repeat.

Boat Pose

Both you and your baby need abdominal and back strengthening work.

Hold baby in your lap and lift your toes slightly off the ground. Try to hold the pose for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat.

This is a wonderful abdominal strengthener and when you are finished, you can try rolling back and forth onto your back, giving baby a fun rocking sensation.

Bridge Pose

Holding baby in your lap, roll onto your back, press your feet into the earth, and using your forearms for support, lift your hips high and then gently release down.  Repeat.

This strengthens the legs and abdominal area as well as providing wonderful and developmentally essential touch for you and baby.

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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