How to include your little one into your yoga practice—8 mommy + me poses

Forget the yoga mat, the play mat will do just fine! 

How to include your little one into your yoga practice—8  mommy + me poses

Ok mamas, I hear you! Amidst work and laundry and cleaning and food prep, is there time for yoga?

Originally when I had my son 11 months ago I thought “heck no!”—I barely had time for sleep never mind finding time to practice. But once my OB cleared me to exercise and my son was a little more sturdy—I realized that I didn’t have to set up separate alone time to do yoga every day. (As we all know, moments alone are few and far between!)

Instead, I could involve my son in my practice with me. Rather than sitting on his play mat with him, I realized we could be practicing boat pose together. Reading a book could mean butterfly pose. Rocking him to sleep could mean finding a goddess stance. Yoga has been such a positive part of my life, and I hope it can be a positive aspect of Levi’s life as well!


So fret not, mamas. Your little one’s natural flexibility is perfect for yoga—and it’s a fun activity to do together, it teaches your child about strength and balance, and helps keep you calm throughout the day.

Here are a few poses that are easy to weave into your daily routine, and also poses that get a good giggle out of my #yogababy (or a #yogakid if you have an older little one!):

1. Child’s Pose

Maybe an obvious one due to the name, but child’s pose is the perfect opportunity to find a moment of quiet with your little one! On your hands and knees, send your hips back to your heels and rest your head on the ground or on baby lying in front of you (just be careful of hair pulling!) And breathe. If you have a toddler, this is a great one to show them how to slooooow down.

2. Downward Facing Dog

Bigger kids tend to rock this pose, just tell them to stand on their hands and feet and send their tushy up toward the sky. For babies or crawlers, they love being under the bridge that you make in your down dog!

3. Goddess Pose

Because aren’t we goddesses already? With a wide stance and toes pointing outward, bend into your knees so that they are directly over the ankles. Here, you can either hold baby in your arms for some added weight, or have your little one copy you and show them how strong they can be!

4. Butterfly Pose

This is a good one for story time. After you sit and bring the soles of your feet together, your little one can come sit on your lap and bring their feet together as well. Then you’re in perfect position to open your hips and read a good book!

5. Boat Pose

This is one of my #yogababy’s faves. Bring your little one onto your lap with the soles of your feet on the ground. Then, leaning back to find the balancing point between your tail bone and sit bones, bring your shins parallel to the floor. Be sure to rock and roll and maybe even sing “Row Row Row Your Boat” to have some extra fun in this core workout!

6. Airplane Pose

What kid doesn’t want to fly? Lying down, have your little one stand against your feet out in front of you, then hold their hands hold as you lift your legs and pull them up overhead. This one is sure to bring a smile!

7. Happy Baby

This is one that babies naturally find on their own, so there must be something to it! Lying on your back, send your feet up toward the ceiling and hold onto the insides of your feet, pulling your knees towards your armpits.

8. Savasana

This is also called snuggle time. Lying on your back, with your little one on your chest, slow down your breath and close your eyes. This will help them calm down, and hopefully you can both find a moment of peace in your busy day.

Whether you’re a master yogi, have been to a yoga class or two, or think yoga sounds funny—your postpartum body and mind will thank you for trying this out with your child. Yoga can build strength, calm your mind, and with these poses it can be a positive and productive bonding experience with your little one.

So don’t worry about getting out the yoga mat, the play mat will do just fine! Just keep an eye out for those opportunities where you and your munchkin can enjoy some laughs, some love, and a pose or two together.

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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.

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Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

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