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 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. 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 four yoga poses to try with your baby.

Balancing Table

This is a great way to get a full body stretch and one of the best yoga poses to do with a baby. 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)

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 at the 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.