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How to Get in Marathon Shape After Baby

Even if you’re not actually running a marathon.

How to Get in Marathon Shape After Baby
*We’ve partnered with Skip Hop to share some mama fitspiration. No matter how fit you were before baby, motherhood has a way of distracting you from your daily workout routine. But there’s never been a time when fitness is more important -- not just for your own health, but for your baby’s health too! Because being an active mom is the best way to model active behavior for your baby. To share some mama “fitspiration,” we’ve partnered with Skip Hop, whose new Skip Hop Explore & More Jumpscape Foldaway Jumper will give you the space you need to get back into the workout saddle. Below, Well Rounded’s fitness editor and prenatal/postpartum fit coach Roma van der Walt shares how she’s training for Marathon #4 with her 8-month old baby Max by her side. Literally. What's your fitness routine been like since having a baby? I tried to get back into running as early as 3 weeks postpartum because I ran until the day before I went into labor. Running helped me rebuild strength to get rid of some diastasis recti that I had developed during my pregnancy. I worked on my pelvis and did yoga for stretching. After 8 months, I’m feeling closer to my old self. I’m planning a half marathon for Max’s first birthday and a full marathon the month after. Why is it so important to you to keep up a fitness routine, both physically and emotionally? I sometimes ask myself what I did with all my spare time before Max! Now, exercising and running is my alone time and my own therapy. I work up a sweat, have time to think and come home happier. It also improves my circulation, skin and sleep, and when I run with friends, it’s social time too, which is so important when my time is so limited. What are some of the things you do on your own, and some you do together with the baby? Because I don’t have much childcare, I do most of my workouts with the baby. If I go running, he comes along in the stroller. When we get home, I’ll put him in his Skip Hop Explore & More Jumpscape Foldaway Jumper and we stretch or do yoga “together.” He thinks it’s hilarious. I want to start swimming again so that will be something I can’t take him to. Why do you think it's so important to model a healthy lifestyle for him, even at such a young age? Max has been running with me since he was in my belly and I ran up to 2 days before he was born. There have been studies that claim that babies who are exposed to a constantly changing environment (temperature, metabolism, oxygen levels) in utero become more adaptable. When we resumed our running, I think Max remembered the motion and figured out that there was a lot to see, but also that napping in the stroller is great! I hope that he can retain the love for running (and napping!). What are some ways you get active with him aside from actually working out? We often take our dog out for a morning walk but I also love watching him discover new motor skills on his own. It’s amazing how active babies are and how quickly they turn an attempt into a skill. Like holding a bottle or attempting to crawl or jumping in the Skip Hop Jumpscape. Frankly, it’s exhausting to watch. How does it become harder to get active in the winter and what can you do about it as a new mom? The honest answer? Get out super early or after bedtime. I’m not an evening person, so winter is when I get my mom running gang all together. We keep each other accountable to head out at 6am, or sometimes earlier. For others, though, it may be getting up just 30 minutes earlier and fitting in some yoga or meditation. How does the right baby gear make all the difference as an active mama? It helps so much to have good gear! Whether it’s the snowsuit for Max now that it’s colder, a jogging stroller that can maneuver a bumpy Brooklyn sidewalk, or a place to entertain Max while I’m working out at home. Anything that minimizes my additional work to maximize my active time is a plus in my book. What are some of your go-tos when it comes to baby to keep you active? While I love to be active outdoors, it’s so great to have a spot indoors where Max is entertained and challenged while being safe. The Skip Hop Jumpscape provides just that. It’s elevated so I can quickly sit Max in it while I put my shoes on to head out, or I can roll my yoga mat out in front of it and he can watch me at eye level while I do yoga. If he gets bored with me, he can play on his own. It’s amazing to see what he’s learning while I’m stretching. If there's one thing you MUST make time for each week for your selfcare, what is it? Just one? I really believe in self-care. Exercise is non-negotiable, but I also try to get to acupuncture once a week or get out without the baby to see a friend. If it’s a great week, I would get a massage or a facial! What would you tell a new mom who is trying to get active when she's got a new baby at home? The best advice is what I’ve seen in my work over the last years is to get someone to get active with. Find someone to be your early morning partner or a mom who has a child the same age that you can meet for a walk, a mommy and me yoga class or playdate. Even getting in a 7-minute workout is better than nothing. Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids for Well Rounded.

SHOP OUR SKIP HOP FAVES

Skip Hop Explore & More Jumpscape Foldaway Jumper, $130

Skip Hop Nursery Style Wipe-Clean Changing Pad, $70

Skip Hop Light Up Diaper Caddy, $40

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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This viral post about the 4th trimester is exactly what new mamas need right now

"We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing."

Artist and teacher Catie Atkinson at Spirit y Sol recently shared a beautiful drawing of a new mom crying on a couch—leaking breasts, newborn baby, pile of laundry and what we can only assume is cold coffee, included. Everything about the image is so real and raw to me—from the soft stomach to the nursing bra and the juxtaposition of the happy wallpaper to the palpable vulnerability of the mother—I can almost feel the couch underneath me. I can feel the exhaustion deep in this woman's bones.

My heart feels the ache of loneliness right alongside hers. Because I remember. I remember the confusion and uncertainty and love and messy beauty of the fourth trimester so well. After all, it's etched in our minds and bodies forever.

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