So, here you are- you have a new baby, and you’re so in love but... they’re a stage 5 clinger- they want to be on you all the time and they refuse to be put down- they won’t nap for long enough for you to shower, poop, or eat a hot meal. God forbid you work out!
Let us begin by saying- there is nothing wrong with holding your squish. Don’t put that baby down out of guilt. If you love it and you’re content, hold them as much as you want- time is short and these days are numbered. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad by telling you otherwise.
However, for the sake of self care and your mental health, you do need to put them down once in a while... if for nothing more- to grab a hot shower and an actual meal.
Now, when you’re ready to incorporate movement, and that stage 5 clinger won’t let you do more than a few minutes before they let out a rapturous scream-like a pterodactyl going in for a kill, it’s hard to feel anything but overwhelmed as defeated.
However, if movement is a priority, then prioritize movement first- it doesn’t matter if the dishes or laundry or done. taking care of yourself Is a priority and if movement fills that box then so be it. Quality and quantity are not important at this stage- doing it and feeling accomplished are.
Here are some tips for incorporating movement when it seems otherwise unattainable.
1. Break your movement into bite size chunks. If they only nap 5 min at a time (ugh, sorry, this is the worst) keep weights near their crib/ bassinet and every time you lay them down, do a round of movement. While this will not necessarily get you buff or help you run a marathon, it will certainly help build stamina, consistency, and offer you the opportunity to know success.
2. Wear them as your resistance. Wearing a baby on your chest is challenging as is, requires a little more care of and connection with your pelvic floor, and is a bit more limited (in terms of exercise selection) but it’s an excellent way to get movement in when you feel like you absolutely cannot put your babe down (or don’t want to). It’s incredibly important to be aware of the pelvic floor here- are you sensing uncomfortable pressure, pain, incontinence, or symptoms of prolapse? If so, it doesn’t mean baby-wearing workouts aren’t for you, it just means we need to change our strategy (breathing, movement technique or movement prep) or the movements themselves.Here’s a quick circuit to get you started:
3. If baby wearing isn’t your speed find a way to work baby into your routine- use them as your weight during squats or lunges, hold them during yoga standing positions.
Most of, mama friend, we think it’s important for you to keep a flexible mind and allow yourself a ton of grace. Nonstop holding and caring for another human is work- emotionally and physically and you should not feel wracked with guilt because your workout isn’t meeting your expectations.
As trite as it sounds, trust us when we say that this time will fly by and you’ll be back to movement before you know it.