Baby yoga is a great way to ease yourself as a new Mom back into some gentle exercise, and get in some beneficial bonding time with your little one. It can also help them, too, as any bonding time with their parents will be vital to their development.
In today’s article, we are going to be taking you through some of the best tips and tricks we have for learning how to baby yoga at home, as well as sharing some of the best baby yoga poses you can do for yourself and your little one.
Before we begin though, we want to assure you that baby yoga is not designed to have your bundle of joy in tree pose or the warrior poses. You will hold your baby tight until they can crawl or walk, and assist them with every move. It is simply a lovely way to ease new mom (or dad) jitters and strengthen your bond with your baby (and your muscles while you’re at it!).
Step 1 - Seek advice first
Before you undertake any sort of exercise postpartum or with your baby, you should consult your doctor and any other healthcare professional for both yourself and your baby.
The post-partum body is in a healing stage, and so strenuous exercise may need to be avoided. Gentle yoga is usually fine, but consult your doctor to be sure.
As for your baby, you should also seek advice over when you can start baby yoga as typically it is safest to wait until the baby can hold their head up and lift it alone. This is the safest time to start it. This typically occurs around 3 months into the baby’s life, but check with your midwife or specialist.
Step 2 - Get comfortable
Make sure both you and your baby are totally comfortable. Yoga should only be done if you are both well, feeling good, happy, and comfortable.
Make sure you both have comfortable, loose clothes on (if you want to do it when your baby is just in a diaper then that’s fine, just ensure the room is nice and warm for them).
Make sure there is lots of room, no draughts, the room is a good temperature and you have a comfortable surface that is non-slip. A yoga mat is perfect and safest.
Step 3 - Go easy on yourself
Whenever you take part in a new activity it can be super daunting. If you have never done yoga before but have heard it will be a great experience and will strengthen your bond with your baby, you may feel anxious to ‘get it right the first time’.
However, it is far more important for you and your baby, that you take your time and only do what you can. Baby yoga should always be gentle anyway, but for your first few tries, ensure that you take it easy and only go to your level of comfort, especially if you have given birth whether vaginally or by C-section - the body takes time to heal!
Baby yoga poses
For this pose, sit on the floor and place your baby next to you. Bend your knees and bring them together with your feet planted flat and firm on the floor.
Pick up your baby and place them in your lap. This yoga pose is great for opening up your hips and getting a good long stretch in your legs. As your baby is on your lap you can talk to them, make eye contact, and just generally enjoy bonding.
Shavasana is always a favorite of parents and babies alike. For this yoga pose, simply lie down on your back and place your baby on their back on your stomach.
We always advise letting your baby’s head gently rest in your chest, over your heart. This can be very comforting for both parent and baby. Lie still and quiet, relaxing all of your muscles! Just don’t be surprised to find that your baby (and you) falls asleep!
To do the cobra pose you need to begin by laying on your belly with your face down. Palace your baby in front of you, also laying down on their belly, facing you so your heads are together.
Keeping your legs, feet, and hips on the floor, use your arms to gently push yourself up and hold it. This stretches your arms and belly and strengthens both too. Your baby, depending on their age and development, will likely try to copy you and do their own version of the cobra.
To do a boat pose, set yourself down on the floor on a comfortable, totally flat surface (a yoga mat works well!) and sit with your legs straight out in front of you.
Then place your baby on your legs, cradling them in and facing them towards you. Their butt should be on your belly and their legs pointing towards your chest and face.
Slowly lift your feet off the floor as you are leaning back, bending your knees for stability if you need to. This involves balance and working your core, and babies tend to love it! Expect lots of smiles, giggles (if they can), and cooing.
Downward dog is probably one of the most widely known yoga poses and it is actually one of the most straightforward ones you can do with your little one.
Place your baby on your yoga mat, laying on their back and facing towards you. Get on your hands and knees over your little one and lift your knees off the floor, pushing up with your arms.
Then try and position your feet flat to the floor. Bend your knees if needed, and don’t worry if your heels don’t touch the ground. This strengthens your arms, core, and legs.
Maintain eye contact with your bundle of joy and reach down to place a kiss on their head if your movement allows it.