21 Fun Ways To Exercise With Baby, Post Pregnancy

Exercise with a baby is a fun way to bond with your little one. It also gets you on the fitness track after a long pregnancy gap. Being healthy and fit is essential at every stage of life. Working out helps you lose the weight you gained during pregnancy and improves your cardiovascular fitness.

In addition, strength training exercise helps revive your muscle strength and promotes overall well-being. We bring you a list of activities you can try with your baby in this post.

In This Article

Exercises You Can Do With Your Baby

Postnatal exercises increase stamina, induce good sleep, and promote weight loss. They also tone your body and strengthen your abdominal muscles. From simple tummy time workouts to outdoor activities, there are many ways to exercise with a baby.

1. Straight curl-up (A):

Image: IStock

  1. Lie on your back with legs and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your baby in the air.
  3. Face your chin towards your chest and look up.
  4. Repeat this lifting exercise about 10-15 times based on your comfort.
protip_icon Point to consider
Avoid high-impact exercises that need rapid direction changes. Your ligaments and joints are more supple and pliable after childbirth, which makes them easier to injure due to excessive stretching or twisting (2).

2. Straight curl-up (B):

Image: IStock

  1. Lie on your back and bend your knees at 60° and feet flat.
  2. Place your baby on your lower abdomen.
  3. Pull your abdomen muscles inside.
  4. Lift your head, neck, and shoulder from the floor. Stay in the position for 10 seconds.
  5. Exhale as you curl yourself up while pulling your abs in and out.
  6. Come back to your normal position slowly.
  7. Repeat this fun playtime workout 10-15 times.

3. Reverse baby curl (A):

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor.
  2. Bend your knees at 90° and keep your legs parallel to the floor.
  3. Place your baby on your legs, holding him under his arms.

4. Reverse baby curl (B):

Image: IStock

  1. Lie on your back with your baby on your legs.
  2. Lift your head, shoulder, and hips off the floor and bring your baby towards your face.
  3. Hold the position for 10 seconds.
  4. Lower yourself gradually.
  5. Repeat the exercise 15-20 times.

5. Stretching (Butterfly):

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Lie on your back and place your baby on your stomach.
  2. Lift your head along with your shoulders and pull your abdomen in.
  3. Lift your legs up and hold your baby right in the center.
  4. Open your legs wide and stretch as much as you can.
  5. Slowly bring your legs closer and feel the contraction of your muscles.
  6. Inhale while opening and exhale while closing.

6. Plie squats:

Image: Shutterstock

  1. To do this squatting exercise, hold your baby in front of you (his face should be away from you).
  2. Put your legs shoulder-width apart and toes pointing out.
  3. Hug your baby and squat on your knees.
  4. Send your knees over your toes
  5. Push your knees wide and lower your butt while keeping your abdomen tight.
  6. Repeat the exercise ten times.

7. Carrier squats:

Image: IStock

  1. Secure your baby safely in the baby carrier , facing you or away from you.
  2. Put your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Lower your body down and place your weight on the heels, with your stomach pulled in. (Bend your knees while lowering down).
  4. Point your tailbone to the floor.
  5. Return to your original position slowly using your legs.
  6. Repeat the exercise ten times.

8. Stoller lunges:

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Place your baby in the stroller facing you.
  2. Put your left foot three feet back, and right foot forward with your knees bent at 90°. Your knees should be in line with your ankle.
  3. Hold the handle of the stroller and smile or make faces at your baby.
  4. Hold the position for 10 seconds and return to your original position.
  5. Repeat the exercise ten times on each side.

9. Tush tightener:

  1. Lie on your stomach and place your baby in front of you.
  2. Bend your legs and rest your chin on the hands.
  3. Place your arms on either side and keep your legs wide apart with toes pointing outwards.
  4. Lift your knees off the floor while keeping your feet tight.
  5. Hold the position for ten seconds.
  6. Gradually return to your original position. Repeat the exercise at least five times.

10. Letter abs:

  1. Lie flat on your back. Let your baby sit near your arms.
  2. Place your arms on your sides with your palms down.
  3. Lift your legs up with feet together and toes pointing towards the sky.
  4. Draw a pattern of each letter of the alphabet with your toes and say it out or make the sound of the letter to make this movement game more fun.
  5. Be slow in your movement and pull your abdomen inside while you do such core exercises.

11. Baby crawl:

Image: IStock

  1. Get down on your legs and hands and take the cat position in this crawling exercise.
  2. Place the baby in front of you.
  3. Put your entire weight on your hands and knees.
  4. Without putting any pressure on your knees, lift one foot and put it on the other.
  5. Try to crawl front and back.
  6. Repeat the movement with the other knee.

12. Kegels:

Image: IStock

  1. Lie on your back with your baby on your pubic bone. Hold him by his hands.
  2. Slowly tighten your pelvic muscles and then relax.
  3. Bend your legs at the knees and place your feet on the floor.
  4. Slowly lift your hips off the floor. Your back should be on the floor.
  5. Tighten your pelvic muscles for 2-3 seconds and then increase the time to 5-10 seconds.
  6. Slowly come back to your original position.
  7. You can repeat the exercise thrice initially and then increase it to five a day.

protip_icon Quick fact
Kegels can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can, in turn, help prevent incontinence and improve sexual functions (3).

13. Planking with the baby:

Image: IStock

  1. Place your baby on the floor.
  2. Place your palms on the floor in such a way that your baby is between your hands.
  3. Gently lift yourself on your toes and place your weight on your hands and make sure your body is straight.
  4. Hold the position for ten seconds.
  5. Gradually come back to your normal position.

14. Leg lifts:

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Place your baby on the floor.
  2. Take the cat position (your weight should be on hands and knees).
  3. Put your baby between your hands.
  4. Slowly lift your right leg up and hold the position for 10 seconds.
  5. Come back to your original position.
  6. Repeat the exercise with the other leg and alternate each leg 10-12 times.

15. Glute lifts:

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Lie on your back and let your baby sit on your tummy.
  2. Bend your knees and place your feet firmly on the floor.
  3. Slowly lift your buttocks while contracting your glute muscles (a group of muscles that make the buttocks).
  4. Lower your hip and come back to your original position.
  5. Repeat the exercise five times.

16. Shoulder press:

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Squat on the floor and hold your baby.
  2. Lift your baby in the air and raise yourself.
  3. Tighten your abdominal muscles when you lift.
  4. Bring your baby down.
  5. Repeat the exercise 5-10 times.

17. Snake stretch:

Image: Shutterstock

  1. In this stretching exercise, place your baby on the floor, between your hands.
  2. Lie on the ground with your upper part away from the ground, supported by your arms.
  3. Your toes should touch the floor.
  4. Slowly lift your upper body and stretch your abdominal muscles.
  5. Lower yourself to reach your baby and raise yourself again.
  6. Repeat the exercise 10-12 times.

18. Cardio stroller:

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Secure your baby in the stroller.
  2. Jog for a while and walk a while.
  3. Apply stroller brakes and jog or jump at one place.
  4. Resume jogging again and switch to lunges and stretches in the next break.
  5. Repeat this cardio workout several times based on your comfort.

Meghan, a midwife, mother, and blogger, shares her experience joining a summer stroller boot camp. She says, “Over the summer I joined a stroller boot camp. We met once or twice a week in a park in my town and an instructor led us in a mix of cardio and strength training. Everyone had a stroller with one or two kids and the exercises often involved the stroller or a song… When I learned of the stroller boot camp- I was thrilled. I didn’t have to worry about childcare… During our warm up we would circle up and introduce ourselves while we lunged and squatted. The instructor was very nice and super chatty ().’’

19. Baby dancing:

Image: Shutterstock

  1. In this dance workout, hold your baby facing you and support his head and body with your hands, or secure him in a carrier.
  2. Groove to the music while pulling your abdomen inside.
  3. Start with slow movements and slowly increase the pace of your dance.
  4. You can also place your baby in a high-chair and dance in front of him.
  5. Reach out to your baby by stretching your arms and do some animated movements.

20. Cat stretch:

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Take the cat position (come on your hands and legs). Your head and back should be straight.
  2. Place your baby between your hands.
  3. Curve your back up to make an arch.
  4. Pull your abdomen in and out and look straight. Hold for five seconds.
  5. Look up and curve your back down this time. Hold for five seconds.
  6. Repeat ten times.

21. Flying with baby:

Image: IStock

  1. Let your baby lie down on his back on the mat.
  2. Take the cat position.
  3. Slowly raise the right leg and ensure your leg is parallel to the floor.
  4. Now lift the left hand slowly up. Your hand should be parallel to the floor.
  5. Hold for six seconds and return to the original position.
  6. Repeat this fun balance exercise five times with the opposite hand and leg.

Things To Note

Being fit after pregnancy is good, but you need to make a note of certain things before you begin these new mom workouts with your baby:

  • Give your body some time to heal naturally after the delivery. Don’t be in a rush to lose weight.
  • Begin with simple exercises and gradually move to the difficult ones. Listen to your body and do it at your pace.
  • Support your head and shoulders with a pillow if required.
  • Ensure you place your baby on a cushioned mat.
  • Don’t pressurize your baby to work out when they are not in the mood or cranky. Attend to your baby first and then resume your exercises.
  • Relax and breathe deeply while you exercise. Don’t hold your breath.
  • If you feel uncomfortable or sense something unusual such as bleeding, stop exercising and see your doctor.
  • Your lower back and abdominal muscles are not as strong as they were earlier. Hence, you need to avoid vigorous exercises or resistance training that might affect your body parts.
  • If you think you are fit enough to exercise and want to work out vigorously, consult your doctor before you begin.
  • Do not do any outdoor activity or workout with your baby for at least 1 hour, post-feeding.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When can I exercise with my baby?

If you had a regular delivery without complications, you could begin with gentle bonding exercises with your baby as soon as you feel ready for it. However, waiting until your checkup at six weeks is recommended before you begin intense exercises (1).

2. Can I jog while wearing my baby in a carrier?

Avoid baby-wearing workouts, such as jogging while wearing your baby in a carrier, since the sharp movements may hurt your baby’s neck or spine. Instead, carry your baby in a stroller so you can jog as you push them along.

3. Why is exercising with my baby important?

Regular postpartum workouts can help a new mother recover faster from her delivery and relieve postpartum pains. Further, mommy and baby workouts can be an excellent way to spend quality time with them and bond in a fun and productive way.

The initial years after childbirth can overwhelm new mothers, and their fitness may take a back seat. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital to help the body to recover fully postpartum. While finding time for exercise may be difficult, you can turn your bonding time into an infant fitness regime if you exercise with your baby. For instance, you can hold your baby and do squats, stretching, curl-ups, lunges, and swimming, improving your and your infant’s fitness. But before you exercise with your baby, seek a doctor’s advice to determine which exercises suit you.

Infographic: Useful Postpartum Exercises For The Mother And The Baby

After giving birth, new moms must take care of their physical health and get back into shape. Doing postpartum exercises with a baby is a great way to be fit and bond with the little one. The infographic below includes several exercises you can enjoy. Take a look!

amazing postpartum exercises to do with baby (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Postnatal exercises are crucial for reconnecting with your baby and regaining fitness after pregnancy.
  • They assist in weight loss, restoring cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and overall well-being.
  • These exercises enhance endurance, induce relaxation, and strengthen abdominal muscles.
  • To achieve maximum benefits, perform these exercises gradually and consistently.
  • To prevent joint and ligament injury, avoid high-impact exercises.

Explore this video for interesting and simple exercise demonstrations for you and your child to enjoy together.

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Keeping fit and healthy with a baby.
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/support-and-services/keeping-fit-and-healthy-with-a-baby/#:~:text=If%20you%20had%20a%20straightforward
  2. Postnatal exercise.
    https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/postnatal-exercise
  3. Kegel Exercises
    https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/kegel-exercises
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