I have to say one of the best things I purchased when I became a new mum was a baby carrier.
I actually used two, one was a simple sling type, and the other the fabo Kari Me baby carrier.
I used my baby carrier quite a bit when Elissa was younger. She loved being carried around in it, and seemed so much more settled in there.
Not only does a baby carrier give you hands-free to get a few things done around home, it can also be a great workout tool, since it distributes your baby’s weight evenly across your body, meaning it adds some functional “weight” to your workout.
Here’s how you can do a great workout, and keep your baby happy at the same time…
Firstly, a note on posture
If you carry your baby on your front a lot of the time, you really need to pay attention to posture.
Along with all of the others things which can effect your posture, such as feeding, picking up your baby, and lugging car seats around, carrying your baby in a sling can lead to bad posture, but only if you don’t actively correct the problem.
To avoid these issues, focus on stretching your chest area and strengthening your upper back — contract your shoulder blades, bringing them together, keep your shoulders down and back, and your neck long and relaxed.
Pilates is very good for making you aware of your posture, and how to correct it, and it’s also a lovely way to exercise with your baby (keeping them on the mat in front of you this time).
Okay, onto some postpartum exercise suggestions
1. Plie Squat
Great exercise for working your quads, hamstrings, inner thighs, and glutes. Rather than using dumbbells, etc. you will use the weight of your baby.
- With your baby in the carrier, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly.
- Pull in your abdominal muscles for added support.
- Slowly lower down, until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor.
- Do some controlled pulses in this lowered position.
- Then, squeeze your thighs and glutes and push back up to your starting position.
- Repeat for 12 reps.
This works your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and inner thighs.
- Stand in a split-stance (one leg forward, one leg back). Take a long stride — if you feel your balance is off, make your stance wider.
- Bend your knees and lower your body, keeping your front knee and back knee at a 90-degree angle.
- Don’t let your front knee bend past your toes. Keep your front heel down and weight distributed evenly through your front foot. Heel of your back leg is up off floor and ball of foot is in contact with floor.
- Keep your chest expanded and shoulder blades squeezed together while holding your baby upright.
- Return to starting position, and repeat for 12 reps, switching your front leg each time.
3. Wall Press
A good way to strengthen your upper body, and easier than push-ups.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Place your hands against the wall, with your arms stretched out in front of you, and your fingers pointing to the ceiling.
- Keep your back straight and look straight ahead, then slowly bend your arms at the elbows.
- Lower yourself a couple of inches away from the wall.
- Return to your starting position, and repeat for 12 reps.
4. Wall Squat
Great for working your thighs and buttocks, and giving your core a good workout at the same time.
- Standing with your back against a wall, slide down until your legs are at a 90-degree angle.
- Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward, and your core should be tight.
- Squeeze your buttocks together, then hold until you feel it burn.
- Slowly slide back up, and repeat 3 times.
Depending on how you feel, you could cycle through this sequence for 2 to 3 sets.
Just make sure your baby’s head is supported in the carrier at all times, and you can maintain good posture in all of the exercises you try. Yours movements should be slow and controlled, and you should have full balance at all times.
Kari Me Baby Carrier
Finally, just a few things I love about my Kari Me:
- It is incredibly comfortable to wear.
- It has lots of carrying positions — on your back, face to face, baby facing forward, or on your side.
- It allows for easy breastfeeding, and provides plenty of coverage, if you need it.
- It can be used from birth up to 3 years old.
- And, the best bit — it’s cool for dad’s, too ;-)
Well, the first time you try to use it — if you’re anything like me — you’ll be totally bamboozled, and have your baby’s leg where the arm should be, or something else totally random like that!
But, I promise the instructions are very good, it just takes a couple of practices and it becomes easy.
All things considered, it’s an excellent choice, and I highly recommend it.
You can get your own Kari Me baby carrier by visiting this link.