Working Out Using a Baby Carrier

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.

Kari Me Baby Carrier

So, that means no more excuses mums ;-)

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.

Plie Squat

  • 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.

2. Lunge
This works your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and inner thighs.

Lunge

  • 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.

Wall Press

  • 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.

Wall Squat

  • 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

No excuses for you dads either!

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 ;-)

Worst feature?
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.

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Nanette March 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Hi,

Love these ideas & will give them a go. Baby no.3 is now 7 1/2 months old and I really have to do something to get back to something that resembles my previous shape but lack of sleep, time & energy are my biggest enemies!

Reply

Melanie March 10, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Hi Nanette,
Thank you for commenting. It’s certainly a challenge to fit exercise into the day, I find that too. But, even 15 minutes here and there, is better than nothing. Are you using a baby carrier right now?

Reply

Nicole Holler October 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm

at last an innovative technique for those who are in need for a effective rehabilitation great article very informative

Reply

Melanie October 20, 2011 at 8:13 am

Hi Nicole,
I’m glad you liked this article. I am so passionate about using a baby carrier, lol It was definitely one of my best purchases when I had my daughter :-)

Reply

Solange November 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm

My daughter is now 2.5 years and I don’t carry her anymore but she used to spend her first months in a carrier, after 6 months I moved her from front to back and we used to have very long walk every day. Healty eating, breastfeeding and long walks helpd me to lose more than 50 pounds. I still have about 40 to loose and I’m finding it very difficult at this time, but Ineed to address my binging problem first that came back after 2 years I thougt I was finally free from it. Anyway I will always advice on using a baby carrier, they are cheap, useful, can be used everywhere and store in a handbag. And walking while wearing our baby is really good for our bodied and for our mood. Every time it was raining and my friends complained they couldn’t go anywhere because it was to difficult to push a pram with an umbrella in the other hand, I simply wore my daughter, took my umbrella and enjoy the rain.
Very good article, I found out this website just a few days ago and I love it!
thank,
Solange from Italy

Reply

Melanie November 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Hi Solage,
I am with you on the eating well, breastfeeding, exercise, and baby carrying!! :-) All wonderfully good for you and your baby. I love that you went out walking with your little one in the rain, or whenever. I have very found memories of carrying my little girl around the supermarket, etc. I always got a lot of comments about it, it seems very few people do it here in the UK. I am expecting again, and will definitely be using my baby carrier again.

Is there anything you can pinpoint which you did before that helped you to overcome the binging?

Reply

Solange November 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I don’t really know, honestly. I think it was the pregnancy in itself to help me, maybe hormones… I’m having a very stressful period now and I feel a bit depresses. I don’t know. Anyway I’m starting a psychotherapy in the next few days and I will follow your blog for sure!
thanks for your answer Melanie and congratulations! I’m not brave enough to think to another baby right now, maybe next year :o)

Reply

Melanie November 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Aw thank you, Solange. I hope you feel much better very soon.

Reply

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