It's baby's first winter. Embrace the season with these fun ways to get active with your little one.
1. Sledding - If your baby can sit up on their own, it's time to give baby a ride on a sled. Simply outfit baby in a snowsuit, hat, gloves, and boots (adorable!), and let baby sit up in a ride-along sled. Check out this one which provides extra back support for baby as well as a safety buckle. There's no need for speed or hills. You can simply pull baby along flat ground for a great upper and lower body workout for you. If you're feeling ambitious, you can even pull baby uphill. Watch while baby delights in the snowy scenery and enjoys the ride. Follow up with a warm bath together. The fresh air plus bath should put baby right to sleep and give you another chance for a quick workout!
2. Baby yoga - If you feel like getting out of the house and meeting some other moms with babies, join a baby yoga class. Yoga is a great way to bond with baby while maintaining a positive postpartum fitness routine. It can also help relieve some of baby's tummy troubles. Most yoga studios now offer baby yoga classes. You may also find some going on at your local library, YMCA, and park district. You can also organize a baby yoga class in your own home. Simply get a few willing moms together and hire a local yoga instructor to come to you. If you don't see yourself committing to a specific time, you can keep it flexible by following a baby yoga video online when the mood strikes. Browse from hundreds of Mommy and Me yoga videos on Youtube to find your favorites.
3. Take a hike - On a milder winter day, put baby in a carrier, bundle up, and go for a hike. A winter hike can feel intimidating, but with the right gear, it is wonderful to get some fresh air and exercise during those long days spent indoors. Hike it Baby is an excellent resource or all things hiking and baby. Be sure to check out your local chapter here and see what hikes they have coming up in your area and what trails they recommend near you. They also have a helpful blog with all kinds of tips for hiking with baby, including this one about how to bundle up your infant for a winter hike. If you're looking for a winter coat that is designed for baby-wearing, check out this one.
4. Dance party - Many times the simplest ideas can be the best. The love of music is something you and your baby can easily share. And what better way to bond over music than dancing? Strap baby in with a sling, carrier, or wrap, queue up your favorite playlist, and dance like no one is watching. You can have a low-key dance sesh with quiet melodies, rocking and swaying or a more upbeat dance party (try incorporating some deep squats, plies, or lunges). Depending on baby's age and your comfort level, get an arm workout by gently lifting baby in the air and back down again. I've even known some multi-tasking moms to sweep, mop, or dust to the beat.
5. Hit the floor - If your baby is doing most of their playing on the floor, get down there mamas and do some of your own "tummy time" alongside your babe. Your baby's most common tummy time exercise where they are on their stomach and try and lift their heads off the ground (known as "the Superman") is a strengthening exercise for you too. On your tummy facing your baby, stretch your arms out in front of you and try to lift your two legs off the floor. You can also do any of your go-to floor exercises that feel comfortable, like assisted push ups, crunches, and stretches. You could even read a story to your baby lying on your back while gently lifting your legs off the floor.
6. Indoor Swim - Join an indoor swimming class. This is a win-win. Taking a swim class together is a fun way to be active in the winter while working toward an important life skill. When summer comes around, baby will be more comfortable in the water, and you'll have gotten more comfortable being with baby in the water as well. Check indoor pools in town, your YMCA, and your park district for classes.
7. Snow-shoeing - If you are in a part of the country where the ground is covered in snow most of the winter or even if you've just had a big snowfall, give snow-shoeing a shot. It's not unlike hiking, but due to the snow's resistance, it actually expends more energy than walking on dry land, so it is ideal for building up cardiovascular endurance. It also doesn't require a lot of gear, can be done right outside your front door, and is fairly easy to get the hang of. As far as baby, you can carry them, pull them on a sled, or even invest in skis for your stroller like these.
8. Visit an aquarium - Here is a perfect way for you to get your steps in and make memories at the same time. While the mall is a large indoor space for walking, it can be loud, busy, and hectic for baby with blaring music, flashing lights, and the like. An aquarium is ideal because of its soothing sights and sounds, low lights, and the hypnotic movements of the fish. Babies can usually look at fish tanks for long periods, completely mesmerized. It can lull baby to sleep, or invite the opportunity for lively conversations about what you both see in the tanks.
9. Indoor swing - Installing an indoor baby swing, like this one, on one of the door frames of the house can provide hours of entertainment for baby, and a little exercise for you too if you're creative. Facing baby, simply using your arms to swing baby (you can add wrist weights for extra resistance). Also try standing in front of baby and jumping out of the way each time the swing comes toward you, or stand way back and run up to baby for each push. Do a burpee or jumping jack between each push. Be prepared for some serious baby giggles, which is the best motivator to keep going. :) You can also try to "duck and cover" with squats, or do some bob and weave motions side to side. Get creative, be silly, and have fun!
10. Play ball - If you've ever crawled around on the floor after your baby, you know it can be a good workout. Try rolling a ball or pushing a car across the floor and "racing" baby to get it on your hands and knees. Repeat until you're out of breath.
All of this fun is bound to work up an appetite! Keeping healthy food on hand is key. You can find our wide array of organic baby food, from our Kale Potato Mash to our Oats n' Berries HERE. Just add breast milk, formula, or water and it's ready to serve!
Looking for a cozy indoor activity with baby? Why not make one of our finger food recipes on the side of each Amara box? The recipes are so simple, baby will love to help. Try our Pumpkin Scone recipe on the side of our Pumpkin & Pear box.
Have a fun idea to add to the list? Leave us a comment!