Exercises that can be done with a baby are enormously popular with my patients. Mommies and Daddies alike are pressed for time, and certainly every minute with your baby is valuable. These core stability exercises can be done easily in the home, and are a ton of fun for the kiddo as well. Infants who demonstrate good head control, generally after 3 months of age, are appropriate for participation. If your child is over 3 months of age and cannot yet lift their head off the floor and turn it from side to side from the face down position are not yet ready for these exercises.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Hold baby close to your chest, and draw your abdominals in gently toward your spine, and contract your pelvic floor. Bend knees about 45 degrees, keeping your back straight, and no allowing your knees to flex over your toes. Pause, then slowly return back to standing position. Ideally your little one would stay facing you, but mine is a ham and if there is a camera around he wants to face it and give a bit of a show.
Standing Chest Press.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Grasp baby gently around the rib cage, under the arms, at your chest level close to your body. (Baby should be facing you, mine is interested in the camera). Gently draw in your abdominals, contract your pelvic floor muscles, and press baby straight up and outward in a slight diagonal. Pause, then gently bring baby back to your chest.
Supine Baby Chest Press
Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet planted shoulder width apart. Gently grasp baby around the ribcage under the arms. Gently draw abdominals in towards your spine, and contract the pelvic floor muscles. Press baby straight up towards the ceiling. Make some sort of airplane sound while you are at it. Gently lower baby back down with control.
Baby Tricep Push-Ups
Lay baby on his back, and align yourself over the top of him in plank position with wrists under shoulders, back flat, and feet together. Keep your elbows in towards your ribcage and lower down towards baby. (Commence with kisses or raspberries on the baby’s tummy, it’s really all about the kiddo here, let’s be honest), then carefully raise back up. Note in the 1st picture that my scapula (shoulder blades) are winging away from my back-that is not what you want, and is due to a little injury of mine. Lift through your chest and keep scapula adhered to your back throughout the duration of the exercise.
There you have it, as promised so long ago, and intro Baby core exercise program! Again, these are just as effective for Dads as they are for Moms, and allow for growth in strength as your baby gets bigger.
Enjoy, and make your day great!