5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy While You Workout
So, I am a firm believer that their are 1,001 reasons why Moms skip working out. Exhaustion, weather, work schedules, lack of time, and not finding working out enjoyable are just a few reasons. Today, I want to discuss one of the most popular reasons that I hear on a daily basis from Moms on why they don’t work out... “What am I supposed to do with my baby/toddler?”
After I had my son I found it very difficult to do small tasks due to my Postpartum Depression. Dragging my tired butt to the gym, scheduling group classes, or taking the time to choreograph complicated workouts were seriously not on my damn to do list. So, I needed to get creative on how I could include my 9 month old so into my workouts and keep him entertained long enough to make it through a 25-30 minute workout.
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I also knew that the need to make my health a priority was more important than the fear of my screaming baby. If you have a kiddo like me who is super active, sneaks dog food and stores it in his cheeks, and gives you a run for your money then it may seem like you have a uphill battle, but no worries, I tested a ton of different techniques, and through trial and error and a few tears I was able to create a list of “5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained While You Workout.”
Make Your Baby a Part of Your Workout.
Who says that your baby can’t be your new workout partner? I found that the more I tried to keep my baby out of my workout routine, the more that he wanted to be a part of what I was doing! So, I searched the internet for Mama and Me workouts and found some pretty great material. A lot of the Mama and Me workouts don’t require much equipment, include exercises where you are holding your baby, laughing at your baby, counting out loud, and singing silly songs, all while getting a kick ass workout. Squatting with a 20lb baby is hard work, but babies love the motion and the insane faces that we make while holding a plank are sure to make them giggle.
Create a Gym Oasis for Your Baby.
I have a spot in my living room called the “Baby Oasis” in my house. In the Baby Oasis I keep my babies favorite toys, his books, shiny objects, and snacks. This is a place where he can climb, watch me exercise, hear the music that I am listening to, and have his own time to play independently. Get creative with this space. Add mirrors, balls, and shiny objects to keep yor baby entertained. Using this baby oasis will give you the space you need to complete a short workout, while teaching your baby the skill of independent playtime.
Use the “Pick One” Method.
This method is used in a lot of child therapy learning techniques. First, you will need to grab three toys that your child enjoys. Line up the toys in a row, and with little to no expression on your face ask your child to “pick one.” The toy that your child picks is the toy that will keep them interested for a period of time. I use this technique with my 9 month old son, and it even works on younger babies and toddlers (they have preferences too). After they choose the toy, allow them to play independently, and then half way through your workout repeat this exercise so that you can gauge your babies interest in that specific toy and make adjustments.
Get Your Groove On, Mama and Baby Dance Breaks.
Dancing is a super fun and non stressful way of getting in your daily activity. When myself or my baby is not in the mood for a structured workout we throw on our favorite Spotify playlist and we let loose. We wiggle, I lift him up, we squat, and we even crawl around the house together. Exercise does not need to always be choreographed. Have fun with this!
Call for Backup.
I have a joke with my husband where I call our son “Boss Baby”. He knows what he likes, has a certain way of doing things, and is pretty vocal when his needs aren’t getting met. When he’s not in the mood to be a part of my workouts or participate in an impromptu dance party I bring out the big guns, his Dad. Don’t be afraid to ask for help so that you can workout. My husband loves the fact that I am staying active so he never declines. If your partner isn’t home, Facetime with an Aunt, Uncle, or Grandparent that your baby is familiar with. They can help brighten your babies mood and hold their attention while you get one set of push ups in.
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