Parent and baby yoga classes are a great way to adjust to the major changes that come with a new addition to the family, and to strengthen the bond between parent and child.
Parent and baby yoga class
A good parent and baby yoga class teaches simple massage techniques and exercises specifically designed to maximize the well-being of both the parents and baby. The body-mind health benefits are plenty (see below), and the following Dos and Don’ts will help you choose the best class for you and your baby.
Benefits of parent and baby yoga: A good parent/baby yoga practice offers many benefits, including:
- Supporting a baby’s physical development.
- Helping a mother lose excess weight gained during pregnancy.
- Calming a colicky baby and improving the baby’s sleep.
- Helping parents bond with their babies, and deal with the stress of parenthood.
- Providing an opportunity for parents and babies to interact in a supportive group environment.
Parent and baby yoga dos: The following tips with help you get the most out of your parent/baby yoga practice:
- Try to follow a fixed, regular routine—babies like predictability.
- While exercising, try talking or singing to your baby. This helps lower stress and increase cooperation.
- Practice somewhere that’s clean, warm and free of bright lights.
- Make sure exercises are age-appropriate.
- When performing warm-up or cool-down massages on your baby, use hypoallergenic oil. (It’s a good idea to do a patch test first.)
Parent and baby yoga don’ts: Ensure that your practice is healthy and hazard-free by following these guidelines:
- Don’t start a parent/baby yoga class until your baby has had a six-week postnatal checkup and gotten your doctor’s OK.
- Don’t practice if you or your baby is if stressed-out or cranky. Wait for the mood to pass.
- Don’t rush—make sure you have plenty of time for your yoga session.
- Don’t force yoga exercises—flexibility comes with practice.
- Don’t use massage oil on your baby before brisk yoga exercises—a slippery baby is hard to hang onto.
- Wait a couple of days after your baby has been immunized to practice yoga or massage.
- Never do yoga when your baby is sick. And get your doctor’s OK before restarting yoga after your baby recovers.
Keep these things in mind when choosing a yoga class for you and your baby. This will ensure that both of you have a happy, healthy yoga experience.
One step further: Once you’ve enjoyed the benefits of parent-baby yoga (and once your child gets a little older) you may want to explore other kid-friendly wellness practices, like meditation and breathing exercises.