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Everything You Need To Know About Baby Yoga

baby yoga

Table of Contents

All babies are born yogi’s, and baby yoga is the best way to keep them this way!

Yoga provides parents and babies with the opportunity to bond, move, and meet other families through in-person classes.

This article will cover everything you need to know about baby yoga so that you can get started today!

Here are the topics that we’ll be looking at:

  • What are the benefits of baby yoga?
  • How soon can I start baby yoga?
  • What to expect at a baby yoga class
  • Can I do baby yoga at home?
  • Tips for baby yoga
  • Baby yoga poses that you can do at home

Read on and start practicing!

What are the benefits of baby yoga?

Baby yoga has lots of wonderful benefits for both mom and baby, here are some of the most notable.

Motor skills

Yoga can help babies to develop both fine and gross motor skills through body awareness, which will, in turn, help them with movement and object manipulation as they grow.

Sleep

Physical activity can help to improve both the length and frequency of sleep. If you’re lucky, your little one might even start sleeping through the night!

The soothing techniques learned in baby yoga can also help parents learn how to get their little ones to sleep.

Relieves gas

The stretching experienced in yoga poses can help to relieve uncomfortable gas.

Bonding

Practicing yoga with your baby is a great way to bond and enjoy lots of special time together. It can be particularly great if you spend lots of time working or are at a loss for what to do with your baby during the day.

Learn more about baby yoga and bonding here.

Physical movement

Yoga offers a gentle re-introduction to healthy movement for moms following pregnancy and birth. It’s one of the safest forms of exercise to take part postpartum, and the best part? Your baby can enjoy it with you!

Socializing

When we have the opportunity to attend in-person classes, baby yoga can be a great way to meet new parents as well as for your baby to interact with their peers.

Best of all, by practicing yoga from a very young age, babies will learn healthy habits and movements that they can keep with them and continue to practice as they grow.

How soon can I start with baby yoga?

It’s recommended to wait until 6 weeks before starting yoga with your baby. This is to allow your baby time to develop better control of their head and neck. As well as making the experience safer, it will also be more enjoyable for them!

What to expect at a baby yoga class

When heading to your first in-person or online baby yoga class, here’s what you can expect.

  • Playful atmosphere – think playful music, colors, and baby toys!
  • Baby massage – most baby yoga classes will start with a little baby massage, you can read more about how to do this at home here.
  • Yoga poses for baby – these might look a little more like gentle stretching and movement of the joints.
  • Yoga poses for mom – expect lots of yoga poses that you can do at the same time as interacting with your baby, more on this later!
  • Developmental practices – classes will encourage developmental practices to help build the strength and coordination needed to sit up and, eventually, crawl.
  • Relaxation – the relaxation element of baby yoga offers the opportunity for lots of quiet cuddles and kisses with your baby whilst listening to lullabies or other soothing music.

Can I do baby yoga at home?

Absolutely!

In fact, once you’ve learned some of the positions, you’ll probably find yourself practicing various yoga positions and movements throughout the day with your baby.

The most important thing to remember when practicing yoga at home is to keep things lighthearted and playful. Don’t force yoga poses just because you feel like your baby should be doing them – do it because you both enjoy it!

Tips for baby yoga

Here are some things to keep in mind before getting started with baby yoga.

Footless clothes

Keep your feet bare and remember to put your baby in footless clothes – whether that’s a babygrow or leggings. This will give older babies more grip on the floor, as well as allow you easy access for a little foot massage.

Non-slip surface

Use a non-slip surface such as a cork, rubber, or foam yoga mat to ensure that you and your baby stay safe. If your yoga mat is a little slippery, you can also place a yoga or normal towel on top.

Keep it fun

Nobody comes to yoga to increase stress, it’s the same for baby yoga! Keep it fun and if there are any poses that you or your baby aren’t enjoying, don’t do them. Even if you spend an hour rolling around on your yoga mat and kissing your baby, you’ve still spent lots of time bonding.

Make sure your baby is awake and alert

Don’t do baby yoga when your baby is sleepy, hungry, or irritable – this will only make the experience unpleasant for you both. Make sure that your baby has had a good nap before class (or before you practice at home) and that you’ve fed them around 30 minutes before starting.

Make sure that you’re not too tired

It’s just as important to make sure that you’re awake and ready for yoga as it is for your baby. If you are tired, cranky, and likely to find the experience stressful, it’s ok! Try again tomorrow or next week. Resting is as important as moving.

Maintain eye contact

Maintaining eye contact with your baby will help them to feel safe and confident in the experience. You can also use lots of touch and sing their favorite songs!

Don’t force any movements

If any stretches or positions look uncomfortable for your baby, try something different. If you’re following a teacher, they’ll be able to help you with this! The same goes for you, if anything feels painful or as though it’s causing too much strain on the abdominals, step back from it.

Start slowly

Your first baby yoga class or at-home experience may look more like you kneeling over your baby and making funny faces at them. Starting slowly will help your baby to feel relaxed and ready for more movement next time. If they’re loving it, experiment with a few movements! And if not, stick to a couple of easy and fun positions that they do enjoy.

Baby yoga poses that you can try at home

Here are a few simple and fun poses that you can try at home.

Downward Dog

Downward Dog Pose is only suitable for baby’s who are already or almost crawling. The best way to move your baby into this pose is by demonstrating it! If they don’t copy you just practice it for yourself, and eventually, they’ll catch on.

Happy Baby

This is one of the first yoga poses that your baby will do naturally and with no encouragement, in fact, they’ll probably be the one teaching you how to do it.

You can help your baby into this position by encouraging them to hold onto their feet.

To practice Happy Baby yourself, start by lying on your back. After this, bend the knees and bring them towards the armpits followed by catching your outer feet with your hands. Keeping your elbows inside your knees, kick your feet up to the sky, creating a 90-degree angle with the knees. Ensure that your lower back is grounded into the back – reducing the angle of your knees is necessary!

Hand movements

Baby’s tend to keep their hands balled up in fists, yoga can encourage them to start stretching through their fingers and arms.

Show your baby how to stretch their fingers by demonstrating the movement – followed by reaching up towards the sky.

Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is a wonderfully restorative pose that every mom should spend at least an hour practicing every day.

Start by kneeling, bringing your knees to the outside edges of your mat, and keeping your big toes touching. Place your baby on their belly on the mat in front of you, facing you. Then walk your hands out towards them before resting your forehead on the ground just in front of your baby.

Boat Pose

Boat pose offers moms a gentle way to start engaging the abdominal muscles whilst giving their baby a comfortable place to sit.

Start by sitting with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet on the mat in front of you. Bring your baby to lay on your thighs, facing you, before lifting your shins so that they are parallel with the floor. Keep your spine tall as you lean gently back, waking up the abdominals and reaching your arms alongside your shins (or using them to stroke and tickle your baby!).

Cat-cow

Cat-cow is one of the easiest yoga poses for mom and baby to enjoy.

Start on all fours with your baby laying on their back on the mat underneath you – their face should be underneath yours or just in front.

On an inhale, drop your belly and gently look up (cow). On an exhale, curve the spine and look to your baby or between your legs (cat).

You might like to add cat and cow noises to the movements for entertainment purposes…your baby will love it!

Goddess Pose

Do you know what babies are other than adorable bundles of joy? The perfect weight for a postpartum mom!

Hold your baby close to your chest as you step your feet wide and turn your toes to point outwards. On an exhale, drop your glutes towards the mat so that your thighs come towards parallel with the ground. When you’re ready to stand up, start by straightening the knees before heel-toeing the feet back towards one another.

The takeaway

Baby yoga is a fun and simple way to bond with your baby whilst introducing a bit of exercise and movement back into your routine.

Start slowly, enjoy it, and rest when you need to.

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