It's International Babywearing Week but you can wear your baby or toddler to workout all year long! Here are a few safety guidelines we recommend:
1- Make sure the carrier is supportive for working out with baby. While there are many carriers out there, you must ensure baby has as much support as possible. Things to look for include: non-stretchy fabric, support of spine and hips, keeps baby's airway open, optional head support for younger babies, and optional infant inserts for infants. The carrier should not move when working out and should create a safe, non-jostling cocoon for baby. Not all day-to-day carriers are optimal for workouts. Here are a few of our favorites: https://www.amazon.com/shop/fit4mommidtownraleigh
2- The carrier should also be supportive for mama. Mama should be able to tighten securely in multiple places to create the most support. The carrier should not move freely during the workout. The carrier should allow for mom to maintain proper posture during the workout, including proper spinal alignment with chest lifted and shoulders down and back.
3- Never position baby between mom and the ground. For example, baby should not be in front carry during push-up or plank, or in a back carry for crunch/sit up variations. If a mom is doing a front-carry and attempting a plank or pushup, the extra weight on front of the mom will add increased stress on an already weak core and spine. This movement may also cause stress on baby's spine or neck. Same goes when wearing the baby on the back for crunches. The extra weight on the backside during these types of movements will caused unnecessary stress on a recovering core. Keeping baby from between the floor and mom while exercising also minimizes potential injury to baby.
4- When babywearing and using resistance bands like we do at our mommy & me classes, be mindful of the bands' position. Position the baby in a way that if the band were to break, the baby would not be impacted. If necessary, consider a bodyweight exercise or alternative form of resistance if exercise would be ineffective without the band.
5- Impact movements (e.g. jumping, running) could cause injury to developing baby. Choose low-impact exercise but don't worry about cheating yourself out of a workout! Low impact does not necessarily mean low intensity!
6- Beware poor form. It’s easy for moms to overcompensate when babywearing. A few things to watch for include: extreme kyphosis or lordosis (curvatures) in the spine, shoulders hunched forward & hips rotated out of neutral position.
Babywearing infants and toddlers is always welcome at Stroller Strides & Stroller Barre classes! Worried your baby might not be happy in the stroller during class- pack a baby carrier in the bottom of your stroller to use, just in case!