I just thought I'd share an extract from a story I'd written for our Baby Gifts Blog regarding fun activities for you and your baby to do together. Especially on days like this cold & icy one!
Baby Rowan was born at the start of October, but I wanted to be back to help at BasketsGalore in December for the very busy Christmas period.
Now that Christmas is over I am able to take a bit more maternity leave, so Rowan & I have been enjoying lots of quality bonding time. As well as lazy days in the house cuddling & playing, it is also nice to get out and about. The weather has been a bit dismal lately so we haven't been able to go on as many walks as I would have liked. With this in mind I thought I'd look up some activities we could do together.
The first thing I came across was of course parents & tots or toddlers groups, but I've decided to wait for another few months until Rowan is sitting up etc and can enjoy them more. There are also plenty of swimming lessons for babies which I will look into in more depth (get it!) at another stage. For now I'd like to focus on YOGA!
Having attended pregnancy yoga classes I was really excited to see that the Mum & Baby Yoga classes were starting in my local leisure centre. I did wonder how much yoga a baby could do & what us mums would actually get done, but I thought it would be good fun & a nice social activity anyway.
We signed up for a block of 6 classes, which last for an hour & a half each. The class we attended is by Yogabellies and our teacher is the lovely Sophie. Rowan & I got our trackie bottoms on and heading off to class, armed with his changing bag & bottle. When we got there the room was all laid out with an activity mat in the centre and yoga mats, cushions and blankets for all the attendees. I was a bit concerned Rowan might decide he wanted fed in the middle of class, but the instructor was just lovely and explained that it is a baby-led class so you just do whatever baby wants. If you need to stop to feed/nurse, change nappies or let your baby sleep then you do just that!
We started with some stretches and postures for us mums and then some which incorporate baby, like twinkly hands. You then move onto stretches for baby arms, legs, hips etc and then back to mum and baby combination ones. (Sorry for my novice-like descriptions yoga fans!) All the while singing little songs and nursery rhymes and giving baby lots of kisses and attention. We also danced around a bit meeting all the other mums and babies. It was really great fun and Rowan seemed to enjoy it too, as you'll see from the picture below:
Some babies there were only a few weeks old, and some were 4-5 months so there were a few mums stopping to feed or change their babies. There were also a lot of distraction toys around to keep babies entertained. I noticed a lot of the Lamaze activity toys which we include in many of our baby gift baskets.
|"Life As Mum & Dad" - one of our baskets containing a Natalia Kit & Lamaze Toy|
Part of the class also incorporates a bit of baby massage which can help bonding and to relax baby. The gentle tummy massage techniques can aid digestion as it can help to get wind up. At BasketsGalore some of our baby baskets contain Natalia Skincare Kits by Vital Touch. Some of these kits, such as the New Parent Survival and Blissful Baby Box contain baby massage oil and massage instructions so as you can practice at home.
After an hour of yoga you then have half an hour to relax, have a cup of tea and talk to the other mums. During this time I was able to give Rowan his bottle & change him. All that yoga can really tire a little one out however, so he nodded off mid bottle! It then helps them to get a great nights sleep too, even better!
|Tired after yoga!
(apologies for the selfie!)
What about you guys? Which activities would you recommend for parents and babies? Has anyone else tried mum & baby yoga?
Talk soon as I've got to go - Rowan is giving off! Lol