You probably already know or have heard about the benefits of doing yoga yourself, such as improved flexibility, peace of mind, physical strength, discipline, connection to inner self, better sleep, just to mention a few. But, did you know that baby yoga could have positive effects on your baby?
And if you crave more quality time with your baby, or you are simply looking for a post-pregnancy activity that can help you bond better with your newborn, as well as mingle with other moms, then you can join your baby and enjoy the benefits of doing mom and baby yoga.
Baby Yoga Benefits
If you have not heard of it yet, as a yogi myself for already more than 8 years, I can tell you that babies are natural yogis! They are definitely born with high flexibility, and they love yoga too! So, do not hesitate to give it a try for your baby, as baby yoga benefits can be really helpful for your baby, and therefore for yourself, and your baby will enjoy it too.
Yoga for baby can help your baby in multiple ways, all through baby yoga poses, which can have numerous benefits. But, lets discuss them here.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
First of all, baby yoga can aid in your baby’s gross and fine motor skills. Which are the foundation for many things of your baby’s future; such as grabbing a pencil, holding the fork, crawling, just to name a few. All this, as yoga aims for the movement of the body and its coordination, so while your baby practices different baby yoga poses and you are moving your baby’s body in certain ways, you can help your baby become stronger and more agile. And the baby’s body mobility will later help your baby with fine and gross motor skills.
Baby yoga can also improve your baby’s sleeping patterns, yes! you are reading correctly. Yoga can make your baby’s sleep patterns longer and more frequent, and it also encourages your baby to sleep constantly throughout the night. Baby sleeping? Yes please!
Okay, I am sure that the sleeping factor is a very convincing element. But… if you are not convinced yet…
Digestion and Colic Ease
The baby yoga positions and its different poses will help your newborn to have a better and more regular digestion. Which will definitely ease your baby’s colic. Okay, this is definitely a catch! Baby sleep and no baby colic? Yes to baby yoga!
But, if this was not enough, baby yoga benefits by doing yoga for baby can also improve baby’s digestion, it can fight constipation- as the movement will improve your baby’s overall digestive system- and in general, it will help your baby to feel better overall.
Parent – Baby Bonding
Even more, baby yoga incentivizes the quality time between baby and parents and is surely a unique opportunity that allows for excellent bonding between you and your newborn. So now, your baby’s prescribed “tummy time” – which will help your baby to strengthen the neck- will no longer have to be boring, as playful yoga songs combined with baby yoga poses and activities, will surely do the trick much more fun.
Not to mention that you probably will also meet other parents who are in the same situation as yours, and you can exchange lots of tips and why not? Even manage to form a nice friendship.
Doing yoga for baby can also teach parents different soothing techniques for when your baby is just not managing to calm down or simply not feeling like sleeping, or even for when your baby would not stop crying.
This exercise is also a fantastic way to increase your baby’s awareness, and keep them not only more awake to everyday lights and sounds but also, it can help you become more aware of your baby’s needs.
So, mommy baby yoga – or daddy baby yoga- can surely be a great way for you to not just start to get in shape after your pregnancy, but also to keep your mind on ease and calm after perhaps having a rough no sleep night. Not to mention that it will help you feel more relaxed and will increase your happy mood, as endorphins will be released and you will for sure experience a happy moment between you and your baby – bonding.
Thus, baby yoga benefits will reduce stress for both your baby and you as parents. And will boost your baby’s flexibility in a magnificent way. Babies are very flexible when they are born, but if you encourage this, your baby can maintain its flexibility trough this practice, which is great in your tiny babies’ developing bodies.
Hence, baby yoga surely will help you both parents and baby, to not just socialize with other parents in a nice and safe environment, but also will encourage early life healthy habits that you can encourage your baby to keep for later stages in life.
So if you have not been to a baby yoga class, give it a try!
It is also very recommendable- to improve your baby’s sleep- to have the right latex mattress. This, for your baby to achieve optimal sleep in safe and natural materials; this is why Vita Talalay produces natural latex mattresses, which are safe for babies to sleep on.
Baby Yoga Exercises
There are many exercises that can help your baby to become stronger, even if you decide not to join a yoga class. And, which can also help your baby to achieve great milestones. But, the benefit of baby yoga exercises and baby yoga benefits is that they mainly incorporate the three exercises, which are essential for your baby’s development. The most commonly exercises that doctors and physicians recommend for babies to practice are the following:
1. The Famous Tummy Time Exercise
The importance of your baby to do tummy time is very high. This, as your baby spends most of his time on his back- sleeping, on the cradle, on the car seat, on the stroller, and even in your arms. So, turning your baby over onto his stomach helps him enormously to develop his body muscles. Your baby’s neck, shoulders, arms, stomach and back will all become stronger by being on this position.
Tummy time can be tough in the beginning for your baby, as it is a new position and can be a little hard for your baby to get the understanding at first, but you can start by letting your baby on his stomach for a couple of minutes, until he is able to resist longer tummy time “sessions”, and start to increase the session time gradually, as you see that your baby can resist better the position.
Encouraging your baby to spend time on his tummy engages him in many activities. For example, it makes your baby want to look around as his head is being held up. It also promotes eagerness to reach and kick, both, which will help your baby build strong muscles for him to be able to roll over on the side in a later stage. Which is all a pre-requisite for turning, and eventually crawling.
2. The Cycling Exercise: Baby Cycling
Okay, I know this might sound weird. But, you should not think of actual cycling right now. Just keep the idea of the motion that you do when you cycle for better understanding of this fantastic exercise for your baby.
So, baby cycling refers actually to just grabbing your baby’s legs and moving them around in cycling like motions, so your baby’s legs, hips, knees and abdomen get the feel.
With this exercise you actually help your baby to release gas from his body. Thus, making it a fantastic exercise to fight colic, as you will be pushing air out of his body. So, you can use this exercise for when your baby is itchy and you are suspicious of baby colic. It will not take a long time, as you only need to do about twenty repetitions to actually see the positive results.
This movement is also great to increase your baby’s flexibility. It is also amazing as bonding time, as you are face to face with your baby, and the smiles and noises will be multiplying for sure with this exercise.
3. Baby’s Sit Ups, or… Seat Up!
Although you might be a little afraid of perhaps pulling your little one, you should not be, as pulling your baby up into a sitting position is an amazing way to exercise your baby, and help him strengthen his muscles, as he needs to.
With this exercise, your baby’s shoulders, core, back and arms will become stronger. As regardless if you are doing the pulling – which can also serve you to tone your arms- it helps your baby’s muscles to strengthen properly by allowing your baby to have a more natural flex of her abdomen, and going all the way up through his body. Allowing for his head to align with the body. Which, results in muscle strengthening and balance.
It is just like when you wake up from bed, you need to gather all strength slowly to align your body properly. This is also a fun exercise as it also encourages bonding time, and face-to-face interaction with your beloved newborn. But, be sure to wait until your baby is older than six weeks to practice this exercise, as your baby’s neck and head need to be a little stronger for this exercise. So, it is a nice exercise to practice when your tiny one is a little older.
It is actually very easy to do this exercise with your baby, just seat in front of your baby, and just pull your baby gently and slowly toward you. If you are too afraid of pulling by the arms, you can reach for the forearms too.
These three exercises are very good to practice with your baby, but baby yoga exercises can have added benefits, and this is why I have gathered the best baby yoga poses for you to get your inner yogi out!
Baby Yoga Poses + Baby Yoga Positions
Baby yoga positions are numerous, and yes, there is more than the happy baby yoga pose. And the best is that you can benefit yourself from mommy baby yoga practice as well. As, mom and baby yoga poses are several as well. You can do the poses at home, or you can also aid yourself with baby yoga videos that show poses on yoga for baby, if you feel more comfortable this way.
Anyway, lets roll the yoga mat out, and… om!
Here are the best baby yoga poses that you can practice with your little one, and do not be surprised! Being kids, of course the poses are named like animals! So, take out your mat, and Namaste:
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Of all baby yoga positions, this is perhaps the most natural for older babies. To incentivize your baby to do this baby yoga pose properly, just place your baby on her belly, and animate your little one to get into a dog-like position, meaning palms pressed against the floor, and knees bent.
After that, just cheer your baby to get his bottom up toward the sky, as he continues to press his hands against the floor. But, make sure that your baby keeps the feet pressed against the floor, so not the knees anymore.
Do not worry, as the description of the position might sound weird now, but your baby will most likely go into the triangular V shape of the baby yoga position naturally.
This position, will give a lot of strength to your babies arms, and is also very fun to practice.
Seating with soles against one another
This is my personal favorite! I remember doing this as a kid, and loving it. As this position really allows for your baby’s legs to explore different positions. And, this baby yoga pose is really easy to practice. All you need to do is ask your baby to seat and put the soles of his feet together.
Once the baby is comfortable in that position, you just need to encourage the movement of his legs up and down, so they resemble the wings of a butterfly.
Standing with one sole against inner knee
Okay, if you are into yoga yourself, you surely know this position. As it is one of the core poses in yoga, as it promotes balance and stability.
The goal is to have your baby standing while he grabs your hand to bring one leg up, sort of leaning against the inside of the other leg. Once, your baby has mastered this, just switch to the other leg. If it is possible, encourage your little one to bring the arms as high and stretched as possible when he is holding your arms, to achieve a very good stretch. This is a very fun position to practice and its benefits are great!
To be honest, there are several other positions that you can practice with your baby – duck pose, elephant pose, cow-cat pose, just to mention a few…. But with the ones that have been mentioned here, you will already have quite a number to practice your way around baby yoga, mom baby yoga, and a few other baby exercises that will help your baby bring his inner yogi out!