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Getting Back to Exercise

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on June 04, 2020

Month 11, Week 2

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Your baby's first birthday is around the corner and you still haven't been to the gym.

You've been meaning to drop the last few baby pounds. But how can you commit to exercise when you're raising a baby, running a household, holding down a job, and -- oh, yeah -- trying to sleep?

Here's what to do:

  • If you're out of shape, keep it simple. Walk around the neighborhood or the mall. (Bring your baby along in a stroller.)
  • Increase the length of your workouts slowly. You'll find it easier to ease exercise back into your busy schedule a little at a time, and you'll build stamina gradually.
  • Mourning the loss of your formerly flat stomach? Ab exercises like crunches may help you tone up, but you'll also need to lose weight and do cardio exercise.
  • Consider joining a gym with child care facilities. Your little one can socialize while you exercise.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Your baby is well on their way to taking their first steps, which should happen sometime during the next few months if they haven't already proven to be an early walker.

They may already be confident enough to walk while holding your hand. When you aren't available, they likely "cruises" by holding onto furniture to get from one place to another.

Here's how to help them to take one small step for babykind:

  • Make your home safe for a near-walker. Be sure that wobbly furniture and other items your baby may grab to steady themselves are anchored to the wall, including floor lamps.
  • Play down any drama from the inevitable trips and falls. If you give a quick, reassuring hug and get back to the business at hand, your baby should focus on walking, not crying.
  • Buy soft-soled baby shoes for walking outside.

Month 11, Week 2 Tips

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  • Your baby may become afraid of things that didn't bother them before, like loud noises or pitch-black rooms. Offer a night light and reassure them that everything is okay when you use the garbage disposal.
  • You may have heard that a baby's weight triples by their first birthday. Don't worry if your baby's weight isn't close; many healthy babies are at the lower end of the spectrum.
  • If your baby wants to brush their teeth or feed themselves, let them (and be ready to help). They are learning about independence.
  • Your baby's attention span is growing. Encourage this by letting them play with something for as long as they like before giving them a new toy.
  • Working out does wonders for your mental health, so don't feel guilty about taking the time; you'll improve your mood and be a better mom.
  • Warm up before exercising and pace yourself. It may help keep you from getting hurt.
  • Does your baby want to open cupboards? Have one 'safe' cupboard with pots and plastic dishes and containers so baby can 'help' while you are in the kitchen.

Show Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Movement: 8 to 12 Months."

Mayo Clinic: "Infant development: Milestones from 10 to 12 Months."

Mayo Clinic: "Weight loss after pregnancy: Reclaiming Your Body."

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Getting In Shape After Your Baby Is Born."  

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Emotional and Social Development: 8 to 12 Months."

AboutKidsHealth: "Physical Development of Babies."

AboutKidsHealth: "Social and Emotional Development: Six Months to a Year."

AboutKidsHealth: "Learning to Think: Six months to a Year."

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