Pampers, together with Baby Yoga expert, Sam Petter, have developed a new, natural baby yoga routine, with simple-to-follow stretches that you and your little one can have fun practicing at home, we caught up with Sam to hear her thoughts on all things baby yoga…
Pampers approached me because we both have a clear passion for enabling all those amazing baby twists, stretches and wriggles. Baby yoga mixes physical touch with emotional contact and movement. I've put together a sequence of moves with Pampers that will help your baby's ability to crawl and walk whilst also giving your baby that same feeling of wellbeing that adults get after exercise. Even if you only do it for 5-10 minutes at a time you will really notice the benefits!
It is better to wait until your baby is 6 weeks old and has better neck control if you are new to baby yoga. Ensure that your little one is wearing a well-fitting nappy such as Pampers Active Fit which will adapt to your baby's movements because it has stretchier sides than ordinary nappies to help to keep your baby dry and protected no matter how much they move. Make sure the room is warm, safe and your baby ideally has bare feet.
This is a really big workout for your little one, so go gently at first, reading your baby's signals and mood with every step. Start off with just a couple of repetitions, increasing length and duration as you learn together. My top tips for getting going are to always maintain eye contact with your baby to check they are happy, never force the movements, smile to keep your baby reassured and don't try this when they are tired or hungry. If you have any specific concerns please consult your health visitor of family GP.
Only Pampers Active Fit nappies offer your baby the complete freedom to bend, twist and turn, with stretchier sides and superior dryness compared to ordinary nappies.
Has there been any research done on the benefits of baby yoga?
Babies' bodies are flexible and, just like adults, they too can benefit from and enjoy stimulating touch, movements and the relaxation that yoga offers. It is important that a baby has the opportunity to experience the world from many different dimensions, including facing forwards, backwards, upwards and downwards. All of these dimensions can be found in the yoga routine. Baby yoga allows parents to be involved in this process, as the exercises they carry out with their baby are designed to support the development of balance and co-ordination. The more the baby moves, the easier it is for them to control their movements
When is the best time of day for a mum at home to practice baby yoga?
This depends largely on your baby's feeding and sleeping arrangements. Usually in the morning your baby will have the most energy and will be at the peak of their alertness, so it might be worth trying baby yoga after they wake up from their first morning nap. I would advise waiting for around 30 minutes after a feed. Lastly ensure that your little one is changed and wearing a fresh well-fitting nappy such as Pampers Active Fit which will adapt to your baby's movements because it has stretchier sides than ordinary nappies to help to keep your baby dry and protected no matter how much they move.
From what age is yoga suitable for babies?
The best time to start is probably after your baby is 6 weeks old, once you have had your check and the baby has better neck control to keep them safe. By then you will also likely have more confidence. Always look at your little one to check their reaction and to ensure you are doing things they enjoy, it is all about really simple stretches, not complex moves. If you have any concerns at all then consult your health visitor or GP.
If a mum doesn't have much time to do yoga with her baby, what would you recommend as the go-to yoga moves?
Think about the position your baby is usually in - such as sitting in their car seat or buggy and therefore try yoga move that stretch different parts of their body in order to give them the widest possible range of physical experiences. In order to aid your little's ones digestion why not try the 'Star' which will open up your baby's upper body and chest. Or why not encourage your little one on to their tummy prior to crawling by doing the 'Cat' or 'Dog'. Think about doing a balanced range of movement, on both sides of the body. The cycling move is excellent for digestion, and the fish move is more alerting. Ensure you always finish with a cuddle and quiet time, this relaxation time is very important for allowing the baby's body to assimilate the physical activity - remember even our simple sequence is the equivalent to the exercise your baby would normally do in a day. See below for the Pampers Natural Baby Yoga routine including the full sequence of moves!
MOVE 1 - Warm Up
Gently, but firmly stroke your baby down their body and limbs. Massage their feet in a clockwise direction with your thumbs.
MOVE 2 - Star
Either lying or sitting encourage your baby to hold your fingers - then guide their arms out to the side. Gently bring their legs out to each side too, then gently stretch and relax, like a big star. Bringing the opposite hand to foot across the body will aid footplay, and your baby's awareness of their body. Stretch your arms and legs out wide too. Sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to develop bonding and attachment. Remember never force your baby's movements
MOVE 3 - Cycling
Hold onto your baby's lower legs, and gently 'cycle' the legs into the abdomen. Start with the right leg. Go as fast as your baby is comfortable with
MOVE 4 - Rabbit
Place the palms of your hands on your baby's soles, and allow them to push against you. Play footsie with your baby
MOVE 5 & 6 - Cat & Dog
Lay your baby over your legs. They may not enjoy tummy time at first, place a favourite toy on the floor as a distraction. Gently raise your thigh close to your baby's head off the floor and lower it again. This is Cat. Raise the other thigh off the mat so your baby is in a downward position for Dog.
MOVE 7 - Fish
Roll your baby gently down your legs. For more confidence first roll your baby towards you maintaining eye contact before rolling away down to your feet
MOVE 8 - Mouse
Kneel over your baby, gently holding their arms and legs with gentle pressure. This is very calming and bonding.
MOVE 9 - Rainbow
Raindrops falling on your baby with light finger touch, then a rainbow comes out. Place your fingers in your baby's arms and open the arms out to the side. Peepbo!!
MOVE 10 - Bee
Babies are very sensitive to touch and vibration. Humming on your baby's abdomen or crown - this will be very calming and can act as a distraction when they are unhappy.
MOVE 11 - Relax
At last! time to relax together. This is a VERY important part of your baby yoga adventure. Make sure you take time to lie down together with no distractions. Try and extend this stage over time.
Plus, Pampers is offering you the chance to win a free pack of Active Fit nappies when you share your precious pictures of your little one showing of their moves. Visit facebook.com/PampersUKIre or tweet @Pampers_UK and use #PampersBabyYoga to be in with the chance of winning a pack of new Pampers Active Fit. See facebook.com/PampersUKIre for T&Cs.
Tagged in Parenting