Fitting in Workouts with a Newborn

I have to say, taking care of my little man is a lot more work than I ever would have imagined. After 2.5 weeks of being home with him, I’m finally starting to feel like I’ll be able to eventually get in some type of a routine and accomplish a few things during the day besides feeding and changing him (like blogging, working out and returning phone calls!). For now I am just trying to appreciate every second of my maternity leave and quality time with my adorable son.

In other posts I’ll share more about what I have been doing for workouts, but for now I will talk about one of the hardest parts of getting back into working out after you have a baby…actually doing it!

You will be busy taking care of your baby almost every hour of every day. You will be tired. You will probably be stressed and overwhelmed. Don’t worry you will also be excited and so very happy! Yes, it’s quite the emotional roller coaster.

I have always been a very routine person. I crave routine (and control) and always feel a bit out of sorts when I’m out of my normal routine. For the last several years I woke up and worked out most mornings before starting my day. Then I went to work or got ready for whatever I was doing. If I didn’t fit in a workout first thing, it was rare that I would workout at all that day. I always thought my body only wanted to workout in the mornings and I hated working out after eating.

Since having Connor, things are a bit different. He is actually a decent sleeper so I’m usually only up a few times at night, but we don’t have a morning routine yet and we get out of bed anywhere from 6:30am to 10:00am! The only thing that is routine…he’s a hungry beast when we wake up. First on my list is no longer working out, it’s feeding him. After that I’m usually starving so it’s time for me to have breakfast.

Once in awhile he will take a good nap in the morning and I can bring the monitor downstairs and workout while he sleeps. But again, it’s out of my control whether or not he is going to nap in the morning. I have been super lucky because my husband (who is an awesome dad) is home many days for bit during the afternoon and he takes CJ while I workout or get something done around the house.

The main thing that I’ve learned is that with a newborn you have to be flexible. I can workout at different times of the day…my body is capable of it, despite what I thought before and it’s not so bad. Sometimes I can tell there is not going to be time for a workout so I’ll get outside and take CJ for a walk. Something is better than nothing, right?

Baby walking with mom

All ready for the walk, mom!

Top tips for squeezing in workouts with a newborn:

  1. Be flexible. You probably won’t  be able to workout every day or at the same time every day, but  fit it in when you can. Take advantage of naptime, wake up early and workout before your husband leaves for work, or workout at night after he’s home! Set realistic goals for how many times a week you are going to workout and try to stick with it one way or another.
  2. Be efficient with your workouts. You’re not going to have an endless amount of time to workout. Work hard during the time that you do have. Think intervals, kettlebell training and heavy strength work instead of long runs or sessions on the elliptical machine. Find workouts that you can do at home.
  3. Ask for help. Whether it’s from your husband, your parents, a friend, a neighbor or a sibling, ask for a bit of help. Ask for someone to watch the baby for 30 minutes so you can squeeze in a workout. People want to help!
  4. Put on your workout clothes. Put on your workout clothes in the morning. I find that when I do this, I eventually find time to workout or at least take a walk because when the opportunity arises I’m already dressed and don’t have to waste any time getting changed. Plus workout clothes are comfortable. :)
  5. Something is better than nothing. If your baby isn’t sleeping much one day and you don’t think you will have a chance to workout, take him/her for a walk. It will at least get you off the couch for awhile!

Do you have a hard time fitting in workouts when life changes occur? Any tips to add?

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10 Responses

  • Sasha says:

    Wow – sounds like you’re doing great for just 2 1/2 weeks! Thanks for the tips, they’ll be just as handy with working around my toddler & 10 month old :)

  • Sounds like you are doing a great job and those are great tips to new moms. After M, things were a LOT harder to adjust to and get into a routine / keep up with workouts. Knowing what to expect helped me learn those tips you shared so I could apply them after B was born. Keep up the good work on caring for your cutie and yourself. :)

  • [...] I mentioned before in my post about fitting in workouts with a newborn I started working out pretty soon after having a baby, but took it very slow (for me). Being [...]

  • [...] shared some tips for fitting in workouts with a newborn a few weeks ago and I will be sharing more details about what exactly I have been doing to get back [...]

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  • Mommy C says:

    I just found your blog, so I don’t know your whole situation, but I hope that your doctor/midwife okayed you working out only 2.5 weeks postpartum. I have read that exercising too soon (and too strenuously) postpartum can lead to problems with your lower back, uterus, and bladder and can cause further problems down the line (like the prolapse of uterus or bladder). If they okay exercise, they might be able to suggest certain exercises that will help prevent this from happening.

    That being said, I think your suggestions are good ones. There are also fitness programs specifically designed for pregnancy and postpartum (and beyond) like Baby Boot Camp and Stroller Strides. You get to bring your baby and no one thinks twice if you have to stop and feed your little one. I did Baby Boot Camp from 6 weeks postpartum with my son to just a week ago (my son is almost 18 months old). I had to stop because I was 37 weeks pregnant at the time and the exercise was causing contractions (wanted this little one to stay put a little longer). I look forward to getting back to working out as soon as I can.

    I look forward to reading more from you.

  • nicole says:

    I totally agree with having to be flexible when you first have the baby. Don’t worry as your little one get bigger you can have a routine again. My kiddos have gotten used to mama’s workout time. I don’t have the luxury of having a hubby around or friends to watch them . A good tip for new moms is to create a safe space for baby/toddler to play by themselves as you workout. My kids love watching me and they have started to try to do the workouts too (in their play area). Thanks for having this blog, I have really enjoyed doing kettlebells while pregnant with my third. I was inspired to do it because of your posts. Thanks :)

  • Amanda Perry says:

    Another great tip!! I actually brought cj down with me this morning and he chilled on the blanket for a bit while I worked out:) I am hoping for the same thing as he gets older that he will get used to and enjoy “mommys workout time.” thanks for the comment and additional tip.

  • Amanda Perry says:

    Thanks for the comment and concern. I have been taking it very easy for me and I know my body really well. I’m not pushing it hard yet even though it’s tempting! Glad you found me and I look forward to hearing more from you! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy…you are almost there. Yay!

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