Baby Yoga: Poses To Try at Home
A trend that became increasingly popular during lockdown, baby yoga is a fun and engaging activity for parents to try with their baby at home. Helping to enhance key developmental areas, such as coordination and balance, it holds a number of great benefits for both parent and baby. Allowing you to build a strong relationship with your child from a young age, baby yoga will establish a strong connection between the both of you, all while improving your babies flexibility and maneuverability.
Easy to follow, the baby yoga poses in this blog are designed to allow your baby to experience a number of different movements that work to increase body awareness and stretch out their body, leaving them feeling relaxed and content. Before we dive into the benefits of baby yoga, we shine light on some of our frequently asked questions regarding baby yoga and how best to create a routine for parent and baby.
What is baby yoga?
Baby yoga is a gentle form of exercise that will enable your child to experience stretching and moving their arms and legs in a number of different ways, helping to aid development and heighten their mood, increasing wellbeing and preparing them for a happy and healthy life.
What age can you start baby yoga?
It is advised to not start practicing baby yoga with your little one until they are at least six to eight weeks old, as this is when they first begin to gain control over their head and are prepared for activities that require movement, according to a baby yoga instructor quoted on an article. However, you should not start baby yoga until they are eight to ten weeks if they arrived through a c-section, advises a baby yoga class website. The experts at OriGym, a fitness organisation, also say that before starting baby yoga, the baby should have had their six week check, ensuring they are fit and healthy and that there are no mobility issues that could be worsened with a yoga routine.
Is baby yoga safe?
Although babies start to gain control of their head when they are around six weeks of age, experts say that it will take at least six months for the baby to gain sufficient control over their heads and ‘soft spots’ will still be present on the skull, according to an article quoting a sports medicine expert. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your little one’s head is properly supported during your yoga routine. The article further states that movements should be done extremely slowly and gently to avoid injury, with an assistant professor of pediatrics advising that you should only partake in these activities with a young baby for 15-20 minutes at a time.
If you’re still feeling unsure about baby yoga, it might be advisable to check if there is a baby yoga class in your area, as these are led by qualified instructors who will be able to carefully guide you and answer questions you may have.
When starting baby yoga, it’s important to ease your baby into a routine. Parents should pay close attention to their mood, ensuring they are content with each movement. Maintaining eye contact with your baby through each pose will allow you to make sure your child is comfortable and happy, and you should stop immediately if they show any signs of discomfort or distress. It’s also important not to force any movements on your child and to keep a positive facial expression during each of the yoga poses you incorporate, as this will help to provide reassurance.
Baby yoga poses
If you’re looking to build up a yoga practice with your child, here are five of Direct4Baby’s favourite, hand-picked baby yoga poses that act as a great place to start.
Cycling yoga pose
This baby yoga pose will allow your baby to become aware of the movements their body can make. This position can be done either by sitting or lying down, and you should ensure your baby is sufficiently supported as they do so. Once they are completely comfortable and fully supported, gently hold the lower part of their legs and carefully move them up and down in a cycle motion. This pose allows you to bring your child’s legs up to their abdomen and back down in opposite, cycling movements. While this yoga pose is as straightforward as it sounds, it’s important not to move your little one’s legs too fast and to ensure your baby is comfortable with the speed you’re moving their legs at.
Cat and Dog yoga pose
Designed to instill confidence in your baby, this pose will enable them to become comfortable exploring more adventurous movements. Start by laying your baby over your legs, facing away from you. Since this pose involves tummy time, they might be unsure about it at first, but placing a toy from our exciting soft toy range close to them will help to act as a welcomed distraction.
There is a slight difference between the cat and dog movements. The former involves carefully raising the thigh closest to your baby’s head off the floor, before moving it down again. For the latter, raise your other thigh off the mat, which will put your baby into a downward-facing pose.
Tree yoga pose
A more interactive, standing pose, to practice the tree position with your child, simply hold your baby while you’re standing up, placing all your weight onto your left foot so you’re standing on one leg. Then, bend your right knee, placing your right foot on the inner part of your left thigh or calf. This pose is particularly beneficial for the parent, as well as the baby, as it helps with balance, posture, and, most importantly, focusing the mind. Direct4Baby would advise practicing the tree pose against a wall a few times if you don’t feel confident with the pose straight away, and be sure to keep switching sides to avoid using one leg more than the other.
Bridge yoga pose
For older babies that are at least 5 months old, the bridge requires babies to have more control over their bodies. The pose starts by gently encouraging your child to lay on their back, bend their knees and place their feet on the ground. Then, carefully help your baby lift up their hips, which will create a ramp-like position, extending from their knees to their shoulders. Packed with benefits, the bridge yoga position will help to strengthen the baby’s muscles and increase focus. Best of all, the freedom and support you’re giving your child to figure out this pose will help to strengthen their bond and trust in you.
Butterfly Twist yoga pose
This final yoga pose for babies enables the baby to stretch out and relax. Starting by placing your child on their back, supporting their head and carefully moving the position of the soles of their feet so that they touch the air, whilst you hold them, which will create a butterfly-like shape. Then, carefully push the baby’s feet towards their tummy and encourage them to stretch their arms out to the side. Finally, while still holding their feet in shape, move their legs from one side to another. Ensure the baby is calm throughout the pose, and if their arms are still moving, speak to them in a calming voice while your other hand is placed on their chest, helping them relax.
From the stimulating cycle pose helping to encourage motion to the exciting, interactive tree pose, there are many engaging baby yoga poses to try with your little one. If you’re looking for products to help your baby feel comfortable and stay focussed during the routines, browse our soft toys collection and muslin comforters in our comfort blankets range online at Direct4Baby.