Ways to Stay Active & Bond with Your Baby

Ways to Stay Active & Bond with Your Baby

April 26, 2023 Women

As a new mom you’re focused on two things: your baby’s needs and trying to catch up on your sleep.

Exercise may be the last thing on your mind! But, being active is one of the best things you can do to relieve stress, tone your belly and feel healthier. Exercise will not only improve your mood but also give you more energy to keep up with your little one. Research shows that exercise can even decrease the risk of postpartum depression. More reason to keep moving!

When can you start exercising?

If you were active during your pregnancy and had no issues during delivery, you might be able to exercise within a few weeks. If you had a C-section, this may take longer. It’s important to wait until your 6-week postpartum checkup to get the official okay. Below are some activities that help you bond with your baby and get in shape:

Power Stroller

Using your baby’s stroller can be a great way to get back in shape. Walking is the perfect exercise for new moms — you can do it anywhere and it’s free. Start with gentle 15-minute walks and build up to 30-60 minutes. Boost your workout by stopping every 10 minutes to do squats, push-ups and lunges with the stroller. This will strengthen your core, arms and legs. Too hot, cold or rainy to walk? Take your stroller workout to the mall or warehouse store.



Turn on the music and show your baby some dance moves! Dancing provides a fun workout and can even improve your mood. Studies show music can also help your baby’s brain development and motor skills. Try using musical toys or dancing to your favorite beat to stimulate your baby’s brain. Your baby will love watching you show off your Zumba moves as you squat, swing and break a sweat.

Baby Wearing

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, women need 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week. But don’t worry — there’s no need to “exercise” for an hour at a time! As a new mom, the key to being active is doing short bursts of activity throughout the day. Good news — safely “wearing” your baby burns calories: try using a front carrier or wrap. Try walking for 15 minutes, twice a day — you’ll burn about 100 calories — over a year this can add up to a 10 pound weight loss!


Get Fit Together

Look for a fitness class for new moms at your local rec center or YMCA. These classes offer a way to get out of the house, meet other moms and bond with your baby while getting fit. Or ask your WIC counselor if they know of other new moms who want a walking buddy. It’s always more fun — and motivating — to get in shape with a friend.


Yoga and Pilates-like moves are ideal for new moms because they can make you more flexible and decrease stress. Yoga can make back, pelvis and abdominal muscles stronger and improve posture. Try out a Yoga video or a Mommy and Me Yoga Class. Who says stretching is only for adults? As you do a sitting stretch, why don’t you give your baby a mini massage? Infant massage is a tender way to soothe your baby, reduce fussiness and help colic.


The ‘I’m a WIC Client’ button now directs to Nutrition and Breastfeeding, the content offered on the site has not changed.

Side Lying Hold

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross Cradle Hold

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Football Hold

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: