Working Out with Newborn and Toddler

Working out is a necessity for my mental health.  Since law school, I have overcome stress and anxiety by running and working out.  Having a newborn and a 2 year old makes working out even more important as it allows me to be a more patient parent.

Surprisingly, I was okay’ed to workout immediately following my hospital discharge.  With Reid I was instructed to wait until my 6 week appointment, but the physicians (and I got a second opinion) said that I could workout as soon as I felt up for it and just needed to listen to my body.

My first run was about 2 weeks postpartum (Easter in Chapin) and lets just say it was very slow but it felt incredible.  Being pregnant, I felt so sluggish as my lungs were pumping double-time, but postpartum I felt like a Kenyan even if I was doing a 12 minute mile!

As the doctor ordered, I am listening to my body.  I don’t beat myself up anymore about missing a day working out, but have still kept a fairly good schedule of running 4 or 5 times a week.  I did barre throughout pregnancy and I look forward to going back as soon as Walker is 3 months old.  My hope is to do barre 3 times a week and jog 3-4 times a week.

Since babies need to be 3 months (typically) before you can bring them to a gym’s childcare, I am doing a lot of walking and running.

Some tips for running with a toddler and newborn:

  1. Toys/books.  I am really trying to limit Reid’s screen time and find that when I rotate toys/books for him in the stroller it keeps him interested and distracted.IMG_6397
  2. Talk.  Reid and I do a lot of talking while I run.  We point out different things that we see on the run.  His current favorites are the geese and STOP signs.  It is fun to engage him while I get a workout.
  3. Snacks.  I cannot tell you how helpful and distracting food can be!  My favorite thing is to bring goldfish or pretzels in a cup so that he has to work for the food (which takes longer for him to eat).  And of course, I always bring a red pouch for him (he is obsessed!).
  4. Destination.  Having a destination allows Reid to get excited about where we are going.  We either run to our neighborhood park or on a trail that has a park at the end.  It is just as important (if not more) that Reid gets his time to play as I get my play time by running!IMG_9700IMG_9715
  5. Fans.  Keeping Walker comfortable and cool in the hot Atlanta sun is very important.  I love the Dreambaby fans from Amazon.  Reid has had the same fan since he was a baby and we still love them.  They are safe for little fingers so you don’t have to worry! The only negative about the fan is that they eat batteries, but they put out a great amount of wind so I’ll take it.IMG_9859
  6. Headphones/Podcast.  I have recently gotten into podcasts.  I love having adult listening time and its a chance for me to get some “substance” into my day.  I just started using headphones which allows me to feel more in the zone, but I can still hear my babies.
  7. Keeping them awake.  Keeping Reid awake during a run is key for the reminder of my day (sleeping in the stroller=no nap).  I make sure that I head out early in the morning before he has a chance to get tired and we always make playtime at the end of our run so he cannot get exhausted prior.IMG_3200
  8. iPad.  I know this may be a bad mom move, but when Reid starts drifting off or is having an off day–the iPad saves the day.  I connect it to my hotspot and he watches YouTube kids while I run.  It keeps both of us happy!
  9. Flexibility.  Running with a toddler and newborn can be unpredictable.  A few times I have run less than a quarter mile before having to turn around, I have been stuck in crazy rain (babies didn’t get wet, but I was drenched), and the baby has been known to have a blow out or two causing us to turn around or have a diaper change in the stroller.  I am just thankful that I can enjoy the outside with my boys 🙂IMG_9630
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