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a baby-wearing workout!

A Baby-Wearing Workout

A Baby-Wearing Workout

In my former pre-mom life, I worked out 4-6 times a week. It was what I did in my spare time, and I loved every minute (well, most minutes) of it. These days though, I can barely get in a workout. I'd rather spend my free time with my kids than be at the gym every day. I'd love to say that I wake up at 5am and go for a 5 mile run before my kids wake up, but I need every hour of sleep I can get. And by the time the kids are in bed, I either have work to finish up or I just want to watch some mindless TV and relax.

So, one of the ways I try to get in a workout these days is by wearing Coco during one of her naps. She's on a pretty set nap schedule and takes four naps a day mostly in her crib. But for one or two naps per day, she can nap in a baby wrap or carrier which makes it a perfect time for me to get in a workout while keeping her close to me. 

I asked my friend Lauren, founder of Lithe Method, to show me a few moves that I could share with you for a Baby-Wearing Workout while wearing my Ergo Baby wrap. You can do these exercises as their very own workout or as an add-on to a brisk walk with baby. The wrap I am using here is a hybrid wrap, which means it's strong like a woven wrap, but stretches to provide great fit and moves in every direction with your baby.

These exercises look easy but carrying the weight of your baby is really challenging. It requires strength and balance! You'll want to try and work up to 3 sets of 10 (30 reps), working one side of the body and then repeating on the other side. And, don't forget to breathe!

Are you ready?!?


1. Superwoman / Standing with feet together and arms long by your sides, keep your chest lifted, shoulders down and body aligned.

Try it:
(a) Keeping your right foot flat, breathe in, bend your left knee and then step back lowering your foot and body to the ground simultaneously while extending arms up to a high V. You'll want to keep arms within your periphery and your left knee underneath left hip.

(b) Exhale to engage your left quad, and squeeze your glutes as you stand up and lift your left leg to a liberty position while simultaneously lowering arms into a low V.


2. Airplane / Take a wide stance and laterally rotate the legs from the hips and bend the knees deeply so that your glutes are almost on the same plane as your knees. Squeeze your glutes and keep abs engaged in a tuck, arms extended in “T”, and shoulders sliding down and chest lifted.

Try it:
(a) Breathe in and rotate from the waist to the right (about 2 o' clock). Ribs will open.
(b) Exhale and rotate left, knitting your ribs back together (about 10 o' clock).


3. Around the World / Standing with legs parallel and hip width apart, soften your knees and hug your baby.

Try it:
(a) Inhale to stay, engage your abs, tilt the chin to align the neck, and slide the shoulders down.
(b) Exhale to flex the body forward to 12 o'clock, 3 o' clock, extend back to 6 o'clock, then 9 o' clock and back to 12 in a circular motion.


4. Side Bends / Stand with legs parallel and hip width apart and your arms framing your ears.

Try it:
(a) Inhale to stay, engage your abs and slide the shoulders down.
(b) Exhale to flex at the waist to one side and then inhale to lengthen the torso back to center. Repeat on the other side.


5. Rise & Ride / You'll want to be seated with legs hip-width apart, knees bent, and feet on the ground. Align your wrists under shoulders with fingers facing your feet. Engage your abs, soften your elbows and then straighten your arms so that your body is at a hover above the ground. Try to keep your feet heavy and flat to the floor for extra hamstring and glute work!

Try it:
(a) Inhale to flex your elbows. 
(b) Exhale to extend the arms and really lift up out of your shoulders.

While some of these motions may look small or simple, these functional and fat-blasting exercises work to balance the body muscularly while targeting the core. We're flexing, extending, and rotating, and no muscle will be left un-worked. It's really important (and feels good) to extend the spine during this time because new mamas are always hunched due to nursing and tending to your babe. These particular moves were designed for wearing a smaller baby (less than six months) facing inwards. Coco was so cozy and in a sleepy bliss the entire time!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Ergo—a brand I've been using and loving for years. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and original content like this for Oh Joy.

{Photos by Casey Brodley. Fitness consulting by Lauren of Lithe Method.}


  1. This is so amazing! Thanks for sharing- it’s good to have a reminder that I can still squeeze in workouts with the little one.

  2. You’re so cute! I’m 30wks pregnant now and just had to stop one of my favorite workouts outdoors at a beautiful park with a group of ladies (I just can’t keep up anymore) but am hoping I can rejoin this summer WITH baby! I’ve been looking up baby wearing exercises and these look great, can’t wait to try! And it’s natural weight progression as they get bigger!

  3. Excited to try this with my 6 week baby boy! I love walking in my ergo and just got the solly wrap. Baby wearing is the best…and one of the only ways to soothe my little guy. Appreciate your baby posts!

  4. Working out with baby is really fun. Good job promoting fitness and babywearing. You might find that you get even more support while wearing Coco in this wrap if you try the Front Wrap Cross Carry. She’ll still be able to get snug and will have the same head support during her nap, but you will be able to get a better pocket for a deeper seat. Wrapping Rachel on YouTube has great tutorials. I love to see you wearing on your blog. It’s awesome.

  5. I alos have two babies and I used to do workouts with my babies. I have tried few baby carriers, but Tula carriers
    is one of the perfect baby carrier I ever used. Thanks for sharing Joy!

  6. I like your article very much. This is information very good.i will forward it . thanks
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