After weeks of festive frivolities, something’s gotta give.
No longer can we continue gorging ourselves on pigs in blankets, mince pies and mulled wine. Our waistlines simply can’t take the strain.
Nor can we justify spending half of our waking day in front of the tellie watching re-runs and dubious Christmas specials. Our bum-shaped dent in the sofa might never come out.
No, no. As much as it pains me to say it, the time has come to put down the TV remote and step away from the cheese board. It’s time, my friends, to get off our arses, get physical and get some exercise to fight off the festive flab.
But being ‘with child’, a four month old tiddler to be exact, turning over a new, more active leaf for the New Year is not as easy as it sounds (and I’m talking to both mums and dads here).
As anyone with a newborn will attest, finding the time (and energy) to go to the gym so soon after ‘having’ a baby can be a logistical nightmare. And that’s before you take into account the current arctic weather conditions, which make the idea of going for a run in my short shorts wholly unappealing.
What’s more, while we love our pram (the excellent Armadillo Flip from Mamas & Papas – a great value, good looking and seriously compact choice), it’s not exactly conducive to high-energy workouts, designed more for pavement bashing and light strolls in the park than the hardcore calorie burning sessions that our bodies really need.
So I’m pleased to report that we have recently found a solution to our ‘tired new parent’ exercising dilemma. A compromise that not only gets us out of the house and active over these cold winter months (while, crucially, remaining fully dressed), but one that allows us to bring the baby along for the ride.
That’s right, I’m talking about baby carriers. And oh boy, are they a game changer when it comes to reinvigorating your post-baby exercise regime, post-Christmas.
You see, for new parents like us, a baby carrier is the perfect exercising companion, offering a range of benefits that aren’t included in your average gym membership.
Because unlike regular gym equipment, a baby carrier can be used whenever, wherever and however you choose, giving you the freedom to get out and see the world (hands-free), with your baby in tow, while boosting your heart rate at the same time.
OK, OK. We’re not talking thousands of calories here. But it is well known that a brisk walk every day does wonders for your health and fitness, especially when you have an eight-kilogram baby strapped to your chest. Trust me, it can turn into a serious full body workout if you push yourself and throw in the odd flight of stairs, little hill climb or muddy bridleway from time to time.
So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a baby carrier, strap your little one to you and head out for an hour of fast walking today! There really is no better form of exercise that combines outdoor pursuits and baby-bonding with weight training, leg resistance and cardio, all rolled together into one baby-friendly package.
If you’re in the market for a new baby carrier, Rosie and I were recently sent a few to try out and review, so we’ve picked out two of our absolute favourites for you below!
My top baby carrier for dads
Of all the baby carriers I’ve used over the past year (and I’ve tried many!), you’ll be hard pressed to find one that is more tailored towards dads/men than the JACS Junior Adaptive Carrier System.
Manufactured to an extremely high standard using military grade materials, the JACS baby carrier not only looks cool (mine is in black and it also comes in a camouflage design) but it is also really comfortable to wear and extremely practical to use.
It has a choice of six different configuration options, which means you can quickly and easily tailor the JACS baby carrier to match your planned activities, from leisurely walk to full on mountain trek, with your baby either front or back loaded depending on its age.
What’s more, it includes a built in pocket on the front (a rare design feature on baby carriers), a standard size backpack (to avoid having to carry around a changing bag), as well as more pocket attachments that you can clip onto the carrier for extra storage.
Rosie’s top baby carrier for mums
In our experience, no other baby carrier on the market can compete with the Ergobaby in terms of comfort.
Our Ergobaby Four Position 360 is insanely comfortable and is easily their most versatile model yet, allowing you to carry your baby in four different positions (depending on which works best for you). It also comes with a supportive wide waistband and padded shoulder straps that evenly distribute your baby’s weight to provide maximum comfort for parents. A real godsend, let me tell you.
And babies seriously love it too! Literally the minute we put Teddy in our Ergo, he falls asleep, thanks to the carrier’s cushioned head and neck support and super soft cotton fabric.
What’s more, it comes with a tuck-away baby hood that provides both sun protection and support for your baby’s head while it’s sleeping…a great feature! Plus for tiny babies, like our Teddy, you can also buy a special infant insert, so that the baby carrier can be used from birth (highly recommended).
I’ve got to admit, we are both rather fond of our Ergo! But don’t just take our word for it…about ten of our new parent friends now all have one too!
So, which baby carrier do you have and is it any good? Would you recommend it for new parents? As always, we’d love to hear from you, so if you have any suggestions or recommendations, please do share them with the group via the comments section below!