For the same post in Indonesian, please click here.
Since there have been some friends asking me about my daily activities with baby, this time I want to tell you about some courses with baby that I have been doing.
It’s safe to say that I’m a rather active person. I don’t like to stay at home over a longer period and getting lonely. I don’t really like the house-cleaning program or cooking (I still do the chores of course, but not with passion). On the other side I am also lazy. If I don’t get myself a structured daily program, the chance is pretty high that I will just chill on the couch while reading books or browsing the internet. Therefore I immediately searched for some courses with the baby as the puerperium period ended (around 6 weeks after giving birth). Since then we kind of have mandatory activities for three days of the week.
All the courses we attended were wonderful (for mom and baby!). Especially for young mamas, who do not have many acquaintances or friends in the city. I can say through my personal experience, that I have been benefitting a lot by taking these courses. One to mention is that I no longer feel so „isolated“ just for being with a baby 24 hours a day. Especially in the early times when Aurélie was fussy or having the infamous sleeping difficulties. Exchanging experiences with other mommies who go through the same thing is extremely relieving and it serves as a source of recharging. Furthermore, while having no family close by , having new mommy fellows is very useful, as we can help each other ( e.g. babysitting the children).
Soo .. back to track. Here are the courses we have been doing!
1. Baby massage
This course is recommended for babies under 6 months, before they are getting too active. Most babies like to be massaged. Baby massage can make them relax, relieve stomach discomfort / bloating, and also help strengthen the relationship between parents and baby. Not all babies like to be massaged, but the more you massage them, the more likely they will love your massage. Back and foot massage is usually highly favored by infants. Aurélie usually lies on her back very relaxed while enjoying my massaging her feet and legs 😉 And the massage ritual is usually very effective for introducing night sleep rituals, as the baby will feel more comfortable knowing that the bed time is approaching.
2. PeKIP Course (Prager Eltern Kind Programm – Prague Program of Parents & Children)
This course is usually done by parents and infants aged 6 weeks – 1 year. The PeKIP course was developed by a psychologist from Prague and has the goal of supporting the child’s age-appropriate motor development and sensory, providing space for enhancing parent-child relationships, as well as giving parents the opportunity to exchange ideas and daily experiences. Usually this course is done in small groups (maximum of 8 babies & parents). To give more movement flexibility for babies, babies are usually let play / move naked in a warm room (about 26-27 degrees Celsius). We had a great time taking this course! We took our first PeKIP course when Aurélie was 4 months old. From day 0 Aurélie was mesmerized by other babies and for the first time she could actually lay down on her belly for over 30 minutes. I could actually observe, that not only her motor development improved significantly, Aurélie was becoming much „friendlier“ and open in her interaction with other babies / parents.
3. Rückbildungskurs (post-natal gymnastics)
In Germany, this course is usually held at midwife practices or sport studios that have special programs for post-partal women. It is important, that post-partal mommies get their examination from an obstetrician or a midwife. This particular sport is allowed only when the examination result turns out alright. Usually this examination is performed around 6 weeks after giving birth. Some special conditions (caesarean birth or other birth complications) require longer rest periods.
I started this course 7 weeks after giving birth.. It was a good excuse to start going out of house and getting a light exercise. Usually there are two courses to choose, one with baby and one without. I couldn’t really do any exercise in the first two sessions, because Aurélie cried constantly as she didn’t feel comfortable enough in the new environment. Usually the babies would lie down on a yoga mat just in front of the mommies, so that they can watch their mommies doing sport. A lot of babies would cry in the beginning and so did Aurélie. She was always the loudest 😉 In the first two sessions, I was more breast-feeding than doing sports. I had almost given up the 3rd session, as Aurélie started to like the sport session! Upon arrival I would breastfeed her, so that she would feel comfortable. And just by miracle, she would really enjoy the sport sessions to the end (usually about one hour). Until the last course (in Germany post-partal mommies can take this course 10 times for free – paid by insurance), Aurélie actually became the most active and cheerful baby 🙂
4. Kanga Training
Basically I love doing sports, so I started to search for another sport activity, ones which I can do with my baby. I stumbled upon kanga training in Facebook and tried to look for a kanga group in Nuremberg. It turned out, that there were some kanga groups in the town. I picked one which attracted me the most. And it was the right decision! For some more information about kanga training with Angelika in Nürnberg, you can click here.
Kanga training is a new kind of sport, which allows parents do sports together with their babies. Kanga is a combination of aerobic or light zumba while carrying your babies in baby carrier, accompanied by a nice music compilation. This sport will definitely push you to sweat!
Just as post-natal gymnastics, kanga training is also only allowed once the post-partal mommies get their examinations from the obstetricians or their midwives. The kanga trainers will also check your abdominal status before you begin with your training. It is very important to carry your baby with an appropriate baby carrier (I use Manduca and Ergobaby 360), as not all carriers are suitable for doing sports. The kanga trainers will consult you on that topic as well.
In the beginning, Aurélie didn’t feel directly comfortable. I got very sweaty and so did she and that didn’t amuse her at all. Usually babies like to be carried around and they will likely fall asleep, but not when they get too hot. So it is indeed trials and errors, finding out the appropriate clothing for the little one. Eventually I would only put a onesie on so that she had the right temperature to fall asleep while I hopped and danced around.
5. Buggy sport
It turned out that Angelika didn’t only offer kanga training. While the weather (finally) got warmer, I decided to join buggy sport led also by Angelika. For more information, you can click here.
Buggy sport is basically a combination of various sports (light jogging, aerobic, circuit training, stretching, power training) while bringing the babies in their strollers or prams. Since the weather got friendly, our team met up by the river Pegnitz to do some training. The program changes every time, but it is always very fun! The babies would chill on their strollers or on the picnic mats, while their mommies do some stretching and sweat out.
Allright.. finally I’ve come to the end of my post. It’s been a long story, so thank you for bearing with me. I hope that you find some inspirations and have fun with your babies!
See you on the next post!