The Right Tools
Achieving our goals means choosing the right tools. When it comes to exercising and babycarrying we need to use the right carrier.
We have been passionate about carrying/babywearing since starting our family in 2008, all 3 of our children have been carried in a variety of carriers over the years, from wraps to buckles and ringslings to mei-tais. As we started to research and develop FitTogether in 2008 one thing became clear, before we could fully design and deliver this programme we had to train as babywearing/carrying consultants and so we did.
The FitTogether Principle
As we are scientists by background and at our heart we take an analytical approach to what we do. We research, study and test the best tools and techniques so you achieve your goals.
From our viewpoint as physiologists, clinical exercise specialists and babywearing consultants, we see our key job as doing all the behind-the-scenes work of how to exercise with your baby. 7 years of research and development have gone into the FitTogether exercise programmes. We have analysed every aspect of the class – the anatomy, physiology and neurology of both your postnatal body and your baby’s.
The results are a programme that give you the very best return for your investment AND, most importantly, give you the opportunity to enjoy time with your little one.
Abundant Choice of Carriers for Different Requirements
The great variety of designs and materials on the market are a great benefit to us all, being able to meet our unique and varying requirements, situations and preferences.
This variety allows each of us to choose the right tool for any given circumstance – which is great. However it doesn’t mean that all carriers are appropriate for all situations. Just as you wouldn’t go running in high heels, do a HIIT session at your local gym in full arctic exploration attire – so too would some carriers be inappropriate for you and your baby for exercise.
The Issues – Carrier Selection
- for you
- shoulder straps
- design and placement
- this has significant impact on the weight distribution and can effect posture and movement quality
- moment forces – excessive moment forces (created by the position of the baby in relation to the bearing of weight across the shoulders) will generate excessive stresses on the passive tissues of your lower back
- shoulder straps
- for your baby
- hip position
- spine position
- head support
- safety issues
- baby’s head/chin position and support throughout movements
- thermoregulation (temperature control) for you both
- management of baby’s sensory stimulation
- stabilization of baby’s position in relation to the person carrying them
- keeping baby close and stable is essential so that movements in multiple planes can be performed safely
- a carrier and/or technique that stays securely fitted; allowing exercise to be done without the carrier losing fit (the need for corrections to the fitting during exercise leaves baby and person carrying them at risk)
- the mechanics of the materials of manufacture and their response to dynamic movements
- as coaches who run the class, it is really important to be able to quickly detect any changes for mum/dad and baby – having the same carrier facilitates ongoing visual checks
This last one is really important, I’ve been coaching exercise classes for 15 years – from spinning to circuits, core conditioning to back pain rehab, falls management for people living with Parkinson’s disease and clinical exercise therapy – but nothing, no class has ever been as challenging to deliver as a sling exercise class for mums and dads with their babies. The diversity of skills and the diligence of focus is of the highest level. Homogeneity of carrier is a great tool in delivering a fun and effective class where parents and carers can feel secure, feel great and enjoy their time with their baby.
Finally, everyone using the same carrier creates equity. Exercise classes can feel intimidating, a uniformity of carrier provides a sense of all being in this together, with everyone in the room in the same boat!
And it is for these reasons we choose the Solar Connecta Baby Carrier for use in our class!
Enjoy your exercise while carrying your baby – be safe, be energetic and feel great!
Alison & Andy xxx