To get straight to the point: there are a lot of things you can do with your baby in the manduca. Sometimes even we are surprised by the variety of exercise possible with the manduca. However, some of you may be wondering what kind of sport with baby you can carry out and which activities are better avoided.
As a rule of thumb, you should always remember to keep one foot on the floor. When doing exercise with the baby, it is crucial not to make any sudden, jerky movements and NOT to jump. Another important issue is the age of your child, because the smaller a baby is, and the less head control she/he has, the gentler and smoother the movements should be.
Workout with baby: exercises you can perform
With the following physical activities, you are on the safe side, as long as one foot is always in contact with the ground:
- • hiking
- • Nordic Walking
- • Kangatraining
- • dancing (any type of dancing without jumps or sudden movements – that means: no Zumba or Rock ’n’ Roll! Recommended is e.g. “Burzzi Dance”)
Hiking and walking are typical manduca activities. The sportier ones amongst you could try Kangatraining. Kangatraining is healthy, safe and good for you and your child. Kangatraining was invented by Nicole Pascher and is a special workout specifically designed for the needs of mother and child. Here you can be sure that the trained coaches have made sure that all movements are safe and comfortable for the baby. And you get into a real sweat as Kangatraining is pretty intense! Why not try it out for yourself? Perhaps there is a kanga coach in your area, or just watch the Kanga DVD (in 4 languages German, English, Spanish and French).
More dancing is offered in special baby dancing courses, such as the Burzzi-Dance in Austria by Daniela Gebelhaider (carrying consultant and founder of Burzzi Dance). The Motto of Burzzi Dance is “We want to see you dance!”
Whatever you are planning to do sports-wise, make sure that you as parents can take the responsibility for it, especially when you are working out on your own and don’t want to join a supervised fitness course. Because in Kangatraining and Burzzi Dance courses, babywearing advice is offered in addition to the exercise program – it takes place before the course starts! We think this kind of luxury is absolutely worth it – and we highly recommend it.
… but in the instruction it says: ” … not suitable for use during sporting activities”?
In the manduca instructions you will find this:
WARNING: This carrier is not suitable for use during sporting activities.
The reason for this is quite simple: In Europe, the product safety of baby carriers is tested in accordance with the European standard (EN12309). According to this standard, instructions for baby carriers have to include specific warnings. And as these have to be as short, as general and as precise as possible, we don’t find a detailed list of sporting activities. At first glance, this warning seems to exclude all kinds of sport – that literally means even chess. This calls for subtle thinking because not all sports are alike.
Riding and riding a bike
Quite often, we are asked if it is possible to get on a bike with the manduca. The answer is no!
In Germany, this is not only our recommendation, it is simply not allowed due to the German road traffic regulations which stipulate that a special seat is required for the transport of children on a bike. And as the manduca is clearly not a special bicycle seat, the rule is that children in the manduca are not to be transported on a bike.
Another question we have heard concerns horse riding with children in baby carriers. We would strongly advise against this! It is simply too dangerous for the small child’s body because horse riding is a jerky, bouncing activity that involves the risk of falling and other accidents. Please find someone to take good care of your baby before you take to the saddle!
No sports – these are absolute no-nos in the manduca
To summarize: with your child in the manduca you should
- • not ride a bike
- • not drive a car
- • not climb or hike on Alpine trails
- • not ski
- • not dance Rock’nRoll or Zumba
- • avoid high-impact exercises, that involve jerky, bouncing movements and jumps (rope skipping, trampoline, ball sports, jogging, zumba, and so on.)
Be active – while safely babywearing
So please leave your (motor) bikes and horses in the stable when you carry your baby in the manduca, and instead go for gentle walks. The majority of low impact activities are okay. Here, nothing can happen to your child because low impact means you keep one foot on the ground and no heavy jumps with both legs are involved.
If you are unsure, you are welcome to contact us with your question! And before you begin exercising right after giving birth, please ask your midwife about when to start an exercise program. She will know when you are ready to start fitness training again.