How to Exercise With a Newborn

Exercises for a Child, 1 to 6 Months

Although your newborn has little control of his muscles, he still enjoys the feeling of his limbs flexing, extending, twisting and moving through space. At the early age of one month, you can begin exercising with your newborn. Below, you'll find some exercises for your newborn and you to try together.

Suggested Exercises: 1 to 4 Months

  • Grip
Step 1 of the Grip.
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Step 1 of the Grip.
  1. Lay the baby on his back on the floor. Wrap your baby's hand around your forefinger; hold in place with your thumb and third finger.

  2. Stretch out baby's arm by gently drawing his hand toward you. Do not pull baby up off the floor. Return to the starting position.

Repeat 5 times with each arm.
  • Chest Cross
Step 2 of the Chest Cross.
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Step 2 of the Chest Cross.
  1. Hold both the baby's hands in the "Grip" position (see previous exercise).

  2. Spread baby's arms out to the sides, bring them in across his chest, and spread them out again.

  3. Do this exercise slowly and gently, repeating the movement 5 times.

As an alternate, you can raise baby's arms up above his head and down to his sides.

Suggested Exercises: 3 to 4 Months
  • Bicycle
Step 2 of the Bicycle.
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Step 2 of the Bicycle.
  1. With baby lying on his back, hold his feet or lower legs and gently push one leg up toward his chest while extending the other.

  2. Alternately push and extend each leg 3 times. Stop and then repeat the exercise.

After you finish, let baby kick freely.

Suggested Exercises: 5 to 6 Months
  • Pull-Up
  • Step 2 of the Pull-Up
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    Step 2 of the Pull-Up 
  1. Grasp your baby's forearms. Keeping his back straight, pull baby up slowly to a sitting position.

  2. Slowly and softly return baby to the floor.
Repeat 4 times.
  • Elbow Stand
  • Step 2 of the Elbow Stand.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Step 2 of the Elbow Stand. 
  1. Lay the child on his stomach, and place his elbows directly underneath his shoulders, his forearms on the floor.

  2. Grasp and lift baby's hips and trunk to form a 45-degree angle with the floor. Let the child rest on his forearms. Try to lift the legs up a little higher, but make sure the baby doesn't bang his nose.

Your newborn's exercise time is something he'll learn to look forward to as an opportunity to try out new moves and have mom's or dad's undivided attention. As he grows, you can continue the workout above while incorporating new activities. For exercises to do with your older baby, turn to the next page.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.