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How to Exercise With a Newborn

Lower Body Exercises for a Child, the Second Year

Your baby's exercise program will help her learn to coordinate her muscles more quickly. On this page, there are additional fun exercises for your baby's second year that you can add to your fitness regimen.

Suggested Exercises: 12 to 22 Months
  • Curl-Down
    • Benefit: Strengthens abdominal muscles
  1. Sit facing your toddler, with your legs crossed (or with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor). Have your toddler sit with her knees bent and feet flat. She can cross her arms (as shown above) or hold them out straight toward you. Hold your toddler's ankles (not her feet) so her knees remain bent and her feet flat.

  2. Have her tuck her chin to her chest, as she rounds her back and slowly curls down to the floor to a count of 4.

  3. Return to the starting position by pulling your toddler up or having her push herself up. Repeat the sequence 5 to 8 times.

Caution: Never let your child perform this exercise with a straight back; it could strain the lower back, causing pain or injury. Be sure your toddler breathes normally during the downward move. If you find she is holding her breath, remind her to breathe-she should count, sing, or talk. Also, she should try to curl back without leaning to one side or the other.

  • Head-to-Toes
    • Benefits:
      • Increases lower back flexibility
      • Strengthens abdominal muscles

        Exercises for your baby's second year include Head-to-toes.
        ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

  1. Sit side by side or facing each other. Each of you place the soles of your feet together, well away from your body, and relax your legs.

  2. Round your back and slowly curl your body toward your feet.
  3. Curl back up (your head should come up last) to the starting position.

Repeat 10 times (or more, if your toddler is agreeable).
  • Train Tracks
    • Benefits:
      • Greatly improves overall coordination
      • Strengthens the leg, abdominal, and lower back muscles
      • Improves eye-foot/leg coordination

        Exercises for your baby's second year include Train Tracks.
        ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

  1. Place two 2 x 4s on the floor, about 1 foot apart and parallel to each other. Have your toddler stand at one end, with one foot on each board.

  2. Hold your toddler's hand as she walks the length of the boards.
Repeat 4 times
  • Board Walk
    • Benefits:
      • Improves balance
      • Increases eye-foot coordination
        exercise with newborn
        ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.


  1. Use a 2 x 4, slightly raised from or flat on the floor. Place your child at one end with both feet on the board, one in front of the other.

  2. Stand beside your child. Hold one hand and place your other hand under her other arm.

  3. Encourage your child to walk from one end of the board to the other.
Repeat the sequence 4 times, twice in each direction.

  • Ball Toss
    • Benefits:

      • Improves concentration
      • Increases eye-hand coordination

        exercise with newoborn
        ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.


        exercise with newborn
        ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
  1. Sit close to your toddler, facing each other. Hold a large, bright, lightweight beach ball in front of you. Roll the ball to your child. Have your toddler roll or throw the ball back to you. Repeat 8 to 10 times, or as long as her interest lasts.

  2. This time stand while your toddler sits. Throw the ball to your child. Have her return it to you any way she can.

    Repeat 8 to 10 times.

You should continue to exercise with your toddler to promote his developing physical prowess. On the following page, you will find suggested exercises for 23 to 36 months.

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.