Fitting in a Workout with Infant+toddler

Updated on July 20, 2011
L.L. asks from Summerville, SC
8 answers

I am trying to find a way to fit in a work out with my 2 year old and 6 month old. Eventually I will get up before the kids to fit it in, but with the baby still up a couple of times per night, I also need to prioritize sleep.

The facts:
My infant takes 2 naps, and toddler takes one, so their naps frequently don't overlap. I have an elliptical trainer in my living room, and I am shooting for building up to a 30 minute run. I will run after bed time if that is the only way, but it takes me a long time to wind down, and that results in me not falling asleep until after midnight. I will eventually also do some runs outside with the double jogger, but my doctor wants me to wait a couple months for that due to some knee issues. Even then, he wants me to keep the majority of my runs on the elliptical for my long term knee health. Husband is deployed until next year. Just moved to the area so I have not community/friend support yet. This is not a military base area (I moved to my home town for the deployment, but have not lived here for a decade and all my old friends have relocated in that time). My parents both work and both have jobs that require frequent travel, so while they are technically around and they care alot, they are not a reliable source of support.

So as a single mom, how would you set yourself and your kids up for success with this? I am a much better mama when I get my run in!!!

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answers from Dallas on

I think you will have to get the 2 yr old in on the act and do it while infant sleeps. Put some music on and encourage some dancing while you excercise. They make mommy and me workout dvds you could try also. I remember my kids loved trying to do yoga with me and when I would lay on my back and put them on my knees to sdo leg lifts.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

you should try to just get it in when you can. For example-everytime I go up the stairs I try to do some stair pushups. When waiting at the mircrowave some lunges or squats. Make a goal of 50 squats, 50 pushups and 50 tricep dips a day. This combo will hit all the major muscles. Also-get a kettlebell and do the kettlebell squats where you bend, put it through your legs and then stand and swing it out. This gives a major cardiac workout as well as muscles and core. I have even read that this one exercise is all that you need!
If you have on demand they have a lot of 10 minute workouts you can try. Once you get the hang of the moves you can squeeze them in too-yoga and pilates are great for this.
For cardio-try jumping jacks and pretend jump rope.
One more thing-I highlly recommend the 30 day shred. It is a short workout but really gets the heart rate going and is built around the principle that the ultimate way to burn fat is interval training.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

This is how I do it during the day when my husband is at work..I have a treadmill in the basement, I put my 9 month old in a playpen down there and my 3 year old son plays with the toys that are down there and it's always fun for him because they are his old toys that he only plays with when he goes down there with me. So, if you have a playpen or exersauce to put the baby in and set the 2 year old up with some toys nearby or if you allow them to watch tv and have one in the room with you, you could put a show on for the older one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

i joined the ymca. BEST THING EVER!!! i get an hour to myself and the kids are well taken care of. look into it :)



answers from Wausau on

When my kids were that age, I used to do the elliptical (which at the time was also in my living room) first thing in the morning when the kids were in their high-chairs eating breakfast/playing with toys. I'd do the full 30 minutes, even if they got cranky/squirmy before I finished. I'd turn on some children's music or something for them and/or talk to them until I finished my work-out. It was chaotic at times but like you, I'm a better mama when I get my work-out in! :-)
If your knee isn't up for running with the double jogger yet, perhaps you could walk or speed-walk instead! Your infant can take his morning nap in the stroller. :-)
Good luck to you!!! :-)



answers from Greensboro on

i had the same issue... i knew i needed to drop this baby weight asap, and by any means necessary... i have a 3 year old and 1 year old... both boys... these options work for me (and I've lost 40 lbs. so far):
A. Have the older child wait for the younger child's naptime, and put them down together.
B. While the little one is napping; give the older child a snack then a toy you know they will spend atleast another 15 minutes with.
C. workout when they go to bed.
It's hard, but if your schedule is anything like mine... waking up any earlier is not an option. =D
p.s. exercise tv has a lot of workouts that are 10-15 mins. you can squeeze in. ~Happy Exercising and Good Luck! =D



answers from Lexington on

I only way I could ever reliably work out was to join a gym with childcare. I made friends there and it was good encouragement to go regularly. I would go after we all finished breakfast, workout, shower, and come home ready for naptime and the rest of the day. If we got a later start, we'd take lunch so that we could eat there and come home without everybody starving! making this a proirity helped me tremendously. If I said I'd do it before they got up or after they went to bed, it never happened!



answers from Wilmington on

I ordered an XL baby play yard from and set it up in the room with my treadmill and put my son and a bunch of his favorite toys in it. It's basically a big plastic fence that you snap together. That way, I could keep an eye on him and there wasn't any danger of him crawling over and trying to touch the treadmill while I was on it. This was when he was not walking yet and couldn't find ways to escape the play yard, so I would probably do this with your 6 month old while the toddler is napping. I am so glad you trying to find a way to keep up your does make for a happier, better mama. You are also teaching your kids the importance of staying fit and healthy My son is now 4 and he likes to "run" with me. On the way back home on a run, I will let him out of the jogger at the end of our street and he "races" me back to our house. On a side note, I have recently started doing the Turbofire DVDs at home as well and love them!! I love running, but the Turbofire workouts mix it up and burn a TON of calories!!

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