As instructors, one of the biggest concerns we hear from our new members is that they're not sure if their little one will sit in the stroller for a whole hour. Believe me, we've been there! We all have good days and bad days with our kids during class. We have a few tricks up our sleeves to keep those kiddos happy, so we thought we would share our ideas to help keep your kiddos happy in the stroller- and they are all non-digitial and non-snack ideas! Now don’t go using ALL of these ideas tomorrow, pick your favorite, start there and keep the other ones as backup for when you need it.
1. Loot Bag- Have a bag of "special toys" that only make appearances during class. My favorite to use for this is the drawstring Member Bag that you get when you sign up! Keep that filled with toys that you can ONLY play with at class. I love putting board books in there to look at as well as toys. Keep the bag fresh with occasional stops at the dollar store.
2. Stroller Snapshots- Ok, so technically it’s a technology idea, but it’s interactive for sure- Do you have an old digital camera, or a kid camera? Your kiddo will love taking pics of class sweating it out paparazzi style! Post the pics to Instagram or Facebook afterwards and use hashtag #FIT4MOMCHICAGO
3. The Buddy System- Not only do moms make friends at Fit4Mom- so do the kiddos! You can swap kids with a friend in class- you push her kid, and she pushes yours. Park your kiddos next to their buddy when we stop at a station. Or swap toys with a friend in class- the toy someone else has is ALWAYS more interesting than what you have.
4. Be An Early Bird- Get to class 10 or 15 minutes early to let your tot run around and blow off some steam before being strapped in. Particularly if you've already been in the car for a while just getting there.
5. White Noise- Sometimes class can border on a nap time, particularly for the little babies. Try attaching a portable white noise machine to the infant seat to help them doze off. (It works wonders for my 5 month old. We have this one: http://www.amazon.com/myBaby-MYB-S100-9CTM-HoMedics-SoundSpa-On-The-Go/dp/B0097D4ZMU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396383095&sr=8-1&keywords=portable+white+noise )
6. Reward System- Entice your child with a special reward after class. Have you seen what your kids will do for a sticker or a stamp?
7. Keep it Cool- Once we head outdoors for the summer, it can get pretty warm. Give your kiddo a water bottle to spray you (and others!) while you work out. How fun is that? They'll get a huge kick out of it! Warning, you may need to bring a change of clothes for them after class.
8. Fitness for mom, fun for baby! We don’t just sing for the added cardiovascular benefit. Interact with your child during your workout. YOUR singing voice, and YOU tickling them and jumping around is what they love. And guess what? It helps them produce oxytocin - the "happy hormone". You can't argue with science.
Our classes are designed with the happiness of your kiddo in mind, while still giving you Strength for Motherhood. It's okay if your kid cries, or poops, or spits up everywhere. No one thinks you're a bad mom. We're PROUD of you for joining our sisterhood and for showing your child a great example of being healthy.
So, what keeps your child happy in the stroller? Share with us!