Mother and baby exercise classes are a great way of getting active and spending time with your newborn, but you’ll need to know what clothing they should be wearing to be safe and comfortable during these. Here, Steve Cochrane MBE, Managing Director at Childrenswardrobe shares his tips for dressing your little one for your mother and baby exercise classes.

The time has come for you to attend your first mother and baby exercise class, and while you’ll be looking forward to building up your fitness and meeting other parents, it’s important to know what your child should be wearing to these workouts.

If your exercise classes are indoors, your child could get too warm, while they may need to wear some extra layers if you’ll be outdoors. Here, I will be sharing my top four tips for dressing your baby for your mother and baby exercise classes.

Monitor your baby’s temperature

Even though your baby won’t be doing too much during these exercise classes, your body heat and those of surrounding people can quickly warm up the room you’re working out in. This can mean that your baby will quickly feel hot and is at risk of overheating if they’re wearing too many layers.

Ideally, your little one’s body temperature should be around 36.4°C, with a fever considered to be 38°C (NHS). And, while you might not be able to take their temperature with a thermometer during the class, feeling whether their tummy feels hot (rather than warm) can indicate whether your child is overheating during the class, and if layers need to be removed.

Alternatively, if you’ll be exercising outside, checking whether your baby’s feet and tummy feel cold (rather than cool) will signify whether they are feeling chilly, so you can add extra layers of clothing.

Keep them comfortable

Your baby will have already started experimenting with the way their body moves, which means you can expect they’ll be wriggling around during your exercise class. For this reason, it’s important that you pick out comfortable clothing and pieces that they can easily move around in.

I’d recommend avoiding anything too fitted, and instead choosing things like leggings or jogging bottoms which won’t restrict their leg or feet movements like an all-in-one might. When selecting clothing for their top half, resist the temptation to pile on too many layers as these can feel tight against their arms and upper body when they’re trying to move, making them uncomfortable. Instead, go with a thermal vest and a long-sleeved top or jumper.

Choose breathable and flexible fabrics

As well as ensuring the clothing you dress your baby in are unrestrictive, you’ll also need to make sure you’re choosing breathable fabrics. Cotton is often the most popular choice for baby clothes as it’ll feel soft and comfortable on the skin and also has moisture-wicking properties which means if you baby does start to sweat a bit, they don’t stay damp throughout your whole workout, which could give them a chill.

If you’re headed outside for a buggy class, choosing cosy polyester fleece layers for their outerwear and soft accessories will ensure your little one is warm and wrapped up in colder temperatures. However, you’ll also need to equip them with some thermal layers underneath their other clothing, as these will help with heat retention.

If your mother and baby class allows for more free movement, for example in a baby yoga class, you will want to choose stretch fabrics that will expand out when your little one moves and then bounce back to their original form when your baby is in a relaxed position. Soft jersey is great for this as the composition acts almost like a second skin, ensuring your baby is able to move their body freely with no restrictions.

Layer your baby’s clothing

The most effective way of keeping your baby comfortable and at a healthy temperature is to layer their clothing for your joint exercise classes. Doing this can mean you can easily adapt their outfit to the temperature they are feeling.

You should always start with a thermal base layer which will help your child to retain some of their body heat even if you need to take off other layers to cool them down at some point, meaning they won’t get too cold. You can then begin adding other pieces of clothing, like long-sleeved tops, jumpers and fleeces to keep them warm and toasty. If you’ll be heading outdoors for your exercise class, don’t forget a waterproof coat to keep your baby comfortable and dry. You might even want a rain shield to go over their pram if you’ll be using these too.

On your child’s lower half, I would advise some thermal leggings worn with soft, comfortable bottoms over these. And, don’t forget to equip them with cosy socks, hats, gloves and scarves depending on the location of the class.

Your baby will need to be comfortable throughout your mother and baby exercise classes, so make sure you follow my top four tips for dressing them for your workouts together. To find out more about our classes, click here.