An achievable postpartum workout after the birth of your second child

No equipment needed!

An achievable postpartum workout after the birth of your second child

Photo: iStock/freemixer

LIFT AND LOWER the sleeping baby from your lap to any other surface without waking her. Go slowly! Bend at the waist to keep your torso pressed against the baby so she doesn’t notice what’s happening. Almost there—oh no, here comes the toddler and she’s hopping like a frog while playing a xylophone. Try to stop her using frantic whispers. Too late! Pick up the crying baby. Affirm that your toddler was doing good frog hops. Sorry, that she IS a frog. Begin bouncing baby back to sleep. Repeat 3 to 100 times, or give up and stay on the couch.

PULL UP your jeans. Yell downstairs to the toddler that Mommy will get her a snack in just a second. Wiggle body while tugging button toward buttonhole. Reiterate to the toddler, who’s now in your bedroom, that Mommy will get her a snack in just a second. Notice the baby is leaking poop onto the bed where you put her down. Remove jeans and replace with maternity leggings. Don’t repeat.

SQUAT to wipe the toddler’s bottom without dislodging the nursing baby from your left boob. Pivot to pick up the potty seat. Stand to dump a turd in the toilet, holding the baby in place the whole time. (Important: Do not suffocate the baby.) Repeat on the opposite side 10 minutes later when the toddler pees, because somehow she’s learned how to make them come out separately.

CRUNCH across the kitchen floor. Wonder whether you’re walking on the boxed mac ‘n’ cheese you mistakenly thought you could open one-handed, or the animal crackers your toddler assaulted you with last month. On an exhale, decide this should really be someone else’s problem.

SIT UP in bed. Maybe you heard the baby waking to nurse, or you imagined you heard the baby waking up, or you dreamed you were trying to put pants on a giant frog and woke in a puddle of sweat and leaked breast milk. Roll down to lie on your back, thinking about the logistics and expense of various childcare scenarios for two kids, until the baby actually wakes to eat. Repeat at random intervals every night.

HOLD A PLANK of cold, congealed pizza. Eat it as quickly as possible over the head of the baby, whom you’ve strapped to yourself with a beautiful but complicated sling. Constantly jiggle your body so the baby doesn’t cry, because it turns out she hates the sling and you can’t get it back off. Remember to keep your belly button pulled in! This exercise is best performed while hiding from your toddler, because you told her the pizza was all gone.

SINGLE LEG EXTENSION with your left foot on the brake pedal of your car: Twisting at the waist, stretch your right arm behind you and grope blindly for the baby’s pacifier in her car seat. Hold position for 10 seconds of your toddler yelling that the baby’s crying is too loud, or until the light turns green. At the next light, switch sides to try to reach the stuffed penguin your toddler threw under your seat in protest and now urgently needs back.

LUNGE to intercept the toddler-slash-frog before she hops right onto the face of the baby, who is on a cushion finally napping after spitting up inside your bra.


PUSH UP and squeeze the handle simultaneously to open the baby gate you installed last night while everyone else was sleeping. Wait, that didn’t work. Squeeze, then push down? Twist while jiggling? The baby is screaming in the next room, the toddler is screaming while hanging from one of your legs, and you need to go to the basement to start a load of laundry. Lift the non-toddler leg and consider trying to climb over. Put leg back down. If it makes you feel better, repeatedly bash your forehead against the gate.


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