Ever since I had my new daughter, Allie, my life has been infinitely blessed. That's why every new prospective parents hopes to read anyway, I would know, I searched everywhere trying to find information about how having a daughter would change my life. The honest answer is it does, pretty much forever. Sure, she has screamed in my face today refusing to eat her solids, cried for an hour when she should have been napping, and given me the gift that keeps on giving (poopy diapers that stick to her skin and refuse to part from her little cheeks), so it has been a trying day. Despite this, I have still found time to do Yoga, practice some martial arts forms, and work on my awesome BJJ Submission Master, which if you have not bought one for your BJJ game, see my other article listed below. So here you go, the best 5 times you can train with your new baby.
1. Anytime, Strapped to your Chest
Invest in one of these Bjourn contraptions at Amazon, here is a video link on YouTube to give you an idea here! There are different brands, so you may want to actually go try one on instead of ordering at amazon, but this thing is a life saver. My wife works during the day as a teacher, and I usually do not get to work till 1-2pm, so I have a lots of time at home to get things done. My daughter hates being put down when she is sleepy, and has to be darn near passed out before I can put her in her crib for sleepy time, this was my solution. Since nearly day one I have been using this to get school work and house work done with her strapped to my chest, and now that she can control that little head of hers, I can practice my martial arts forms, do yoga and stretch, and train stances and positions with her attached. Just be careful they don't fall out, babies don't bounce nearly as well as i thought they would...
2. Scheduled Nap Time/Self Soothing
My daughter is a great sleeper, and I thank God every day. She started sleep through the night at almost a week old (I KNOW!). Still, during the day getting her to sleep was a struggle, and still is. The greatest gift I gave myself was a book called Healthy Sleep Habits, Habit Baby. Our daughter hated to self-soothe, which basically means you are always going to have to be there for them when they are trying to sleep comforting them. Now I know some parents think self soothing is torture, and I call those parents sleepy sleepy, people. I am a firm believer in self soothing, my comedic idol Christopher Titus supports it, our doctor supports it, and this book has plenty of logical evidence and ways to teach you how to do it. I like articles and literature telling me that my daughter crying in the next room is for her own good, and it essentially uses the logic of, "If you let them cry now to get picked up, what's stopping them from using the same logic when they are older?" She is crying right now, waking up from her nap after 15 minutes, but she knows it is nap time, and I am going to listen to it and wait for her to dose back off. Given a baby is not the same as a toddler, but it still teaches you how to set a schedule with your child starting at about 4 months, before that, you just train whenever you can.
3. When they are Full
I take my daughter to BJJ occasionally, and in the past it was a joke. I would feed her before the class, and then get there and try and put her asleep during the scheduled nap time I mentioned above. This was a problem, because moving from car to a new environment just jacked her up and the last thing she wanted was sleep. So now I get to class early and feed her, thanks to a purple belt who did the same thing for his daughter. This has been much more effective because even if she is not sleep, she will play a little bit, cry every now and then, and if I am lucky, fall asleep and self soothe like I am trying to do with her, which gives me time to roll and train more. Just make sure if you are going to lug these little ones to your martial arts classes you bring plenty of hand sanitizer and something for them to play on, because they are going to go on their little adventures while your busy trying to choke someone out.
4. When your Wife is Feeding Her/Night Feedings
These last two are for the diehards, and if you choose to ignore them that is fine. The fact of the matter is, you have to wake up usually when your wife breast feeds, and that means that you might as well have a plan in case you cannot go back to sleep. You can always have a book to read to give you ideas for what to work on tomorrow, or just get up and drill some movements you know you have trouble with. Even some relaxing yoga stretches that aren't strenuous but you know you should be doing to help prevent injury are welcome. There is always switching back and forth between your partner nights as well, and busting out your Bjourn those days you have to feed and put them to sleep. The choices are endless, and of course, this leads us back to the last option.
5. When they go to sleep, Before they Wake Up
I get my best training done at night when everyone in the house is asleep. The morning is a totally different story, but I do know if I wake up before 730, I have a great opportunity to get up and do some training before the little one wakes up. I also know because she sleeps so well at night I can workout as soon as my wife passes out on my leg. Now I know we all have to modify this one, but I am sure you could either be working out a bit in the evening when everyone is calming down, or getting up 30 minutes earlier to workout in the morning.