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You’re busy looking after your baby. You’re coping with sleep deprivation. You just don’t have time to think about how to lose any weight you put on in pregnancy. You should always love your body – it just grew a tiny human after all! But what are some easy bite-size weight loss tips for busy mums? It’s all about learning to walk before you can run!

The dreaded D word bringing out the toddler in you!

When it comes to trying to lose weight and the dreaded ‘D’ word, does your brain have a particular reaction that can be frustrating, torrential, aggravating and usually end up with you sitting on the naughty step with a tub of ice cream in your lap as you have a little bit of a cry?

First of all, let us reassure you, you are not alone! Most of us have heard the word ‘diet’ so many times that it immediately sends us into a fight or flight frenzy! We are all in the same boat when it comes to that ‘D’ word.

But, sadly, here comes the bad news: quick-fix diets rarely work!

A bit of a difficult pill to swallow for a lot of people. But speaking for the sake of mums here: we don’t have time to think about how to lose weight. We are tired, and so the mere sight of a salad makes us want an extra bit of cake. Our reactions mimic our toddlers, and suddenly not wanting to share is kind of understandable.

So, should we just give up because we are busy? Definitely not. If you’re feeling a bit down about your new mum tum then here are some easy ways to approach it all.

Weight loss tip for busy mums: “Learning to walk”

When a baby is taking its first magical steps, it doesn’t happen automatically. Our baba’s don’t suddenly kick their heels together in the air and start galloping through the wind, doing star jumps and flips.

First, they learn the basics. They learn how to sit up, they learn how to stand, and they learn how to balance. Then, and only then, have they got some base work and can learn to walk.

The same logic can be applied to when we want to try and get healthy. It’s near impossible to jump straight into the lifestyle of the fit and healthy. We shouldn’t hold such high expectations of ourselves of being able to do it all straight away! If we want to be able to run, we first need to learn to walk

And if we want to learn to walk, we need to focus on the base work.

Step one: sitting up (yup, we’re still talking weight loss tips)

This is the first big step and the beginning of your journey. For a lot of us, this is the most difficult. Mainly because we have decided we want to do something to change our lifestyle. It’s okay to feel nervous! But, we should not inflate this step into being our end goal. We all have a finish line to reach, and it’s not going to be at the starting pole.

Our first hurdle is this: do just one thing that will begin to improve your mental or physical health.

Not something as vague as “start a diet” however. This one thing should be specific. Think of what you are going to do in more detail.

A couple of weight loss tips/ideas that we had for mums:

  • Do one activity a week that involves physical exercise. That might be as simple as walking your little one to the park when you would normally drive. Or signing up for a baby/toddler class that involves more physical activity. We have plenty of classes listed (Latino Bambino, Sweaty Mama, Buggyfit to list just a few) on Happity that might help with this.
  • Learn more about Nutrition: This step may not involve making any changes to your eating habits yet. This step is more just about finding out what nutrition is. And how eating well can make you feel better. One of the easiest ways you can slide these little tidbits into your day is by following a few nutrition/body positivity pages on social media! Some influencers on Instagram include NicsNutrition or Rhirition for nutrition information, and Alexlight_ldn for body positivity. Have a look around to see who appeals to you!
Faceless figure sitting at a table and researching - weight loss tips for mums

A change is a change, no matter how small or simple it might sound at first. Once doing one of these feels second nature to you, and is firmly in your routine, then move to the next step.

Step two: standing up

The next step isn’t too tricky to wrap your head around: add one more thing to your routine that will help your mental or physical health.

A few more weight loss tips for mums!:

  • Eating at regular meal times: This one can often be the downfall for a lot of mamas. But, why not try eating at the same time that your child is eating. Or just before/after if it’s impossible to eat and feed! Try not to forget about yourself when you are feeding others. And if eating all of your meals regularly still sounds too hard, then try at least getting your breakfast at a regular time every morning.
  • Getting enough sleep: Studies have shown that getting good quality sleep is equally as important as diet and exercise in regulating our weight. Again, this is a tricky one for mums. But, there’s a few things you can try doing to squeeze in a few extra hours of sleep. Napping at the same time your child for example. Or going to bed an hour earlier than normal. It can be tempting to want to stay awake for as much as your “alone time” as possible. But if you catch your extra Z’s, you’ll feel a lot of mental benefits too like an improved mood and reduced levels of stress.

It’s a good thing to note that if you try one of these weight loss tips for mums, and you just can’t do it right now or it’s not working, then change it! Give something else a go and dip your toe in the different waters.

Managed to squeeze one of these into your routine too? Great! Onto the next step.

Step three: finding your balance

You’re getting the idea. Add another thing to your routine that will help your mental or physical health. You’ve done it twice already now, you can do it a third!

More weight loss tips for mums? Don’t mind if we do!:

  • Meal prepping: Time to raid the tupperware cupboard! Meal prepping is a great way to have your breakfast, lunch and/or dinners ready to go within a moments notice. Give yourself a regular day where you know you’ll have a bit of free time (and when you’re not mentally exhausted!) to prep up some healthy and ready to go meals. There’s a few good ideas over on Tasty, but there’s also plenty of videos on YouTube to give you some ideas too!
  • Resist eating up your kid’s leftovers: One of our pitfalls! our child leaves behind food on their plate and we are tired and hungry and pooch it off. Make it your mantra to avoid eating what they leave on their plates!
  • Reduce cakes, biscuits and sweets: This one is the bane of us all! An important thing to note: you should not tell yourself that you are cutting it out altogether! If you really and dearly want that slice of cake, then you deserve it! Go for it, and don’t tell yourself “no”. All you should consider doing is reducing the amount of that thing you are having gradually. No sudden changes, no quick decisions. Take your time with it. Because life is too short to not have that tesco jam doughnut every once in a while!
A mother and daughter -weight loss tips for mums

How are you doing? Mastered this one? Okay, next step!

Step four: Walking

So, this is what it’s been leading up to. This is what the base work has been for. This is where we get on the road and figure out how to lose weight.

And, here’s a surprise, you’re already doing it. You’ve walked three steps already, and you’ve done them at your own pace.

By this point, you will have taught yourself the ways in which you personally find your body is able to change. You can find the ideal ways to convince your body to do little changes without cutting out anything that you don’t want to.

Understandably, this is a long haul approach, and the weight will not fly off. But remember, this weight didn’t arrive overnight, it won’t leave overnight either.

Keep on keeping on with new weight loss tips

From here, it’s as simple as carrying on! Keep on introducing new things into your lifestyle that will help you and your health. Gradually, you’ll be a completely different person to the one you once were. But, patience is key! Do not try to rush your health.

The NHS have listed a few more ways you can improve your healthy eating here (if you are looking for more ideas).

Oh, and we have just one more extra point to say to those who want to lose weight.

Remember: try to love your body

This world is made up of so many different people, and the wobbly bits that make us different make us wonderful! The world can offer all sorts of tips on how to get healthier. But, that’s exactly it. You should think about wanting to be healthy, mentally and physically. Being healthy doesn’t necessarily mean researching how to lose weight. Being healthier may mean for you to figure out how to love yourself.

So we want to say this: big shout out to the mum bods, the mum tums and your wobbly bits.

If you are reading this as a new mum, remember that it took nine months for your body to grow and change so it makes sense that it will take at least nine months to change back. The human body is miraculous. You did just grow a tiny human in there, remember? Do not punish or hate your body for achieving that amazing feat! Give it the extra love it needs.

And If you are reading this as a dad, well you have been carrying the stresses and the weight of supporting your partners through all this too! Do not feel bad for gaining a little weight in the process. This weight was gained through love and care for your family. Give it a little bit of love too!

Child like finger painting relating to weight loss tips for mums

Disclaimer: We are not health or medical professionals and you should always seek medical advice if you are worried about your health. If you are severely concerned about your own or a loved one’s weight/health, then you should contact your GP to seek out help.

A lot of parents assume that the benefits of baby and toddler classes are mostly for the parents. They’re a great way to meet other mums and dads, and finding your tribe makes parenting so much easier.

But toddler classes are not just a place to hear a choir of mums and dads singing baby shark with half-a-dozen giggles. They actually have a ton of surprising benefits that will be preparing your little one for school in advance! We wouldn’t expect anyone to be thinking that far in advance, but it’s exciting to learn how much classes could be helping!

Here’s just a few ways that all the play and fun they have at classes are an important part of early learning:

1. Story time at toddler classes – introducing reading and phonics

We all know how much little ones love hearing stories. You may be all-too familiar with the regular books that pop up at story-time’s (Gruffalos are not a myth and many a Tiger will probably come to many a tea!). But, did you know that this hearing these stories are helping to develop their reading skills?

The repetition of these stories helps to introduce new concepts like phonics, rhythms and sounds. This will really help children build the foundation of skills needed to learn to read later on.

2. Moving and grooving is more than just fun!

According to the NHS, once your child is walking, they should be staying active for at least 180 minutes (3 hours) of the day! A toddler class is a great way to encourage toddlers to begin exercising in a group. They begin preparing them for physical education and perhaps encouraging them to join sports teams in the future.

All the moving and grooving is helping them with gross motor skills, which will continue to develop as they grow.

The NHS have also encouraged being active together. And if any of our baby and toddler classes are to go by, then you need to be ready and willing to get a sweat on too! (Check out some of our baby classes today!)

3. Beep beep! – Crafts & motor skills

toddler benefiting from drawing at toddler class

What might look like “Play Time” at your toddler group or baby class is actually far more developmental than it might appear.

Simply letting your child squish a ball of Play-Doh helps them to develop fine motor skills their hands and fingers. While riding around and driving a toy Coupe Car helps to develop other gross motor skills.

Developing motors skills from an early age will benefit them when they come to learning more complex skills at nursery and school. Like holding a pencil and beginning to write.

So next time your toddler gifts you their latest Jackson Pollock imitation painting, remember that they’ve developed more than just their artistic talents!

4. One, two, three, four, five, now my child is counting right!

As many times as you have heard those familiar favourite nursery rhymes, they are still a fairly new concept to your little ones. Hearing them repeatedly is helping to introduce and teach counting at an early age. This might mean that maths comes a little bit easier for them when it comes to nursery and school.

These nursery rhymes often include movements that will be using our fingers too, very useful for also helping out with teaching toddlers motor skills again. (And the more opportunities to help with that, the better!)

5. Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, here we go around again – Routines

Finding a class that connects with you and your little one (one that includes a snack time or tidy-up time) is a great opportunity to introduce the idea of routines.

Introducing this concept at a young age will make it less of an alien concept when it comes to that daunting first day of nursery. Which hopefully means it will be a dry-eyed drop off. Well, from your kids at least!

6. Benefits of teaching manners & etiquette at baby and toddler classes

We sometimes forget that something that is an afterthought for us hasn’t been taught to our children yet. Basic manners and understanding the correct time to speak or stay quiet would not even cross your mind.

But baby and toddler classes are a great opportunity to teach all the basics. Greetings, Turn-taking, sitting in an allocated spot and please’s/thank you’s all start to happen all around your child.

This encourages them to copy and do the same. Before you know it, they’ll be holding doors open for others and unnecessarily apologise as much as the rest of the UK.

7. Benefits of cleaning at baby & toddler classes

It’s more than likely that you have simply got used to cleaning up after your little one by now. But, we should definitely be encouraging them to pick up after themselves and clean up. It’s an important habit to enforce while your child is young so that they are ready when attending nursery for the first time.

Attending a toddler group might be just the thing to helping your child learn all the correct social skills that influence tidying up your own belongings and leaving a room as neat as possible.

8. Introduction to other cultures

Little ones are the least likely to judge another based on their background. But every child gets to an age where they will ask questions about that which is different. Baby classes are a great way to begin to introduce your little ones to different families of different backgrounds.

This might be to race, religion, or perhaps different family dynamics such as single parents & LGBTQ+ parents. This will lead to a hopefully judgement-free time when that dreaded first day of school finally arrives.

9. Social skills & the benefits of emotional understanding at toddler and baby classes

Toddler's benefiting from drawing and reading at a Toddler and baby class

This next point might feel like an obvious (but important!) one. Being surrounded by other parents and children may be one of the main reasons that you would book a class in the first place.

But establishing those crucial social skills will really help your toddler in the future. It’s important for your child to understand social cues and learn how to make friends. But by attending these classes you may also be introducing them to new concepts like empathy. If another child is upset, your toddler might start to question why that is and try to help make them feel better.

Maybe one of the reasons you’re slightly worried about your little one going to nursery is because you have a clingy tot? Well we have a list of tips to try and help your toddler overcome this, check them out here!

Maybe your child is nearly ready for heading off to nursery! But are you?

When you find a mum friend it’s a game changer. Mum friends make the good days better and the tough days easier. Mum friends are brilliant. Here’s why!

  • And dad friends too! Dads – replace with ‘Dad friends’ as appropriate!

1. You share your birth story before even finding out key details

The need to talk about your birth story is real. When you meet a mum friend chances are you’ll both share your birth story – warts and all – before even finding out what their partner is called or what they do or used to do for a living!

2. They’re there when nobody else is

If you’re up in the wee small hours you can feel like the only one up. But – chances are your mum friend is up too. They’re also there in the daytime when all your other friends are at work. And they’re there when you text or message to make you feel less alone.

3. They make the boring bits of parenting more bearable

Soft play, parks, walks…they’re all better if you have your mum friend with you! Even if you never get the chance to finish a conversation because you’re constantly interrupted by your kids! The day to day of parenting is more fun when you’ve got a mum friend by your side.

4. Mum friends never judge

They see you at your best but also at your worst. On those days when you’re exhausted and can barely cope. On those days when it’s all too much and you cry. On those days when you feel like the worst mother ever. But they never judge you. They give you tea and cake and hold your baby. And – if you need them to -they’ll hold you too. And make everything that little bit better

why mum friends are so brilliant

5. They’ll cheer you on when you need it most

If you’re down they’ll pick you up. If you’re struggling they’ll go out of their way to make each day a little easier. And they’ll always make you feel like a better parent even when you’re doubting yourself.

6. You can have the most honest (no holds barred) chats

You begin your friendship sharing intimate details about birth and – as you go on – you open up and share the vulnerable sides of you. Knowing your mum friend will listen and get it. From laughing together about the things that drive you mad. To opening up and crying about the harder bits that make you sad.

7. Mum friends stick by you even when you’re grumpy or tired

Because they get it! And they know there will be plenty of days when they’re a bit snappy and worn out too.

If you’re shy or feel a bit awkward in groups it can take a little time to find your tribe and make mum friends. We’ve put together some top tips to make going to a baby or toddler group less daunting.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. We think it takes a village to raise a mother too!

…and why we need to stop pretending it is!

Self care for mums is NOT going to the shops alone, it’s NOT having a shower without the kids being an audience, it’s NOT cleaning the house without the kids around. All these things are NOT self care and we all need to stop pretending they are.

The viral meme that made mums stop in their tracks

Recently we posted this infographic on our social media, which had a huge response:

self care for mums

It really hit a nerve. And had hundreds of likes and shares. Some of the responses from mums included:

‘Agreed although going to the loo without an audience does feel like a luxury sometimes!!’

‘I’m so guilty of most of these being my time to me’

‘I even said to my husband the other day when I got back from a rather unpleasant dentist appt that it was a bit like going for a spa day as I got to lie down and someone touched my face’

Self care – pre-kids

Before you had a baby if your friend asked you what you’d done to take a little bit of time out for you to recharge your batteries there’s NO chance you’d have said: ‘I went to Tescos last night. It was really relaxing and really energised me’. So why do we feel like any mundane everyday task we get to do without our kids is self care?

What IS self care?

self care for mums

Put simply, self care is choosing and making the time to do little things for you that recharge your batteries and re-energise you. It’s finding the time to do things that make you happy; things that boost your physical and mental well being; taking time to do things that make you feel good. 

Doing the weekly food shop or cleaning the kitchen when your kids are not around do not fit into this description of self care. It might be easier to do these kinds of errands or chores without a child hanging off your ankle but they don’t make you feel like you’ve taken a little time for you.

You wouldn’t let your phone battery run low

Once we become mums we put so much (all?) of our energy into looking after our child and keeping the household running and our own needs can all too easily be put to the back of the queue. Life’s busy. There’s always something that demands your attention and your time. And you can feel guilty for making time for something that seems a bit self indulgent – such as reading a book, going for a walk or carving out time to paint or craft. 

But if you always put your needs last and neglect making time for self care then you can become frazzled and worn out and low on batteries. And that’s not good for you OR your children. It’s an overused phrase but a happy mum – happy baby is so very true.

The more you take time for self care the better you’ll feel and the better mum you’ll be.

Mamas, make that time for you!

Drop the mum guilt and make time for self care. Each day and each week. There are lots of small ways you can build it into your busy life. It’s just about making it a priority.

Watch our video all about self care

Recently we had a brilliant Facebook Live Happity Expert Talk all about self care and why it is so important for mums. With Kim Golson from @mylifeafterbirth. You can still watch it back in our Facebook group for mums. Not a member? We’d love you to join.

If you have a clingy baby or toddler it can feel harder still to make time for self care. Here are some top tips to help.