Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Product Review: chicks-n-chickens Lullaby Exercises

I just had my butt kicked by an exercise DVD--in a good way. What was it, you ask? Well, it wasn't an intensely choreographed routine demonstrated by a bunch of flawless ponytailed women in head-to-toe spandex. Actually, it was chicks-n-chickens Lullaby Exercises, with mom Darcy Novo Albrecht leading a group of lovely mamas and their babies in a simple, fun, and fast routine that any mom can work into her schedule. You're taking care of your baby anyway; might as well work in a little you time!

I loved so many things about this DVD.

The music is good! There are certain situations in which we must listen to music we did not choose. Sometimes that music isn't so great, such as the strange techno music on my Dance Dance Revolution games (NOT babywearing-friendly, by the way). The music Darcy chose for Lullaby Exercises is good. It's something I'd listen to by choice. During the workout I was thinking, gosh, it would be nice to have a CD of this! Then I remembered--there was one in the case! You can enjoy the music and play the sleepy songs to calm your baby. I am thinking of including at least one of the songs in my homebirth soundtrack.

The moms are so fun to watch. For me, there is nothing fun about exercising alongside a woman with a figure like a Barbie Doll. It was refreshing to see moms of all shapes and sizes leading the exercises with Darcy. It made me feel at home. Darcy is adorable and upbeat. I loved how she incorporated inspirational musings about calming and nurturing our babies in the routines.

I didn't trip over my own feet and fall on my face. This is important when you're wearing your baby! The few times I've tried any dance-type exercise program, the steps have been over my head. (I was a five-year-old dance class dropout.) But Darcy demonstrates and explains everything several times to make it easy, and none of the steps are too complicated in the first place. You can do the whole thing holding your baby, after all!

It facilitates bonding with baby while allowing mom to get what she needs. This is my favorite. When baby is screaming, your first priority as a mom is to hold him and love him until he feels better. You drop what you're doing and take the baby. Sometimes this calls for creative multitasking (when Suzi was a couple of days old, I once had to breastfeed her while on a sitz bath). Being so suddenly in demand can be frustrating, but this DVD helps mom and baby relax by turning a potentially tense situation into a bonding opportunity. I particularly love "Patience," the last song in the Sleep Set.

The price is affordable. I didn't check the price before I tried the workout. As I went through the routines and thought about what I would write in my review, I wondered what the price would be. I honestly figured it would cost at least $30, maybe $40. But, wow, it is only $14.95! For that you get the DVD with the exercises and the CD with Lisa Phenix's beautiful music. Shower gifts, here we come!

I am currently 15 weeks pregnant and my midwife approved of this workout. This DVD is perfect for me. I can exercise at home while I take care of my daughter--even if she's in a bad mood. I can't wait to try the routine with a little infant, and this fall I'll get to!

Order your copy of Lullaby Exercises and feel good about staying home from the gym for once. Exercise with your baby held close to your heart instead of leaving them with somebody else.