Sydney mother, early childhood teacher and fitness trainer Niki Krstanoska-Blazeska has invented and designed a world first baby sling which allows new mums (and dads) to exercise using their baby as a living, breathing gym weight.
The Smiling Sling means parents can perform a set of bicep curls or leg squats anywhere, anytime, with their infant providing all the weight, resistance and motivation they need!
“I have spent more than ten years training mums and bubs at the gym and find I’m always left holding the babies” explains Ms Krstanoska-Blazeska. “I kept thinking that there had to be a way to do the exercise and keep the baby safe – that’s how the idea for the Smiling Sling came about”.
At just $129 AUD the Smiling Sling features elasticised straps that can be adjusted for resistance training. The sling’s clever design also enables mums to breast feed easily and as the baby grows the sling can be converted into a baby back pack. Importantly the sling has been tested and certified by the world’s leading inspection services firm, SGS.
Dr Catherine Insley, Medical Director of Gynaecare, describes the sling as a fabulous innovation that has the potential to improve not just the physical health but also the mental health of new mothers.
“Early, safe resumption of exercise is hugely beneficial in preventing the onset of chronic disease and depression. The sling promotes a gradual increase in strength as the baby gains weight and its convenience means that exercise is now more accessible and more likely” explains Dr Insley.
Physiotherapist and mother of two, Naomi Tosic has just started to use the Smiling Sling with her 11 week old baby boy Quinn. “My very first workout was amazing. The next day I could feel all the muscles I hadn’t used in my arms and legs but the thing I love the most is how interactive it is. I’m able to talk to Quinn and play with him while doing my exercises.” As a physiotherapist, Naomi gives the sling her full endorsement. “The sling is adjustable which means it caters to mums and bubs of all shapes and sizes and the design encourages good posture and helps to switch on core muscles”.
The Smiling Sling is sold with a user guide and an instructional booklet as well as a resistance band which is designed to strengthen the upper body.