Running with a jogging stroller is a great way to exercise, but also a necessary part of it, after having a child. When running, safety is crucial, but it is even more important when you are running with baby. Following a simple set of rules will ensure the maximum safety and comfort of your kiddo during your running sprees.
1. Know when to start
It is not safe to jog with a baby until they reach six months. The best jogging stroller can accommodate a child of six months when it comes ordinary strolls, but that doesn’t mean you should take them for a run. Children under six months old do not have proper head and neck control and are more likely to suffer injuries.
2. Avoid sidewalks and busy roads
Most people prefer jogging somewhere where they won’t be bothered by many obstacles. Sidewalks might be tempting because of the lack of traffic, but it is not always possible to use them. Even the smallest bumps render them unsuitable for strollers.
Your next best option is finding a quiet neighborhood close to you. Luckily for us, drivers are more cautious when driving toward a parent with a stroller, rather than a person running on their own.
Ideally, it would be best to run on a perfectly smooth and paved path, but you won’t always have the time to load your buggy into the car and go to the closest one.
3. Running distance and speed
Avoid going on long runs. Think of it as running on a treadmill – it is great for short runs, but a longer one would be excruciating. If you are in a time crunch, partner up with your spouse and switch off every 5 minutes with the buggy.
Don’t be worried about your pace. Your normal jogging speed is a completely different thing than your jogging stroller pace. Of course, working toward improving your jogging stroller pace is a nice goal to have, but, most likely, you will never compete in a jogging stroller marathon, so don’t let it bother you too much.
Besides, going too fast might cause your buggy to run away from you. Make sure the momentum allows you to always be in control of the stroller.
4. Locking the front wheel
Some strollers have a fixed front wheel, but some have a swiveling front wheel that can also be locked into place. If your jogger comes with such a switch, make sure the front wheel is always locked. This way, the buggy won’t suddenly turn and cause you to crash or fall.
5. Pack up
Most joggers have storage space underneath the seat, and some have extra pockets and organizers, so you should have enough space for the necessities that you might need.
Be sure to bring diapers, water (both for you and your baby), wipes, clothing, snacks, or entertainment for your kiddo. In case you are running short on space, make sure to have at least a small diaper bag and water.
6. Protect your child from the weather
Runners are recommended to dress as if the temperature is higher than it is. Obviously, your child will not be exercising, so make sure they are well dressed for the occasion. Use the canopy for protection and do not overdress your baby. If it is too hot or too cold, keep your runs brisk.
Don’t underestimate surprise winds as they can be very troublesome. It is best to have a stroller that is equipped with side panels. If you prepare well, your child will doze off comfortably even during windy runs.
7. Find a suitable position
In case your stroller doesn’t have adjustable handlebars, make sure you are comfortable at the start of your run. If you start in the wrong position, your shoulders will start to hurt after a while. Push the stroller with one hand, if you can, but use both hands for turns.
8. Lose the headphones
Even though it is not advised, listening to music while you are running can be a great motivator. While headphones are deemed unsafe, you can utilize the parent organizer and use it to hold your smartphone.
9. No blankets
Blankets provide additional warmth, but are a safety hazard. Even if you make sure to tuck it well, a sudden gust of wind can blow it lose and get it tangled in the front wheel. Aside from causing you to crash, it can damage your stroller and render it immobile.
10. Treat your child
When going out for a jog, let your child bring their favorite toy. Giving your kiddo the opportunity to do their favorite activity first is also a good option. That will make sure your baby is in a good mood when you are about to start your exercise.
11. No hills
Hills are tough enough even when you are jogging all by yourself. It only gets worse when you have to push a packed jogger uphill. Plan your route and stick to the flattest terrain possible.
Jogging with a stroller already feels like jogging uphill. Even if you like challenges and have enough strength and stamina, it is safer not to take on hills. In case you let go of your stroller, there is little chance it will stay in place.
12. Use the strap and check the buckle
Use the most of the five-point harness. It will prevent your child from falling out or getting rattled, so it is essential to use it properly. Even if you are not moving too fast, your child won’t be able to reach out and get their fingers caught in the wheels.
Buckling the harness is much easier than unbuckling it. Double check the buckle before every run. If the buckle isn’t properly fastened, it can easily come undone during the ride.
13. Full tummy
Your child is more likely to cry when they start feeling hungry mid-run. Don’t forget to bring the baby bottle or some snacks. As the child gets older, this becomes less of a problem.
14. Silence equals enjoyment
You can tell all is well when your child is not making much noise. Rides are soothing, and, if you follow the rules, your child will most likely fall asleep. That will allow you to master the art of transferring your baby into the house without waking them up and take a bath in peace.
Having children doesn’t mean you have to put your running goals on hold. Jogging with a stroller can help you stay fit and perhaps even run errands at the same time. It requires making a few adjustments, but they are worth the effort.
The thought of running with a baby might freak out some parents. If you are planning on having a baby, borrow a jogger from a friend and take it for a test ride. Once you ensure you and your baby are safe, you will realize how much fun it actually is.