In your pre-baby days, perhaps you were a runner. You might have competed in some 5Ks or half-marathons, or you might have just run for enjoyment and fitness. Maybe you were never really much of a runner, but would like to begin. Either way, you now have a challenge: Who will keep your baby while you go out for a run?
Luckily, that is no longer a problem at all! In recent years, with the advent of jogging strollers, moms are able to take their babies with them when they go out for a run. In fact, many mothers say that it is a time with their baby that they truly value. However, there are several things to consider when you plan to run with your baby.
1. Be sure that your baby has good head and neck control before you begin running with her. That is typically between the month 6 and month 8 mark. Even if your baby has reached that stage, she should have adequate head and neck support in the jogging stroller. If you would like to begin running when your baby is younger than that, you might consider buying a jogging stroller that accommodates an infant car seat. That way, your baby’s body has adequate support.
2. Think safety first! When you go running on your own, you take safety precautions so that you can be seen easily by motorists. For example, you might wear reflective clothing. The same thing should be true for your baby. His clothing doesn’t need to be reflective, but his stroller does! Be sure that your baby’s jogging stroller has reflectors on it. Since a stroller has a bit of a low profile, it can sometimes not be seen easily by a car on the road, so any type of reflector is a good safety precaution.
3. Consider the weather and dress your baby accordingly. You will be the one running, so you will be working up a sweat. However, your baby won’t be moving around much, so you would need to dress her so that she stays snug. Also, be sure that your jogging stroller has a sun shade. That helps to keep the sun off of your baby to prevent sunburn and keeps the wind off her as well.
4. Pack the things that you think you might need. Today’s jogging strollers have a good deal of storage. Take advantage of that space! Bring a bottle of water for yourself and a mid-run snack. Bring a bottle for the baby and all the supplies that you typically need for a trip with him – diapers, wipes, a pacifier, etc.
5. Before you leave the house, be sure that the baby has been fed. You will have a much more enjoyable run if your baby is not fussy because she is hungry.
6. During your run, try to choose lightly traveled pathways. Avoid busy streets, if it is possible, and choose a flat run without many hills. A jog down the walking paths in a park might be a safer route than the street when you have your baby in tow.
7. Be in control of the jogging stroller at all times. Keep at least one hand on the bar, and use the wrist strap, so that the stroller doesn’t accidentally get away from you. If you DO have to take your hand off the stroller, be sure to lock the back wheels so that it does not roll away.
Running with your baby can be a very enjoyable, rewarding experience, and a way to lose those extra post-pregnancy pounds. Be sure that it is a safe experience and your baby will soon be joining you on those running paths, running on his own two feet.