When I first ran with the jogging stroller, I was nervous. I worried it was too big and cumbersome to control or maneuver easily around cars and pedestrians, but after just a couple of runs, the stroller started feeling like a natural extension of my body and even helped to improve my form by keeping me standing straight and looking ahead.
Despite feeling comfortable, I still feel a little nervous when I run with the stroller because it’s carrying precious cargo, so I do everything I can to make my runs with Monkey enjoyable and safe.
Ten Tips to Protect Your Little Running Partner:
- Don’t run with your infant unless he or she is able to sit up on their own, usually around 6 months old. Before I began running with Monkey in the jogging stroller, I checked with her pediatrician to make sure it was safe to do so.
- Run during daylight hours. Although I don’t take the jogging stroller at night or early morning, my jogging stroller has a reflective light on the wheels, as most jogging strollers do. My husband added additional strips of reflective tape on both sides of the stroller to make sure it was visible in the dark. It’s a precaution that comes in handy when it’s cloudy or foggy.
- Avoid running on narrow streets and busy roads. I’ll run along a main road if there are sidewalks; otherwise, I run through residential developments with wide streets and low traffic or on the campus of a nearby school.
- Avoid running in extreme temperatures. Now that she’s a toddler, Monkey lets me know when it’s too cold or hot to accompany me on a run, but when she was an infant, it was harder to know when the temperature was uncomfortable for her. At the time, I asked my doctor and he told me that she could handle temperatures as well as I could if she was dressed appropriately. I was comfortable taking infant Monkey in the jogging stroller in temperatures as low as 30 degrees as long as there was no wind chill, the run was short and she was bundled up. I’ve since read that it’s best to take infants running in temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees.
- Dress appropriately. I always remember that running generates heat in my body, but not in Monkey’s. If I step outside and feel chilly, I dress Monkey warmly with a hat and coat, even if I’m wearing shorts. I use sun block year round and apply it to Monkey’s skin too.
- Use the wrist strap. I keep a death grip on the handlebar of my jogging stroller, but just in case something unforeseen happened, I attach the wrist strap too.
- Buckle your child in the stroller.
- Have a first aid kit on board, including Neosporin, alcohol swabs, band-aids, Tylenol, and teething gel for babies.
- Keep a stroller bag, including wipes, diapers/spare underwear, a towel, a blanket, and a change of clothes.
- Take along snacks, juice/bottle, and a toy or two. When Monkey was an infant, the scenery was enough of a distraction, but now that she’s older, I allow her to bring along a toy. I try and limit it to one or two, but some days I end up pushing a stroller filled with baby dolls, books and Scooby-Doo figurines just to get out the door!
Run. Rejoice. Be safe.