Running with a stroller: Top tips for parents on the move
August 18, 2022|By Tonya Russell
You've had the baby, and you're itching to get back out on the road. It may be tempting to strap your little one into your fancy new jogging stroller and hit the pavement, but there are a few things you'll want to consider before heading out the door.
Involving your children in your physical activities is a great way to encourage them to be active during their childhood as well as later in life. A great place to start is running with a stroller, taking your babies out on the open road or on your favorite trail. Sounds pretty special, right?
However, it isn't as simple as just heading out for your runs the way you're accustomed to. Here's what you need to know to get started on your new favorite way to run.
If you haven't purchased one yet, keep in mind your everyday stroller may not be a good fit for running. What brand you choose is ultimately up to your preferences and how much you want to spend, but jogging strollers tend to be lighter and more agile for quick turns. Also, you'll want to look for a jogging stroller that provides a safe ride for you and your baby, such as one with a locking front wheel and a bar between the wheels that is less likely to trip you. Some may also have a suspension system that lessens the impact of bouncy terrain.
If you're running with an older toddler, you may want to head into a store to try out a few options before purchasing one. This way, you can make sure your child will be comfortable during the ride.
You may be anxious to take your baby out for their first run. Before getting started, there are milestones your baby should hit. According to pediatrician Connie Domingo, MD, the baby should have good control of their head, which typically occurs around six months.
You may see parents of newborns all over town, but this recommendation is for the baby's safety and shouldn't be ignored.
Are you ready to run?
You should always consult with your doctor during or after your first follow-up to determine whether or not you should jump right back into your pre-baby routine. Childbirth is one of the toughest experiences one can go through, so don't rush your body to get back to running Boston qualifiers.
The birthing parent may be cleared to run a few weeks postpartum, as long as there are no longer side effects like bleeding. For someone who's had a cesarean section, it will probably be the recommended eight weeks. If you've seen a physical therapist during your pregnancy, they may be able to advise you as well. (They may also have strengthening exercises to help you adjust to pelvic floor changes and diastasis recti.)
Once you are healed enough and ready, try not to overexert yourself. Pushing a stroller during your run can be difficult and it is an adjustment, so here is what you need to know for trying out your shiny new jogging stroller.
On the road
At some point, we've all been beaten by a parent pushing a stroller at a July 4th 5K. They make it look so easy as they whiz by, but chances are, that's not their first baby or they've been at it for quite some time. You'll need to build up to that level of skill and confidence. Once you begin running, you'll notice it takes some getting used to. For one, you'll need to shorten up your stride and start to engage your core more. This keeps you steady and from tripping yourself.
You have to also adjust to running with one hand, since having two on the handle isn't practical for the entire run. Think about it like the treadmill — you wouldn't hold on the entire time. Your free hand should be swinging to propel you, and it can help to keep you balanced and moving efficiently while running with the stroller.
As for the baby, make sure they are strapped in properly and you haven't skipped any safety measures. Check on their head position and neck. Once you're moving, check on your little one throughout the run — many jogging strollers have sun canopies with a window you can peek through.
Lastly, make sure to take your ride a few minutes at a time, stopping to gauge both how you feel and how your baby is tolerating the ride. Increase along with your comfort level, maybe in five-minute intervals, then a mile at a time.
With practice and patience, running with a stroller can be a rewarding experience. Make sure both you and baby are ready, and with time, you'll have the chance to bond over the wonderful sport of running.
Our writer's advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition, or fitness routines.
I’m a journalist, fit chick, and avid traveler, and I often combine the three. If I’m not training for a marathon, I’m probably hiking with my dogs or riding a horse (English style). I hail from Southern NJ, which means I’m an Eagles fan, not a Giants fan.