Running with a baby

[This post is sponsored as part of my partnership with Women’s Running Series. I’m running the WRS half in Tempe in November- check out the end of the post for a discount code and all the details if you’d like to run with me!]

Before I was pregnant, there was a lot of things I didn’t know about pregnancy or raising a baby, and that’s ok, because I obviously didn’t need that knowledge at the time. (Sorry this is TMI but I do kind of wish I knew that you have to birth the placenta. I didn’t figure that out until a few years ago and HELLO! What a surprise.) I had no idea what the heck swaddling was or about the 5 s’s (which would eventually save my life), or that there were certain things you couldn’t do with a newborn. A few of my mom friends ran with their babies, and to me, all babies were about the same age (aka a one-year old was the same as a two-year-old in my brain), so I thought you could run with a newborn in a jogging stroller. Not the case at all.

Sabino4

It wasn’t until I was pregnant and doing research for strollers that I found out that you can’t do anything more than walk with a baby until they’re six months old (some stroller models even suggest longer). You also have to use a special stroller for running, since the soft wheels absorb some impact and minimize shaking for the baby’s quickly-developing body. So until Liv was old enough to ride in the BOB stroller, I was doing solo occasional runs, or the Pilot and I would take turns running out and back to the stroller. Now, Liv is my favorite running buddy.

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Here are some of the things I’ve learned running with a baby:

1) Know your baby’s limit. Liv has done 8 miles with us, but by the end, she was not a happy camper. Her personal max is 6, where she’ll stay in the stroller and is happy, so anything after that, I plan to run alone when the Pilot is home. My personal favorite distance to run with the jogging stroller is 3-4 miles; the extra resistance makes a huge difference!

2) Pack distractions. I always tuck a couple of toys in the side pockets for her to play with, and she also loves when I put snacks and a sippy cup in the snack tray. She’ll munch her cheesy rocket crackers and sing along while I run. I’ll also put my phone on airplane mode and let her play music in the stroller.

3) Always have a backup outfit and wipes. I forgot the wipes once… and I will never forget them again.

4) Have a quick escape route. Know what you’re going to do if your baby has a meltdown and is over the stroller. I usually pick simple out-and-back routes for this reason, so if I have to carry her home, it’s NBD. 

5) Sunscreen, a hat, and a soft blanket are awesome stroller must-haves. I got this tip while I was pregnant and it’s a game-changer: the Aden + Anais swaddle blankets are perfect to moisten with water and drape over the front of the stroller. It keeps it shaded and makes the air much cooler!

6) Drop your expectations. Before, I used to set lofty pace and distance goals for myself, and now I’m just happy to get out there. My run could be an hour if things go well, or it could be 20 minutes. I’m just happy to be running outdoors, and to have my little running buddy with me. She yells, “Hooray!!” when I go for some sprints, and I hope that by coming with us, it will bolster her love of nature and encourage fun fitness as she gets older.

7) Of course, make sure to read the directions and follow your stroller’s safety guidelines. We got the “ok” from Liv’s ped before we started running with her in the stroller, just to make sure that her neck muscles were strong enough. 

Running

If you have any more tips, I’d love to hear them in the comments section!

For all of my AZ friends, I’ll be running the Women’s Running Series Half Marathon in November. The event details are here, and if you decide to register, use the code: FITAZGINA for $10 off. Feel free to tweet along with us too at #beamazing

xoxo

Gina

[This post was sponsored as part of a campaign with Fitfluential. As always, all opinions are my own. I’m just excited to run a race and thankful for some kick-in-the-pants training motivation 😉 ]

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34 Comments

  1. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health on May 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    These are great tips! I had no idea you couldn’t run with a baby stroller until 6 months either. It does make sense when you think about it though bc infants are so fragile.

  2. Ali @ Peaches and Football on May 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I know a guy who would show up at a local 5K every year with his little daughter in a jogging stroller – and he won his division each time. Then, last year, he added another daughter and pushed both along! I kept thinking as the girls got bigger he’d slow down but he keeps it up and it is such a sweet and inspiring sight!

    • Fitnessista on May 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      wow, that is amazing!

  3. Amanda on May 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I have to say, I began jogging with my daughter in the BOB+carseat adapter starting at 6 weeks postpartum. It felt safe because she was strapped in to her seat and because I ran nice and slow on a paved surface. I know quite a few people who did the same. Now she is nearing her third birthday and I can honestly say its the best piece of baby gear I purchased. She is my favorite running buddy!

    • Fitnessista on May 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      the bob is seriously amazing 🙂

  4. Ashley Bible on May 7, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    This is a really, really dumb question, but when I see moms running on the trail I constantly wonder/worry about what happens when you run downhill? What would happen if you tripped? Do the running strollers have special breaks or something?
    – clueless dog mom

    • Fitnessista on May 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      if you tripped, i have no idea! there’s a safety strap that many of them have to keep the stroller attached to your wrist (so going downhill, if for some reason you let go, the stroller wouldn’t fly away from you)

  5. Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! on May 7, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    So interesting! I didn’t know about the age limit either, but it totally makes since about their neck muscles needing to develop. Although I don’t have a little one yet, definitely great information to keep in mind!

  6. Jenn (eating bender) on May 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    These are really great tips – and most completely new to me! Good to know. 🙂 Also, you’re tempting me with this half marathon, Gina…

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2013 at 10:04 am

      doooooooooo it!!!

  7. Abby on May 7, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Why do you put your phone on airplane mode for her? Because you worry about the phone waves (don’t even know really what it’s called) are dangerous for her to be around? I ask because I also put my phone in the side pocket so my baby can listen to music while I run 🙂

    • Kim on May 8, 2013 at 7:50 am

      Maybe so she can’t dial out and talk to people?

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2013 at 10:03 am

      yeah i don’t feel comfortable having my phone super close to her unless it’s on airplane mode. this way, she can’t text or call people too

      • Abby on May 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm

        ok thanks!

  8. Allison @ Train Eat Repeat on May 7, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    great post!
    before I have a baby (or get pregnant for that matter) I will definitely be doing a lot of reading and learning a lot of things I didn’t knot, a lot because so much of it is TMI so no one openly talks about it. these are the things i NEED to know! haha

  9. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on May 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I’m so impressed with how you were able to jump back into fitness after a baby. It’s giving me inspiration since I don’t have a baby so I have no excuses. haha

  10. Lauren on May 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I bring my Ergo, so if she gets fussy and wants to be carried home, it’s way easier.

  11. Meghan @ After the Ivy League on May 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Fingers crossed that these tips come in handy one day!

  12. CourtStar @ StarSystemz on May 7, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Great insight + very important! I will be sharing this with my mommy clients! Thank you for writing such an informative post, hope you have a great week Gina! Love + Shine CourtStar

  13. Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome on May 8, 2013 at 12:02 am

    I broke the rules and started jogging with my son in his car seat strapped into the BOB around 5 weeks. This was only after talking with many other moms who did as well and reading lots of testimonials online. He’s now 2 and loves going out for runs! I think the longest we’ve done was 8 switching back and forth between my hubby and myself and while he was okay, we were tired of pushing!
    In a half marathon I did last year there was a guy pushing his daughter in her BOB the whole way!
    Great tips!

  14. Kelly @ Femme Fitale on May 8, 2013 at 1:53 am

    I also run/do a baby bootcamp with my now 12 week old. It’s an iCandy (UK brand), but he’s strapped into his adapted car seat. It’s soooo much heavier so I’ll definitely be happy when we can transition to the actual stroller seat!
    There are a few Moms in my group who run with this stroller (link below), and it looks amazingly lightweight and comfortable. Kind jealous!
    http://www.best4strollers.com/store/jogging-strollers/baby-jogger-25th-anniversary-performance-single-jogging-stroller-1732201257983595/

  15. Lucie on May 8, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Thank you SO much for this post! I am not pregnant and haven’t a baby, but I hope I will have in 2-3 years – so this is great information!

  16. Stellina @My Yogurt Addiction on May 8, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I imagine that running with ababy is not easy. What if she starts to cry 3 miles in, and you have to run 3 miles back to the house or car? I also imagine that it’s probably fun for the baby too though! I used to love when my mom pushed me fast in the shopping cart, let a lone a stroller!

  17. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on May 8, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Thanks for sharing. I’m definitely in the dark about a lot of pregnancy and baby things, but reading your blog has helped quite a bit!

    Good luck with your half training 🙂

  18. Racheal @ Running with Racheal on May 8, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I started (slowly) jogging with my daughter at 5 months. After reading many reviews of the BOB, I found that if her head control is good, then she should be fine. Of course I checked on her constantly, but she is always so happy! She gets in her running zone. 🙂

    I agree with you – I don’t set any crazy goals, I just get out there. I can’t explain how amazing it feels to do something I love (running) with someone I love (my daughter)! Cheers!

  19. Jessica on May 8, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Just a couple silly questions — what are the 5 s’s? and why do you put your plane on airplane mode? Thank you!!!!!

  20. Lindsay McAlester on May 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I registered and live in Gilbert, AZ. So, if you are in the area and want to get a run in. I could use all the training I can get! 🙂

  21. emma on May 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Great tip on the aden+anais blanket sprayed with water, I love those blankets (and so does my daughter!).
    I haven’t started running with my little girl, she’s 7 months but I hope to start some short runs soon…
    Love the tips!!

  22. Courtney on May 8, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I’m a new reader…hi! Love these tips! I have a bunch of tips for running with a baby when it’s cold out here: http://www.iamamess.com/bundle-up/.

    I’ll be following along!

  23. Emily on May 8, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Wow- that Bob Stroller is fancy! My mom had one of the original running strollers when I was a kid, which was basically a piece of canvas in between some huge bicycle tires! They have changed a lot since then.

  24. Ann on May 9, 2013 at 11:56 am

    My guy is 16 months, and I while I love love love the BOB for walking, I just recently tried taking him running with it. It’s a little weird to only use one arm, and the hills were killer, but he was great company in there chatting away!

  25. Rachel on May 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    My boys are my favorite running buddies too. I was SO happy when they were old enough to go in the jogging stroller.

  26. Megan on May 13, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    The furthest I’ve gone with my little one was 8 miles as well. He was fine the entire time. He slept the last half. I started running with him much much earlier than 6 months and he’s been absolutely fine. He was all cozy in the car seat/adapter. Now he’s 8 months and totally healthy.

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