How to Jog With Baby

If you enjoyed running before you had a baby, a jogging stroller can help you return to a favorite activity. It's always important to be safe when running. But when you're running with a jogging stroller, you have even more reason to be cautious. Follow these tips to make your jog with baby easier, safer, and more comfortable for you and your little one.

Woman with a jogging stroller

 Erik Isakson / Getty Images

1

Make Sure Your Baby Is Old Enough

It's not safe to run with a child under 6 months old in a jogging stroller​ because they don't have the muscle strength needed to hold their heads upright. That makes the movement dangerous for their head and neck.

In some cases, 6 months may not even be old enough. Some stroller manufacturers suggest that the appropriate jogging stroller age is 8 months old and up. Until then, it's best to walk with your baby, using a front carrier or other sling or a stroller designed to be safe for young babies.

2

Lock the Front Wheel

Some jogging strollers have a fixed front wheel, while others have a switch that allows you to lock and unlock the wheel. When you're running with the stroller, it's safest to lock the front wheel in place. This will prevent the stroller from turning suddenly and causing you to crash or fall.

Also, strap your child in with the full harness to protect them from falling out or getting shaken. Even if you're not moving too quickly, the harness will prevent them from reaching out and getting their fingers caught in the wheels.

3

Pack Everything You'll Need

Most jogging strollers have a basket underneath, as well as other compartments or holders. So, you should have plenty of room for things you might need during your run.

Don't forget diapers, wipes, water (for you and your child), snacks, extra clothes, and a toy or book to entertain your child.

4

Protect Your Baby From the Weather

Remember that you'll warm up because you're running, but your child will not. So bundle them up in cooler weather. If it's cold and windy, you may want to use a weather shield for your stroller.

On warm days, make sure your child is not overdressed and is protected from the sun with the stroller's visor as well as sunscreen. Keep your runs short on very cold or hot days (or leave baby at home with your spouse or sitter while you get in a solo workout).

5

Run on Solid Surfaces

Some surfaces are easier for jogging strollers, thus safer for your baby because they cause less movement. Plan your route beforehand to avoid rough terrain that could be uncomfortable or dangerous to your baby.

Paved trails are a good option. If your local track allows jogging strollers, this is another possibility. If you plan to jog with baby in town, choose sidewalks with minimal breaks and cracks.

You may also want to avoid tilted running surfaces as it can be tiring to keep the jogging stroller going straight.

6

Avoid Running Near Cars

It is a good idea to run in parks, on bike paths, sidewalks, or other areas where you don't have to worry about traffic. Not only is it a safer option, but your child will have a much more comfortable ride since you won't have to stop and start a lot to cross streets or avoid cars.

7

Schedule Your Runs Wisely

Before naptime is often a good time for a run, because the movement of the jogging stroller may put your child to sleep. It's not a good idea to try to run right before a meal when your child will be hungry and may not want to sit in the stroller.

8

Maintain Control of the Stroller At All Times

You may be tempted to push your stroller a little and let it go so you can run hands-free, but it's not a good idea. The stroller could easily get away from you, which is unsafe for your child and anyone else around you.

Plus, you should never be going so fast that you couldn't stop the jogging stroller if needed. Use momentum in such a way that you're always in control of the stroller.

9

Start at a Slower Pace

You can expect your pace with a jogging stroller to be at least one minute per mile slower than your normal pace. But you're burning more calories with your effort and doing some resistance training. In addition, you'll find that the more you run with the stroller, the easier it will be.

Pushing a jogging stroller impedes your natural arm swing, which makes for a tougher workout for your legs. Try pushing the stroller with one arm and swinging the other. Keep switching arms so you work both sides.

10

Stay Alert

When you're on a jog with baby, it's important to hear what's going on around you. It's also necessary to know if your baby cries. This isn't as easy if you run with earphones.

If you listen to music or a podcast, do it with only one earbud. Or you could simply enjoy the sound of the world around you as you go about your jog.

11

Mix It Up a Little

Toddlers and preschoolers may get restless in the stroller, so you may want to let them out and play for a bit during the run. They'll be much happier and comfortable with a little break mid-run.

Try running to a park with a playground. Let your child play for a bit, and then pack them up and run back home.

12

Follow Race Rules

Some road races don't allow jogging strollers. Others do, but ask runners to start at the back. If you're going to run in a race with a jogging stroller, check beforehand so you know the rules of the race.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to run with a newborn?

No. Many health experts (and some jogging stroller manufacturers) agree that the best jogging stroller age is at least 6 months to 8 months old. This enables the baby's muscles to become strong enough to support the head and neck.

How can you run with a baby?

Making sure you have everything you need, protecting the baby from the weather, sticking to solid surfaces, and always staying in control of the jogging stroller are all ways to make your jog with baby safer and more comfortable.

Is jogging with a stroller hard?

Pushing around the extra weight of the baby and the jogging stroller may feel harder at first. But once you get used to it, it will start to feel easier.

A Word From Verywell

Deciding when to start jogging with your baby is an exciting step, and one that should be made cautiously. Not all babies are ready at the same age. Check with their doctor first to make sure it is safe based on your baby's growth and development.

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2 Sources
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  1. KID (Kids in Danger). Safety considerations for jogging strollers.

  2. BOB Gear. BOB Gear quick reference safety tips.