Get Fit Thursdays // Running with a Baby

I love running! While in college, I did it all the time. But, it got harder the more “grown-up” I was. My first year out of college was also my first year of teaching…I was busy out of the wazoo. But, thankfully, I had less than a 10 minute commute and was still able to run a few times a week. Then, my 2nd year, I switched schools (this time, 50 minutes away!) and was teaching a new subject. I didn’t know what free time was anymore! I also got pregnant…so what I could and couldn’t do was limited. Well, we moved closer to where I teach (now a 15 minute commute), and now my son is almost 10 months old!

As soon as I was given the 6-week okay, I started working out again. Typically, I’d go running, which was very hard since we lived in a hilly area, I was still super week, and my newborn didn’t like being outside in the stroller for very long. This was how it was for a few months, but I did my best to stick with it. Then, it got cold. And there was no way I was going to take my baby boy out to go running in chilly and cold weather. Finally, in the past two months, Utah has gotten warm again, Rhys is older and loves the outdoors, and I have gotten back into running again.

But, running with a baby (running with a stroller!) is far different than running by your lonesome. So, I have some tips for you new moms who want to get back into running!

I loved running by myself before I had a baby. Now, I love having a running buddy every day. But, running with a baby in a jogging stroller is quite different! Here are some tips to help!

1) Make sure your running stroller’s front wheel is tightened before each run!
This can be a hassle, definitely, but I’ve had issues with my brand-new running stroller’s front wheel. Sometimes, it’ll come loose, and wobble as I run. This causes the entire stroller to shake and quake and it is hard to steer. Rhys doesn’t mind it too much as an almost-10-month-old, but it’s rough for smaller babies!

2) Always bring a blanket for baby!
Whether it is chilly spring or hot summer, bring a blanket! I love using thin, light-weight swaddlers as blankets. It helps Rhys realize it is calm-time, it’ll be there to cuddle if he is getting tired, and it helps his arms if there is a sudden chilly wind.

3) Have snacks, a doll, and a pacy!
Basically, have most of your diaper bag in the stroller. All of these will help make the ride more enjoyable for baby. I clip the pacy on him (we’ve had too many times of it being sneezed out, landing on the sidewalk, and not finding it until our return lap). Baby will also be entertained and won’t complain about being hungry!

4) Do not turn your iPod music up all the way!
You won’t really be able to hear your baby if they start to fuss. I can’t run without music, but I want to make sure I am paying attention to Rhys.

5) Know your path!
While in college, I loved going out the door and not knowing where I was headed on my run. Sometimes, my runs would be shorter or longer as a result and it was always nice to explore new places. But, since you have a baby tagging along, make sure you are familiar with your route, or at least know the distance or time it will take.

6) Plan WHEN you want to go!
If you prefer your baby staying up, go long before nap time. If you think running will help them sleep, go pretty close to nap time. I’ve done both, but when I go close to nap time and he falls asleep in the stroller, I can’t move him out or he’ll wake up! So, weigh the pros and cons.

and most importantly…

7) Be flexible!
Stop when they drop a paci or a toy. Make sure the sun isn’t in their eyes and that they are warm enough. Rhys isn’t always calm and patient the entire run (and I like to run for 30-40 minutes…not that long!), so I have to be willing to turn back when he gets fussy. Sometimes, they just want to get out and play. Thankfully, I have a park right next to my house, so we’ll stop there and I’ll get him out. Then, I’ll stretch and do some (an)aerobic exercises while he crawls along and pushes the stroller. Sometimes, I just have to cut it short, take him home, and put him down for a nap, then I’ll stretch and do some exercises at home.


Th 5/14: “Workout Fashion”
Th 5/21: I’m going to link to all my previous posts on fitness and healthy lifestyles that I’ve ever done.
Th 6/18: “Q&A”–where are you since day 1, and ask us 3 whatever relevant question you want!
Th 6/23: “Results”–we’ll answer your questions and you give us final results!

Read my other posts in the Get Fit Thursday series!

What other tips do you have for mommy runners?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • Yes, yes, yes! I found myself nodding along with each of your tips! Especially #4! Luckily it DOES get easier to go running with the babe as they get older! Mia LOVES to go for runs now because she knows she gets a snack before breakfast, plus she sees so many cool things on the runs like, school buses (we always go as soon as we wake in the morning), garbage trucks, "cute doggies", etc 🙂 ha ha! And it's so nice! I change her diaper after I pull her out of bed, grab a light weight blanket, bag of snacks and her water bottle. That's it! No more lugging around everything we own for the just in cases! They learn the routine as well as us as they grow 🙂

  • I actually had no idea jogging strollers existed, but that's genius! Running or walking with your baby seems like the best way to exercise again once your child is here!

  • I'm so impressed you run with a jogger. I took my niece out one time in her jogger and it was the hardest run ever. It's like pushing 30 pds while running and an awesome workout. She got hungry though and I should have paid more attention to #3 🙂

  • Alisha Webster

    I used to give my little man a 'running pack' full of all his favorite things. I don't take him often anymore but he still gets excited when he sees his running bag. It took a while to learn these tricks, finding the right routes to keep the sun off him was a pain.

  • I don't know how you do it. I have no drive to exercise as is and I don;t have a child. but perhaps that will change after I have a little one and they change my body. Good luck with your journey.

  • Desiree @ Macke Monologues

    Stroller running is a totally different ball game. I always keep extra sunscreen and water (for Marcus and me) in my stroller, just in case.

  • Great tips!! I've never run with a stroller before, but I can see that it's a totally different challenge. Thanks for the help in advance!

  • Rhys absolutely LOVES the outdoors now, too. It's how we can calm him down. We also live close enough to Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Harmons, and the post office that I could take him and go on a quick run or short walk there and run an errand or two!

  • It's the only type of stroller I wanted!

  • It definitely took some getting used too, and going uphill is murder!

  • It did take a while to find a good grove with a jogging stroller.

  • It does take a log of determination to do it as I teach in the afternoon and sometimes use the excuse of grading/blogging/errands/chores in the morning to not go running x_x

  • Sunscreen and extra water is a great idea for the summer (but more understandable with living is SoCal!)

  • Good luck!

  • Such great tips! I can't imagine how different it is running with a stroller! I'm confined to a gym and stationary bike thanks to a lot of sports related injuries, but I miss running outside. It's such a great feeling!

  • The year before I got pregnant, I injured my LCL pretty badly and was in the same shape. I was so glad when I was cleared to start running outside again!

  • I'm glad you find it inspiring, Star!