As the days get shorter, the topic of running safety is all over the place. More people are running in the dark and want to do so safely. But what about the moms who are running with precious cargo? How do we run safely for ourselves and those in the running stroller? (Because sometimes moms are pushing two or even THREE kids in strollers like this mom who was planning to run a half marathon pushing three kids!) Whether you’ve never taken your kiddo on a stroller run or you’re a seasoned pro, check out these tips for doing it safely.
Tips for Safe Stroller Running
1. Make sure your child is ready. Jogging strollers typically require an infant to be a certain age to ride safely. Because there is a fair amount of jostling that goes along with jogging strollers, a lot of guidelines say 6 months is the earliest you should do it so that the infant has more head control. Even then, if your child seems to hate it or seems to be unsturdy, don’t sell your stroller yet. Wait a week or two and try again. Baby’s likes and dislikes change with the wind. Sometimes, literally, it is just the wind that made them angry that day.
2. Chuck the ‘buds. Ear buds are a running girl’s best friend (as long as you can get those damned things to stay in. Try these!) But you’d hate to be blasting Bey and not hear your bellowing babe, so wait to jam for a solo run. Plus you can help your baby with vocab and gauge your level of exertion by chatting: “Hey! Look at the yellow bus…”
3. Make yourself seen. We’re Brooks Running ambassadors, and we love ourselves some Brooks gear for its ability to make you seen. The Drift 1/2 Zip has front and back retroreflectivity so you can be seen in the dark if your baby is up and at ’em early or ready for a dusk run, and the bright yellow/blue color scheme is the bomb. Plus, it’s perfect for fall weather runs. The Chaser short also has awesome reflectivity so you’ll look like lightning — greased lightning — while also staying safe.
4. Make yourself more seener. (Anyone watching Haters Back Off? Sorry, “more seener” is just something Miranda would say.) Attach blinking lights like these to your shoe or stroller for good measure.
5. Save the snacks. It’s tempting to give your child snacks so that he or she is happy while you run. But as someone whose son has choked on cereal just sitting on the couch, food on the go for really young kids gives me pause. Save the snack for a running break or give the baby a drink or food that isn’t a choking hazard, like yogurt.
6. Look and look again. After an incident where I narrowly missed a runner, paranoia set in. Now when I’m running, I check and check again before crossing a street. You can’t be too careful when you’ve got precious cargo, and it’s harder to navigate and dodge traffic when you’re pushing a stroller. Look both ways and then do it again, even on less busy cross streets.
7. Know your limit. Running is hard work. Pushing a baby in a stroller is demanding. So doing both at the same time is a definitely challenge. Don’t underestimate it (especially if you’re just getting back to running after having a baby!). There’s pushing yourself and then there’s being two miles away from home when you run out of gas.
Got anything to add? Let us know below so we can all benefit! —Erin