I had to clarify in the title because I didn’t want you to think you can just strap your little angel to your chest and take off for a 5k.
You have a baby! Congratulations! Isn’t that grand. And you’re a runner! Or you want to be a runner. Also grand. As any newish parent soon learns, you basically have no time to do anything. Simple projects like sorting mail have become staggeringly difficult to accomplish. If you’re lucky, you get a little sleep (sometimes). Yet for some reason, you’ve decided that you want to get into or get back to running. Yay! It’s good for you. Just keep telling yourself that.
I’m here to help you figure out how to run with a baby (in a jogging stroller). Here are 10 easy steps to make sure you’re ready to roll!
1) Buy a jogging stroller. Never ran/jogged before in your life? No need to worry. Once you see that $200 monument to your good intentions, you’ll get moving. Pro tip: buy a used one or borrow one from a friend to save roughly $150.
2) Shop online for active wear. You know you’re not going to make it out of the house, and if you do, your mini-shopping spree will surely be cut short by either a baby crying, your deep desire to nap, or some other parenting scenario. Enjoy your coffee at home and go shopping without having to interact with other humans.
3) Fuel like a winner. Reward yourself with Starbucks or a burrito. You’re doing great!
4) Shop online for a baby’s first run outfit. Yes, baby workout clothes exist. If you are a new parent, you will come to realize that every possible thing you could imagine for a baby to need or a parent—in a sleep-deprived fit of rage or daydreaming—to pay money for, exists.
5) Decide what your route will be. This is a lot easier for my homies in the ‘burbs. See, one thing that you’ll learn about jogging strollers is that they are designed for jogging, but you may find that your sidewalk is lumpier than you realized. This is especially true in the city, plus we have many more driveways and streets to cross. Your best bet is a pedestrian path that is flat and straight. When you lock the front wheel on the stroller and don’t have to steer much, it’s a lot easier!
6) Make a mini-diaper bag. If you’re new at this, you’ll probably want to bring a gigantic diaper bag with you. To be fair, you might need a diaper or wipes, spare outfit, rubber ducky, that disgusting nose straw, an umbrella, and so on, but you probably won’t (especially if you’re close to home or go running in a park and can leave the extras in your car). The most important things are food/beverage for your little bundle of running joy, toys to keep junior crazypants busy, and weather-appropriate clothing for your boo boo. Sure, you can throw in an extra diaper and washcloth. I’ll allow it. Pro tip: baby isn’t working up a sweat like you. Make sure he or she is dressed much warmer than you. If it’s sunny, shade your stroller (and slather ’em up in sunscreen if they’re old enough!)
7) Don’t forget your phone. I know runners who are all waa waa I don’t want to carry my phone. Well tough shit. You’ve got the whole stroller. Pop your phone in there, too.
8) Make sure your baby is ready. All joking aside, it’s super important that your baby is ready for the movement of a jogging stroller. Junior’s giant head needs to be aptly supported by his scrawny neck, and most doctors will recommend waiting until baby is 6 months or can sit up well. Check with your pediatrician! I know you’re antsy to run, but you don’t want old bobblehead to have a rough ride. Pro tip: if you are stuck at home and can’t get on the treadmill or out for a run, try the Fitness Blender videos on Youtube. They’re free workout videos of all kinds, many with awesome HIIT workouts and bodyweight exercises. If you make faces at your baby while you do it, sometimes you can trick them into thinking it’s a game.
9) Make sure you’re ready. Have you run for a few steps yet? Because pee can happen easier now. You’ve been warned. But also, if pee happens easily, talk to your doctor because there are things you can do to not have that problem! Otherwise, if you’re all good in the vagina department, just take it slow, walk as often as you need to, and enjoy the fresh air.
10) Hit the road! Take a selfie along the way because literally everyone will think you’re a boss. Make sure to enjoy your time with your doodoo baby, too!