Everything You Need to Know About Running with Your Baby

Running or jogging with your little one is good for your physical and mental health, as well as a great way to get some fresh air with your baby. Along with advice from their team of parenting experts, baby and nursery retailer Kiddies Kingdom spoke to a health specialist to share all you need to know about running with your baby.

As most everyday strollers aren’t suitable to run with, for parents looking to start running with their baby, a running buggy is an essential purchase. They usually have a larger frame than a regular pushchair, a fixed front wheel and robust tyres, so your baby is guaranteed a more comfortable ride and they’re designed to promote proper running form too, to avoid any injuries.

When can I start running?

After giving birth, mums will have to wait before they can begin running. Rosie Stockley, Women’s Fitness Specialist and Founder of MAMAWELL advises that the “current guidelines are to wait until at least 12 weeks postpartum” adding that “there are many adaptations in the body during birth and it’s important to recover gradually, strengthen the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles before embarking on high impact training such as running.”

And just because it’s safe for mum to start running, doesn’t mean it is safe for baby too. You should wait until they’re at least six months old so they have the muscle strength needed to hold their heads upright, as bouncing around in a running buggy can be dangerous for a very young baby’s head and neck. Make sure to speak with your paediatrician to ensure it is safe for your baby to join you whilst running, whilst also checking the pushchair manufacturer’s age recommendation. 

How can I make sure my baby is comfortable? 

What your baby is wearing will affect how comfy they are, especially in colder weather. Standard guidance when not exercising is that your baby should wear one more clothing layer than you would if you were out walking as normal. Whilst running, Rosie advises to “make sure your baby is dressed for the weather and remember that although you’ll be getting warm exercising, they are sitting still”. For that reason, Rosie suggests a warm pram suit, with the option to add a blanket if needed. To help block windy weather, she also mentions that a rain cover is ideal to keep them cosy.

When you go for a run can also have an impact, with Rosie advising to choose your timing well to what suits both the parent and baby’s schedule, commenting that “sometimes it’s great to have the baby asleep, other times having them awake and looking at the view might be better.”

What should I take with me on runs?

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 nappies, wipes, water, snacks, extra clothes, and a toy or book to entertain your child, with Rosie recommending that “at this time of year, I’d recommend layers for yourself as it’s hard to gauge how hot you’ll be.”

Any additional tips on post-partum exercise?

Rosie suggests “following a programme to help you get back into exercise safely and to feel supported”. She also advises not to rush back into it, commenting that “many women go too hard too early and experience setbacks down the line.” Do seek help from your GP or a women’s health physio if you have any concerns about your postpartum body or mood.

Rosie also advises to “choose an exercise you love to do as then the barrier to entry will be lower. You’re going to feel great moving again post-birth, but there’s a lot going on with timings with the baby and your own fatigue, so you want to make it as easy for yourself as possible. Do seek help from your GP or a women’s health physio if you have any concerns about your postpartum body or mood.”

Jumaimah Hussain, Showroom Store Manager at Kiddies Kingdom shares the top features to look out for when purchasing a running buggy:

  • Lockable front wheel – can be set to swivel when walking or fixed in a straight-ahead position when running, making it easier to steer, especially when going over rougher terrain.
  • Adjustable handlebar – you need the handlebar to be far enough away that you don’t kick the rear axle when running. Also, if you’re sharing the pushchair, ensure that the handle height fits both of you comfortably. 
  • Suspension – this will help to absorb any bumps that you’re speeding over, which is a nice addition, particularly if you’re looking to do some running off-road.
  • Five-point harness – a vital feature to ensure your little one is properly restrained and will fully protect your baby while moving.
  • Folding – ensure the pushchair is easy to fold down and that it will easily fit in the boot of your car, or a cupboard if it’s your second buggy.
  • Hand loop – this will keep you attached to the pushchair in case you lose your grip. If it doesn’t come with one, you can buy one separately.
Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.