Tips for Stroller Running With An Infant

Lila and I are spending more and more time with our jogging stroller, and I’m not upset about it.  I’ve gotten a few questions about using a jogging stroller so early, as most recommendations start when baby is about 6 months old.  I asked my pediatrician about this, and she gave us the green light with a few recommendations and requirements.  I’ve listed her requirements for stroller running with an infant below, but the most important one (according to her) was that Lila be ok with riding in her car seat.  Thankfully, she is.  Now the recommendations below are just what OUR pediatrician went over.  Every baby is different, and you’ve got to cover your own bases as a parent.  If you’re interested in stroller running before that 6 month-ish mark, talk to your pediatrician and make a plan that you feel comfortable with. 

Stroller Running With an Infant

  • Car Seat Adaptor – Being able to use a car seat has been the main reason I am comfortable “running” with Lila. I keep her buckled in and secure, her head is not bouncing around, and she is reclined at the same angle she would be in in the car. The seat also seems to absorb any shock that the stroller wouldn’t.
  • Using a Jogging Stroller – This may seem intuitive, but I’ve seen plenty of non-jogging strollers out on the greenway paths. This may be fine for older kiddo’s, but jogging strollers are designed specifically to absorb more shock than a more conventional stroller set up. If you’re planning on running consistently, it is well worth it to invest in a stroller designed for running, in my opinion. We were able to snag a basically new BOB on FB market place for $200, so that is also an option if your budget allows. Just be sure to thoroughly inspect anything you buy for signs of wear and tear.
  • Strong Head Support – Our car seat came with a support cushion for the newborn stage. Once we transition into using the stroller seat, we also bought a head insert that we plan to use to give her just a little more stability.
  • Smooth Surface – Until Lila can sit well unassisted, I will stick to smooth surfaces. The sidewalks in my neighborhood are ok for walking, but not as even as I’d prefer for running. Fortunately, the greenway system in our city has really great paved trails that are even and smooth, so for now these are the only surfaces we’ll be running on together.
  • Car Seat Cover – I’m excited to show Lila all of the scenery outside during our runs….in a few months. For now, she mostly naps and I like being able to protect her from a full hour of direct sunlight. We bought a stretchy lightweight car seat cover that we only use during runs and outside the car (they aren’t crash tested so we don’t use it in the car). Because it’s winter, I’m not worried about overheating, but I would probably stick to a cover that allows a little more air and add a stroller fan if it were warmer.
  • Walk First – I wanted to make sure everything was stable and comfy before we started running, so I got in several walks on the greenway system before we started running. This allowed me to get outside before I was ready to run, and to assess and make sure our system was sufficient for going slightly faster.
  • Be Patient – My body still isn’t quite ready for runs that don’t include walking intervals, so we’re taking things really slow pace and distance wise. This gives both of us time to adjust to stroller running, and has helped me to feel more and more comfortable.

Related Post: Why I Love Stroller Running

This was a somewhat busy week for my family and I, despite the fact that we had previously decided not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.  I know a lot of people “suck it up” and travel with small babies, but honestly I just don’t enjoy the stress and with Lila being less than 2 months old I wasn’t interested in going anywhere.  Staying home was actually really nice.  My husband worked a little during the week, but was mostly home, which was also really nice.

My dad stopped by our house on his way back from visiting my grandmother, so Lila and Enrique got to see him for a couple of hours on Monday. Enrique was in a baseball camp Monday through Wednesday, and it sounds like he loved every minute of it. On Wednesday, my husband picked up 2 pounds of turkey breast from a barbeque place and the ingredients for the side dishes we planned to make. Neither of us is a big fan of dark meat, and because we’re Native American a traditional Thanksgiving is not our typical plan.

Instead, we make food that we actually like and talk about the whole history of Thanksgiving with our son.  I made Mexican style pinto beans and steamed green beans, and my husband made mashed potatoes.  After I put Lila down for bed, we had dinner together and talked about our culture and history and how we would share that with Lila in the next coming years.  We finished decorating the tree over the weekend.  Getting up all the Christmas decorations has definitely been a slower endeavor this year, but we’re working on it!

On Saturday, I “ran” a 10k, which was both humbling and exciting.  My pelvic floor was definitely a little sore for a couple of hours afterwards.  As much as I would love to keep pushing it and increasing intensity, I don’t think my body is ready to go further or faster.  I guess we will keep taking it day by day, just like we did during pregnancy.

This Weeks Workouts

Total Miles: 18.65  Miles
Total Workouts: 4
How the Run Felt
I followed a similar structure from last week for my running workouts.  My weekly runs were all easy with 5 min run/walk intervals for an hour.  I’ve noticed that my pace is slowly improving, but I’m still not ready to really give myself more than one “hard” workout, which I’m saving for my longer run on the weekend.  I felt really good throughout the week, which is definitely encouraging.  My long run was a little more challenging this week, even though the distance was all that different. 

I decided to do a 10k with more running, so instead of including my warm up walk in the overall distance, I didn’t start tracking until I started my run.  I walked for 5 minutes to warm up and then ran a full mile, and walked for 2 minutes afterwards.  Once my 2 minutes was up, I lapped my watch and ran another full mile.  I kept this structure of intervals until I finished 6.10 miles.  Honestly, those 2 minutes felt like the blink of an eye, and after about 4 miles I felt heavy.  I’m so proud of my body for being able to get in 10k, but it was definitely harder and slower than any run I’ve done in the past couple of years.  I’m hoping that maybe next week I can incorporate some trail running to give my body a break from the impact of sidewalk and asphalt. 

How the WODs Felt
I was honestly a little bummed that I was only able to get in to the box once this week. While I’m really grateful to have some equipment to workout at home, I really like getting out of the house for at least an hour and grumbling to people who don’t have to live with me. I’m still adjusting to lifting from the floor, as opposed to hang, and I think the picture below accurately sums up how I feel about it. Getting back into the box was……interesting.

What I’ve Been Listening
I am still catching up on all my true crime favorites. I did start a new true crime series, Crazy in Love, which focuses on crimes committed between couples. So far it’s pretty entertaining!

What Went Well
Making the choice to stay home instead of travel this week.

What Went Shitty
Only getting into the box once.

Plans to Improve Next Week
Keep up with the pelvic floor PT exercises. It’s tempting to want to move on from them, but I know I’m not ready.

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