Tips for Jogger Strolling with Kids
It’s hard enough to force yourself to go running, let alone with two littles and a giant jogging stroller. What’s even harder? When your toddler isn’t feeling the whole jogging stroller thing, or your infant is SO over the car seat. Your two perfect “Dr. Jekyll” babies decide they are going to make your run a little more challenging by transforming into tenacious “Mr. Hyde” monsters. I’ve made every mistake a mom could make with coordinating stroller runs, so I figured I would make a list of things that have been integral to my successful jogs.
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Snacks are truly the key to any toddler’s happiness, if we’re being honest. Here are some snack tips that will help keep the monster at bay:
- I love those little applesauce/fruit/veggie pouches. I also have a “no spill” bowl that I fill with yogurt melts or puffs…it will occupy my toddler days…or until gone.
- I usually bring two options in case one is deemed insufficient by said toddler.
- I also bring one of those 2oz ready to use formula bottles in case the baby doesn’t feel like waiting to eat until the ride is over.
- Bring a sippy cup of water because hydration is important…and you never know when thirst will be the end of the world.
I have done it all entertainment wise, and to be completely transparent, I have not mastered this one yet because toddlers are crazy people. One minute they like a toy and the next minute it’s the worst invention that has ever been introduced into the world. You want to bring enough to entertain them, but not too much to weight down the jogging stroller boat you’re already pushing. Though I am not a master, I have had a few successes, and they are as follows:
- Favorite toys are good, but sometimes I don’t like the risk of loss or boredom (because they are so used to it), so I may even opt out of bringing these…unless there is an epic battle, then we will just make it happen.
- Books are great! The smaller cardboard ones are the best in my book. See what I did there?
- Household items that are “new” to them work well…something with lots of details or buttons (that won’t be any danger). I’ve used a combination lock, old remote, egg timer, flashlight, sand timer. Sometimes these things become the “special” running toy.
- DON’T bring a ball or anything that will roll away when they drop it out of the stroller.
- DON’T bring coloring stuff…it seems pretty straightforward, but I tried it. And ya know what? It didn’t go as poorly as expected, but yeah…just…no.
- If all else fails mid run…find something in nature to satiate their boredom…before it’s too late. Today a rock worked really well. (Obviously I’m writing this post after a rough run day…)
- I usually try to time my runs with the infant’s nap. If she isn’t napping, a hanging toy provides great entertainment. Also ones that vibrate and play music.
- Singing songs is a great way to spend some time…might be tough to sing while running, but getting them started is what counts.
- Games like I Spy are good for a minute.
- My FAVORITE is to ask my toddler to cheer me on when I’m hitting a challenge in my course. Nothing is more encouraging than the voice of a cherub saying, “Go, Mama, Go” as you push that carriage up a hill.
Weather is just like your toddler, nobody can predict exactly what it’s going to do. It’s the worst when you have to turn the wagon around because you’re worried that someone is going to get too chilly or too hot. (But totally do it if you think that might happen…KIDS FIRST!!)
- In the cooler months, I bundle my little bundles of joy in the cutest of bear suits (below is the one I have for my toddler, love it). Then layer them up depending on how cold it is.
- I stow mittens and hats in various compartments if they aren’t wearing them already.
- I have a little fleece blanket for each body.
- In the warmer months, light jackets will be stowed.
- I bring ice packs and cold water bottles for them to play with and cool down at the same time.
- Make sure your stroller provides enough shade for all weather. It is the end of days when the sun is in my toddler’s eyes.
- I have a cover for my infant’s car seat. It is multifunctional…keeps them warm, blocks the sun, nursing cover…and cute. Check it out!
Some people would probably just opt to bring their diaper bag, but mine is like 5,000 lbs. The extra weight would definitely bring on more burn during the run, but I think there are just a few things you need.
- Realistically, you probably won’t be changing any diapers mid-run. But maybe bring one per kid just in case.
- Bring some wipes…you will use them for the most random things.
- Hand sanitizer is never bad to have on hand. See what I did there?
- Mace – not to freak you out or anything, but it could come in handy! I’ve had a situation where I felt threatened…and afterwards regretted not having something to defend my kids except my totally ripped arm muscles that I wish I had. It can work on wild animals too…just in case.
- You may be wondering where to store all of these amazing things to bring on your run…there are a lot of jogging stroller handlebar consoles that have ample storage…and cup holders. I have this console, but I like that Amazon has it with a pump for the tires…just in case!
I realize this post makes it seem like I run for hours and my kids are terrible. Very opposite. I run for about 20-40 minutes (much lower if there are a lot of hills…or its really cold…or really hot) and my kids are USUALLY Dr. Jekyll.
What tricks do you have for a good jogging stroller run?