Hush little baby. Don’t say a word. Momma’s gonna buy you a jogging stroller.
But … which jogging stroller will best fit your needs, lifestyle, and budget? Which jogger best protects your baby’s delicate neck and head muscles from the jostling of each bump and turn?
Many people all over the world enjoy running. It improves your physical health, provides stress relief, boosts your mood … and it’s free, so the last thing you want is a baby jogger that requires you to constantly check, soothe, and readjust your tiny running buddy.
If you’re an avid or hopeful jogger, looking to include your little one on runs, or an active parent, always on the go and looking for a stroller that better meets your outdoor needs, read on.
“As every runner knows, running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other; it is about our lifestyle and who we are.”
Joan Benoit Samuelson, two-time Boston Marathon champion, winner of the Jesse Owens Award and Sullivan Award, and Mom
There are many jogging strollers on the market. Some are intended for very serious runners, while some are equipped for everyday use.
How many little ones are you planning to push around? There are single joggers with one seat, meant for one child, and double joggers with two seats, meant for two children. Double joggers come in two designs: side-by-side seats, or one seat in front of the other.
You want your child to be comfortable, whether it’s for 15 minutes or an hour. Questions to ask include: Is the five-point harness system adjustable? How long do you expect your child to stay in the stroller? Are the seats padded? Is the padding breathable? Does the seat offer any protection from the weather?
Unlike standard, four-wheeled strollers, jogging strollers have three wheels. These wheels are wider and meant for the rough outdoors; and usually, the front wheel is in a fixed position to help joggers run faster and smoother. Some joggers have the option to release the fixed wheel position, known as a swivel wheel, which will allow for easier turning and navigating through crowds and buildings.
Look at the tire’s tread. Thicker tread is better for rough terrain, while smoother tires are better for sidewalks and roads.
When selecting a jogger, consider the terrain where you will use it most often. Does the suspension system include shock absorbers on the front wheel? You may prefer more shock absorption if your usual pathways are bouncy. Remember that strollers with wider, larger wheels are ideal for the outdoors and rough terrains; however, they don’t fold as compactly and require more space for storage.
All jogging strollers come with a parking brake; but they do NOT all come with a handbrake, which is very helpful when the swivel wheel is in the unlocked position. If you choose a jogger that doesn’t come with a handbrake, be sure it has a safety strap. The safety strap wraps around your waist and stops the stroller from getting away from you, if you fall or are on a hill.
Some joggers come with an adjustable handlebar, while others don’t. How many people will use this stroller? Do you need a jogging stroller that fits your height, and your partners? Maybe you’re really short, or really tall, and the ability to change the height of the handlebars will narrow down your selection.
But how can I justify spending money on a jogging stroller when I’m not a “real” runner?
“It doesn’t matter how fast or how far you’re going. If you’re putting on your shoes and going out for a run, you are a runner, you are in that club.
Kara Goucher, American Olympian, and Mom
It must be said that jogging strollers aren’t just for active, serious runners completing 5ks and marathons. They are often convenient and easier to use at beaches, in the snow, around playgrounds, and at theme parks!
Lastly, please don’t forget to check with your doctor or healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise routine. Experts also suggest you shouldn’t run with your baby in a jogging stroller until they are at least six to eight months old and able to control of their head and neck muscles.
Which jogging stroller you choose is entirely up to you. Ask yourself questions, think about your needs, do your homework, and trust your gut. Happy trails!
Faye Knisley, a Florida mom of three, says, “Go running during their usual nap time. The jog helps to make them sleepy.”
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