Ah yes. The great question many moms ask when they are finally cleared to take baby along for the ride. While in the first year- year and a half most babies just sleep and watch, once the fascination wears off toddlers learn they have a voice.
That voice is then used to let you know how bored they are during your run. I have listed below 9 tips I use daily to get my run in, with a 1 year old and a 4 year old. I hope these tips help you reach your running goals with kids in tow.
The first tip to start out can be controversial. I will leave it here as first, skip it if you want screen free ideas.
Screen time. Limits are great, but so is getting a jog in without screaming and crying. Kids will look at it as a treat, let that mom guilt go! **if you want less guilt, download a learning app**
Snacks. What kids doesn’t like snacks? Ones that aren’t too messy, a big choking hazzard (gummies and whole grapes), and somewhat healthy are perfect choices. Don’t forget to bring a drink too.
Start low. If you are just starting jogging with a new addition, it is wise to start low and work up in mileage. See how your child tolerates it and work from there.
Comfort. Make sure they are comfortable. Do they want to sit up and watch? Or do they want to be fully reclined and nap? Are they dressed appropriately? Maybe bring them a jacket and blanket, they will need more layers than you. If it’s winter, I have a whole blog post dedicated to keeping your little cutie warm, even at 20 degrees ferinheight.
Nap time. If your child is any thing like my two girls, they fall asleep pretty quick in the stroller (yes, even my 4 year old). Plan a jog during nap time and enjoy a nice LONG QUIET run. I have had these kids sleeping in the stroller for up to 3 hours. Unbelievable, I know.
Make it fun. Play an I spy game with them. Or have them point out other things they see and hear. Or Make up your own game.
Let them bring a toy. Find a way to fasten the toy to the stroller otherwise you’re going to be stopping a lot. I find plastic links to work great. Link some around the toy, make a small leash, link the end to part of the stroller. I recommend stuffed animals, dolls, and teethers/infant toys.
Have a fun destination. This one is a bit harder in winter months. The rest of the year, jog to the park, library, a picnic spot, or even the splash pad. Keep an extra set of dry clothes in the stroller basket.
Your child is the navigator. When kids get to be 3/4 years old they recognize the paths you take and like to direct the route. I can usually hear my preschooler yelling left momma, go right, now straight from down below. So cute!
Most importantly, if you want a happy child, make sure all of their feeding and diapering needs are met. When comfortable and content children (and infants) are more likely to be happier for longer jogs.
How do you keep your kids happy during runs? How far do they let you go before they start voicing their opposition? Let me know in the comments down below. Happy jogging!