1. Check the jogging stroller wheels regularly
A couple of weeks ago I asked my husband to re-inflate one of the tires on my BOB since I noticed it was quite low on air. It made me realize that I should be routinely checking the tires, not only to make sure they are adequately inflated, but also to be sure they are securely fastened to the stroller and the alignment is straight.
Update: 5 years later, I had taken my 4 kids (including 4 month old twins!) to an outdoor museum and suddenly the stroller started veering strongly to the right. Then a wheel completely came off! Thankfully nobody was hurt (I was just walking, thank goodness) and a kind man came to my aid and repaired the stroller. Another reminder to check all the wheels ahead of time!
2. REALLY look both ways before crossing the street
Okay, obviously we check the street before crossing: “left and then right and then left” yadda yadda yadda, BUT, I’ve often caught myself just giving short little glances before running out into the road. This may suffice when I’m alone on a run, but put a baby in the mix and it suddenly becomes far more important to really make sure the street is clear and that you have enough time to cross with a stroller. Which leads to my next point…
3. Pay attention to those hasty turning-right-at-a-red-light drivers
A couple of months ago I had to bang on the hood of a lady’s car as I was jogging in front of her (yes, while pushing Little C). It was my turn to cross and she was stopped at the red light looking to her left. I waited a few seconds and then proceeded to jog across when she started to inch forward just as I was in front of her! I banged my hand on her hood and pointed to the white “walk” signal, which gave her a good startle and a prompt foot to the break pedal (this was also a good reminder for me to make eye contact with the driver before crossing…my bad). Thank you, L.A. drivers.
4. Don’t wear headphones so you can keep tabs on baby
I know it’s tempting to listen to music while running with your little one (I’m guilty of doing it myself once or twice), but I feel tons better knowing that I can hear Little C if something is wrong. It also helps me to check in on her throughout the run; I’ll make a comment now and then, like “Oh, we’re lucky it’s such nice weather today, huh!” or “Let me know if you get cold, okay?” Even though she can’t respond since she’s not talking yet, but that’s besides the point… 🙂
5. Wear the safety wrist strap!
If your jogging stroller comes with a wrist strap like mine (I have the BOB Stroller Strides), use it! I especially will make sure it’s securely around my wrist if I come to a downhill slope. These strollers glide like such a charm that if I were to slip or lose my footing, the stroller and my baby could easily go right off the sidewalk and into the street….scary!
6. Protect baby against sun and wind
I’m guilty of not putting sunscreen on myself for a run outside, but I am a little more mindful when it comes to the baby. Of course, we don’t need it if her skin isn’t exposed or she’s protected under the shade of the stroller hood. Although sometimes, if she is exposed a bit (like an ankle or foot), I’ll often give her a few minutes in the sun to soak in some Vitamin D 🙂 Don’t want to be too paranoid about a little fun in the sun!
7. Remember that baby is top priority
Every now and then, Little C will be a gem and interrupt my run with sudden fussiness or full on crying. If I know she’s just tired and will fall asleep within a few minutes, then I’ll continue my run and let her rest in the stroller, BUT if I don’t know why she’s upset, then I’ll stop and console her and then we’ll head home. It can be tempting to finish the workout you had planned, but just think of your little running buddy…if he/she’s not happy, then it’s time to call it a day. You can always do some yoga or something else inside during his/her next nap…or take a nap yourself 🙂