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Athlete Moms: Sarah's 5 Tips for Winter Baby Jogging

Sarah joins us today for advice on how to keep your precious cargo warm and happy during winter stroller jogs. This comes just at the right time - I'm doing my first race with a baby jogger tomorrow at the Greeen Brook Turkey Trot in NJ! --Bec

Continue reading below the picture for Sarah's story. 

Bec on her first ever baby jog.

Sarah's 5 Tips for Winter Baby Jogging

Just one look at this week’s forecast makes me shiver in my Shearling boots: With a high of only 38 degrees today, I’m accepting the fact that winter is here to stay. Which means no longer can you just dash outside in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Now, the outfit has to be constructed of layers on top and bottom, hats, gloves, neck warmers, arm warmers... 

And while you think taking your kids out for a run in the winter may be out of the question, it can be done. Especially if you need a (literal) breather after being cooped up in the house all day or if you have no other way to get your mileage in other than bringing your kid (or kids) along for the ride. A few years ago, during a time when I didn’t have either a gym membership or a regular babysitter, I trained for a half-marathon almost exclusively with outside pushing E in a BOB. He was two at the time and we spent many hours cruising through Central Park, Prospect Park, and around Hoboken. I even pushed him through six inches of snow one day. While the wind whipped around us and the cold air nipped at any exposed skin, E was always snug in his seat, and spent a lot of those long runs gabbing--or snoozing--away. We had so many nice moments together on our runs, and II wound up knocking close to ten minutes off my half-marathon PR, no doubt because of all of the added strength training I got pushing those 30-some pounds around. 

My advice to you? Don’t retire that jogger for the winter just yet. Embrace the challenge and  Here are 5 tips to keep it up ‘til spring.

Sack It.. Blankets have a tendency to get kicked off, which means you may either lose that beloved blankie or it winds up getting caught in the wheels (both have happened to me). Keep your little one super-snug without fussing with blankets in a made-for-strollers sack, like the Arctic Bundleme or  the Blanket 212. Don’t be turned off by the high price tag of these things--they are so worth it and you’ll be wishing you had one for yourself. 

Stay-Put Shoes. If your baby has access to her feet or head, she’ll no doubt entertain herself by tugging at her shoes, socks, or hat. Which may inevitably lead to more things lost along the run. Nellie, 10 months, kicks or pulls off every pair I’ve tried on her except her Robeez Classic Soft Sole Boots, which are perfect for winter since they’re leather and lined in a soft faux fur. As for hats? Go for a stay-put style with a tie or a strap under the chin. (I like L.L. Bean’s Triple Peak Fleece Hat and Mitten Set.)

Time it Right. While the rhythmic lull of the ride tends to soothe babies to sleep, it may be tougher to get a  toddler to snooze while you’re running. Granted, some kids may never sleep a wink in a stroller, but I found that for longer runs, it was good to head out about 30-45 minutes before a set nap time. That way, E wouldn’t be too tired/fussy at the start, and after a couple of miles, he’d tend to nod off for the duration. 

Pack Snacks. This rule applies all year round. If you’re little one is old enough to feed himself, fill up some snack traps and sippy cups and toss them in the bottom of your stroller. Even if he just ate, or is due for lunch after the run, bring the snacks anyway. You can easily soothe a grumpy-slash-impatient toddler with his favorite munchies or something to sip on. Or at least distract him long enough to let you get another mile or two in. I often pack a few these all-natural Nature's Bakery fig bars so that I can have a few bites to refuel after my run and then give the little one the rest as a treat. 

Happy Endings. Plan a route that ends in a playground or somewhere else fun. If it’s too cold to stay outside, go get some hot chocolate or find an indoor spot for your little one to run around. This way, he’ll learn that runs end in fun. Besides, he put in the miles, too! Reward him for it. 

 --Sarah

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