As a stay at home mom/running mom, there are 2 very important pieces of equipment that I need to keep running: my jogging stroller and my treadmill.  If you’re better than me, then all you need is an alarm clock to wake up and get moving before your kids and spouse wake up.  For me, I need the to option run with Zain or run when he naps.

This is my favorite view when I run

I love my BOB Revolution jogging stroller.  Love love love.  It is the most used piece of baby gear that we were given while I was pregnant with Zain.  The first time I ever ran with it, I thought it would end up being the most useless item because it was so hard and I hated it so much.  As you can see from the fact that I run with it regularly and have taken Zain on some long runs – 10 (a few times), 13.1, 15, and 20 miles, I got used to it.  It took some practice, but the stroller started to feel more natural when I ran with it over time.  I expect to have another adjustment period when I’m running with a double jogging stroller next year!

The BOB isn’t just any stroller.  It’s a jogging stroller.  I cannot stress enough the importance of using a real jogging stroller for running with your little one.  It’s not just for your comfort and ease of pushing during a run, it is more importantly for your child’s safety.  How about a travel system stroller like the clunky Graco ones, a lightweight umbrella stroller, or a $1000 fancy stroller that has 16 different ways to position your kid? Not going to cut it.  Not only are those types of strollers going to be so annoying to push (I find them annoying to just walk with on sidewalks; I think they’re better for indoor use only, such as at the mall), they will not provide enough shock absorption for the safety and comfort of your child(ren).

I’d also like to note that not all Baby Jogger strollers are meant for jogging.  The name is a little misleading and I’ve seen a lot of parents running with their kids in Baby Jogger strollers that are not jogging strollers.  The wheels are too small and there is not enough shock absorption to run with them.  Baby Jogger does make actually jogging strollers (the F.I.T., the Summit XC, and the POD) though so be sure to note the difference.

When you shop for a jogging stroller, you might be a little intimidated by the choices and probably most significantly, the price.  You can buy a jogging stroller from places like Target and Babies ‘r’ Us for around $100, like this Baby Trend jogger for $110.  Beware that the lower end jogging strollers are going may be a little harder to push because they don’t have the fancier handling features of the higher end strollers.  Keep that in mind when you consider how much you’ll use the stroller.  You might be less-inclined to want to go out for a run with your kid(s) if the stroller is too much of a pain to push!

Here is a sampling of a few brands to chose from in 3 different price ranges.

Budget-Friendly: Baby Trend, InStep, Jeep

Only costs an arm (not an arm and a leg): Schwinn, Tike Tech, Joovy

Empty the bank account (but so worth it): Baby Jogger, BOB, Mountain Buggy

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…shh, don’t tell anyone: you don’t have to pay full price for your fancy jogging stroller.  WHAT?! Yes, I’m serious.  If you want a brand new one, look for sales.  Babies ‘r’ Us is always sending out coupons in the mail and REI has membership discounts that can be applied to your purchase; be sure to shop around.  If you don’t mind a used jogging stroller, check out eBay and Craigslist.  Check this out: an older BOB model for $75 or a newer model for $260 (no, those aren’t my listings I’m trying to advertise!). Check your local listings or local consignment shops and you can find a great deal.

Features you need in a jogging stroller: Fixed or lockable front wheel, pneumatic tires (that means they’re filled with air), a sunshade (I feel so bad when I see babies squinting in joggers without sun canopies), a good suspension system for a smooth ride, and a wrist strap for added safety.  Other features that are useful: a cup holder (or the option to add one), a snack tray for your passenger, a storage basket underneath the seat, easy to fold, adjustable seat positions, and whatever else will make the experience easier/better/more comfortable for you and your little one.

It is important to remember that jogging stroller manufacturers recommend waiting until your baby is 6-8 months old to run with them.  I know that may seem like a long time to wait after you have a baby, but it’s for their safety! I am a huge stickler for this rule so please don’t take your 8 week old out for a run where their poor little head will be rattling around, because then I will have to yell at you.  And please don’t doubly offend me by running with your 8 week old in a Graco travel system stroller (I have seen it done before) because then I’ll be really mad :) .

I am completely biased because I have only run with my BOB Revolution.  I have tried walking with a friend’s jogging stroller (from the budget-friendly category) and I didn’t find it all that smooth to even walk with, to be honest.  If any jogging stroller companies want to send me one of each of their joggers to test out, I am available for reviews :) .  In the meantime, I’m sticking with my beloved BOB and I am 99.99999% sure I will be getting either the BOB Revolution Duallie or the BOB Ironman Duallie when baby #2 arrives.  I’m hoping to test them both out first.  I know I love my Revolution, but I’m curious about how the Ironman handles (opinions would be appreciated!).

To sum up this post: buy a good jogging stroller, don’t run with a non-jogging stroller, and wait until your baby is old enough to run.

Be sure to check out my favorite tips for running with your jogging stroller!

I make it look fun, don’t I?

Note: None of these brands paid me to talk about how much I love them.  All opinions are my own.