Running with a pram: 11 tips from the experts who do it on a regular basis

The complete safety guide for parents who want to exercise with their baby

Mother with baby stroller running in the park
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Running with a pram is a great way to gain a sense of doing something for yourself after having a little one. 

Postnatal exercise will look different for every new mum – for some, it’s some gentle yoga while others are keen to clock up the miles putting their Baby Jogger Summit X3 pushchair to the test. “Buggy running gives your baby much needed fresh air, allows you to make the most of a nap if they’re young enough to still sleep in the day, and if they’re a bit older, gives them a chance to see any number of interesting things to see on your routes,” says mum-of-three and experienced buggy runner Claire Gleave. 

The NHS advises that you wait until after your six-week postnatal check before doing high-impact exercise (such as HIIT or running) during which your GP should monitor your blood pressure and see how you’re doing generally. Once you have the all-clear, getting back into an exercise routine should be a joy – and bring a myriad of health benefits, too. For one thing, postnatal exercise has been proven to reduce postpartum depression, according to research published in the National Library of Medicine. Here, we explore the benefits and practical tips for parents who are eager to pound the pavements with a baby on board.

Running with a pram tips

1. Always lock the front wheel

Whether you’re running on roads or pavements, you never know what might be on the ground that could cause your buggy to wobble and tip. You’ve got precious cargo on board, so locking the front wheel will ensure that your baby’s safety is your number one priority. “Likewise, if you’re running downhill, it wouldn’t take much for the wheel to spin causing an accident,” warns Claire. “The locking of the front wheel also gives you a lot more stability on both uneven surfaces in the event of you encountering something unexpected on the floor en route.”

2. Strap your wrist to the buggy

You wouldn’t run without your baby strapped in – and ensuring that you’re attached to the buggy is going to add that extra element of safety. “[A wrist strap] is essential in preventing your baby going anywhere without you and gives you much more control in the event of an accident,” Claire explains. Plus, it also gives you the security to push with one hand while swinging your free arm to help propel you forward, she adds.

LittleLife Universal Buggy Zubehör - £7.99 at Amazon

LittleLife Universal Buggy Zubehör - £7.99 at Amazon
While our Deputy Editor would recommend that you choose a buggy that's specifically for running (and will therefore usually include a wrist strap), it might not be realistic to purchase another pram if you already have one. 

This universal buggy wrist strap is an Amazon best-seller and can be used on all prams. It's easy to fasten, and is made from a soft and comfortable fabric to prevent rubbing. 

3. Find a safe route

A suitable running route to take your baby would be a clear concrete path so you can push the buggy with ease. Busy roads and country lanes are best to avoid where cars might unexpectedly come flying past. Big parks are ideal for running with a pram because their routes are usually flat with a wide path. And if you’re not sure if a route will be suitable, do a slow walking test ride so you can see. It’s worth having a little bell on the buggy to let people know you are coming, adds Claire.

4. Time your runs with their naps

Sure, some days the thought of getting dressed is too exhausting, but on the days you have more energy, going for a run while your baby naps is a good way for you to make the most of their routine. “The fresh air will often send the most ardent nap refuser off to sleep and it’s a great way for you to get a bit of headspace to listen to a podcast or your favourite music, uninterrupted,” says Claire.

5. Be aware of the weather

Any kind of high-intensity exercise is bound to make you want to take off your layers, but remember that your baby will hardly be moving and they’ll need the right clothing, whether it’s hot or cold outside. “Always make sure they’re wrapped up – a great investment is something like a sheepskin footmuff which allows you to not have to layer up your baby too heavily, and have the added benefit of being able to remove the top layer so your baby can just lie on the bottom layer on warmer days, keeping them cool and comfortable,” Claire suggests. On sunny days, always make sure your baby has a cap and sunscreen on, and if they’re a bit older, you could consider getting them a little pair of the best kids' sunglasses too, Claire adds.

Asian woman running with a pram outdoors in sunset

Asian woman running with a pram outdoors in sunset

(Image credit: Getty Images)

6. Wait until they’re the right age

Once you have the all-clear from the doctor to exercise, it can be tempting to strap your baby in the buggy and go running with them, but it’s advised you wait until they’re six months old as they’ll have more control of their head at this age. “Even with the best suspension, they will get bounced around, so head and neck control are important,” Claire reiterates.

7. Don’t be tempted to use a car seat

As a mum, you’ve probably become a pro at time- and money-saving hacks but on this occasion, it’s a big no-no to double up your car seat for your run with your baby – it won’t keep them safer. “While they are crash safe for cars, they sit high and heavy on a pushchair, changing the centre of gravity in your buggy and making tipping more likely,” warns Claire.

8. Wear the correct trainers

The last thing you need is an injury or niggle, so ensure you have supportive running shoes to counterbalance the resistance of the pram, as well as bouncy cushioning for shock absorption for the varied terrain as well as hard road surfaces.

9. Maintain good posture while running

Do not slouch over the pram with the pram or push too far ahead, this will put a lot of unnecessary pressure on the lower back. Keep it close with softly bent elbows, handles sitting around the height of the belly button.

10. Make it fun for them

There'll be days when your baby will be happy to take in all the sights and sounds of your running route, but on other occasions, they might be more unsettled – and wanting cuddles from mummy. Don’t fret, because a good old fashioned toy can be clipped on to the pram to keep them entertained. This 2-pack of Non-Slip Buggy Clips are perfect for hands-free entertaining, and have one-hand opening so you can keep control of the buggy with the other. If they’re a bit older, Claire suggests getting a good phone case so they can watch TV programmes or YouTube while you run – there’s no judgement from us on this one.

11. Be prepared

Keep all the essentials where you can see them – and within easy reach – by using this super-handy Storksak Stroller Organiser Luxe Scuba, you won’t have to stop for snacks or drinks if your baby needs something.

Is it hard to run with a pram?

It’s a hard yes from Claire. She said it’s physically more difficult to run with your baby in a buggy, but doing so is great for your fitness.  “Firstly, you’re running at a slightly unnatural stance – you can’t use your arms to help propel you forward – and then there’s the additional weight [of your baby and buggy] that mimics the equivalent of an uphill run in terms of effort.”  So don’t forget to get adequate rest when building your fitness back up. You could even indulge in these tried-and-tested self-care ideas for some ‘you time’. 

Which prams are good for running?

If you’re taking running with a pram seriously, and you have the budget, investing in a new buggy is your best bet. Claire ran with her babies using the Bugaboo Runner but we checked and this has now been discontinued. “For a more flexible option, Cybex does a four-in-one multisport trailer that you can use for so much more than just running,” Claire suggests. This running pram is popular with the experts at Goodto – check out our Cybex Zeno pushchair review to help you decide whether it's a good fit for you and your baby. “It’s worth remembering that running buggies tend to hold their value well, so you would get a good price when selling it on later,” says Claire. 

Young father with his kid in a running pram while jogging in a public park.

A father with his child in a running pram while jogging in a public park

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fitness professional Haylene Ryan Causer says there are a few factors to consider when shopping for a running pram. Work your way from the bottom to the top: “Three-wheel jogging prams are better designed for running, with one wheel at the front to allow better manoeuvre ability,” states Haylene. That’s because the wheels are air-filled which allows for better shock absorption and a more comfortable ride for your baby.

The same goes if you’re looking for the best travel strollers to take on holiday. Bigger and thicker wheels are a must if you’re planning on heading to the beach and other off-road use. You’ll want to have your hands free in case of emergencies too, the co-founder of Cafe Volonte, says. “Hand braking will allow you to be prepared to stop and attend to your child’s needs.” Having control of a hand brake is more efficient than a foot brake, she adds. 

Claire Gleave is the founder of Natal Active
Claire Gleave

Claire Gleave is the founder of maternity activewear brand Natal Active, and a seasoned marathon and buggy runner. She's completed 13 marathons, numerous half marathons and an ultra (running through three pregnancies) she covered many miles and races with her babies in a buggy. 

Claire founded Natal Active in 2020 after becoming frustrated at the lack of maternity options for her to wear when running in her pregnancies and then later when she was breastfeeding. Her collection of leggings, nursing sports bras and nursing tops can all be worn throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Running with a pram expert Haylene Causer Ryan
Haylene Ryan Causer

Haylene Ryan Causer is a sprinter, Olympic weightlifter, mother and co-founder of London wellness brand Volonté. With a belief that optimum wellbeing is achieved through a life of abundance rather than restriction, Haylene qualified as a trainer in 1999 with HFPA in South Africa before going on to complete her CrossFit level 1 and Olympic weightlifting level 1 in 2014. Additionally, Haylene has completed many other courses such as pre and post and natal, functional training, suspension training and aerobics. 

Today she supports the individuals she trains with workouts that are tailored exclusively towards heart health, strength, and mobility to support a positive lifestyle.

Best running prams

Daniella Gray
Family News & Wellbeing Writer

From building healthy family relationships to self-care tips for mums and parenting trends - Daniella also covers postnatal workouts and exercises for kids. After gaining a Print Journalism BA Hons degree and NCTJ Diploma in Journalism at Nottingham Trent University, Daniella started writing for Health & Wellbeing and co-hosted the Walk to Wellbeing podcast. She has also written for Stylist, Natural Health, The Sun UK and Fit & Well. In her free time, Daniella loves to travel, try out new fitness classes and cook for family and friends.