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I’ve gotten back to my running in the past few months now that I have one child in a small Pre-K class for a few hours. Boy does it feel good now, even though it was miserable at first. I talk all about how to start running again after having babies. Make sure to Pin that one for later.
One of the problems I ran into while starting to run was keeping my babies entertained. A 3-year-old and one-year-old don’t like to sit still for very long. This leads to whining and crying, which completely ruins my focus. To be able to run for more than 10 minutes, I had to come up with some clever ways to keep my children entertained. We don’t have pads for our kids, and I am OBSESSED with Aaptiv (which you must try because the trainers and runs are AMAZING! You get your first 30 days free, so why not).
Before I get into the 5 tips, let me also just tell you about the Baby Trend Expedition Double Jogger I’ve used now for about 4 years. You can tell I’ve used it so long because of the sun bleaching and missing front piece. (Damage from a flight, and I never replaced it). I want to mention that the Baby Trend Expedition Double Jogger is amazing, and compared to the BOB Jogger, which was the first stroller I owned, I like it just as much, if not more! I can’t emphasize enough how durable this stroller is, and it really glides and steers so well. This stroller has survived over 10 flights across the country (which any seasoned mom-traveler knows, the airlines are NOT very careful with strollers!!), as well as many, many miles of both trail and sidewalk running and walking! And when I say miles, I mean MILES! Hundreds of miles. The only small issue was one of the tire tubes went out just a few months ago. It was $15 to replace at a bike shop, and they did it in 10 minutes. Anyways, if you need a great double jogging stroller, I highly, recommend this one. Let’s get to the entertainment!
Special Books & Reading:
This may seem obvious, but I save books they haven’t read in a while or get ones from the library, particularly for stroller fun. My middle child loves to look at books, and the baby is happy looking over his shoulder with a cracker. The one he is looking at there is a book that I had been hiding, and he hadn’t seen it in forever. It’s Paw Patrol 5 Minute Stories, which he LOVES Paw Patrol, so that was exciting. This might give you about 15 minutes or so, depending on how many books you bring, or how old your little one is. There are baby books too, with pop-ups, touch-sensory pages, and more, that do well for the smaller ones too. This stroller also has great speakers, so you can plug your phone or device in and play songs or audiobooks for the kids! If you have an extra tablet, use that and the speakers to play a story, while you still listen to aaptiv.com on your headphones!
Magnetic Color Pads:
This works well because there isn’t the need to take lids of markers on and off, it’s simple to erase and start over, and there’s no mess. The one he’s using has a pad on the bottom, so it’s comfortable for him to place on his legs. Fun, and we only use it in the stroller, so it doesn’t get too boring. Now, I do like to run 4-5 days a week, so I alternate which days we do this, and which days we have some books. There are new LED ones that are smaller, that aren’t this big, so I think I am going to grab a new one. I found this one at a second-hand store, and I am so happy I got it but it’s time for an upgrade!
Parks and Pit Stops:
This trail is one of my favorite trails to run because the boys can get out and play. This isn’t ideal, but it’s part of being a mom and a runner. What works well for us is picking a destination to run to. I park a ways off from this trail, run to it, let the boys run and play, and then finish my run. There’s another park that’s 2.5 miles from my house, which the boys are accustomed to us running to. The idea of the fun destination, and knowing they are going to get out and play helps them relax and enjoy the ride. It also makes me get more miles in because I HAVE to run back. I also get a break, so I know I can make it back! You can work it into your training program, so you are doing two shorter runs, but faster. To me, that’s even harder than running the full 5 miles slowly.
Run At The Right Time:
I love to run in the evening when the boys are tired, but it’s too early for bed. I can’t tell you how well it calms them down, and how easy-going they are. I also like to run while the baby takes his morning nap and the toddler is semi-tired after being up for hours. If these guys are feeling tired, the Baby Trend Expedition Double Jogger seats can recline, and with the hood up, they feel like they have their private tent. The sides are mesh, so they can turn their heads and look out the sides to watch the surroundings.
The Right Snacks:
We all know that snacks keep them busy, but making sure to have the right snacks is super important. The ones that take them forever to eat like cups of crackers, apple slices, or trail mix. The key to this is the cups with the lids and small openings just for their little hands. This keeps the snacks from falling out, and from eating too many at once. Another great snack idea is things they can suck on like suckers. These work well. Not ideal in terms of the sugar and sticky mess, but it is a great option for happy stroller rides and great workouts for mom.
This is how I am getting my runs in with my toddlers these days. Don’t expect every run to be perfect, and you’ll have more fun yourself. I expect stops and fussy kids each time, so I’m not thrown off or frustrated. The fact that you are getting out and pushing one or two kids is amazing in itself! Make sure to look into the Baby Trend Expedition Double Jogger if you need a great double stroller. It is so worth it, and affordable at $169 compared to other brands over $300.