Packing for any outing and getting out the door with a small child in tow can seem daunting at times. Here are my buggy running essentials to make the most out of that under buggy storage space without weighing you down!
Living in the UK, we are subject to pretty unreliable weather, so, even if you’re only going for a short run, it’s best to be prepared for all eventualities! For colder weather runs, make sure your little one has plenty of layers, as remember they won’t be working up a sweat to keep them warm like you are. A blanket is great to keep toes extra cosy but be careful it doesn’t slip off mid run! Whatever the weather, I always like to pack a spare jumper or raincoat, along with the buggy rain cover. Folded correctly it can be pretty compact. If it’s a warm and sunny day, don’t forget to apply sun cream to both you and baby before setting off - you can stash it in the under buggy basket for top ups too. If you can’t convince your little one to keep their sun hat on, don’t panic too much, most running buggies have great built in sunshades, but it’s still worth bringing it for potential pit stops.
If you are planning a longer run and worried about keeping potential buggy boredom at bay, rotating a selection of colourful or noisy toys can be a great distraction. Bonus points if the toys are attached to the buggy somehow to avoid them literally being thrown out of the pram! I have also found that as Max has got a little bit older and we’ve been buggy running more frequently he has been happy to sit and watch the world whizz by, especially if I chat to him about things we’re passing like dogs, lorries and smiling strangers.
Snacks and a bottle of water are also the perfect bribe to settle a fidgety or whining copilot back down for an extra few minutes or miles. Raisins are my favourite to bring because they are the least messy! Depending on how old your baby is and how you are feeding them, you may also need to consider bringing a bottle of milk. Throw in a packet of baby wipes to clean up any spills or sticky fingers on the go too.
If you are planning a park stop somewhere along the way - either for you to catch your breath mid run or as a final destination and reward for your little running buddy - you can pop in a few extras such as a ball (Max’s favourite thing - besides the snacks!) and a picnic blanket if you’ve got room. If, like Max, your little one can be a little bit reluctant to put on their shoes, don’t stress, just pop them in the basket in case they fancy getting out for an explore later on.
Alternatively, if you’re hoping the running motion will help your baby drift off to sleep, you might want to bring their favourite cuddly toy and a dummy if your baby has one. A Snooze Shade can also be a great purchase, but needs to be used relatively consistently to get (and keep!) your little one used to not being able to see where they’re going. I used mine a lot for buggy nap walks when Max was really small, but when I attempted to use it again recently he was having none of it!
Just in case of emergencies, it’s highly recommended to carry a puncture kit with you, but you can also take action to prevent punctures ruining your adventure by sliming the tyres with inner tube sealant. It’s also a good idea to take your purse with you, even if you wouldn’t for solo runs, as you can always stop off for a pint of milk or loaf of bread without having to run (excuse the pun) an extra errand, or to replenish your snack supplies.
If I’m driving somewhere for a running adventure rather than setting off straight from my front door, I tend to pack a separate changing backpack filled with nappies, wipes, a change of clothes and all the usual extras to leave in the car rather than weighing down the buggy more than necessary. Otherwise I don’t tend to bother bringing spare nappies. As long as Max has a fresh one before we head out, he’s usually all good until we get back. Even on the rare occasion he’s filled his nappy during a run, it’s been quicker and simpler to keep going until we get home to change him than try and find somewhere suitable to stop en route.
Finally, after packing what feels like everything but the kitchen sink to keep baby happy and occupied throughout your adventure, don’t forget a few essentials just for mum (or dad!). As well as for baby, bring plenty of water for yourself, along with a snack and a jumper or extra layer, especially if you might end up at the park for a while. I have also found that a spare muslin works wonders for mopping up sweat! If you want to listen to a podcast, audiobook or music during your run, Aftershokz bone conduction headphones have been recommended to me multiple times as a great investment. Not only do they allow you to confidently listen out for your little one, they also let you hear approaching pedestrians, dogs and traffic better. They can also sync to your phone or running watch which you are bound to be bringing with you!
Last but not least - don’t forget your keys!
To read more of my previous blog posts about buggy running, click here. Don’t forget to subscribe to be the first to know about any news and updates, just enter your email address at the bottom of the page. Thanks!