My partner is an avid trail runner and before I was pregnant I didn't mind getting out too. At the very least I hope to do some brisk trail walking with baby.

I'd assumed to run with a baby you had to use a "jogging"-style stroller/pram. But I just read in another question it's possible to run with baby in a sling? Is this correct?

What is "safe" for using a baby-backpack? I know you can walk in these, but can you run?

Are there age limitations?

Ideally I'll be able to chuck my partner outside with baby tied to them if one or both of them are sooky with instructions to knock each other out.

Edit: Looking for answers that provide options as to what is possible and what people's experiences have been, rather than flat out "No, don't".

"Running" in my question refers to the full spectrum of ambulation > walking and I was hoping it would be understood that running involving baby would mean slow even careful jog or trot, by people who are regular, experienced runners. Obviously sprinting and similar is just silly and seems obviously dangerous, I sincerely doubt that we'll realistically have the energy for anything vigorous for a while.

  • 1
    Out of curiosity, what do "bub" and "sooky" mean?
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 19:29
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    @MichaelMcGriff, according to that link it can mean anything from "complaining" to "sad" to "jealous" to "sentimental". Any guess which one it is in this case?
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 20:23
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    @joe / MichaelMcGriff I didn't realise it was a regional colloquialism! In this context I intended it to mean grumpy or sad, but it's an emotion that's a combination of everything Joe mentioned. It's not as negative as "crybaby" suggests. It's a very teenage-like sentiment and means you should probably either get some sleep or get some fresh air and exercise. "Sulking" is close.
    – Williams
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 0:26
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    "Looking for answers that provide options as to what is possible and what peoples' experiences have been..." Why are you not asking the child's doctor? Sometimes the answer is not: "sure, you can run with an infant/ baby, no problem! Just use product X!" Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 1:10
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    Sometimes the answer is not "here, do this" but rather, "sorry, but it's better if you don't do this." That's my point, not meaning to reduce it to a product recommendation. Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 1:20

4 Answers 4


I checked with my girlfriend, who is a baby-wearing consultant, and she says running with a baby in a baby-backpack or sling is a bad idea.

Babies do not have the muscular strength to absorb the impact shocks from running and it can cause them serious injury, no matter how tightly you wrap the baby up.

While walking long distance is fine and older children (1,5 years or older so they have enough muscles to handle it) might enjoy short sprints, there are no wearing techniques that will protect a baby from the stress put on their bodies if you go running longer distances.

If you really want to running, it is encouraged you take a stroller instead. And when baby-wearing consultants start suggesting you use a stroller, you know it's serious ;)

On the other hand, if you just stick to a walking pace, there are no problems. That's what baby backpacks and slings are designed for, and babies will comfortably sleep in them for hours while you are out walking.

  • Even baby backpacks have their disadvantages and shouldn't be considered for long-tim use
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 11:32

We started running with our lil one at 10 weeks from the advice we received from her pediatrician.

We picked up a used Ironman BOB with the non-steering front wheel and lower center of gravity compared to the newer models. The biggest concern, we were advised to focus on, was making sure her (your gender may vary :) head was very very very well supported so it wouldn't bob around in the BOB. We used a JJ Cole Baby Head Support and added extra support using those thin linen swaddle blankets. She was a rockstar for the entire experience.

Thanks to that, she made her first half marathon race debut at 5 months and was on the podium in her age group (missed winning because we had to stop and eat about half way and the winner passed us).

Obviously, as with all advice from strangers, check with your pediatrician first and go with only what you deem appropriate for your child.

(re: slings and backpack... they simply will not provide the head support you need until much later. I think our was 18 months before we took her on serious hikes and still had lots of bobbleheading)

Good luck!


We have done a lot of hiking with our baby, but not trail running.

While I think you could, in theory, run with a backpack, it's likely to mean a lot of jiggling for the baby. They aren't designed to be so restrictive - the shoulder straps have a few cm gap above baby's shoulders for comfort and mobility, which would mean a few cm jump each time you take a step. Whether it's safe or not, I would recommend asking your pediatrician.

The baby might not let your partner get very far anyway - I'm pretty sure our baby would find the first couple minutes of running fun, but then would start complaining.

Some info from a blog about trail running:

It is true that every day, my daughter and I were out exploring nature with her in a pack. But run…well, honestly, I would run every once and a while, for a very short distance, just to make her laugh. She would love the rhythm and bounce of it. But can I recommend truly going for a run with a child in a backpack? No I can’t. I think it would stress not only the carrier’s system, but also expose the child to danger. Carrying a 20-50 pounds of anything makes it more difficult to pick up your feet, and tripping while running becomes a real issue. Tripping on your own, so what, you scrape your knee and maybe bloody your hands…but tripping when you have a child on the front or back of you??? Disaster...as well as irresponsible.


Falling is a concern no matter what the speed - but I think it's more likely if you are walking very fast or running.

A baby wrap would be a better choice, since the baby is really attached to you rather than to the straps of the pack.

In response to your question about age limits - the manufacturers give guidelines, but we found that the recommended ages overlap a lot and it comes down to comfort (for you and the baby). For example, we started hiking with a sling (moby wrap) when our baby was 2 weeks old, transitioned to a front pack (ergobaby) at 4 months, and now we use an Osprey paco baby backpack. The ergobaby still works for short trips, but on long hikes it pulls your shoulders too much.

The backpack won't be of use until your baby's spine is strong enough to support his/her head in motion, when s/he is sitting very well independently. We tried it at about 7 months, and it wasn't so comfortable for her - again at 12 months it was fine, now at 15 months she loves her backpack so much that we have to hide it or she'll want to get in it immediately!

Whatever you choose, I'm sure your baby (and you and your partner) will benefit from being in the great outdoors.


I would say that running with a child in a baby-bagpack or sling is possibly dangerous to child's health. Our body is kept in position mainly because of our muscles, not bones themselves. If our muscles disappeared, we would be basically rag dolls with some hard parts inside. Actually, that's more or less what a newborn is. Except that the hard parts - bones - are actually not yet that hard.

So if you have to run with your baby, use a special stroller designed for running. They are usually more stable and more padded inside so that shaking is not so severe and tripping very unlikely - though you should choose a rather smooth path for your run anyway.

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