If you’ve invested in a jogging stroller, you have many happy hours of jogging and baby-bonding ahead of you!
But it’s possible that there’s one thing that you can’t quite get right: how to fold the darn thing. Don’t worry, you’re not alone if you’ve been struggling with it.
It can seem like an impossible task to get the stroller folded without breaking something. But thankfully there’s a step-by-step way to get it done with as little fuss and worry as possible.
Benefits of a Jogging Stroller vs Standard Stroller
Jogging strollers and regular strollers both have soft, padded seats that can be put down into different recline positions, which includes a flat recline (great for helping babies fall asleep). You’ll notice that regular strollers do have bigger seats and more storage space than jogging strollers.
A jogging stroller has a lightweight frame and large air-filled tires. This makes them easier to maneuver around and over obstacles, and provides a gentle ride for the baby. You can use a jogging stroller on any surface, and some even have a built-in suspension system to absorb impact. I’ve even seen jogging strollers out in the woods on single-track trails.
Unlike a regular stroller, the large front wheel on the jogging stroller is designed to be lockable. This adds to the stability and maneuverability of the stroller, and means it can’t just go off-course by accident if the wheel hits a stone or crack in the sidewalk.
Both types of stroller will likely come with a canopy to shield your little one from the wind, rain, and sun on a walk. You’ll notice that the canopy and the window is bigger on the regular stroller. The window on the jogging stroller is smaller, but it still allows you to keep an eye on the baby as you’re moving.
The compact design of the jogging stroller makes it easier than most regular ones to fold and store. It’s also less bulky than a regular stroller and you’d be able to store it out of the way easily.
How to Perfectly Fold a Jogging Stroller
Engage the Brakes
Before you fold the chair part, you want to make sure that you’ve locked any swivel wheels in place. Use the locking mechanism by the front wheel, which could be a button or a lever, to prevent it from moving freely.
Once the wheel has been locked in place, engage the brakes on the rear wheels. This will prevent the stroller from moving when you start to fold it, which will minimize the risk of injury.
Look Out for Any Wheels That Need to be Removed
Some strollers are designed with wheels that need to be removed before you can fold the whole contraption. Depending on the brand of stroller that you’re using, it could just be the front wheel that needs to be removed, but some strollers do require all three wheels to be detached.
There should be a release lever on each wheel. Once you’ve pushed the button or pulled the handle, the wheel should be released quickly.
Retract the Canopy
Make sure that you’ve retracted the canopy and that it rests comfortably in the rear of the stroller. This will help prevent it from getting damaged or caught in the sides of the stroller when you fold it.
Remove All Accessories
Depending on the brand of stroller that you have and the way that it folds, you may have to remove the easy accessible bar. The easy accessible bar doubles as the baby tray that you can put snacks and the baby juice bottle in.
Make sure that you’ve emptied the stroller and that there are no toys or other baby items inside the stroller.
Release the Frame’s Locking Mechanism
Quick-release mechanisms on strollers are not standard, and vary based on the brand. Before you even buy a jogging stroller, practice folding a couple different models. You’ll find that some collapse quite easily. In fact, many are designed for one-handed folding, since you will often find yourself holding you kids in one arm and collapsing and stowing the stroller with the other.
The quick-release handle is usually located either on the handlebar, or under a fabric fold in the seat of the stroller. It’s normally a different color material to that of the seat and can be a solid yellow or red strip or fabric. You’d grab this, pulling it upwards, and it should fold the stroller’s frame within a second.
Fold It and Lock It with the Latch
Now that the stroller is folded, make sure that it’s secured for easy storage in this position. On the side of the stroller there should be a locking mechanism that will slide over the frame of the stroller.
All you’d need to do is slide this into place, and it would help to keep the frame locked securely in its folded position.
Extra Tips and Tricks
Folding a stroller gets easier with time and eventually, you’ll have it down to a fine art. While it can be frustrating when it seems like you’re fighting with the stroller to get it folded down, here are some extra tips that could help make the process even easier.
Make Sure You Have Enough Space
When you’re trying to fold the stroller, make sure you have plenty of space in which to do so. You don’t want to try and fold a stroller between two parked cars, for instance. This lack of space could lead to you being frustrated and battling to get the locking mechanisms in place.
Make sure that you have enough space to move around the stroller from front to back comfortably.
Dry It Off First If Wet
If you’ve been caught in the rain, get rid of excess water before you store it. Water can get trapped in the folds of the canopy and both the parent and baby tray, and if it sits there for a while it can cause mold and mildew.
You may have to remove the trays and empty them, or get a cloth and dry them out. You can also shake the stroller gently to get rid of excess water. All strollers are made from different materials, which is why it’s best to dry them off thoroughly. This will also help prevent rust that could prevent the stroller from working or folding properly.
Shake It Slightly To Make Folding Easier
While you’re trying to release the stroller’s locking mechanism so that it will fold, you could try shaking it gently. This should be done in an upwards and downwards motion rather than a sideways motion.
This can help to release the locking mechanism. It’s important to note that you should never force the locking mechanism or any other mechanism on the stroller to fold or lock into a position. This could result in permanent damage to the stroller and other working parts.
Lubricate or Straighten Bent Parts
Instruction manuals always paint a rosy picture of things going great and products working perfectly. In the real world, even after you try to collapse the stroller a few times to loosen it up, it still might not work right. Double-check the manual to make sure you aren’t missing a step. Assuming no steps have been missed, check the frame of the stroller to make sure that nothing has bent out of shape. You could try straightening a damaged part yourself, but contacting the manufacturer if your warranty is still in place is better. This stroller is an investment, and it will see heavy use, so you want it to be right from the git-go.
If the frame looks good then try lubricating folding points on the frame. This should help to make the folding of the stroller easier. Choose your lubricants wisely. That can of WD-40 is actually a solvent that will remove lubrication. Opt for a silicone or wax-based lubricant instead, and check the owners manual for recommendations.
Getting the Stroller In and Out of the Car
You want to make sure that you always have enough space when you’re taking the stroller out of the car. When you’ve put the stroller down, make sure to engage the brakes so that it won’t move. Only then should you unfold the stroller.
As a parent, you’ll find it very worth it to have your car set up to store strollers. It makes sense to dedicate some trunk space for your stroller. If you drive an SUV, once you’ve locked the stroller in place you could strap it to the back seat using a bungee cord. This would help keep it upright, as well as save space.
To minimize the risk of injury, grab the side of the stroller with both hands, keep your back straight, and use your core when lifting the stroller into the trunk.
Once you’ve got it in the trunk, make sure that it’s positioned where there’s space between the stroller and trunk door. This will prevent the trunk door from hitting it, which could cause damage to both the stroller and door.
Storing Your Stroller Safely
If you have both regular and jogging strollers, make sure that you have space to store them both. The last thing you want is someone walking into one of them, or hurting a toe by kicking it as they walk past it.
If you live in an apartment where there’s not a lot of available space, you could get a stroller door hanger, which would allow you to keep the stroller in any room. It would hang the stroller on the back of the door out of reach. The stroller could be left in the car or you could hang it on a wall-mounted hook.
If you have a balcony you can store the stroller there, but you’d want to make sure that it’s covered, which will protect it from the elements.
If you live in a state where it snows then it may be wise to invest in stroller wheel covers. These will help soak up any moisture from the wet wheels. They can also be used to prevent the stroller from leaving dirt in the house after a trip outside.