Forward-Facing Strollers Stress Babies
Using forward-facing strollers may cause babies emotional distress because they aren't getting face-to-face contact with their parents, according to researchers at Dundee University in Scotland.
The researchers studied nearly 3,000 parent-infant pairs and found that 25 percent of parents using rear-facing strollers spoke to their babies, more than twice as many as parents using forward-facing strollers. The researchers also found that babies in rear-facing strollers had lower heart rates and were twice as likely to fall asleep than those in forward-facing ones, Agence France Presse reported.
Facing their parents gives infants positive reassurance and reduces mental stress, the researchers concluded. The child does not have this opportunity with a forward facing stroller.
"Neuroscience has helped us to learn how important social interaction during the early years is for children's brain development," said Suzanne Zeedyk, of Dundee University's School of Psychology, AFP reported.
"Our data suggests that for many babies today, life in a buggy [stroller] is emotionally impoverished and possibly stressful. Stressed babies grow into anxious adults," she added.