Thursday, March 5, 2009

Strollers may make your baby dumb!

OK, that title may be a little harsh, but a new study has emerged regarding Front-facing strollers. Take a read:

From The Mommy Files:

Here's yet another thing for you to worry about. Researchers from Dundee University in Scotland found that time spent in a 21st-century stroller can be emotionally isolating for a baby.

A new study suggests that forward-facing strollers might not be better for the mental health of babies.
The study suggests that old-fashioned buggies, which allow babies to lie down and look up at their parent, give babies the best start in life, while front-facing strollers discourage parents from talking to their little ones. What's more, children in front-facing strollers are significantly less likely to talk and laugh because they're deprived of parent interaction. A recent wave of hi-tech, adaptable, parent-facing buggies--such as the Bugaboo Cameleon--can help, but they are pricey, the researchers say.

"Our data suggests that for many babies today, life in a buggy is emotionally impoverished and possibly stressful," said the study's author, Suzanne Zeedyk of Dundee University's school of psychology.

The New York Times ran an Op-Ed piece by Zeedyk last Sunday:

Of course, infants do not spend all their time in strollers, but anecdotal evidence suggests that babies can easily spend a couple of hours a day in them. And research tells us that children's vocabulary development is governed almost entirely by the daily conversations parents have with them. When a stroller pusher can't easily see the things that attract a baby's attention, valuable opportunities for interaction can be missed.

Ours was a preliminary study, intended to raise questions rather than to provide answers. It is now clear that future research on the effects of stroller design would be worthwhile.

More worry for parents and a money-making idea for backwards facing stroller manufacturers.

What do you think? Do we really need to worry about this latest stab?

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