A recent study conducted in the United Kingdom proves a point that attachment parenting advocates have been making for years, child development is negatively affected by strollers. The study looked at 2,722 infant/parent pairs using strollers. They found that 62 percent of babies were facing away from thier parents and that number grew to 86 percent for those between one and two years old. A smaller, related study demonstrates why facing away from parents can be so damaging to a baby's developing brain.
In the second study, Dr. Zeedyk observed 20 parents with their infants. For half of the time the children were looking away from their parents in forward facing strollers. The other half of the time they were facing towards their parents in rear-facing strollers. While the babies were facing them, the parents were far more likely to interact with their babies. The mothers and babies facing each other laughed more. Only one baby laughed while facing away from their parents. Parent-facing children were also twice as likely to fall asleep and had slightly lower heart rates, indicating that they felt more relaxed.
Perhaps the most surprising result of the study was that only 22 percent of the parents were talking to their babies at all, regardless of which direction the stroller was facing. This is where babywearing can make such a difference in development.
As any babywearing parent can tell you, when you wear your baby you are much more likely to interact with and talk to your baby. It is hard to ignore a baby that is right near your face. While the results do the stroller studies are dramatic, how much more interaction do babies in slings get versus babies in strollers? When your baby is near your face it is much easier to talk to them and point out the things that they are seeing.
We know that the first three years of life are the most important for brain development. Using a rear-facing stroller, or wearing your baby are important ways that you can increase your attachment with baby and improve their language development during this critical time.
Click here to read the full details of the study.
Babywearing is easy with these slings, wraps and carriers.