Pushing babies in forward-facing strollers may harm them emotionally due to the lack of face-to-face contact with the parent pushing them, a British study finds.
Researchers from Dundee University in Scotland have found that facing a parent while being pushed in a carriage gives an infant positive reassurance and reduces mental stress, Agence France-Presse reported Friday.
In fact, children pushed in forward-facing strollers are less likely to laugh and otherwise interact with parents than children pushed in strollers that face parents, according to the study, which included almost 3,000 parents and babies.
Twenty babies were wheeled in strollers for a mile, facing their parents for half the journey and facing away for the other half. Parents with the face-to-face baby carriages were twice as likely to talk to their children.
Babies in face-to-face carriages had lower heart rates and were twice as likely to fall asleep, indicating they were feeling relaxed and felt safe, researchers said.
"Neuroscience has helped us to learn how important social interaction during the early years is for children's brain development," study author Suzanne Zeedyk told AFP.