Stroller Design May Stress Out Baby

11.24.08 Front-facing style can impact a child's development, study says


A new study out of Scotland is calling into question the design of popular strollers, CNN and news sites abroad report.

The University of Dundee study of 2,722 children found that forward-facing strollers can add to a baby's stress and raises the child's risk of long-term development problems. "Stressed out babies grow into anxious adults," the study's author said in the CNN report.

The study says that when children are facing the person pushing the stroller their heart rates fell, they are more likely to laugh, talk or interact and twice as likely to fall asleep.

The Scottish researchers suggest that the front-facing strollers may also deprive babies of their first lessons in life by discouraging their parents from talking to or interacting with them.

The experts said traditional strollers, which allow babies to face the person pushing him or her, are more emotionally healthy for babies. There are helpful options in the recent wave of high-tech strollers that let baby face either way—Bugaboo and the Stokke, to name a few—but they are often too expensive for most parents.

Strollers are convenient and a must-have. With so many varieties on the market, take a glance through our Buyer's Guide to find an option to transport your baby with ease and style.

Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.