When choosing a stroller there are many decisions to be made, relating to how and when you will use the stroller and therefore what solution is the best for you and your baby. One of those choices is deciding between a parent facing stroller or one where your baby is facing forward. Or, you can buy a stroller that does both (more on that later).
Read on for the latest information on the benefits of parent-facing strollers.
Are Parent Facing Strollers Better?
First things first – there is currently no scientific support to show that a parent-facing stroller can bring any additional health or wellbeing benefits. So don’t panic if you don’t have a parent facing stroller – you aren’t going to negatively affect your baby or cause them harm.
That’s not to say there aren’t some advantages to having a parent facing stroller; plenty of anecdotal research and studies on early years development have given parents and advisors enough evidence to suggest that having your baby facing you can bring benefits – especially in the first few months of your babies life. Research shows early bonding with children is crucial for several areas in their development including their long-term mental health and resilience. Simply put, babies who are shown lots of love and attention grow up to be mentally healthier adults.
An important part of the bonding process with your baby is talking to them and making eye contact. You won’t be discussing current news with your baby, of course, but everyday chatter, saying their name and even talking to others in front of your baby to familiarise them with your voice. This talking is an early tool for language development and maintaining eye contact and letting your baby communicate back helps lay down the foundations for speech.
Armed with this knowledge, it’s easy to understand why most parents and experts agree parent-facing strollers are beneficial.
If you can see your baby whilst out walking with a stroller it naturally encourages communication and gives baby plenty of opportunities to see and hear you speaking. As you walk along you may be chattering to your baby, telling them where you are going and of course, they will hear you speaking to others.
Baby facing towards you can also be reassuring, especially with a new-born baby. First-time mothers and even those of you with older children might just feel more comfortable being able to see your baby and keep an eye on them. New babies sleep lots but with a forward-facing stroller you can see them the entire time you are out of the house and keep an eye on them – this can help reduce any worries you may have.
Besides, who doesn’t want to just stare at their new baby anyway? Having a baby is incredibly special and most mothers can relate when we say that you will spend lots of time simply gazing at your baby. A forward-facing stroller doesn’t give you the chance to soak up all your baby’s cuteness!
When Should I Switch to a Forward-Facing Stroller?
We have established there are some advantages to a parent facing stroller but let’s not forget that as your child grows, a forward-facing stroller can also have advantages.
Your baby’s curiosity will increase as they start to develop – you can start to see this when they move their head to try and look around when they hear a sound or can see something interesting within their peripheral vision.
A forward-facing stroller provides plenty of stimulation and interest for your baby as they can see much more and look around them. Toddler age children almost certainly prefer a stroller where they can see the world in front of them and engage with their surroundings. There is no recommended age to move your child to a forward-facing stroller and it’s something you may want to change gradually – this can easily be done with a stroller that is reversible and has both parent and forward-facing options.
Reversible Parent and Forward-Facing Strollers
Two of the JUNIORJONES range of luxury strollers have been developed to be both forward and parent facing. Both the J-CARBON and J-SPIRIT can be easily switched between the two options, making it easy for you when it comes to experimenting with a forward-facing stroller.
For the first three months of your babies life, you will most likely want to use your stroller with the carrycot or seat unit facing towards you, giving you plenty of time to talk to your baby, make eye contact and keep an eye on them. You are then free to have the choice to try your stroller in the reverse position, giving your baby their first experience of the world around them.