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Making The Most of Buggy Time: Benefits of Parent Facing Buggies

Making The Most of Buggy Time: Benefits of Parent Facing Buggies

Buggy
Choosing a buggy or travel system as a parent can be an overwhelming and daunting task. Making sure you find the right fit for you and your baby is a big part of getting ready for their arrival.
 
There are so many factors to consider. Is it light? Is it compact? Can it adapt to a double buggy in time to come? The list is endless.
 
A factor that we may not always consider, is the direction baby is facing. As your baby gets older, you will most likely spend lots of time together out and about.
 
Babies and young children need face to face communication to support language development and learning. Having your child facing you in the buggy gives you the opportunity to share moments together when out and about.
 
6 Benefits of Parent Facing Buggies
  • You are far more likely to talk to your child if they are facing you. In fact, research shows you are twice as likely. This means that your child is also more likely to communicate with you. Simply changing the direction that your child faces when in their buggy can have a profound effect on how much one on one communication time they get with you.
  • Being face to face with your child allows you the opportunity to name and narrate experiences. From naming new vocabulary, to singing and making silly faces. When your child can see your face, they are given the opportunity to learn from you. Young brains are shaped by each and every little experience they have. The early years in which children spend in a buggy are a time of rapid growth and change in terms of language and cognitive development.
  • To your baby, you are the most important person in the world. Seeing the world can be overwhelming and scary. Having you as a constant in front of them is reassuring, and helps them makes sense of their surroundings. Sometimes it is easy to forget how emotionally dependant babies are and the key role we have in supporting their overall emotional well being.
  • Research also shows that babies are more likely to sleep and laugh when facing you. Who doesn't love a laughing or sleeping baby?
  • It is easier to read your babies facial expressions and cues when they are facing you. Maybe your child has a sudden look of excitement or surprise, they see something that they are enjoying. When you are face to face, it is much easier to pick up on these non-verbal cues and share the moment with your little one. Eye-contact and being able to read your babies expression means you can respond immediately.
  • Sometimes parents feel that their baby loves to watch the world go by. This can be true, however for some babies it can be overwhelming watching the world whizz by without a reassuring familiar face to help make sense of it. A child facing their parent can still see and experience the world, but also has the opportunity to share that experience with the most significant people in their life.
My buggy doesn't adapt to face me, what can I do?
Not all buggies have the option to face the parent. If you own a buggy or stroller that is forward facing, there are still ways that you can adapt things a little to share moments whilst out and about with your little one.
  • Bend down and get face to face when you get the opportunity e.g. at traffic lights, in a lift, when waiting outside the school for a sibling.
  • If in a waiting room or on a bus or train, take the opportunity to turn the buggy around and get face to face with your child. Chatter matters when out and about with your little one, and there is so much they can learn, when you help them make sense of the world.
Considerations for new parents buying a buggy
If you are buggy shopping for your impending arrival, the direction your little one faces is something to consider. Your new baby will have so much to learn about the world, and facing you whilst they do that will support them on that incredible journey. Also to note that direction of a buggy is not just for babies. Equally toddlers have lots to gain from parent facing buggies, and having the option is something you might be thankful for down the line.
 
Written by Emma O'Leary.
Emma is a mother to two boys and a paediatric speech and language therapist. She can be found blogging at www.lifewithtinyhumans.com about parenting, motherhood and family life. 
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