A new US study has revealed there could be differences in how your baby's vocabulary develops according to whether they face forward or backwards in their buggies.
The new research suggests that children who use buggies that face the person pushing them interact and laugh with them more. According to the study's author, M. Suzanne Zeedyk, a developmental psychologist, that may have a lot to do with how quickly your baby will be developing language skills.
"Vocabulary development is governed almost entirely by the daily conversations parents have with them," writes Zeedyk in a recent article in the New York Times.Her study of 2,700 families focused on caregiver interactions with their infants and toddlers while pushing them in both kinds of prams, facing out and in. "Caregivers were less likely to speak to infants when the child was facing forward, compared with prams where the baby faces the caregiver."
But if it's too late and you've bought that outward facing pram, or been using one until now, don't panic says Zeedyk. "Parents needn't feel worried...Talk to your baby whenever you get the chance -- and whichever direction your stroller faces."
My pet hate is seeing parents pushing buggies, with children facing towards them, while rabbiting on their mobile phones for ages and barely noticing the child. That not only diminishes interaction, but it also exposes children to hours of mindless gossip. Might as well put them in front of a few episodes of EastEnders.
What do you think? Which way does your pram face and does it affect how you interact with your child? Why did you choose that direction of travel?