Friday, April 27, 2012

Why You Should Consider a Parent Facing Stroller



When I was pregnant with my first baby, I decided I must have a parent facing stroller. It was an instinctive desire, how could I let my tiny little newborn face away from me? It made no sense. So I gave in, bought an inexpensive reversible seat stroller, and loved every moment despite the fact it took three hands to fold and it weighed more than me. Eventually I gave up on it because my husband and I would argue about it more than enjoy the parent facing function. Not to mention it just didn't work for travel or putting it in the car.

"Please, fold it."
"Okay, but you pick it up."
"You wanted it, you can fold it and pick it up!"

I miss it, terribly. Not the stroller, but the baby facing me. Every time I put our 5 month old son in his lightweight, super easy folding stroller I think to myself "Wish I could have him face me!" Perhaps not all babies are like this, but both of mine absolutely love people and faces. He sees my face, he is content and happy. He doesn't want to face out, he wants little to do with toys, he just wants to see me! Here is why I think all strollers should have the parent facing option, or at least a bassinet that can be used up to 6 months:

Convenience: It's just plain convenient to see what your baby is doing, and no, a peekaboo window doesn't suffice. You'll either wake the baby with the velcro or you'll drive yourself crazy trying to get a peek every.three.minutes. Personally, I like to see the baby with a simple glance in their direction!

Common sense: When you see the baby you can gently rock the stroller before they actually have time to wake up or fuss, you can respond to their needs without delay, and the baby will be less fussy with eye contact. There is a reason why orphan infants do not thrive, it is because they have limited to no contact with caring people. Of course, I'm not saying we treat them as such by putting them in a regular stroller, but imagine what positive effect your simple presence and care has on the baby.  

Learning and Communication: One of the ways the baby learns about the world is by watching your reaction to things and people. What does a baby learn when they cannot see you? They need to see you to learn. They need to hear you talking while looking at them. Learning for mom is just as important, especially the first few months, a parent facing stroller is a great way to learn your baby's cues for things such as hunger/thirst. It makes for a smoother day to know what and when your baby needs something. 

Closeness: I think having a baby in a stroller instead of a baby carrier is far away enough during the first year. Not seeing them altogether puts them even further, even if not in proximity. I need to have the baby in a stroller for walks because I need a break from babywearing, I'm certainly not as strong as the indigenous people of many cultures that practice babywearing. But I would love to actually see him without having to stop the stroller and walk up to the front. Eye contact is key to being close. 

If we ever decide on baby #3, I would love to get a reversible seat stroller. Out of all the baby gear, it would probably get the most use after a baby carrier. If you are newly pregnant and you're not sold, just wait until your baby arrives, you'll see what I mean about wanting to see and communicate with the baby in the stroller. They grow up so incredibly fast, before you know it you will wish they would just sit in front of you, smiling and cooing. Have you ever tried a reversible seat stroller?

Check out the pricey but super stylish reversible strollers at Thanks Mama:
iCandy Pear (double)


4 comments:

  1. Both of my strollers are travel systems, and the baby faces me. I've never seen a baby in a stroller facing away from the parent. I guess because all I looked at were the travel systems, and with those you always just put the infant seat into the stroller and it always faces towards the parent. Only when they outgrow the infant seat do they face out. And by then they're around a year old, so they are ready to see more than just me.

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    1. You're right, thanks! You did remind me something I forgot to mention in the post! That it is not recommended to have infants in a car seat for prolonged periods of time. Travel systems are designed for travel of course, for getting in and out of the car often and not waking baby. But I would never use that for daily walks around the neighborhood, we prefer a stroller. I never liked travel systems due to the sheer weight and cumbersome-ness :) I don't find them very convenient, if anything - a stroller frame that's only for the car seat is a better cheaper option for running errands with an infant, of course that's my opinion. :)

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  2. While this is a neat idea, I think that the prices put these sort of strollers out of the reach of most new families. That's too bad b/c it's something that I'd consider having otherwise.

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    1. I agree! That's the reason we don't have one :) Otherwise I'd go and get one in an instant!

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