How To Pick The Perfect Stroller For Your Baby

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Strollers.

That word alone can cause many moms much stress.

Strollers come in a price spectrum much like cars, there are various high-end brands such as Bugaboo, and Doona, and the other cheaper strollers that don’t require a splurge and you can get pretty easily at your local Target. However, when it comes to strollers there are many decisions to be made that don’t have to do with money, the most important one being- should your stroller face the rear or face forward.

We will be discussing the pros and cons of both, leaving you to decide what is best for your little one!

Rear-facing strollers:

A stroller where your baby faces you benefits both of you. A parent-facing stroller helps keep you and your baby connected, encouraging more parent-baby interaction. A stroller where your baby faces you is also developmentally better and physically safer for your baby while providing you peace of mind because you can keep a close eye on your little one.

It provides emotional comfort. In a rear-facing stroller, your baby sees your face, as well as sees you talking to him. Seeing your familiar face comforts him emotionally and helps him feel safe.

It is good for the baby’s development. Developmentally, when a baby is between 2-6 months old, he needs and likes seeing his parents’ faces. He craves social exchanges with you. Babies also start learning the rules of social interaction and basing their reactions on your facial expressions during their first few months of life. And in a rear-facing baby stroller, you can more easily give your baby this kind of stimulation that he needs for development.

It offers more support and protection. The main reason to keep your baby in a rear-facing car seat is that it provides the best support and protection for their little head and body—the same is true with rear-facing strollers. Before your baby is strong enough to support his own head, he needs extra head and neck support that most strollers that face you offer. Just think if you accidentally ran into the curb or a fire hydrant while walking. If your infant was facing forward, his head would jerk forward from the impact. But when he’s facing you, the impact won’t throw his head forward or cause any harm to his head or neck.

Forward-facing strollers:

Forward-facing strollers are by far the most common stroller type available on the market and include everything from joggers to umbrella strollers. Strollers with seats that face forward can be a better option for older babies and toddlers who are curious about what is going on around them. Although forward-facing strollers allow for less face-to-face interaction, parents can still continue to interact by talking to their children, pointing out different things for them to see and checking on them regularly through a viewing window or by folding the sun canopy back.

Many people say forward-facing strollers are better for baby’s cognition and brain development as he/she sees more of the world around them and is therefore exposed to more than just a parent’s face.

Additionally, when your baby gets to be older than 3-4 months he/she may be bored when not facing the outside world. Part of the calming nature of a stroller ride is when your baby is soothed by the stimulation he/she is privy to.

However, recent studies suggest that forward-facing strollers cause infants stress. The findings of these studies are likely tied to the child’s developmental stage.

Young infants who have not yet developed object permanence (an understanding that objects continue to exist even though they cannot be seen or heard) are more likely to become stressed while riding in a forward-facing stroller.

Infants generally develop object permanence between 8 and 12 months of age; therefore, older infants and toddlers are less likely to become stressed when they are unable to see their parent while in a forward-facing stroller.

After our research, we have come to the conclusion that the best option is the reversible stroller. While each of these strollers has pros and cons, you can receive the best of both worlds if you choose a stroller with a reversibility option. Strollers with a reversibility option allow you to use the stroller in the rear-facing stroller when your child is younger and can be switched to a forward-facing stroller once he is older.

Happy stroller hunting!!

Shoshi W.
Shoshi is an undergraduate student at Stern College for Women in New York City. Her areas of interest include policy, non-profit organizations, and administration. During winter 2018, she was a White House intern. Shoshi has also interned at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and at Save the Children in New York. As a millennial, Shoshi brings a young and fresh perspective to the worlds of pregnancy and lactation.

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