A cheery Louis in his (forward-facing) buggy
Hear that? No, not the sirens of a(nother) passing cavalcade, but the sound of smug parents patting themselves on the back for splashing out on the baby buggy equivalent of a Maserati. If slightly more eco-friendly.
How so? All those dollars (or pounds) spent on one of the ubiquitous Bugaboos or Martian-like Stokkes you see around have just been vindicated by a new study suggesting that babies left to eyeball the pavement in strollers that face away from their Moms risk being stunted developmentally. The theory goes that babies who face their Moms benefit from her constant waffling as she marches them along the pavement in her own version of pramaerobics. All her chit chat means they are more likely to talk, laugh and interact as a result. And they're less stressed than their forward-facing peers too. Apparently.
What I want to know, though, is what happens when just being in the buggy - Mom facing or not - stresses out your baby? My own extremely unscientific study of two (that's Louis and his friend Soph) suggests that babies are much happier in their (much cheaper) baby slings than their state-of-the-art strollers. They certainly get plenty of chit chat when carried around at chin level. The only danger there is they get too much: one baby book I read warned that babies could start to tune you out if you talked TOO much to them! On that basis, Louis probably stopped listening to me at least three months ago....