Is it time to ditch the buggy?

Is it time to stop using your little one's buggy? Find out more about the long-term physical and social effects it may have as your child gets older.
Is it time to stop using your little one's buggy?

Find out more about the long-term physical and social effects it may have as your child gets older.

The price of convenience

Buggies undoubtedly make life a whole lot easier when you have a baby or toddler in toe, especially for parents and caregivers, and using buggies daily in moderation will not cause any long-term developmental issues.

However convenience has its price and buggies could be doing more harm than good as your little one gets older.

Placing an infant on their back or having a child sit for long periods of time is not what we as humans are hard-wired to do.

Free movement and exploration is vital for kids’ development. Yet these days under 3s tend to be spending more and more time in buggies, car seats, capsules and bouncers instead of walking or running around.

Buggies are being over-used and children are spending more time in restricted sedentary positions which could be hindering their development from both a social and physical perspective.

Neuroscience has shown that our brains develop faster between birth and age 3 than during any other period of our life. Motor skills learned during the first 36 months help support cognitive learning and have been linked to performance later on at school.

A lot less walking

It seems more and more children are being pushed around in buggies when they are old enough to easily walk somewhere.

For instance, in the past an older child was often required to walk when a younger sibling came along. These days with double strollers that accommodate two children, the older child often isn’t compelled to walk any more.

Walking and physical activity helps stimulate important brain processes that cannot take place when children are riding in a buggy.

Delayed language development

Children’s vocabulary development is governed almost entirely by the daily conversations parents have with them. However these valuable opportunities for interaction can be missed particularly when a forward-facing buggy is used.

Forward-facing buggies are by far the most common, but children in them are the least likely to be interacting socially and it can be emotionally isolating for them.

Forward-facing buggies give children limited face-to-face time and could impede their social interaction and language development.

Comparatively, studies show that babies in rear-facing strollers have more advanced language skills than babies in front-facing strollers.

Find out more

It may not be time to ditch the buggy just yet, but perhaps start to think about the long-term physical and social effects on your child as they get older.

Read more from the University of Dundee and the research they carried out on baby buggies and child development.

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