Talking to babies

August 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Talking to babies

I’m always seeing mothers pushing a baby or toddler in a forward facing buggy and chatting on their mobile phone.  I look at the babies and note that they seem generally lacking in stimulation – and this brings to mind the research published by the National Literacy Trust in 2008. The research found that children in front-facing buggies are significantly less likely to talk, laugh and generally interact with their parents than those in buggies that face the pusher.

The majority of buggies on the market are designed so that the child sits facing forwards, cut off from interaction with the pusher.  When confronted with the latest research, most parents have said that they would prefer a buggy where the child faces towards them, enabling general talking and singing – but many are deterred by the elevated price of buggies that face the pusher.

Add to this the problem of constant use of mobile phones and it is easy to see how babies are missing out on valuable communication with their parents.  Parents nowadays have so much to feel guilty about, and I certainly don’t want to create additional pressure.  But it’s so important to talk to babies and toddlers – to promote their language skills and to help them to make sense of their world. Why haven’t the manufacturers of baby and toddler transport systems led the campaign for change?


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