The Power of Parent Facing

The Power of Parent Facing

My only prerequisite for my pushchair was that my kids could face me. Here's why:

Babies are hard wired to seek out and look at faces, especially their parents! In that first year, children learn the most from their primary caregiver. Being face to face provides more opportunity to make eye contact which is incredibly important.

FOR BABIES, eye contact is the first form of communication with their caregiver and it builds the foundations not only for language but for emotional well being. Eye contact supports a secure attachment/bond with a caregiver. It helps your baby start to build understanding that a voice is linked to a person and that a smile is linked to an emotion. It teaches children how to relate to others and initiate/respond to communication.

AS THEY GROW, babies can start to follow a caregivers gaze so that they're both looking at the same thing. This is called joint attention and it's a crucial part of communication development. When an adult names that thing, all the magic of language development happens.

Research has shown that parents are more likely talk to their children when they're parent facing - which means more language is being modelled.

For me, having a pushchair where my kids can face me means we can connect and chat. I can show them things and hold them to my mouth to model how my mouth moves to make the word. I can point something out and see if they see it. I can notice what they're looking at and put language to it so that they're learning new words about things they're most interested in. We can smile at each other. I can see if they look worried or upset. I can see if they're awake or asleep. All the things that I could do if we were hanging out on the floor together.

In the wild, baby animals are always following and watching their mums. So why wouldn't we give our babies every opportunity to do the same?

Whichever pushchair you choose - IF YOU CAN, get face to face with your baby as often as possible.

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