"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Taking your baby for a walk

Now this little gem of research, funded by an education charity the Sutton Trust, must really have stretched the grey cells of the researchers. Come on, folks, how much intelligence/common sense does it require to conclude that babies fare better if they are facing whoever is pushing them in their buggy so that they can interact with them? I used to make that and similar observations frequently when my children were at the baby and toddler stage, but then I used a 'proper pram' and a pram seat for whoever was next up in age. As Silverback says in his blog on the same subject, it can hardly be conducive to a relaxing experience to be hurtling along, inches from the ground, headfirst towards legs, bicycles, shopping trolleys and traffic exhaust fumes. Having arrived at the same conclusion as this study thirty years ago, I am wondering if, in the interests of education and child welfare, I should volunteer (well, not volunteer exactly as I should require exorbitant fees, just as these researchers doubtless received) my services to the next survey to be undertaken.
Any ideas as to what that might be?


Arthur Clewley said...

my parents took me for walks as a baby facing them, but they put a cover over the pram so they didn't have to look at me. Do you think that counts as progrssive parenting?

Jay said...

I am not sure how much it contributes to the baby's development, providing the parent pushing the buggy takes the trouble to talk to the child and interact with them (something which is seen all too rarely). I am much more concerned about the fact that the child is being pushed out face-first into a sea of human legs, dogs being walked, cigarettes held at face level, exhaust fumes and often, fast moving traffic.

My heart skips a beat every time I see two young girls chatting away as they casually prop a buggy by its back wheels on the pavement, front wheels in mid-air, as they wait for a chance to cross.

It that's not psychologically damaging, I don't know what is!

Jennyta said...

Arthur, one could say you had a 'sheltered' upbringing - or maybe your parents did! ;)
Jay, I agree completely.

Dale said...

Here, the issue has become new mothers with their children in great, three-wheeled contraptions that take up masses of room in crowded cafes and on public transport. These new mums have a sense of entitlement that others (including me) find quite repulsive. Does no one hold a child anymore?

Jennyta said...

Same here, Dale but these days you couldn't possibly leave a buggy outside a shop because it would probably be gone by the time you came out!


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