Although the age of technology has smoothed the way for us in countless aspects, it has left us with an extremely hectic lifestyle. People are running around all the time trying to run their errands. Parents are no different; life won’t stop cause you had a baby. Tasks need to be finished, and they need to be finished now. That’s why a baby stroller is a must for all parents.
Over the years, strollers have been tweaked and tailored to fit our every need. The general market now offers six different types of strollers; full-sized stroller, light-weight/umbrella stroller, jogging stroller, double stroller, car seat carrier and a travel system.
Each one of these strollers serves a specific need and as long as you keep to the safety measures and guidelines that come with the stroller, the chances of harm befalling you or your child are pretty slim.
Now we will discuss some of the everyday habits that may very well be harming your baby and on occasion, other people.
You Plus Baby
1. Front-Facing Strollers
“Life in a baby buggy facing forward might be more emotionally impoverished,” says Suzanne Zeedyk, lead author of the new study and a psychology professor at the University of Dundee in Scotland. “What babies want is interaction with their parents. They soak it up.”
This study has led us to believe that forward-facing infants might run the risk of impeded brain development, compared with those who face caregivers and parents.
This study conducted in Scotland shows that babies facing their moms and dads talk more, fall asleep faster, have moderate heart rates, and laugh more than those who are forward-facing.
This shows that up until the age of three, interaction between parents and children is essential for their development. Yet, once they can sit upright, you can have them face the world and develop their other senses by twisting and turning around in their seats.
2. Covering Strollers to Shade baby
According to Swedish researchers, doing this can cause the temperature inside a stroller to skyrocket to dangerous levels. Young children are especially at risk of overheating and even heat stroke. Signs of heatstroke can include hot, red, dry skin, rapid pulse, restlessness, lethargy, rapid, shallow breathing, vomiting and unconsciousness.
“It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos,” pediatrician Svante Norgren told the Swedish newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet. “There is also bad circulation of the air, and it is hard to see the baby with a cover over the pram.”
Now the right way to deal with the heat is to dress your child in light-weight clothes, keep them extra hydrated and stick to shaded places as much as possible. Other tips include selecting a model with a large canopy and removable back panel and adding a small fan that clips onto the stroller’s handlebars.
3. Not Upgrading the Stroller as The Baby Grows
Babies grow and change constantly, that’s why strollers/car seats need to keep up with them. Attachments may be added or removed or even, upon hitting certain milestones in development, replaced completely. Don’t ever ignore such updates as they’re crucial for the health of your baby.
Every stage of a baby’s life requires specific alignment and allows for precise movements; the right stroller will help and support your baby. While the wrong one might hinder or, even worse, injure your child. Once babies can sit upright, they ought to be allowed and encouraged to do just that most of the time as this allows for sensory, motor and cognitive development.
At that stage, a baby can wave at others and make eye-contact; he can also turn his head side-ways as he explores the world. Once a baby learns how to sit-up completely, he enters another phase. They become increasingly alert of everything going on around them.
4. Not Correcting Baby’s Posture/Position as He Sleeps
Now, everybody knows that labour and delivery is no piece of cake for either the baby or the mum. The baby spends almost nine months in the same position; fetal position. Then whether he’s pulled out by a c-section or pushed through natural delivery, there’s always a chance of very slight asymmetry.
This simply means that your baby might favour one side over the other. The good news is that with free movement and proper positioning, this asymmetry will be a thing of the past. A baby must always maintain a straight neck and spine at the midline of his body. Always keep the chin away from the chest and shoulders and try as much as possible not to let them sleep semi-reclined before they’re able to keep that position.
5. Leaving the Baby in the Car-seat Even at Home/More than Needed
The American Academy of Pediatrics SIDS prevention guidelines strictly advises against leaving babies in car seats longer than needed. They recommend moving the baby to a flat firm sleeping surface as soon as possible as to avoid the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It’s also important to note that a 2009 study published in the Pediatrics journal found that healthy newborns sitting in a car seat had significantly decreased blood oxygen levels compared to those lying flat.
The researchers concluded that infant car seats should be used for car travel and not as a replacement for a flat sleeping surface. Your infant getting sufficient levels of oxygen to the brain is pretty essential for health and development!
6. Allowing Other Children to Push the Stroller
Although it’s adorable when older siblings want to push the baby, you can hardly trust a child to take care of another child. No matter how well-mannered your kids are, kids will always be volatile and prone to tantrums. If one of these tantrums turns ugly, you surely don’t want your baby to bear the brunt of it.
7. Using Stroller as a Shopping Cart
This will mostly be a hindrance to you, the stroller with all its storage is meant for the baby alone. Your child won’t wait for you to go through a hundred items to get to their wipes or their favourite blanket. Strollers should be kept clean and organized. Everything should be within arm’s reach from you so that you can act quickly.
1. Not Folding Your Stroller When Taking Public Transportation
Now that’s plain rude. Your stroller could easily take up the place of three other commuters. Of course, juggling around a baby, a diaper bag and a stroller is no easy task, but, hopefully, as you are being the better person, people will come to your aid.
2. Parking Your Stroller Where it Blocks the View
Whether that’s the view in the zoo or the supermarket, others will not be pleased by this. Always make sure that your stroller is right in front of you and no one else. Don’t block the view of either the giraffe or the salsa stand with your baby.
3. Hitting People at the Back of their Feet./Taking up the Entire Side-walk
Always be alert and vigilant when walking down the street with a huge baby carrying device. Although people will be distracted instantly by your bundle of cuteness, hitting them or delaying them isn’t the nicest thing to do.
Stick to the side of the sidewalk, leaving enough space beside you for people to pass and steer clear from people’s Achilles. As a matter of fact, this also protects you as walking on the inside of a sidewalk is always safer than the peripheries.
4. Knocking down Displays
Depending on how old your baby is, where you place them inside a store can be crucial. If your child is old enough to grab stuff, then putting them next to any display is a recipe for disaster. Keep your kid and their hands as far away as possible from any collapsible items.
Everything a parent does is always derived from love and protectiveness, also a bit of exhaustion here and there. However, we must continually draw the line between protectiveness and obsession. Always keep an eye on your child, but don’t stifle them. Keep your children safe and comfortable, but not at the expense of other people.