Studies Show, Studies Meant To Stress New Mothers Out

CNN is reporting about a study released out of London today stating that babies that face away from their parents in a stroller are less likely to talk, laugh and speak with their parents.

The study included 20 babies. They were pushed by their parents for 1 mile. Half of that mile was spent facing outward, the other half, inward.

I can’t help but shake my head at this one. Did they take in consideration the amount of time each parent spends with his or her child when they aren’t out walking with a stroller? Does a baby whose parents work full time and is cared for by a nanny talk to his or her parents less than a baby who spends his or her days with one (or both) of his or her parents? (I’m not suggesting one is better than the other, I’m suggesting that there are dozens of other factors involved here.) Does the position of the baby in a stroller really have anything to do with how a child communicates with his or her parents? Wouldn’t a child have to spend hours per day in a stroller for this to really matter?

And if we’re talking strollers, why not take it a step further. Are babies that face the rear of a car also stressed out? Does that mean suburban babies are likely to feel more stressed out than city babies because they spend more time in a car?

I am not asking these questions because I want answers. I’m also not suggesting that the study offended me. What I would like to suggest is that we start analyzing the information we’re given and what we then choose to do with it. This study leaves me asking too many questions. It’s my opinion that this is more in line with what mommybloggers should be getting worked up over.

Lastly, I wonder if the study was funded by Stokke. heh

There was another study done as well. It compared babies being worn by their parents vs. babies that face outward in a stroller and the babies that were worn by their parents were able to recite Infinite Jest at 15 months while those facing out in a stroller were banging hookers and dealing cocaine.


  1. Babies that live in households with at least one (1) feline have been proven in 100% of studies to be geniuses. And cute.

    Speaking to this stroller study nonsense, first of all, let’s just discuss that their were only 20 babies studied. Are they kidding? No scientist worth his or her salt would even participate in such a study. Second of all…well, really, no need to go on. It’s just stupid.

    Oh, and are you saying that banging hookers and dealing cocaine are bad things. Because that offends me.


  2. I’m confused. I just went and reread the article because (you’re right) 20 seems like a small number. And the top bit suggests that thousands of people were included. But then it goes on to state that it was only 20.

    What did the other 2,702 people do?

    Also, I had no idea your little one was so advanced regarding extracurricular activities!


  3. This study doesn’t apply to anyone.

    If the only time you spend with your kid is when they’re in a stroller, you need to slow the fuck down. Go on a vacation. Stop being such a douche.

    If you spend 23 hours with your kid on your lap (or in a trendy body sling) and one hour with them facing outward in a stroller, you’re a freak, but this study doesn’t apply.

    This kinda crap is grad school nonsense. Just move on. It’s pointless fluff. Leave it for The View. Leave it for folks without any damned sense or any sense of their place in the world.

    This is silly. At best. Let’s cure HIV or something, for Christ’s sake.


  4. Within an hour of them putting this up on CNN, it was sent around to two mother groups I am a member of. Two. Immediately people started making sweeping judgements about their strollers versus another.

    The point of my brining this up is not because I like talking about pointless fluff but because it does matter and it does seep into every day lives and it does matter to people. It’s just another thing added to the long list of shit that a parent can feel worse about whenever someone on the playground makes a comment about his or her stroller choice.

    To you it may seem like fluff, and I understand that it very well may be, but it doesn’t often end up being used as mindless fluff.

    Not sure if that makes sense.

    But I think my point may have been lost on this one.


  5. Tee hee. I had read that bit about babies facing outward in a carrier receiving too much stimulation, and I thought, Oh, PLEASE! Of course, I read it on the Ergo site in the FAQ about whether the Ergo could be used with the baby facing outward. I think they should have just said No, the baby cannot face outward in the Ergo, rather than citing some ridiculous study. My baby, for one, prefers to face out and decidedly does NOT like facing in.

    Also? I take ibuprofen before bed every single night after taking care of the kid all day. My right arm and shoulder are KILLING me by then. I can’t even really use the carrier b/c it hurts my shoulders so much. So I found the ad funny and truthful (EVEN the “official” thing—yes, I want to look like I know what I’m doing!) and not at all offensive.


  6. I’m criticizing CNN and the university in question for making fluff, not you for referencing it.

    Referencing it is terribly important. Like with the Motrin nonsense, your voice of reason (and ours of indignant frustration) is important.

    Anyone who is upset about that innocuous Motrin ad, or thinking of buying a Stokke because of this “study” needs to celebrate their rare, perfect, blessed life.

    Opening up a conversation like this allows folks like all of us to call bullshit on… bullshit.

    CNN needs to find some real news. The researchers in question need to find real work. The mommy groups who take this seriously need to find real parenting concerns.


  7. Sorry, Tobyjoe. I think I’m sensitive today and will make it up to you later. My word.

    Kidkate: No way in HELL Emory would EVER let us face him in. From day one he’d scream bloody murder. Kid is all about facing out. And he’s social as can be and smiles and laughs all the time. :] I call bullshit on this retarded study.


  8. To me, the overriding problem with articles like this is that so many of us parents (especially first time parents) feel insecure about our parenting skills or choices. These so-called studies only serve to make those of us who are already unsure about things feel even more unsure. Every month of parenting experience I gather ups my security another notch, but I think about that first-time pregnant mom, reading and devouring this crap in the hope that she can be the best mom she can be, and it makes me annoyed. “Fear-mongering” is a phrase that comes to mind.

    I’ve talked to my mother about this sort of thing, and she swears it wasn’t that bad for her. She got (wanted or unwanted) advice from her mother and MIL, and of course she talked to the pediatrician, but that was about the extent of it. Sometimes it makes me wonder if too much information is just, well, TOO MUCH information. Especially when crap like this study managed to make it to print.


  9. Ugh. Can’t wait for the wave of studies in twenty years re: Kids have problems because parents were encouraged to fishbowl them. Then I can feel bad about my parenting skills all over again.


  10. This is funny! I don’t know about other moms and babies, but the kid being in the stroller facing forward doesn’t stop us from talking to each other. I talk to that baby constantly and people probably think I’m crazy and he’s not one to keep from letting me know what he wants regardless of where he is placed.


  11. I hate the sweeping generalizations that poorly designed studies claim. Seriously. If the study is not designed correctly, you can’t make valid conclusions. And a sample size of 20? Ridiculous. As an educated society we need to more carefully analyze the messages sent to us by the media and call out the media when they make sweeping conclusions as well. (Some of these studies are done well, but the media wants a 20 second soundbite which can not begin to even capture the limitations of said studies, much less the accurate conclusions.)


  12. Wow, what a huge sample size. That ain’t science! Repeatable results? I bet NO. I am indignant, or I will be for a few minutes. Hmpf. Peoples are silly and fear monger on moms indeed. What about our cats? Do we look them in the eyes enough? OH NO!

    Also, I am and was with you on the Motrin thing. Chillax people.


  13. Well, I think they are on to something.
    I was pushed in an outward facing stroller (pram, I think) and I totally bang hookers.


  14. Oh I hate both these ridiculous studies and the women who just feed carnivorously on them and try to tell me that I’m doing it wrong because they have proof! There’s a study! I wish they would do a study on how many people turn into know-it-all asshats because of superfluous information.


  15. Here’s another thing mommybloggers should get worked up over: Nebraska changes their law to babies under 30 days old.

    How about we freak out about the fact that some parents who are in trouble financially and have their hands full with a troubled older child have nowhere to turn to for help. I am troubled by the fact that people were dropping older children off at hospitals in Nebraska, but I am more troubled with the knowing that people have nowhere to turn to for help if it’s needed.

    There is something very wrong here, but let’s get worked up over the way someone’s voice sounds on a motrin ad instead. That’s easier, right?


  16. Previous generations of mothers had Dr. Benjamin Spock to contend with.


  17. On the one hand, Mmmmmm—Infinite Jest.

    On the other hand, Mmmmmm—hookers and blow.


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