Social Babies need Sociable Buggies
Parents and carers would communicate more with babies if they had access to affordable, pusher-facing buggies.
Over 800 parents, health workers and Early Years professionals took part in a buggy survey conducted a few years ago by Talk To Your Baby, the National Literacy Trust early language campaign.
Key findings included:
88 per cent of respondents said they would talk to their baby more if their buggy faced the pusher.
Over 90 per cent would choose a pusher-facing buggy over a forward-facing buggy if the cost were the same. 83 per cent would like the facility to face both ways.
The majority (74 per cent) said that a pushchair facing both ways would need to be priced below £200.
Over 90 per cent of respondents said their children spend between half an hour and two hours in a pushchair or stroller each day.
Buggies that allow children to sit facing the pusher result in increased eye contact and chatter between toddler and carer. One respondent commented, "My child sometimes doesn't realise that we are with him until we either stop and run around the front or tip him backwards just to say hello. My husband has taken to walking backwards in front of the buggy just so our son can see us."
Many respondents had searched for a pusher-facing buggy but found that there were few affordable choices on the market. One parent commented, "I would have loved to have bought a pushchair that would enable me to communicate with my 11-month-old daughter all the time, but the only one I could find was cripplingly expensive."
Talk To Your Baby Manager Liz Attenborough said, "Talk To Your Baby is campaigning for change and calling on the childcare equipment supplies market to think creatively about how to meet demand for affordable, sociable pusher-facing buggies."
About Talk to Your Baby
There is growing concern that increasing numbers of children are suffering from communication difficulties, and teachers and nursery workers feel young children's speaking and listening skills are on the decline. One of the contributing factors is believed to be the lack of time adults and young children spend talking together. 75% of heads of nurseries and schools admitting three-year-olds are concerned about a significant decline during the last five years in children's language competence at entry (National Literacy Trust/National Association of Head Teachers survey, 2001). 89% of nursery workers are worried that the occurrence of speech, language and communication difficulties amongst pre-school children is growing.
Talk To Your Baby is a campaign run by the National Literacy Trust to encourage parents and carers to talk more to children from birth to three.
About The National Literacy Trust
The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity dedicated to building a nation in which everyone enjoys the skills, self-esteem and pleasures that literacy can bring. It is the only organisation concerned with raising literacy standards for all age groups throughout the UK.