August 23, 2011

Carrying a baby facing forward is 'cruel, stressful and terrifying'

Carrying a baby facing forward, in either a sling or a pram, is cruel and selfish says a leading Australian health care expert.

Cathrine Fowler, a professor of child and family health nursing at Sydney's University of Technology said that facing a baby away from its parents is creating a very stressful situation and is "inadvertently quite cruel to children."

"Imagine if you were strapped to someone’s chest with your legs and arms flailing, heading with no control into a busy shopping centre — it would be terrifying," said Professor Fowler.

"Outward-facing baby carriers and prams give babies a bombardment of stimulus, creating a very stressful situation."

But author of Baby Love, Robin Barker has spoken out about the controversial claims, saying that as long as the baby is loved and fed, it didn't matter which way the pram was facing.

"What babies need is parents who love them and feed them and if that's in place then I'm afraid which way the pram faces is irrelevant," she said.

"I don't think there is an issue with letting children experience the world before they are 12 months old."

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