Jodi - posted on 08/22/2011 ( 42 moms have responded )
A leading child expert has called parents who carry their baby facing forwards in either pram or baby-carrier are "cruel and selfish".
University of Technology's Catherine Fowler, a professor of child and family health nursing, says babies are scared if they are carried in a sling or pram that faces away from their parents.
"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.
"In not considering our baby's perspective, we are inadvertently quite cruel to children."
Sceptical parents point to the fact that babies get bored and restless if they face their mums beyond a certain age.
Baby Love author Robin Barker says that as long as babies are loved, the direction they face is irrelevant.
"Parents have enough to worry and feel guilty about without considering which way they push their child in a stroller," she said.
"I don't think there is an issue with letting children experience the world before they are 12 months old."
A 2008 study by the University of Dundee came to the conclusion that babies who couldn't see their parents from the pram suffered "stress and trauma", stunt their development and become "anxious adults".
The same study said babies carried in rear-facing prams were more likely to sleep, laugh and listen to their parents.
Robin Barker also notes that rearward facing prams cost up to $2000 more than those which face outwards.