real life

Get out and walk! Too long in the pram is "damaging your kid"

It’s something we all do with our kids but doing it for too long will harm your baby’s brain…

Oh no. It turns out that YET AGAIN I am unknowingly damaging my children.

Yet another thing for us to analyse and over-think has come to light. You see, new research has shown that leaving your kids in their pram for too long can damage them.

I write this just in between dropping one child at pre-school and before I go to drop another off at school. My third who’s nearly three has been in her pram for about half-an hour already this morning and is about to be plonked into it for another half-an hour any minute now.

Oh-the guilt!

A neuro-psychologist in the UK has warned parents that putting young children in prams or baby seats for too long and too often could be hampering their speech and physical skills.

Sally Goddard Blythe has told a conference that “Infants need opportunity for free movement and exploration, whether that is tummy time, cuddling or rough play.”

Those of us who push our children in a forward-facing pram come under even more wrath – for she says that knock-on effects are said to harm performance at school and persist for life.

(Life.. gosh that’s pretty bad huh..)

She said that parents (and I think she means mothers here really doesn’t she?) are not interacting with their kids if they are letting

their children face the front.

‘That is not happening if a child is in a forward-facing buggy and her mum is using her smartphone.’

(Oh no, I did that this morning too!!)

You might think I sound glib, but here’s the thing. I don’t doubt this expert's qualifications. I don’t doubt her medical expertise or her research methods.

She’s probably right. She’s possibly got all the evidence in the world to back up her theories.


But what are we going to do? If we dared to take into account every single parenting warning we heard there would not be much we would be left that we could do.

Lets be realistic here.

I have three kids. I am busy. I keep my near-three year old in her pram for as long as possible simply cause I have stuff to do!

I don’t have time to wander through the streets hand in hand admiring the kittens when my son has to get to school and his backpack is heavy with lunchboxes and homework and his four-year-old brother is late for pre-school.

I have work to do and food to buy and toys to pick up off the floor. I have snacks to prepare and washing to put away and (yes this is important to me) a bloody cappuccino to buy!

Life is busy.

As it is I turn up to swimming lessons without towels and forget soccer matches. Where am I going to find the time to let my daughter amble along stopping every three seconds to pick up an all-important stick-wand.

The Daily Mail quotes a Mrs Goddard Blythe a director of the Institute for Neuro Physiological Psychology who says that said children with immature physical skills were less likely to perform well in national curriculum tests, although they may be intelligent.

She says that language skills were more advanced among youngsters who had been pushed in rear-facing pushchairs, instead of traditional forward facing, she added.

I understand that these things are something we all need to keep in the back of our minds. But I am yet to meet a caring, loving mother or father who does not engage with their child at all. Sure there are some damaged parents who may intentionally harm their children, but leaving them in a pram while you go about your daily life isn’t something we should feel guilty about.

 How long did you keep your child in the pram?

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