Ok, so you’ve read the research on why face-to-face communication is so important for helping babies develop. So why not just keep the baby facing you in the stroller?
My name is Puck Fernsten and I am the founder of Gooru.
Because everything is so new and exciting, most young toddlers naturally want to explore the world around them. Some children may need a bit of encouragement. In either case, keeping a child facing you instead of the world around them is not the answer.
I often pushed my own children in a running stroller. We tried many methods to communicate. Store-bought mirrors and even my own early prototypes fell out of place – frustrating us both. I knew the importance of communication, and mirrors, when I could keep them in place, gave my children confidence. They learned to look adults and other children in the eye and express their thoughts.
As they grew, we walked and talked more – they were a captive audience, as was I. We worked on the ASL alphabet. We played “I Spy”. We counted, using objects around us. They loved the attention and showed me with laughter, smiling, engagement and more eye contact – effortlessly. All the while, we were building their brain architecture.
When they got old enough to sing, be it the ABCs or something new they learned at school, I’d begin running. The more they sang, the faster I’d go, excited to hear their song. They’d laugh when they saw me start to huff and puff. When they stopped singing, something my youngest (now 4) rarely did, I slowed down and a conversation would begin anew.
We were truly connecting and out exploring the world together – not cab driver and passenger – but connected parent and child, face-to-face, happily adventuring. Since I work full-time, our moments together were particularly precious. I knew they would only be little for a short while longer. I want to provide my children with every opportunity to succeed in this world, no matter what they choose to do when they’re older.
Stroller time became bonding time, exploring time, and development time all rolled into one. I want all stroller-age families to be able to experience that.