Do front-facing baby buggies traumatise kids?

Yes, says the Daily Mail:

Baby buggies which face forwards may stunt children’s development and turn them into anxious adults, according to a study.

Infants suffer more stress and sometimes even ‘trauma’ in modern buggies with seats facing away from their parent, researchers found. 

Guess what? That’s not quite what the study said.

Despite the news report, there is no evidence from this study that buggies which face forwards cause trauma or have an effect on how the child grows up. Such interpretations of its results are incorrect and could be interpreted as scaremongering.

The study used heart rate as a measure of infant ‘stress’ and the finding that babies facing forward have slightly higher heart rates is unsurprising given the different stimuli they would be experiencing. As such, this may have nothing to do with ‘stress’ levels. The cautious interpretation of the results taken in some parts of the research article must be emphasised. In other areas and in some news reports the results have been over-interpreted and may cause parents unnecessary anxiety.