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Rear-facing Strollers vs. Forward-facing Strollers

When it comes to selecting the right stroller, many parents question whether it’s better to choose a model that faces forward or one in which the child faces the parent. There are even models that can be switched back and forth.

Rear-facing Strollers


Rear-facing strollers are the best stroller option for parents of infants. Since the child sits facing the parent, you can still have lots of interaction and face time with your child while he or she is in the stroller. Parents are able to remain responsive to their child’s cues when they are in a parent facing seat. Furthermore, a rear facing stroller can provide added comfort and security for you and your child when strolling through unfamiliar areas or in places with larger crowds.

Carriage style strollers are designed with a rear facing bassinet and some stroller models are now available with a rear facing toddler seat options. When traveling, it can be convenient to have a rear-facing stroller since it allows you to keep a close eye on your little while you are in an unfamiliar area. For more information, take a look at the article Traveling with Your Stroller.

Forward-facing Strollers


Forward-facing strollers are by far the most common stroller type available on the market and include everything from joggers to umbrella strollers. Strollers with seats that face forward can be a better option for older babies and toddlers who are curious about what is going on around them. Although forward facing strollers allow for less face-to-face interaction, parents can still continue to interact by talking to their children, pointing out different things for them to see and checking on them regularly through a viewing window or by folding the sun canopy back.

A recent study suggests that forward facing strollers cause infants stress. The findings of this study are likely tied to the child’s developmental stage. Young infants who have not yet developed object permanence (an understanding that objects continue to exist even though they cannot be seen or heard) are more likely to become stressed while riding in a forward facing stroller. Infants generally develop object permanence between 8 and 12 months of age; therefore, older infants and toddlers are less likely to become stressed when they are unable to see their parent while in a forward facing stroller.

While each of these strollers has pros and cons, you can receive the best of both worlds if you choose a stroller with a reversibility option. Strollers with a reversibility option allow you to use the stroller in the rear facing stroller when your child is younger and can be switched to a forward facing stroller once he is older.

When it comes to choosing a reversible stroller, parents have two options a stroller with a reversible handle or a reversible seat. Many parents find that a reversible handle makes it easier to switch from forward facing to rear facing as needed since you don’t have to remove the child from the stroller to make the switch.

To find out which stroller will be the best fit for your needs, take a look at our Stroller Buying Guide as well as the article How to Choose the Right Stroller for Your Family. Once you have a better idea of what type of stroller you need, reading parent submitted Stroller Reviews and using our Stroller Comparisons can help you select the right model.

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