Any time that you spend with your child should be quality time in my opinion.
Talking to your baby is so very important…
One of the most precious times for me was when I took my daughter for a stroller ride. I had a rear facing stroller which made it easy to share these moments with her because she faced me.
But since most strollers are front facing…meaning that your child is facing away from you…it makes it impossible to engage in eye to eye contact with each other. There are definite advantages of front facing strollers…the child can see what is going on and is stimulated by all the activity along the way. But the person he/she is most engaged with is really you.
So instead of talking on a cellphone while strolling make this a special time for talking to baby. Baby is much a captive audience and that should be considered priceless.
My other time for engaging in wonderful chatter was when my daughter was in her car seat… my kids, I found were perfectly content listening to me talking or singing along with them as I drove.
There will be enough time later on for them to watch DVDs and listen to iPods…and when we are the last person they want to listen to.
I recall a few years back…I was on the 2nd Avenue bus in NYC for about 45 minutes. I love to people watch so I was watching the interaction between two babies with their nannies. Both babies were sitting in the very front of the bus on the laps of their nannies and they were facing forward. The little ones were interacting with all the passengers that were getting on and off the bus at each and every stop. The sad thing was there no interaction at all between the nannies and the babies…I watched and watched for some sort of playful exchange but saw nothing….troublesome …right?
I thought of how the moms and dads had entrusted their children to these nannies and how no nanny-cam was there to capture this bus ride.
In my view, it was a sad loss of an opportunity for the nanny to share some loving time with the child on this long ride. I tried to make excuses…maybe the nanny and child were just tired but when I saw no interaction whatsoever I knew that this was a nanny that I would not want for my child…ever.
So that all being said…these wonderful opportunities that present themselves should not be taken for granted. Our babies crave our attention and what better time to share some chatter than when we are in the car or strolling with them.
“Mothers talked to their children twice as much during the 15-minute toward-facing journey, and they also laughed more. The babies laughed more, too.
Of course, infants do not spend all their time in strollers, but anecdotal evidence suggests that babies can easily spend a couple of hours a day in them. And research tells us that children’s vocabulary development is governed almost entirely by the daily conversations parents have with them. When a stroller pusher can’t easily see the things that attract a baby’s attention, valuable opportunities for interaction can be missed.
via Talking to Baby in the Stroller – NYTimes.com.
Meanwhile, the findings already encourage us to think again about how babies experience stroller rides — and other forms of transportation like car seats, shopping carts and slings. Parents needn’t feel worried, but instead curious about the elements of the environment that attract their children’s interest. The core message of our findings is simple: Talk to your baby whenever you get the chance — and whichever direction your stroller faces.”