Re: [xmca] Bugged by buggies

From: deborah downing-wilson <ddowningw who-is-at>
Date: Fri Nov 21 2008 - 13:35:19 PST

This reminds me of a heated argument I overheard among several Eritrean
women while I was in Saudi Arabia in the 1980's

They were debating the pros and cons of carrying their babies on their
backs vs. carrying them in side slings. According to some of these women,
side slings kept the mother and child more in tune with each other, an
opinion supported by the fact that in this position diapers were never
necessary, as the mother always anticipated the event and moved the child to
an appropriate place for it to happen. A child carried on the back,
however, always needed to wear a diaper.

Those favoring the back carry, argued that the baby should be able to see
(over mom's shoulder) what ever it was that the mother was observing, and so
learn to become part of the community - a side-slung baby was more apt to
hold its gaze on the mom's face and take longer to socialize.

It sounds like this "which way is forward" discussion might not be new.

On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 3:54 AM, Shirley Franklin

> Interact with the world, baby going forward, or interact with the
> buggy-pusher, baby going backwards.
> I used to prefer the former,whilst chatting with my boys.
> In fact the recommendation this morning was not to change buggy, but to
> talk to babies/toddlers. But the research recommended backward=facing
> buggies.....!
> Shirley
> On 21 Nov 2008, at 11:40, Bruce Robinson wrote:
> I woke up to this item on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 this morning
>> which I thought might be of interest to XMCA:
>> "Is it better to push your child in an outward facing buggy, so your baby
>> looks out on the world, or an inward-facing one, where it sees your face you
>> but little else? Researchers have been tackling this question and their
>> findings suggest that inward-facing prams could be better for your child's
>> development and well-being. Zubeida Malik asks some mothers what they made
>> of it. Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, senior lecturer at Dundee University, discusses
>> the research findings."
>> The mothers seemed puzzled by the conclusions (which were presented as
>> outward-facing buggies mean less psychological development, though I'm not
>> sure how you screen out all the other factors that affect it). Their
>> response was that there was more stimulus looking out at the world than at
>> the mother's face. There was no mention of the age of the children which
>> must make a difference.
>> The interview can be heard from:
>> today/newsid_7741000/7741073.stm
>> Suzanne Zeedyk describes her research as:"My empirical work on
>> parent-infant interaction gives particular attention to questions about the
>> development of the self, within the context of dyadic communication. My
>> original focus on typical infant development has come to encompass atypical
>> developmental circumstances that impair communicative abilities (e.g.,
>> sensory impairment, autism, learning disabilities, severe early neglect)."
>> Should Vygotskyans favour inward-looking buggies? That was my first
>> thought.
>> Bruce R |
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Deborah Downing Wilson
Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition
University of California San Diego
xmca mailing list
Received on Fri Nov 21 13:36:00 2008

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