New Study Claims Leaving Kids In Strollers Too Long Is Harmful And That Moms Are Idiots

shutterstock_251786Because I’m a fancy and well-respected journalist mommy blogger, I am obligated to bring all you parents the news regarding important scientific studies that will help you raise your babies in a healthy and productive manner. I am also here to totally make fun of these dumb studies because they are always written with a heaping dose of assumptions that all parents are idiots and that we have no idea what we are doing. So first, the facts that none of you didn’t know already:

Leaving your kid in a stroller or a bouncer or any stationary baby-holding tool for too long isn’t good for them because it doesn’t encourage growth of their little bodies and little brains. From the Daily Mail:

The warning will be delivered by neuro-psychologist Sally Goddard Blythe at a conference staged by the charity WATCh? (What About the Children?).

Speaking ahead of her speech, she said: ‘Attention, balance and co-ordination skills learned during the first 36 months of life support cognitive learning and have been linked to performance on SATs at school.

‘Infants need opportunity for free movement and exploration, whether that is tummy time, cuddling or rough play.’


Raise your hand if you did not know this. No hands raised? OK, what I thought.

I mean, do these people not have ANY children? Any mom who has a child can tell you that the majority of kids will happily sit in a stroller that isn’t moving or a bouncer or exersaucer for maybe about the same amount of time it takes a mom to urinate or empty a dishwasher. That is all. Some babies nap in swings, but if they are asleep I doubt it is doing them harm anyway, except getting them used to a rocking motion. Most kids don’t enjoy being trapped in any device for any extended period of time, and they let you know this by fussing a lot or crying.

My own scientific fact? Moms do not enjoy hearing their children cry. It either makes us sad, or makes us feel guilty, or gives us a headache, or really annoys us. So we take the baby out of whatever device we have strapped them into and hold them, or put them on a blanket on the floor, or pace with them, or play with them, or sing to them, or any number of things that all parents have to do with a small infant in order to make them happy.

On the rare occasion you do have an infant who will sit stationary strapped into a device and never make a peep, I fully believe the majority of parents don’t even allow this to happen. Because after the house is cleaned and the laundry done and food prepared and all the other gazillion things parents do every day, one of the things parents sort of enjoy doing is holding with and playing with and kissing their babies. In all of my years I have never known a parent who sticks their kid in a bouncer for extended hours and pays no attention to them.

I’m so tired of all of these PARENTS R DUM studies. It feels like pretty soon we can expect one that says “Babies need air” or “Babies who don’t get their diapers changed after soiling them may get a rash.”

(Image: chippix/shutterstock)

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  • Williwaw

    New study shows that babies that are not fed will starve!

    • Eve Vawter

      New study shows that you shouldn’t drop babies!

    • pixie

      New study shows that babies are not cats and don’t always land on their feet!

    • Eve Vawter

      No study shows that babies can’t eat tacos!

    • pixie


    • Eve Vawter
    • pixie

      Mommyish field trip to get Tacos!

    • Eve Vawter
    • pixie

      Hahahahaha #win

    • Valerie

      Heh heh….I’m sick.

    • Scarlet

      Dammit now I want Taco Bell

    • Mas Tacos

      Here is a picture of my baby eating a (vegetarian) taco.


      [url=]screenshot captor[/url]

    • Eve Vawter

      brb reporting you to CPS (OMG your baby is so cute and his food looks delicious!)

    • Mas Tacos

      Thanks! This was about 3+ years ago….he’s still cute, though. :D Aaaaaaaand, he still loves tacos!

    • Eve Vawter


    • Taxes Make Kittens Cry

      He’ll grow up to be a real man!

    • kay

      My baby ate a burrito last week. But I mean, she is advanced for her age #blessed

    • Alicia Kiner

      so my son almost choked on a piece of lettuce the first time we gave him tacos. moral of the story.. tacos good lettuce bad.

    • Jell

      I’ve actually told this to mom’s who have tried to push an infant on me.
      Until he can hold his head up by himself I don’t feel safe holding him. Now after that I’ll gladly hold him but I frankly I never feel fully comfortable holding anything that can’t land on it’s feet. So someone invent that baby please.

    • Taxes Make Kittens Cry

      Go on… I’m writing all this down.

      I’ll compile a list later on and we can publish it!

    • jendra_berri

      Uh oh…

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      New study shows that babies are too short to reach the pedals, therefore make bad designated drivers! #thisiswhyIshouldnthavekids

  • Kat

    “a conference staged by the charity WATCh? (What About the Children?)”

    I’m beginning to think people spend more time thinking up clever acronyms for their groups (or their BILLS. CONGRESS, I’M LOOKING AT YOU) than they do actually working out the problem the group is supposed to address.

    What does that lone “h” stand for?!?

    • Eve Vawter


    • candyvines

      What About The Children, Heathens?

    • Alex Lee


  • rrlo

    This was so hilarious! I totally laughed out loud!

    On a more serious note – my mom is an abused women counselor and she primarily works with very low-income, immigrant women. And I have heard her speak of mothers who do strap their kids into a bouncy chair or stroller for extended period of time – resulting in stunted growth.

    Buuut – these ladies are barely surviving – they are not going on the Internet looking up studies. And the social workers that help them are already aware of this tidbit. Perhaps – the studies should focus on HOW to help these parents.

  • foodbaby mama

    You know what else might happen if a kid is in a forward facing stroller while their mom is on their smartphone? They might look at the world around them. Shock. Horror. I’m glad someone is finally thinking about the children. Good thing there’s the charity group with a name that kind of made me think I’d clicked on an Onion link instead of a Mommyish one.

  • rrlo

    Ugh- the photo of the beautiful mother in a lovely trench coat, talking on the cell phone while pushing her toddler in a stroller is so unnecessary!!! How dare she!!!!

    • pixie

      lol because not sitting in a stroller has everything to do with speech development and has nothing to do with other things. SMH. Some people…

    • Kati

      My problem with the article is that it doesn’t say how long exactly these kids were kept in strollers or other devices. I’m guessing it wasn’t for a half hour or a leisurely stroll through the park. It was diaper rash inducing, long ass stretches of time. They should clarify that

    • pixie

      Yeah, I’m not saying that keeping a kid in a stroller for an extended length of time isn’t going to have a negative effect on a child, but more like saying the reason why a child speaks early is because they never went in a stroller.

      I didn’t speak until 2 not because I had anything cognitively wrong with me, but I partly didn’t feel like it and my teeth were also slow to come in. I understood everything, and when I finally did speak it was in complete sentences for the most part. I also rarely used a stroller. Kids who are strapped in for very long lengths of time (for whatever reason) I can see it affecting them in ways other than just muscle development, but for the average family situation, putting your kid in a stroller to go to the store or for a walk isn’t going to do anything.

    • Kati

      Exactly, it’s trying to scare the wrong people. BUT, the actual research they are refunding is useful. The article itself really isn’t

    • DeliciousIroning

      My daughter sat in a stroller all the damned time (mama’s got a bum backbone) and she hasn’t shut up since the age of 4 months. She doesn’t even stop yapping while she sleeps!

  • Kelly

    They keep putting out this information because there are parents who just strap their kid into something and leave them in it. There are plenty of adults with big flat spots on the back of their head because their parents left them in a carseat all the time.

    It might be irritating to parents who know this but they have to at least try to get through to the shitty parents. We can’t just take all of their children away from them, there are too many of them.

  • Kati

    Ok, I’ll be Debbie Downer. This is one issue where educated moms in he mid-high SES range are pretty unaware of what happens sometimes in homes where moms are less educated about child development. I’ve worked with plenty of infants whose heads were flat on the back because they spent 18+ hours a day in car seats. These babies learned from day one not to cry very much because they aren’t responded to. They eat, sleep, do pretty much everything from a device. And the moms may or may not know better, but it occurs. It’s way more common than you coul fathom. Child development people like myself have to go in and teach the moms how to interact with their babies. Studies like this may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s because this behavior happens more than it should that studies like this are warranted. Unfortunately, as with most knowledge on child development, the actual target audience lacks access to this information (they’re not necessarily seeking the knowledge and it’s difficult to provide it to them).

    • Valerie

      This makes me very very sad.

    • Taxes Make Kittens Cry

      :( The back of my head is pretty flat…

      maybe that explains by horrible puns…

    • Kati

      Do they always fall flat? I’m sorry ;)

    • Taxes Make Kittens Cry

      You just made yourself an enemy >:(


    • Erin Murphy

      Mine too! It has really impacted my ability to wear headbands too because they just slide up the back of my head.

    • Km

      My son had a flat head and we have done nothing but tummy time, interactive play and what not from the day he was born. More often than not (as our pediatrician, physiotherapist and child development consultant suggested) babies who were born prematurely (my son) have softer skulls. We would even reposition his little head while he was sleeping at night and for naps.
      Often people equivocate flat heads with babies always in a car seat, always in a swing, bouncer, etc. however, some babies are simply more prone to it.

      This study is a bit silly but I agree with the above poster – The moms who are doing this thibk it’s normal.

    • Kati

      My mom does too from her delivery. I’m not talking about a little flatness. I’m talking about kids who would need corrective helmets to fix the problem. Kids who don’t have a tiny bald spot but have rubbed all the hair from the back of their heads. Kids who are severely delayed from lack of interaction and have never been observed out of their car seats during unscheduled or even scheduled visits. Babies who are not attached to their parents at all. Terribly sad. Terribly common.

    • jendra_berri

      That is depressing.

    • Erin Murphy

      My friend’s mom is a SW and she’s told us about babies who don’t know how to be held or snuggle close just because no one has shown them physical affection.

    • SusannahJoy

      that’s really sad. It makes me want to go cuddle with all the babies!

    • rrlo

      I know this happens.

      However, as you said, the parents that look up latest studies on child development are hardly the target audience.

      IMO, this is a pretty Captain Obvious study – as this information was already out there. And the fact that the Daily Mail article didn’t distinguish between run of the mill stroller usage and what you are describing is really annoying.

    • Kati

      I mean seriously, can you imagine growing up in a family where you are never held, never played with or talked to? Don’t strap your kid in something and leave them there seems fairly logical. Unfortunately, a lot of people didn’t get that memo.

    • rrlo

      My mom is an abused women councilor and I hear many stories from her of very dubious parenting practices. It’s really sad how many young children are suffering at any given moment at the hands of *true* inadequate parents.

      I remember my mom telling me of this one woman whose older child was SO violent towards the younger sibling that the woman kept her baby basically hidden away in a infant seat. The baby, at six months, was extremely under developed as a result.

      Anyway, I totally get what you’re saying. It’s awful.

    • Larkin

      Yup, I was just going to say the same thing. I actually think this happens a lot. My own sister-in-law (who isn’t low-income, but does have mental health issues) pretty much leaves her baby in his crib, swing, or car seat the vast majority of the time… and genuinely seems baffled that other people (like me) want to hold him and do things with him for more than five minutes at a time. Fortunately, my mother-in-law does most of the caring for him these days so he’s much happier now (thank goodness).

      But I also suspect that a lot of the people who are guilty of this a) would never see this study, and b) wouldn’t care even if they did.

  • EX

    Sorry. I couldn’t get past “WATCh – What About The Children?” WON’T ANYONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?!? Ok. I’ll go back and read the rest now before proceeding with the mockery.

    • Eve Vawter

      I thought the same thing

  • Paul White

    I hate to say it, but we see this a *lot* at work, where parents keep their kids in strollers way to much (literally hours at a stretch). You may feel like no one doens’t know this but you’d be wrong.

    • Taxes Make Kittens Cry

      Great, now strollers are gonna come with mandatory timers and ejection systems to prevent this tragedy.

      Thanks Obama!

  • Valerie

    New study shows that leaving kids in strollers too long gives them The Gay!

    • Taxes Make Kittens Cry

      That’s just fabulous!

    • Valerie

      And holds especially true if the stroller has rainbow streamers coming off the handles and glitter sprayed on the wheels.

  • Blahblah

    What’s that you say? I actually have to TAKE BASIC CARE OF MY CHILD?? Why, I never.

  • Ro

    A friend of mine came to visit often with her young baby. She would stay for hours and her baby stayed in the car seat the entire time. Once we were going to walk to the corner store and she was about to carry the baby there in the car seat, I insisted that I would just carry her in my arms. My friend seemed concerned that her baby was somehow at risk not being transported in her car seat. I swear that baby, who was 8 months old at the time, seemed just as confused and unsure about being carried on my hip.

    I visited her house once when the baby was older, probably around a year. I was there for at least two hours and the baby was in the jolly jumper the entire time. For the record, her child is almost three now and doesn’t appear to have suffered from any of this although she was a late walker. Not that I’m condoning her actions.

  • Jem

    I know this is by no means how all teen moms act, but I remember many-a story in my high school days of girls strapping their babies in car seats, taking them to a party, and then parking the car seat in a corner while they get all kinds of wasties. one girl had her baby in a car seat for more than 2 days while she hung out and partied. I’m sure she talked to him once in awhile but there he sat. Her argument was “well, I know he is safe when he is in the car seat so then I can have fun”. Also, no I did not go to these parties (because I would have reported that shit if I saw it). Like I said, many-a story and follow up with 2 day girl who did not deny it at all.

  • SA

    Dear ‘Mercia: Moderation.

  • Rachel Sea

    PLENTY of people leave their kid strapped into something all the time. Those bucket carseats that go from car to grocery cart to stroller to house? A lot of people only take their babies out of those things to change them.

    Mommyish’s reader base skews educated, we are not the norm.

  • Rebekah

    I totally agree. That said, my brother was babysat by a woman who would have him in either a bouncy seat or high chair all day and would change him only about 30 minutes before pick up and he’s now got a lot of cognitive/emotional problems. So some people do need to hear it.(coughruralMississipicough)

  • lucie uk

    New study explains that babies are just really small people with no life skills

  • haily

    I do hate studies like this, but perhaps they have a point. It makes sense that parents are neglecting their kids more these days because their eyes are glued to their smart phone screens instead of their childs’ development.

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