Which Way Should Baby Face In Stroller?

Which Way Should Baby Face In Stroller?

Even if you love baby wearing, there is something so convenient about using a stroller. It’s a great way to get fresh air and have your child interact with the world from a young age. While strollers can be great for running errands and having your hands free, they are certainly not a one-size-fits all item.

Which way should a baby face in a stroller is first of all about safety and second about healthy development. A newborn cannot use an upright seats, and a toddler likely won’t be comfortable in a parent-facing position.

Knowing which way should baby face in stroller matters beyond physical safety. Studies show that language skills later in life can be influenced just by parents talking to their child in a rear-facing stroller position. Yep! Something you do at 3 or 4 months of age can have a life-long impact on your little one.

Knowing what your child needs at each stage is important for choosing the right baby gear. Think of a stroller as an investment.

You want something that is adaptable and can convert to suit each stage of your baby’s growth: lay flat for a newborn, rear-facing with a young baby, and outward facing for a toddler.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice or consultation.

What Direction Should Stroller Face?

The direction depends on your child’s age and developmental stage. The recommended position will change, so it’s a good idea to invest in a stroller that rotates or adjusts to suit your growing baby.

Many quality strollers can be used up through toddler years, too, so don’t think of it just as a mode of transportation for the first year; even after toddlers start walking, you’ll still get plenty of use out of your stroller.


Newborns should not use a typical stroller, because they are so fragile. A pram (stroller with bassinet) that lays flat or uses a bassinet-type enclosed seat, is the best option at this stage.

You could also use a combo method with an infant car seat that attaches to a matching stroller. Ensure that your newborn’s head and neck are properly supported by the padding of the car seat.

Which Way Should Newborn Baby Face In Stroller?
Newborn baby should always face parents in the stroller, whether you’re using bassinet, cocoon or infant car seat

3-6 months

A rear-facing stroller is a great option for young babies because it keeps your infant in a reclining position and ensures you can maintain direct eye contact through your neighborhood walks.

This type of baby stroller may adjust to be front-facing later, but for young babies who do not have good head and neck control, don’t choose this option. Front facing strollers should only be used when a baby is physically ready.

They force babies to sit upright and hold themselves over bumps and uneven terrain for long periods of time (ten minutes is a long time for a baby!), which might be too much for a little one who is less than 6 months old.

6 months & Up

At 6 months, your child may be sitting up and scooting, and started eating their first solid foods. If they have developed strong neck muscles, then they may be ready for a front-facing stroller.

There are even lightweight and umbrella strollers that offer reclining seat with lots of padding – suitable for 6 month old babies.

Choose a forward-facing stroller than can slightly recline so you can tip your baby back as they sit. They can still see the world around them and experience new things, but without the demand on their body to hold themselves up over the bumps.

When Can Babies Face Forward In Stroller

Now, after the first year babies start walking, and they are considered toddlers. Your big boy or girl is likely ready for an upright seat.

If you already have a stroller you love, there is no need to make a change, just adjust the seat to have your baby sit upright and fit the safety straps accordingly.

But, if you are ready to ditch the heavy stroller, now you could go for a simple forward facing pushchair (umbrella stroller) that takes up less room.

Other benefits of small stroller include being easier to take on an airplane or fold down in the back of your car. Once your baby starts walking, you may only need it when they wear themselves out.

When Can Babies Face Forward In Stroller?

Experts agree that a baby can begin using a forward facing stroller once they are 6 months old.

However, it’s not only about age, as some factors are influenced by your child’s development, too. Parents should determine if their child has adequate head and neck control and can sit independently before using a forward-facing position with their baby.

A good marker is to wait until your baby is 6 months old before having them face forward in a stroller, and not sooner. Even if they can sit up at 5 months old, hold off on using using the forward-facing position just yet.

What Direction Should Stroller Face

Is It Safe For An Infant To Face Forward In A Stroller?

If your baby is at least 6 months old, able to sit with some support and curious about their surroundings, then it may be time he or she faces forward for short stroller rides.

The way your child faces in the stroller really does matter and it is influenced by their developmental stage: do they want more independence and interested in seeing new things? Or are they more interested in interaction with their caregiver?

These questions, along with their physical ability to hold their own head and sit in an upright position are important to determine if they are ready for an outward facing stroller.

If your child is 6-7 months, don’t stress over this, if baby faces you and is happy, you can keep them in a parent facing stroller for a little longer. Around 9-12 months, most babies will want more independence and to look during stroller rides and be developmentally ready for the shift.

Parent Facing Stroller - Benefits For Your and Your Baby

Parent Facing Stroller – Benefits For Your & Your Baby

Here are the main benefits of parent-facing (rear facing) stroller.

  • Breathing And Head Support

Rear facing strollers are ergonomically designed for young infants: they recline at a proper angle to ensure sufficient head and neck support (especially if you go over bumps or down hills with your stroller) but also provide the right angle to keep your child’s airways open.

  • Baby’s Development (Language Development)

A baby under 6 months of age is in a vital period of rapid brain development. Interaction with their caregiver is more important at this age than for them to see their surroundings (which frankly, could be over-stimulating for young babies).

Multiple studies1,2 have shown that babies who are pushed in parent-facing strollers had better language skills, because paretns are more likely to be talking to their child when they face them in the stroller.

Parent-facing strollers have been noted to influence and develop language skills in young infants as parents “talk and walk” during stroller time.

  • Sets A Foundation For Baby Social Skills

Non-verbal social skills, such as reading facial expressions, happens when a baby faces their parent, too.

When a young infant can see his or her parents’ faces as they move in the stroller, the baby begins to decipher expression and it sets the foundation for social skills.

What Position Should A 3 Month Old Be In A Stroller

  • Baby’s Emotional Development

The same studies also showed the many benefits of a parent facing stroller in terms of bonding and emotional security.

The sound of your voice is soothing to your baby and can keep baby calm, too.

Not only could parents see baby’s expression and respond more quickly, babies also experienced the benefits of eye contact with their caregivers, which encourages bonding and makes the infant feel safe and secure.

One study reported that infants who were in a rear facing stroller were more likely to laugh, or laugh more frequently than those in forward facing strollers. The conclusion? Babies are happier when they can see YOU, their parent!

  • Peace Of Mind

Another benefit of a rear-facing stroller is that baby faces you and can provide you a sense of assurance. You feel confident and at ease while you run errands or get in a neighborhood walk because you can see your baby’s face and know they are safe.

Disadvantages Of Rear-Facing Strollers

The drawbacks of facing backward aren’t necessarily issues with young babies, but might be things to consider when deciding to move your older baby to face forward in their stroller.

  • Baby Is More Likely To Fall Asleep

The reclining seat of a rear facing stroller makes it more likely that your little one will doze off for a nap while in the stroller.

A forward-facing pushchair is definitely more exciting, so if your little one is down to only one or two naps a day, and you don’t want them to sleep in the stroller, consider adjusting your stroller to forward facing.

  • Inhibits Independence

Young babies love to see their parents’ faces, but when babies reach 6-9 months, they usually gain a sense of adventure. They may become interested in things going on around them: they don’t just want to hear the barking dog or the whirling sirens, they want to see them, too.

It’s hard to see much rear facing stroller, though, and some infants become frustrated when their view of the world is blocked.

Benefits Of Forward Facing Stroller

There are benefits when strollers face forward, too. As long as your baby is physically and developmentally ready for an upright seat (and won’t be over stimulated with facing forward) this can be a great option.

Benefits Of Front Facing Stroller

  • Encourages Cognitive Development (Curiosity)

While babies under 4 months old need bonding and emotional security, older babies crave independence and want to interact with the world around them. When strollers face forward, a child’s curiosity is piqued and they are able to see what is going on around them.

This is appropriate for babies 6 months and up (of course, depending on the safety factors mentioned above).

  • Suits Bigger Children

Your 11-month-old may not FIT in the parent-facing position!

If you have changed your car seat because their little legs just couldn’t fit in the rear facing position anymore, then you will soon face the same predicament with your baby stroller.

Your baby may not be comfortable in the parent-facing position if their legs are too long. Outward-facing strollers allow your child to stretch their legs and have much more room for growth, too.

Disadvantages Of Front Facing Stroller

Of course front-facing stroller has some drawbacks too – that’s why it’s important to switch to this position when baby is REALLY ready.

  • Lack Of Support For Neck Muscles

Strollers that face outward have less support for the head and neck in the most upright position. This means that your baby has to have good neck and head control developed before they start using outward-facing stroller, especially without the recline.

If you think your little one is going to sleep during the ride, consider reclining the seat or putting them in the parent-facing position, instead.

Benefits Of Forward Facing Stroller

Which Way Should Stroller Face – FAQ

The direction your infant’s stroller should face is dependent on their age and stage of development, and it changes as they grow.

How Should Baby Sit In Stroller?

Your baby stroller should slightly recline, this is the reason why even toddler strollers, like lightweight and umbrella type strollers have a few degrees of incline for safety and proper ergonomic support.

The younger the child, the more reclined the stroller seat should be. Newborns should lay on flat surface, young babies reclined back, and children from 6 months and up may sit more upright.

What Position Should A 3 Month Old Be In A Stroller?

A 3-month-old should be in a parent-facing stroller, semi-reclined for open airways and head support.

At this age, it is best that baby face his or her parent, for your peace of mind and so that you can adjust their head, if necessary.

They are also very likely to have a nap in the stroller at this young age.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.




About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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