Pushchairs, carriers and slings that face away from the parents and look out into the world frighten babies and put them in a stressful situation, Catherine Fowler, a professor of child and family health nursing, has claimed.

She said that youngsters up to a year of age face a "bombardment of stimulus" which can be distressing and stressful. Professor Fowler's view is backed up by research carried out by the University of Dundee in 2008, which found that babies suffer if they cannot see their parents while in a buggy.

Professor Fowler, of the University of Technology, Sydney, said: "Imagine if you were strapped to someone's chest with your legs and arms flailing, heading with no control into a busy shopping centre - it would be terrifying."

However, midwife and author Robin Baker disagreed. She told the Daily Mail: "Parents have enough to worry and feel guilty about without considering which way they push their child in a stroller."

"I don't think there is an issue with letting children experience the world before they are 12 months old."

Posted by Robert Mair on 22.8.11 Please send your comments on this article to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com 

 Baby in stroller