Sound Off! Rear-Facing vs Forward-Facing: What Type of Stroller Do You Use and Why?

03/03/2009 at 10:00 AM ET

Ramey; Albert Michael/Startraks

Strollers are one of the most essential items for parents on the go. Whether you’re pushing your child around the city or through the suburbs, it’s an easy mode of transportation. But how do you know which is right for you?

A recent story in the New York Times pointed to a study suggesting rear-facing strollers allowed for more interaction and chatter with babies, as opposed to more modern, forward-facing strollers. While parents don’t need to be worried about which way their strollers face, the study does challenge parents to be curious about the elements of the environment that attract their children’s interest.

So here’s your chance to Sound Off! Tell us what type of stroller you use and why in the comments, then come back and take our poll.

Click to see our reviews of rear-facing strollers.We’ve reviewed these reversible strollers:

Other rear-facing strollers that we haven’t reviewed include:

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Showing 45 comments

Veroncia on

Can’t answer this one. It depends on the age of the child. When My daughter was an infant, I wanted her facing me so I could watch her. But once she was out of the infant seat and could sit up on her own, I was totally cool with having her face out to the world.

hillary on

We had a bugaboo when my son was 0-6 months old- it was great to be able to see him on walks (hello spit-up!) but then wanted something more practical and got the baby jogger city mini (perfect). Looking back, getting a car seat adaptor for our baby jogger would have done the job too. Now we’re looking into double strollers which is a whole new issue…..big double jogger or something more compact?!!!

Gingi on

Funny this question is just now being posed. I am in the process of transitioning my infant twins out of their rear facing carriers (w/ snap and go stroller) and into a side-by-side forward facing stroller. One of the comments I made over the weekend to a friend was that I miss not being able to look at them when we are walking together.

Katie on

I used the Graco Snap and Go with the infant car seat when my daughter was younger but now that shes too heavy for that car seat, she is in a regular forward facing stroller. I couldn’t find any that were rear facing! What happened to the strollers years ago that could be both forward and rear facing?

Cheryl on

Katie I’ve just found information about the Bugaboo strollers – they are all forward and rear facing

Melanie on

With my first daughter I just used the graco one that came with my travel system. Now I have a 4yr old and a 8 month old, so we got the sit and stand. The deluxe one, where it came with 2 seats, or you can just use it as the sit and stand. It has been awsome for us. My 4 yr old doesnt like to be comfined to the stroller, but needs to ride when we go to the zoo or theme parks. It is a bit big, but works for our needs. I also think the price was great too. I think we got ours on sale for around $150.

Jaylynn on

We had the Rock Star Baby for the first year. After that we moved into the BOB Revolution. I love it soooo much more and now wish I had just used the carseat adapter and saved a ton of money. During the first 6 months we also had the Graco Quattro to be able to used the carseat and large basket while out in the malls. The Rock Star was the walking and park strooler because of the air tires. I LOVE my BOB and will keep it till the bitter end now!!!LOL It’s still perfect for lond walks, trips to attractions and such. RIght now were in the faze of he’s big enough to do a lot of walking but can’t make it all day and there’s NO way I can carry him that long!!!!You know what I mean????

Donna on

I use the Silver Cross Linear Freeway. The seat can be flipped to face forward or rear. The back can lay flat and comes with a foot muff to form a bassinet. It’s a great stroller and maneuvers easily. Only drawback is it takes up a lot of room in the trunk.

Faye on

We first had a Graco travel system, and I hated how bulky and heavy it was. I ended up using a Graco snap-and-go with DD’s infant carrier until she got too heavy at about 8 months. I got a great deal when I bought a Peg Perego Pliko. I loved the P3 because it had all the jazz of a full size stroller, but it folded up small like an umbrella stroller. But the ultimate stroller IMO was our BOB jogging stroller (which we received as a gift.) Looking back, it could have easily been my only stroller, except I was so leery at the price tag. But it is a wonderful investment and all of my old strollers combined have cost more than the BOB! It’s great even if you don’t jog. It is full-sized for baby and has a generous weight limit… for many more years of use. It turns on a dime (and you don’t realize how important this is until you have sucky strollers you are stuck with all day at a theme park.) It is a smooth drive for you and doesn’t feel so heavy even if you load it up with a heavy diaper bag. It folds up so compact and it is not heavy. The wheels easily pop off to fit in your car. I’ve even seen a BOB duallie fit into the trunk of a Toyota Camry with room to spare. The only thing that annoys me is that it doesn’t lock shut once you fold it down. It has a velcro strap that you can wrap around the handlebar. I do lock up my stroller with a bike lock when I am at theme parks. Silly, it seems, but we’ve had a lot of stroller thefts in my town. I’d rather have my baby comfy in an easy-to-maneuver stroller all day, and it’s a small thing to just lock it up when I leave it.

D on

We used the bugaboo bee rear facing when my son was first born. I love LOVE LOVE this stroller. Once he was big enough and no longer was interested looking at me we flipped him the other direction to look out into the world. The best part about this stroller is it can be closed with the seat forward or rear facing without taking off the seat. BRILLIANT.

I am just sad I can not use it in a few months when my newborn arrives. My son is still under two and needs to be in a stroller. So now I am shopping for a double stroller and NOTHING measures up to the Bee. *tears*.

Hope I find a wonderful All In One that seats two soon ;).

elle on

I dunno, I don’t have the chil’ren…I just wanna say I think the first Pram(I think that Helena Bohnam Carters baby) is so adorable. And incredibly expensive looking.

pyjammy on

i have a bajillion strollers, so it really depends on the stroller. i have triplets, so when they were little, they’d face us in the snap n gos (we had a single and a double.) the single and double we have now (they’re 15 mos old now) are outward facing, and the triple stroller (which we don’t use nearly as much) can be configured any way we wish. sometimes we have them face out, sometimes in. (facing in makes the stroller marginally shorter, which is helpful in tight spaces.) or we can even configure that one (the peg triplette) so that two babies are facing each other. that’s fun for them. 😛

Gabrielle on

Developmentally, children under the age of 2 cannot realize that you are still there if they cannot see you. They can become upset and worried, not knowing where you are. Rear-facing allows them to look around, but still keep you in their sights.

MZ on

We have the Graco travel system for our 3 week old, so currently he faces me b/c the car seat attachment is rear facing. When he outgrows it he’ll be forward facing. When stroller shopping, I hadn’t seen any rear facing for older kids in our price range. 😦

krewcat on

I was lucky enough to have one that would face either way and loved it!

hillary on

I see a few of us are looking for a good double for 2 under 2- anyone know of one? We’re currently looking at the BJ city classic double (huge but nice) and the phil and teds, and the joovy ultralight (not sure if that’s the way to go for long walks to the park though with a newborn and 19 month old!) Any tips from other moms?

Check out our feature: Ask CBB: Double Strollers for 2 (kids) under 2 (years old)

Of your list, we’ve reviewed:
Baby Jogger City Series Double
phil&teds e3
phil&teds Sport
phil&teds Vibe Stroller
Joovy Caboose Ultralight (and the new Ergo Caboose)

Find them via the comprehensive listing of all of our stroller reviews here:

— Danielle

Brandi on

Another vote for BOB revolution here. I was scared to spend so much money but honestly it was worth every penny. I also love my $10 umbrella stroller that I got free from Toys R Us!

Jazz on

We had a wonderful stroller that faced both ways. I love my children looking at me! We also used the bugaboo which can face both ways and is wonderful. We now have almost 2 month old twins and I was wondering if anyone knows of a great stroller (rear or forward facing, but preferably both) for our twins. I was blown away with the bugaboo for our other two, and we currently have a side-by-side double that we used (because our other 4 are close in age). However we are looking for a new one for our twins. Any help would be great!

Jazz on

I forgot to mention that we are looking at the Peg Perego Duette SW. It is both rear and forward facing, or the babies can look at each other. Does anyone own this? Positive/Negative comments.
Looking for strollers for twins is a whole new thing. The other 4 children Bugaboo seemed to be the answer though…a wonderful stroller!

stelly on

We have a Silver Cross Linear Freeway which faces both ways. It is not good for babies to be in infant seats for longer than a car journey so we wanted a stroller that could accommodate our child in a lie-flat position so that we could look at her.

We also have a Baby Jogger City Single, which had a fantastic bassinet for when she was small.

On a walk where she is facing us we do talk a lot more and she smiles and laughs. On a walk where she faces forward she looks around more and is more curious. Both ways have their advantages.

The study quoted in the NY Times was done by researchers in the UK (Scotland, I believe) and they do walk and use their strollers a lot more over there, whereas the US is more car based (with the exception of large cities like NYC).

Sheri on

I always used strollers that could go both ways. Great for when they need to look at mommy … and when they get sick of her and want to people watch!

Angela on

How about none? I don’t use a stroller anymore. A sling or a Sleepy Wrap is all I need for my 7 month old.

Leah on

I used a rearfacing stroller (Britax Vigour, awesome stroller!) with my youngest, but found I was carrying her more than pushing her. My oldest rode in the Britax, however, and at over 3 years of age, still preferred to face me. I think it’s a misconception in this country that babies want to face out and not towards the parent, because it’s what we’ve all be indoctrined to believe. I mean, biologically, cribs are one of the weirdest inventions in the history of man. This period of time is going to be looked back at as one of absurdity when it comes to parenting gadgets people think they need! Lots of srollers, cribs, crying-it-out (not that that’s the same as using a specific stroller or crib)!

That being said, I use strollers when needed, which is usually just when watching an extra kid or two and we take a walk where kids outnumber slings and arms available! I use a Phil and Ted’s and it meets our needs for a single that can be a sometimes double, but I do wish they had a reversible handle version.

abbey on

For those of you looking for double rear or forward facing strollers, I hear the Kolcraft Contours Tandem is great. BOB Revolution is also really nice.

Check out our reviews of the:
Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem –
BOB Revolution –

— Danielle

Sara on

I agree with the poster who said both have their advantages. I guess it depends on the stroller but it seems that with most, kids get a better view of the world when they’re facing out. That’s the issue I sometime have with moms carrying their older baby in a sling and having them face inward. Babies are curions and life to see what’s out there. on

I use the Peg Perego Venezia and LOVE that it can switch from forward to read facing in 1 second flat! My child gets the best of both worlds! And I love that it has a step board on the back built in for when an older sibling gets tired. I recommend the stroller!!!

Rach on

We have the uppababy vista, and I prefer my son facing me.I imagine though when he gets older,i’ll like it facing out so he can see the world, but its nice while he is little to keep and eye on him.

meghan on

we use the orbit- which can face forward, backward, or to either side. by far the best investment i ever made!

tracey on

We have the Steelcraft Strider 4 – which is rear and forward facing, and the Mamas & Papas Nipi stroller, which is forward facing. We used the Strider from 0-6 months, rear facing – it was just better for us to see what he was doing and to interact with him. When we switched over to the Nipi for summer (the Strider is heaps heavier/bulkier), he’s been forward facing and OK 🙂 We’ll do the same for our next baby too. So I guess my answer is both!

l on

“How about none?” Angela, what will do when your child gets to big be carried around? No stroller is only an option if you don’t walk at all. Personally, I prefer one that can go both ways.

alanna'smom on

You know, the whole article on why parent-facing strollers are better kind of bugged me! When my daughter was an infant, I had the snap-n-go, so she faced me. Once she outgrew that,I found there are NO parent facing options that are even remotely affordable. I looked and the cheapest is $300 I believe! Kids have been facing out for a LONG time and I think that’s fine, so I don’t like the implication that I’m somehow damaging my child by not buying a 700 dollar stroller when thetr aren’t even affordable strollers that face as the article reccomends. Until they make one, I’ll continue to use my Combi thanks!

April on

I have a P&T for my 2. I feel they get to spend all day and night looking at me or close to me and they enjoy looking around at the cool sights, so I like the forward facing ones.

amelie on

I used one with a handle that could switch, so it was whatever I wanted it to be. If they were sleeping I had it so that baby was facing me. If they wanted to watch what was going on, I had it so that the baby was facing away from me. It was a Peg Perego.

jessie on

I think for a newborn, facing me but after a certain age when they can sit up i’d have them facing forward

Michelle on

When my 2 1/2 year old was born we had a pram, a modern one, but still a pram. When she outgrew that we gave it to my sister, who was expecting, and put our daughter in a jogger that would jog or shop or travel, a very versatile stroller. I found with the pram it was great when she was really young, but as she got bigger we had to carry her because she wanted to see. With the jogger she got what she wanted and it was great. I had a baby on feb 10th 09 and we’ve got a Baby Jogger City Elite with one bassinet attachment for the new baby. I can take it anywhere, its not heavy, and overall i would buy it again. i love that i can see my new baby in the bassinet and my older girl can see the world. We have a peg perego skate for when its just baby and i and we’ll use it when my older child doesnt want or doesnt fit in the baby jogger anymore. i like rear facing for young babies, but when they get older the want to see whats going on!

Sally on

I’ve always wondered about this phenomenon. I have a bugaboo, and for the first 4-5 months, I could only have my daughter facing me. She HATED facing out. I had to talk to her, and she was just comforted by seeing my face. After 6 months, she enjoyed facing out. But I love having the flexibility.

I don’t think anyone implied that this is damaging!! It’s just an interesting observation. 🙂

keriandkim on

i want a stroller where someone can push me! :o)

LadyKitty on

We got a Emaljunga pram with our first dd and it was a very good investment,it still looks new now our 3 girl is in it and there is lots of space for the child.
My baby all are driving parent facing as I belive its importand for there develpment.
We got a Bugaboo as well as its easier for traveling then the Emaljunga.
I wish there is a rearward facing umbrella buggy,as I love buggys to go on airplanes and son on,but there isent one out there yet,also would like a easy fold down rearward facing dubble buggy!

Ruthella on

I have a Bugaboo, which goes either way. However, even at 26 months, my daughter still faces me most of the time. Otherwise she throws things out and I don’t notice, or her nose will be running and I don’t know! She likes to chat to me as we walk!

Meg on

My husband found one called a Bertini online. We had an older version, but it was comparable to x series of present. We absolutely loved this stroller. Both the front and the back wheels steered, and it had an independent suspension in the back – as a result, my son had the smoothest ride, no matter where we were. We live out in the country, and this stroller could take any terrain easily. It was a bit bulky, not really a “shopping” stroller, but if you’re looking for some serious outdoor versatility, this is the stroller for you.

Jenny on

Our Graco Cirrus faces forward, but the Safety 1st tandem allows the kids to face each other or both face forward, which is great– depending on the kids moods! Putting the infant carseat in the Graco allowed us to watch the kids while they were really small, but once they were a little older they were both happier watching the outside world!

twinmom1027 on

I am still using the double snap and go for my twin babies. I love it for not having to pick them up out of their carseats especially when they are asleep and I can just snap their carseats to the stroller. They are about to outgrow their infant carseats and I’ve done tons of research online hoping to find a side-by-side stroller that can forward/rear facing but couldn’t seem to find one. However, when I first saw Bumbleride Indie Twin in a baby botique, I just knew that is the one I’m going to get. Any double strollers are at least 35 lbs. Yes, it’s a bit heavy to lift it up and down my SUV. Unless if I chose to go with an umbrealla stroller, it’ just not going to get any lighter. Everytime I took them out with our new stroller, there’s always other parents of twins that came up to me to ask me about the stroller. What I love about it is that it’s easy to push and got a lot of compartments to store thing and that it almost fully reclines which is a major plus for sleeping babies.

lola on

I use for my other kids forward and on my son Ethan and My duaghter Juanabel ,I used rear so they could face me.

Kate on

I use the UPPA BABY system and really like it. My son never got into using the bassinet we purchased the graco adaptor and used that instead. I love being able to change out the seat and turn it around. The tires are foam filled so it’s a little diff.I find that they can have a little wobble in them. I just asked Uppa to exchange them till I received a more balanced pair. They are working on it but till then I love all the features. The handle adjusts to height (my husband is taller then me of course), huge basket underneath (if you are a over packer like me), and this awsome canopy that is 50spf. (it coves everything but my little ones shins) I do have to say that they are on the expensive side and if you don’t want the bassinet they haven’t gone a la cart yet. But I really don’t like people coming up and touching my son with out permission. People can mean well but I have no clue if they washed their hands!

juli on

I hated the graco duo. bought the Jane Powertwin when my second was born. Valco too big, didn’t want a baby in the basket like the bob thing.
Jane was good. Also have a Chicco C9 double. Love that also.
My neighbor has a Zooper Tango (twin) and it’s a great stroller. I love zooper. I had a single Zooper before our second and it was a fabulous stroller.