(details below)


Welcome to the Baby Babble Project!

We are excited to share our research project ‘Baby Babble’ with you and we are very grateful to everyone who has been a part of it so far!

The project has gone so well that we have decided to extend it in two exciting ways:

Firstly, for our wonderful families who are already part of the study, we would like to ask if we can continue to visit you and your child until your child is 5 years old. We will talk to you about this extension at your 36-month visit – we have an information sheet and will answer all of your questions so that you can decide whether you would like to keep going in this study for an extra two years. We now plan to return to Uganda in 2022 to catch up with our participating families in Uganda, which will allow further comparisons of how children develop into early childhood in these two different cultural contexts.

Secondly, new funding and the addition of Dr. Bailey House to our team, means that we have been able to recruit a new mini-cohort of 15-month-old infants with the hope of visiting them regularly until they are five. This will increase the number of participants we have this data set on (mitigating the data lost through covid-19), giving us more power to ask exciting scientific questions with it. We’d like to give a big welcome to our new participants that have joined! Time is flying – we have just completed out first 18 month visit with our new mini-cohort!

What is the project about?
This project will help us understand how infants start child-3046494_1920 to communicate and understand their social world in the first two years of life. We are especially interested in how they develop the ability to share attention with others. Adults share attention about objects and events all the time as it enables us to cooperate and communicate effectively.

Ugandan mother1Sharing attention starts in the first year of life, but we know very little about how this ability emerges in different cultures, or what conditions make it easy for it to develop in infants. Our project aims to answer these questions by examining the social development of infants in the UK and in Uganda.

By following the same infants over two years we will gain a unique, in depth insight into how mothers and infants communicate and interact. We then hope to be able to see how individual variation in communication and sharing attention in the first two years of life might predict other aspects of communication and social development in early childhood.


Babble Buddies Logo_Text

(extension to the Baby Babble study)

We originally planned to visit our families when the infants were 3-24m old, but we got such great data and could see such potential for answering more exciting scientific questions by following the children until they were a little older, we asked participating families if they wished to join our extension project ‘Babble Buddies’. We are delighted that nearly all families decided to join and are very grateful to the flexibility both parents and children have shown to accommodate us collecting data via online methods through covid-19. We are now designing all of our tasks for the 4-year time point and could really use your help!

Would you like to help with the Babble Buddies Project?

We are looking for pilot participants who would like to take part in some games as part of a pilot trial to test them for our full study. These games will first be conducted with our longitudinal study participants at the age of 4 years, so, we would like to try them out with children of a similar age (4-5 years). The games are designed to look at children’s helping and sharing behaviours, as well as their understanding of rules and ability to work with others!

What would be involved?

We ultimately hope to schedule a visit with each of our current longitudinal participants, lasting around 2 hours. Therefore, we would be appreciative if you could allow a 2-hour slot for our visit. During the visit, we will come to your home (COVID-19 regulations permitting!) and play a fun set of games with you and your child. Your child can win tokens during the games which they can exchange for rewards at the end of the visit! We can give you an overview of the types of games and tasks involved if you contact us at babybabble@york.ac.uk. We can flexibly arrange visits to suit the individual routine and needs of each family.

What would you get from participating?

You would be well compensated for your time and receive £10/hour for visits. You would also be making a valuable contribution to the project and cutting-edge science! 

Quotes from current participants:

“We have found the Baby Babble Project very fun and engaging – it has been fascinating (and sometimes very surprising) learning more about our child as he grows. We are proud to be involved and to be helping further research in this important area.”

Baby babble have been a part of my family’s life for over 2 years; witnessing my daughter develop from a tiny baby to a talkative cheeky toddler. My daughter loves visits from the baby babble team, the visits are always fun, engaging and bring a smile to her face. The baby babble team always keep us up to date with the latest finding within the research which is simply wonderful. We love being a part of the research project.”

“My daughter and I have really enjoyed taking part in the Baby Babble project. We’ve had regular visits from the very friendly team over the last 3 years. My daughter has had a few interesting challenges and I’ve noticed things about her learning and understanding which I may not have noticed otherwise. We have played some interesting games and my daughter’s always keen to see the Baby Babble people, as they’re always so warm and considerate. And the extra money is very nice too. I would recommend you take part!”

“It has been fascinating to see how my daughter has engaged with and responded to the activities in the Baby Babble project. We have been taking part since she was 3 months and she is now 3 and a half! It’s a great way to see her development, and also know you are contributing to a bank of knowledge about child development too!”

“It has been a pleasure to be involved in the Baby Babble project for the last 3 years. With each visit we have become more aware of the developmental changes in our little boy as he begins to master new tasks. The Babble Buddies team are very considerate and are happy for the pace of activities to be child-led, with breaks (e.g. for snacks) whenever they are needed. The outputs from the project have been extremely interesting and we loved receiving a video montage of the footage from the visits on his 2nd birthday.”

“Being involved in Babble Buddies since my son was a little baby has been a totally fascinating and rewarding experience for us both. The games we play with the team are always engaging and fun and have provided me with a bit of an insight as to how different aspects of my son’s communication and social development might have progressed. I thought I might not have enjoyed being filmed at first, but everyone has always made us feel so relaxed and by the time we get stuck into the different tasks, I just forget about the camera! My son always has a big smile on his face for the team as they’ve given him lots of positive attention and helped him feel relaxed and happy when doing any of the project games.”

“The Baby Babble project has been so interesting to partake in over the last 3 years and it’s been a pleasure to work with them. The team have always been polite, friendly and calming, especially when visiting us at home. It has been fascinating to watch and share the development of our daughter with Baby Babble and I hope our studies and experiments have been useful to the project. The added bonus of a few pounds to add to our daughter’s money box from time to time is a nice reward.

“I have found being part of the project an incredibly valuable experience – I’ve learnt things about my son that have surprised me (in a very positive way!) – words I didn’t know he knew and stages of development that I hadn’t realised he had reached. The team is professional, supportive and always willing to be flexible with dates/times of visits. My son (and me!) always look forward to the visits, and it’s also hugely rewarding to know that we are contributing to such an important and interesting study. I highly recommend getting involved.”

If you would like to participate in the pilot study or just find out more about the project: