Baby+me is a small-scale intervention study that aimed to use new technology to improve the quality of infant-mother interaction. Dr Fionnuala Larkin is primarily responsible for this study.
In Baby+Me, an intervention to promote mind-mindedness was delivered via a smartphone app that mothers were given free of charge. The intervention aimed to encourage parents to think about their child in a mind-minded way, through friendly, informative alerts and interactive features. Using a randomised controlled trial methodology, the team are evaluating whether the intervention was effective in improving parent-child interaction as well as child and parental wellbeing.
The study began recruiting in August 2014 and finished recruiting in August 2016. It involved over 200 mothers and their babies, recruited through clinical and community services. Around a third of the mothers were recruited in pregnancy and the other two thirds were recruited after the birth.
A follow-up study is now being carried out on the same cohort of participants when the young children are between 2 and a half and 3 years of age. We are interested in their ability to control their behaviour and feelings, for example waiting to open a present while no-one is watching, or sitting still during an exciting game. We are testing these abilities through a number of different fun, interactive tasks.