Essex Babylab

Online Babylab Studies

You can now participate in our research from home!

While Covid-19 means we can't be in a lab, we're still finding ways to understand how babies and children learn and develop.

We have created some fun studies and experiments that can be carried out online from the comfort of your home. All you need is a device, an internet connection, and a small human! Studies have been split into three categories; those for expecting parents, those for babies, and those for children.

If you have a baby or are pregnant, and would like to receive information about future studies, you can still submit your details to our database and we'll contact you if a suitable study comes up.

Studies for expecting parents

Pregnancy and wellbeing during COVID-19 – For expecting parents

Are you or your partner currently pregnant?

We're looking for more mums- and dads-to-be to take part in a questionnaire study about pregnancy, baby attachment and the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of families.

Participation takes about 20 minutes and you can win a £20 Amazon voucher!


Take part now
We're investigating how pregnant women and their wellbeing is affected by Covid-19.)
We're investigating how pregnant women and their wellbeing is affected by Covid-19.

Studies for babies and parents

Smartphone use and Parenting – for parents of babies aged 0-2 years

Do you sometimes find yourself scrolling through social media? You are not alone!

Mobile phones are with us constantly, and can be a distraction even when we are with other people. We are running a study to find out how parents use their smartphones when they interact with their children.

If you are over 18 years old and are the primary caregiver for a child under the age of two, you are eligible to participate to this online survey.

Participation takes around 15 minutes.


Take part now
We're studying how parents use smartphones when interacting with their children.)
We're studying how parents use smartphones when interacting with their children.

Baby Body Perception study – For babies aged 5 and 9 months

In this study for 5- and 9-month-olds your baby will watch pictures of normally proportioned and stretched out baby bodies presented side-by-side.

We will record a video of your baby through your webcam to see which picture your baby chooses to look at! The study takes about 15 minutes in total.


Take part now
Our baby body perception study takes just 15 minutes.)
Our baby body perception study takes just 15 minutes.

How am I feeling? – For babies aged 6-8 months

We are looking for 6-to-8-month-old babies to participate in an online study on how babies learn to interpret their own feelings.

In this study, we are looking at how caregivers and their babies interact while reading a story and playing together.

We will also ask you to complete a questionnaire about your body, your mood and your baby.


Take part now
How do babies understand what they're feeling?)
How do babies understand what they're feeling?

Babies Learn Words – for babies aged 14-16 months

We are looking for babies aged between 14 and 16 months to take part in an online word learning study!

If English is the only language spoken in your household and you are interested in participating with your baby, please contact Angela (babylab-lang@essex.ac.uk)

Does your baby know what you are thinking? – for babies aged 18 months

We are running our first ever online study on how babies learn to figure out that people can change views about a situation.

We are investigating if infants are already able from a very young age to understand that other people may have a different belief about a situation than the baby himself/herself.

The study lasts about 10 minutes and we will show your baby some videos – what a great way to keep your little scientist busy! We will also ask you (the parent) to help us live-code your baby’s looking - so this can be fun for everyone! Take part now and search for the study “Does your baby know what you are thinking?”

Does your baby know what you are thinking?)
Does your baby know what you are thinking?

Studies for children

Do not do as I say nor as I do - for children aged 3-5 years

In this study children play a series of games over Zoom that will help us explore how the ability to inhibit social and non-social responses develops.

Children will be required to watch video stimuli and then do the appropriate action. This may involve pointing to a picture on their computer screen or performing a hand gesture: such as holding up an index finger.

The study will take about 30-45 minutes. Children’s responses will be video recorded to enable us to code accuracy scores and reaction times.

For more information about the study or to sign up to participate please email Anne Franks (a.franks@essex.ac.uk).

We want to find out how the ability to inhibit social and non-social responses develops.)
We want to find out how the ability to inhibit social and non-social responses develops.

Social Body Project – for children aged 6-11 years

We have developed an online research activity for children to take part in from home!

Children aged between 6 and 11 years old are invited to take part in some fun research games which explore how children see themselves, and whether the lack of social connections impact on this perception.

Participation takes around 15-20 minutes.

Please follow these two steps in order for your child to take part in the study.

  1. The parent/guardian must fill this online consent form before the experiment commences.
  2. Once a parent/carer has completed the online form, children can play this game.
We want to find out if a lack of social connections affects how we perceive ourselves.)
We want to find out if a lack of social connections affects how we perceive ourselves.
Take part in our research

We are always looking for parents interested in taking part in our studies with their babies! If you are pregnant, or have a baby or a child under 3 years old, and you are interested in taking part in our research, please sign-up today.

Take part