Frequently Asked Questions

What does participating in a study involve?

Generally our studies take the form of simple games in which we present various interesting things to look at and listen to. In some studies we show short video clips or cartoons on a computer screen. Other studies are more interactive and involve showing different toys or objects. For example, a researcher might play a game with your baby or child to understand more about how they think and learn different skills. When you arrive at the Babylab to participate in a study, the researcher who is running the study will be there to greet you and explain what the study is about.

What methods do we use to study babies and children?

In addition to studies where we simply observe babies' and children's behaviour while playing with them and showing them different objects, we also use cutting edge technology to measure brain activity and follow eye movements. All these methods are of course completely safe for you and your baby/child, and everything will be explained to you before you agree to come and visit us.

Will I be separated from my child?

If you decide to come and visit us, you will be with your baby/child at all times. Your baby will either sit on your lap or in a baby chair. Your child will sit independently with you in the same room. 

How long do studies take?

The whole visit usually takes about 45-60 minutes, but the studies themselves are quite short, usually 5-15 minutes.

Is my baby/child the right age for any of your studies?

Babies and children grow up quickly so we are always in need of more participants for our studies. If you sign up, we will contact you whenever your baby/child is the right age for one of our studies. Sometimes you will be contacted straight away, other times it may take longer depending on what studies are running. Of course you are not obliged to participate and may drop out at any time.

I would like to know more about the specific studies you run…

If you would like to see some examples of the studies we run at the Babylab, follow this link. We also send out an annual newsletter with updates on all our completed studies to parents on our database. You can download our previous newsletters here. Finally, you are very welcome to contact us for more information about how we work and any other questions you may have about the Babylab. You can find our contact details below.

How are my baby’s details stored?

We keep your details on a secure database hosted on a secure, encrypted, password protected server that meets all of the new data protection guidance. For the most part we keep contact details and some information about the pregnancy and delivery. The data we store are not disclosed to anyone outside the CBCD.

How are appointments scheduled?

Different researchers at the Babylab run different studies with different age groups, so we will usually phone you 1-2 weeks before your baby/child is the right age for one of our studies. Participation in studies at the Babylab is on a voluntary basis, so although you may be asked to come in several times, you can always decline participation in a study. You are of course also free to let us know if you no longer wish to be contacted. Having said that, many parents enjoy coming in with their babies and children and come to visit us many times.

How do I get to the Babylab?

It's easy! Our prime location in Central London is easy to reach via public transport, and we refund travel expenses up to £40.  In addition to all the London buses, Russell Square, Goodge Street, Euston, Euston Square, Warren Street and King's Cross & St Pancras stations are all within walking distance.  If you prefer to use a taxi service, you can arrange that yourself or ask us to do so for you.  Free parking is also available on site.  BabyLab map.

Can I bring my other children?

There is a comfortable waiting room with toys, so you can bring your other children too. Please let us know in advance, so one of our DBS checked staff will be there to keep an eye on them.

How do I sign up?

There are 4 ways you can sign up:

  1. Online form: Follow this link.
  2. By email: babylab@bbk.ac.uk. Please give us the same details as specified above, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
  3. By phone: 020 7631 6258. Our reception is open Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 5.30pm. At other times you can leave a message on our answer machine. If you leave a message, please tell us your name, phone number and your baby’s age, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
  4. By letter (no stamp needed): The Babylab, FREEPOST RRGX-ARGH-SESR, Henry Wellcome Building, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London. WC1E 7HX.

How do I find the Babylab?

You can download a map of where we are here.

Thank you. We look forward to hearing from you!