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Study Team

Michele Lobo, UD (PI); Roberta Golinkoff, UD (Co-I); Matthew K Hoffman, Christiana Care (Co-I), Paul David, Christiana Care (Co-I)

What we wanted to learn and why it matters

One in ten infants born in the USA is born preterm before 37 weeks of gestation and 50% of those will have a delay of some kind often requiring intervention by the time these children are of school age. One challenge that families and medical providers face is trying to understand early on, even in just the first few months of life, how we can act to counteract those delays. This study developed a new program called the Baby Play Intervention to teach parents strategies to position, hold, and play with their babies in the first months of life in ways that aimed to promote early development and learning. Helping parents to better understand what they can do to support their child’s development is one way to provide a family-friendly and affordable intervention which can help give children and caregivers from all backgrounds the information they need to support their child.

What we did and what we learned

We worked with 20 infants and their families to see the effects of the Baby Play Intervention. We found that it did change the way parents interacted with their children in ways expected to promote child development. We also developed a smart garment that can accurately provide information about how parents handle and position their infants. Understanding these practices can help us shape them to improve children’s outcomes.

To read more about this study

Greenspan, B., Cunha, A.B., & Lobo, M.A. (in press). Design and validation of a smart garment to measure positioning practices of parents with young infants. Infant Behavior and Development, Special Issue Methodological Advances in the Characterization and Understanding of Caregiver-Infant Interactions.