Nine months

This page runs through the basic information parents might need to know before attending their baby’s 9 month TEBC appointment.


This appointment will be the first one to take place away from the hospital, in our dedicated ‘child development lab’ at the Kennedy Tower. We will take nasal and saliva samples again, and repeat some of the questionnaires from before. This will be our first appointment to feature eye-tracking – a way to record where a baby is looking using special cameras, so we can work out what they like and know. We will also film parents playing with their babies. This is an amazing way to capture a child’s developing abilities.

Meet our team of researchers at Kennedy Tower and see the kind of activities they do with the children in this short video.

For information about how we process your personal data please access our GDPR Participant Information here.



Here’s a bit more detail about what will happen at this appointment. Bear in mind that we can take breaks as needed, and will switch the other around to fit with your baby’s routine – we can work around naps, feeding and nappy changes.

  • We will ask a parent to complete four questionnaires. Some of these will be familiar from previous appointments. We will ask about: the parent’s well-being; the baby’s personality; the baby’s sleep habits; the beginnings of language.
  • We will do a general “developmental interview” with the parent which will provide us with an overview of how your child is growing up.
  • We will ask one parent and the baby to play together for ten minutes while we film. We will provide a special set of suitable toys for this. You don’t have to follow any special instructions – just play as you would at home.
  • We will do some eye-tracking with the baby. This means that they sit on a parent’s lap and watch some pictures and cartoons on a TV screen. While this is happening, a special infra-red camera will record exactly where they are looking. We can use their looking patterns to work out what they are interested in, what they can remember and what they can learn.

Also, for some families:

  • We will take a nasal sample using a couple of little bits of absorbent paper which we gently put inside your baby’s nostrils. This can be a bit annoying for the baby, but it isn’t painful and generally they tolerate it well.
  • We will also take a saliva sample, by gently rubbing a cotton wool bud along their gum. Again, babies are normally ok with this.

These extra items apply only to a small group of families who were asked for, and gave permission for the same samples to be collected at birth.


This appointment will take place at the child development lab in Kennedy Tower, in Morningside. Parking is available on nearby streets (e.g. Millar Crescent, Morningside Terrace) – please pay for 3 hours and we will reimburse you at the lab. For more information about the local area including bus links, see this page.

Child Development Lab, Kennedy Tower, Edinburgh EH10 5HF
Phone number
Child Development Lab: 0131 637 46640

Study Mobile: 07584642277


When you arrive at the Tower please tell reception you are here for the Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort and someone (probably Sinead!) will come down to meet you. The Tower has lift access and an accessible toilet. We have baby changing facilities in the lab, and can offer privacy (and comfy seating) for feeding if desired. There will be drinks and healthy snacks for you and your baby – please let us know if you have any allergies.


What to bring

You! And your baby! You don’t need anything special for the appointment, but you might want to bring your usual supplies – changing bag, bottle etc. However we always have things like emergency wet wipes and formula so don’t worry. The best thing for us is if just one parent comes to the appointment. The exception is if you have twins (or more) or are bringing an older child too. In that case, a second adult might be useful and we can provide a separate space for them to wait.


Sometimes, with your permission, we might ask you if a student or trainee can sit in on your appointment too. There would only ever be one extra person there.


What if my baby is sleeping when I arrive or needs a nap during the appointment?

We will try to arrange the appointment at a time when your baby is likely to be awake for a couple of hours, but if they are asleep when you arrive, or need an unexpected nap, that’s fine. We can be flexible during the appointment and nap time is a great chance for you to fill in all the questionnaires! We are used to working with small babies and we will try to fit in the activities around you and your baby.

What if my baby starts to cry or won’t co-operate?

We understand that the appointment might disrupt your baby’s normal routine and he/she is likely to get  a little grumpy or fussy at some point. We can take breaks for feeds or naps if this happens. Try to take your baby’s usual nap and feeding schedule into consideration when booking the appointment and we will do our best to give you an appointment time to suit your baby.

What if there’s something I don’t want to do?

Your participation is completely voluntary so if there is something you would rather not do that is absolutely fine. We want our participants to feel as comfortable as possible throughout the study. If you are unsure about a something or want to know why we are interested in collecting the information then please feel free ask our researcher.

Can I bring my other children?

Yes absolutely, we can provide a place for your other child(ren) to play or draw while the testing session is ongoing. However, it may be a little long and boring for a sibling so maybe think about taking some toys or  other things to entertain them.

More questions? Please get in touch.