This visit will be very similar to the previous visit which took place when your baby was 9 months old. It will give us a chance to see how your baby has progressed since their last visit by repeating some of the things we did the last time. We will take nasal and saliva samples again, ask you to fill out some questionnaires, do some eye-tracking with your child and record you and your toddler playing together. Since your child will have grown up a lot since the last visit, some of the questionnaires and eye-tracking videos might be a little different from the last time so that they are more appropriate for your baby’s age and developmental stage.

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 order around to fit with what your toddler’s routine – we can work around naps, feeding and nappy changes.

  • We will ask a parent to complete some questionnaires. Some of these will be familiar from previous appointments. We will ask about: the parent’s well-being; the child’s personality; the child’s sleep habits; the child’s language abilities; the child’s day to day behaviour. We will also ask for some of these to be filled out by your child’s pre-school/nursery teacher if applicable.
  • 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 toddler. This means that they sit on a parent’s lap or independently in a chair 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 toddler’s nostrils. This can be a bit annoying, 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.


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 visit will take place in our Child Development lab in Kennedy Tower, Morningside which you would have visited at your 9 month appointment. 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, Morningside Terrace, 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 child – please let us know if you have any allergies.

What to bring

You! And your toddler! You don’t need anything special for the appointment, but you might want to bring your usual supplies – changing bag, snacks etc. However, we always have things like emergency wet wipes and healthy snacks 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.


If we need to travel a long distance, can you pay for my train/bus tickets?

Yes, when you arrive at the lab we will reimburse you for any travel costs including train tickets, bus tickets or parking costs.

What if my child is restless or grumpy during the visit?

We try to make the visit as enjoyable and easy as possible for both parent and child. We will give your toddler as much time as needed to settle in and get used to the new environment before beginning. We can then take play/nap/snack/cuddle breaks as often as you like so hopefully your child will feel comfortable and enjoy the visit.

What if I need to cancel the appointment at short notice?

If you can’t make it to the scheduled appointment then don’t worry, we will try our best to reschedule for another time that suits you. If you are going to miss the appointment then please let us know as early as you can.

Is the lab accessible for prams?

Yes, the building has no steps or ramps so is easy to access and there is a very spacious lift that you can take up to the lab on the 5th floor.

More questions? Please get in touch.