Baby Express is our age-paced monthly parent printed magazine.  

Background

Baby Express is designed to support parents in the first year of their child’s life providing practical advice guidance tips and signposting to additional support. The magazine is delivered to parents' homes, compliments the Baby Buddy app and can be used to reach the 20% of C2D2 young families who don’t have smart phones.

In collaboration with Greater Manchester, Baby Express has been developed in co-creation with parents and professionals, and is being evaluated in a European-funded RCT and in a DH funded evaluation. Baby Express is available as a locally commissioned resource, with each issue bespokable for that area. Issues 1 and 2 are gifted by a health visitor with subsequent issues being sent directly to the family home.   

We are distributing Baby Express across three sites in the North of England and actively pursuing new sites to roll out the magazine.

Baby Express originates from the US and the original content was adapted and updated for use in the UK and published by The Children’s Foundation in 2000. 

Response

Baby Express has been shown in a randomised control trial to improve early relationships and child development, lead to a significant impact on the parenting 'hassle score' (Waterston et al., 2009), and is included in the Healthy Child Programme. In Ardwick, Manchester, a service evaluation demonstrated that:

  • 94% of parents reported reading the Baby Express (77% said they read it a lot or a great deal)
  • 82% of parents reported they had learned something new from the information in Baby Express
  • 78% reported that they tried an activity from the Baby Express with their baby
  • of those who tried an activity 75% reported that they noticed a difference in their baby following the activity
  • parents rated the Baby Express favourably for its content, format, readability, use of language and its pacing.

Working with parents and professions in and with the support of the Greater Manchester Public Service Reform Team, Best Beginnings updated, refreshed and piloted Baby Express in 2014. Baby Express is now a 12-page image-led resource and we are very grateful to the endorsing organisations who contribute.

Thanks to this development and piloting of the magazine, the Greater Manchester Social Reform team have been awarded funding from the Economic and Social Research Council to carry out a RCT on Baby Express to investigate if it improves outcomes for babies.

Baby Express in your area

We have evidence that our resources are having more impact when they are embedded in local care pathways.

Baby Express is now available for commissioners to license the magazine in local areas, to bespoke and personalise panels of the front and back two pages of each edition of the magazine signposting to local services.

This is an opportunity to make the magazine a local product and highlight integrated services such as early years, child health services and community provision both in the NHS and Local Authority.

To learn more about commissioning Baby Express in your area please visit our Commissioning and Resources page.