At Best Beginnings we take an evidence based approach to identifying, evidencing and sharing best practice.

We continually evaluate the impact of our resources and apply this learning to the development of existing and future resources. As well as commissioning academic evaluations of our interventions, we commission and undertake independent and impartial market research that helps inform the design development and forward planning of our resources.

Response to Baby Buddy

Baby Buddy has achieved over 200,000 downloads with around 1200 people downloading the app each week.

A sophisticated analytics tool behind Baby Buddy allows us to track uptake and usage by locality, age, gender, ethnicity, language, education, employment and training. It also allows us to identify which videos Baby Buddy users are watching, what questions they’re asking and which features they are using, as an anonymised data set.

We feed this rich data in to detailed reports for our Public Health Commissioners to measure the reach and impact of Baby Buddy. Pop-up in-app questionnaires capture what pregnant women and new mothers think of Baby Buddy.

Read here what our users say about Baby Buddy.

Pregnant women and new mums report the following about Baby Buddy:

  • Easy to use (n=10,266): >99%
  • Easy to understand (n=10,214): >99%
  • Helps me get more out of my appointments (n=5830): 86%
  • Helps me look after my mental health (n=2,507): 87%
  • Helps me look after my physical health (n=2,535): 90%
  • Helps me feel closer to my baby (n=3092): 90%
  • Helps me feel more confident caring for my baby (n=2881): 98%

(Data from completed pop-up in-app surveys to 12/10/17)

Baby Buddy embedding and training impact

We have evidence that our process of 'embedding' involving training professional and community champions to use our tools successfully reaches parents of all backgrounds and therefore has more impact. Learn more about how to embed Baby Buddy in your area.

Baby Buddy's analytics system shows that our 'porportionate universalism' approach is working: families who are at highest risk of poor outcomes are over-represented amongst Baby Buddy users. 

Graph of Baby Buddy app language use

Fig 1. The Top 12 Community Languages in the UK.

Blue = % of people in the UK speaking this language 
Green = % of Baby Buddy users speaking this language

For 10 of the top community languages spoken in the UK, women for whom these languages are their first language are represented or over-represented amongst Baby Buddy users.

Graph of Baby Buddy app users age

Fig 2. Age Distribution of pregnant women and new mothers using Baby Buddy.

Blue = % of live births in the UK*
Green = % of pregnant women/new mothers using Baby Buddy

This chart shows that we have achieved over-representation of younger women using the app - in line with one of our key objectives.

Substantive evaluation

A more in-depth study of Baby Buddy in three areas where Baby Buddy has been embedded into service provision has been completed. The study involved academics from the University of the West of England, Coventry University, Newcastle University and the University of Hertfordshire. Using a longitudinal framework, this evaluation will explore the impact of Baby Buddy app on maternal self-efficacy, parenting competence and wellbeing as well as exploring detailed usage and benefits of the app.

The findings will be shared on this page in February 2020.