New York University researchers are working with BabyConnect to study activity patterns of babies to get a better understanding of normal infant development. BabyConnect is a popular app used by parents, nannies, and newborn care specialists to track daily activities of a baby such as feeding, diaper changes, sleep, medicine administration and more.

The research has two mail goals:

First we will create a large database on normal infant development. We’re convinced that this will help doctors offer better, scientifically-based advice that parents can use to manage infant’s sleep and eating. Second, we aim to discover markers or early red flags for developmental disorders. We know that some children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disorders have trouble with sleep and digestion

Participation in this research is entirely voluntary for BabyConnect users, and those who wish to participate must opt-in through the app. All data is kept confidential and the identity of the participants is never revealed in publications or presentations.

While the research is ongoing, the NYU research team has released a few preliminary results from their analysis of 850 infant activity records. The charts of particular interest to newborn care specialists include Sleep Bout Duration by Age and Sleep Duration by Age, both pictured below.

While the data is subject to the inconsistency of user entries, these charts provide insight into what normal, healthy newborn sleep should look like and can potentially provide guidance for newborn sleep in the future. We hope all new parents will consider contributing to this study as “citizen scientists” so we can learn more and help more babies get the safe and healthy sleep they deserve.