Parenting Science Gang

Newsletter #6 – How to reach hard-to-reach groups?

How to reach hard-to-reach groups?

We’re recruiting more groups and we’re especially keen to work with harder to reach groups such as young parents, black and ethnic minority parents and groups for people with disabilities.

We’re also keen to find some fathers  to work with as they’re massively under-represented in our project so far. We’re discovering that Dad groups are MUCH harder to find on Facebook. (Do online groups for dads even exist in the UK?!)

Do you know any groups that would make a great parenting science gang?

We’d love to hear your thoughts at

News from the groups

Science-Aware Natural Parenting (SANP) PSG

Babywearing and temperature – how hot do babies get?

After a group member witnessed a baby possibly overheating in a sling*, SANP-PSG found that there is no evidence-based research to advise us how to dress our children when babywearing.

(*the baby is fine now!)

SANP-PSG are exploring what they’d need to do to get enough evidence to put together a chart to advise parents on what sort (or quantity) of clothes to put on their child in different external temperatures and while engaged in different activities.

We need to speak to experts on babies and temperature regulation. Do you know any who might like to speak to us?  If so, please get in touch with Tamasin Greenough Graham

Dumfries and Galloway Bumps, Babies, Beyond (DGBBB) PSG

One of the group kindly lent us her house in Dumfries for a morning of a family-friendly workshops exploring citizen science and our parenting questions. It was great to meet the real people behind the words on a screen!

The group has expressed interest in topics such as:

  • Do co-sleepers get more sleep, parents and babies?
  • Does limiting sugar have a long term effect?
  • Potty training – when are they ready? What methods work?
  • Alternative education and flexi-schooling

Do you know any experts in these areas who would like to chat with us online?

Breastfeeding Older Babies and Beyond (BOBAB) PSG and UK Breastfeeding and Parenting Support (UKBAPS) PSG

Our two breastfeeding groups, BOBAB-PSG and UKBAPS-PSG are collaborating to investigate the constituents of breast milk for older children. They have been busy writing their protocol, and the groups are full of questions on variables, confounders, breast milk constituents and ethics.

This week we spoke to Canadian researcher Dr Meghan Azad about her longitudinal CHILD study and the relationship between breastmilk and child health – watch this space for the write-up …

Asking the experts

Milk Magic! The science of breastfeeding

A Q&A with Dr Maryanne Perrin.

“It’s never too late to jump into the fascinating field of human milk research!”

  • When and how does breastmilk change?
  • Is it OK for newborns to use donor milk made for older babies?
  • What do and don’t we know about breastmilk?

Dr. Maryanne Perrin’s research on breastmilk composition is groundbreaking; there is very little research looking at breastfeeding older children.

Read the transcript

Evidence-based parenting. A Q&A with Emily Oster

What can an economist tell us about parenting? A lot, we found out, in our talk with Emily Oster, economist and best-selling author of Expecting Better – Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong and What You Really Need to Know.

Rural childhoods. A Q&A with Philomena De Lima

Dr Philomena De Lima, Director of the Centre for Remote and Rural Studies joined us for a discussion on how rural childhoods including the challenges incomers and minority ethnic children face in rural locations.

Does the UK Support Breastfeeding? Q&A with Dr Ruth Stirton

Do public BFing messages need a “PR” overhaul? How can we change government policy? Dr Ruth Stirton, Lecturer in Healthcare Law at Sussex Uni is running a research project on infant feeding policy in the UK.


Calling all experts!

Want to get involved?

Our Parenting Science Gangs will chose one question each to investigate. Their question s span anything from conception onwards: pregnancy, breast feeding, natural term breastfeeding, food and eating habits, the things we buy for our chidren, screen time, education…

Yep, parents have LOTS of questions. Are you an expert in any of these areas – or any area of parenting? Would you like to get involved? (You could join us for an online Q&A or be an expert in residence in one of our groups).

We are particularly interested to hear from black and ethnic minority experts as, so far, their voices are under-represented in our expert Q&As.

Please contact us at


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