Better Care

Baby Check App launch

The Lullaby Trust Baby Check app, developed in partnership between Birmingham Community Healthcare and the Lullaby Trust, launched on Tuesday, 10 November at Castle Vale children’s centre.

Parents and children had the opportunity to take a look at the app with a range of health and social care professionals. 

The Baby Check app was the idea of health visiting team leader,
Carroll Johnson-Chapman, inspired by the long-standing Lullaby Trust booklet of the same name.

Carroll said: “As a health visitor, I am committed to giving every parent and child access to the same quality of information and support.

“I had done some training to help me support parents who had suffered the trauma of losing a baby to sudden infant death syndrome and were, quite understandably, very anxious with a second or subsequent child.

Baby Check App
Parents and their babies at Castle Vale Children's Centre trying out the new Baby Check App.

“As part of that support, I would give these parents the Lullaby Trust Baby Check booklet, which asks parents to go through some simple checks if they think their baby might have a serious illness.

“Those 19 quick checks together help parents reach a clear assessment on whether they need to speak to their doctor, health visitor or midwifeor whether the baby needs  to be seen urgently.

“I thought it was such an excellent way to assess ababy’s health and make an informed decision over accessing healthcare that it should be available to all parents. That’s when I had the idea of developing the concept into an app.”

Carroll Johnson-Chapman Health Visitor
Carroll Johnson-Chapman, health visitor for Birmingham Community Healthcare giving parents attending the launch of the Baby Check App a master class in 'safe sleeping'.

Carroll’s idea won the backing of The Lullaby Trust and her employer, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, who provided the necessary research and development support (supported by NHS innovation partners Midtech) to develop the concept into a finished product available to download from Google Play and the App Store.

Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust said: “We have distributed the Baby Check booklet for free for many years. Baby Check was developed from a 4-year project which analysed the signs and symptoms of illness in over 1,000 babies under six months of age.

“As a charity, we have limited resources to develop other channels for reaching parents and we are grateful to Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation for funding the development of the Baby Check app.

“This app will allow all parents to have access to Baby Check, enabling them to confidently decide whether or not their baby needs to see a doctor.”

BCHC research director Clive Thursfield added: “Carroll’s project is an excellent example of how we can give a member of staff with a great initial concept the commercial and technical support they need to turn their idea into reality.”

About Baby Check

Baby Check was developed from a 4-year project which analysed the signs and symptoms of illness in over 1,000 babies under 6 months of age. There were 300 well 

App image

babies at home and 700 babies in hospital with a variety of illnesses. All signs and symptoms were analysed to find the combination which could be used to assess the severity of a baby’s illness with the most accuracy. The 19 signs and symptoms now used in Baby Check were found to give the most accurate assessment. 

The accuracy and acceptability of Baby Check has been tested in several field trials.

The research was undertaken in the Dept. Paediatrics, University of Cambridge; MRC Dunn Nutrition Laboratory, Cambridge; Dept. of General Paediatrics, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne Australia.

About The Lullaby Trust

The Lullaby Trust provides specialist support for bereaved families, promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and raises awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Working with the NHS we run a national health-visitor led service for bereaved parents, Care of Next Infant (CONI) programme, which supports families before and after the birth of their new baby.

We are committed to supporting research to understand why babies die suddenly and unexpectedly and to find out more about how to reduce the risk of these tragic deaths.

The Lullaby Trust also runs an information line for parents and professionals (0808 802 6869) and a dedicated line for bereaved families (0808 802 6868). Both are free to call from landlines and mobiles.

Advice including, factsheets and the latest research can be found at

We campaign tirelessly, lobbying government to keep sudden infant death on the public health agenda.