Baby Books 2


Para español

Circular teal logo displaying two parental figures sharing a book with an infant
The University of Maryland and the University of California, Irvine are collaborating in a large and exciting project about reading in families with very young children. The primary goal of Baby Books 2 (BB2) is to help first-time mothers and fathers with young children (9 to 30 months of age) who speak English or Spanish read books designed specifically for their babies. In particular, we are interested in learning about how reading in families affects parents as well as children’s growth and development. Currently, most research on reading to young children has been focused on mothers. By including fathers as well as bilingual families, we hope to help create better programs and supports for children and both of their parents.

The purpose of this website is to spread the word about BB2 project. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

About BB2

BB2 recruits parents and their babies born in 2016 and 2017. It is funded through the federal government’s National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD). 

Baby Books 2 is a five-year collaboration between the University of Maryland and the University of California, Irvine. The focus of this longitudinal study is on the literacy practices of first-time mothers and fathers and their infants.  The overarching goal of the project is to develop an understanding of the unique ways that reading practices, family contexts, parent-child relationships and individual differences influence development and competencies in children. The hope is that the data we collect will support children and new parents in the future by helping to create programs for the entire family that foster family and child well being.

BB2 has two sites: one in Maryland and one in California. First-time mothers and fathers who live together and have a young child are able to be in the study.  All books are bilingual, in Spanish and English.

As part of the study, we will visit families’ homes four times and call them on the phone every few months. During the home visits, we will interview mothers and fathers and watch them read and play with their baby. Phone calls are shorter and will ask questions about reading, how the child is doing, and how parents are doing. 

Families will be paid up to $480 ($240 per parent) and do not have to have a social security number to be in the study.

We believe that BB2 is a very enjoyable project for families and we are grateful to all the families interested in participating in this project.

Baby wearing a Baby Books 2 bib and baby wearing a Baby Books 2 shirt

We have officially finished enrollment for the Baby Books 2 project. If you are interested in future opportunities, you can call or email us with your contact information. Thank you for your interest! 

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have put together a list of resources and parenting tips below (in English and Español) that we hope you may find helpful:

Esperamos que le resulten útiles los recursos y consejos parentales que hemos recopilado en español e inglés para ayudarle durante el coronavirus (COVID-19):

Resources - English.pdf

Recursos - Español.pdf

Tips for Parents - English.pdf

Consejos Parentales - Español.pdf


If you ever need to contact us, please don’t hesitate to call us at 301-405-7486 (UMD) or email us at (UMD) or (UCI).  This information is also available on our contact page.

Principal Investigators

Natasha Cabrera
Natasha J. Cabrera, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland, College of Education. Previously, Dr. Cabrera held an expert appointment in the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch of the National Institute of Child Development (NICHD). At NICHD, she was also an Executive Branch Fellow sponsored by the Society for Research in Child Development. Dr. Cabrera was intimately involved in the planning and implementation of several projects including the Science and Ecology of Early Development (SEED), the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project's father study, and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort. Dr. Cabrera currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on social development, parenting, and child development and poverty.  Her research interests include parent-child relationships, children's social and emotional development in different types of families and cultural/ethnic groups, school readiness, fatherhood, predictors of adaptive and maladaptive parenting, and translation of research into practice and policy.

Stephanie Reich
Stephanie M. Reich, Ph.D. is a professor in the School of Education, University of California, Irvine. Dr. Reich's research is focuses on understanding and improving the social context of children’s lives. As such, her empirical investigations center on two contributors to children’s socialization: parents and peers. The bulk of her interest examines parent and peer interactions in early childhood with additional research investigating peer interactions in adolescence. Her professional goal is to illuminate how parents and peers affect children’s socio-emotional, cognitive, and physical development with the aim of creating interventions to promote physical and mental health and academic success. The bulk of Dr. Reich's work explores direct and indirect influences (i.e., transactions) on the child, specifically through the family, online, and school environment. Her research on the family has focused on parenting behaviors and the direct and moderational influences of maternal knowledge, efficacy, support, and home and community environment on development. Dr. Reich has also been involved in peer research where she has been examining the role of individual behaviors (e.g., aggression, emotional regulation, prosocial behavior) and peer interactions (e.g., in-person and on-line) on range of child outcomes.

Project Coordinators

Lupe Diaz
Guadalupe Díaz, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Fellow/Project Coordinator for the Baby Books 2 Project at the University of California, Irvine. She received her M.S and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University with emphasis on early childhood development and children’s educational experiences. Her research interests are broadly focused on understanding and improving the individual and ecological factors (e.g. parenting) that influence the school readiness and educational experiences of diverse children and families --specifically, in children who are Dual Language Learners. She focuses on the influence of self-regulation, English Language proficiency, and parenting on children’s educational experiences and connecting research to community-based programs to improve the educational experiences for families.


Jhoseline Guzman
Jhoseline Guzman is a Project Coordinator for the Baby Books 2 Project at the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. During her undergraduate career, Jhoseline worked as a teacher assistant at Bridges Public Charter School, which furthered her interests in working with children. Specifically, she is interested in understanding how different aspects of cultural beliefs and values impact social and emotional development in early childhood.




Diletta Mittone
Diletta Mittone is a Project Coordinator for the Baby Books 2 Project at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Boston University, along with minors in Biology and Public Health. Broadly, her research interests focus on the impacts of childhood adversity on cognitive and social development in children. Specifically, she is interested in understanding how the family system and early childhood environment shape developmental trajectories, and the implications of these outcomes on larger societal public health issues contributing to childhood risk.



Data Manager

Philip Wilkinson
Philip Wilkinson is a doctoral candidate at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration, double majoring in International Business and History, from Loyola University (Baltimore), and his Master of Science in Education from Northern Illinois University in Adult and Higher Education. His dissertation focuses on identifying the effects of baccalaureate recipients who graduate with excess credit hours on short term employment and social outcomes using non-parametric methods. He is interested in post-secondary policy and analysis, quasi-experimental design, social network analysis, data mining and machine learning, and identifying causality in the social sciences. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Mr. Wilkinson worked as a graduate research associate at the American Council on Education’s Center for Policy, Research, and Strategy; as graduate researcher at the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia; and as a lecturer and coordinator at Mahidol University – International College (Thailand). Mr. Wilkinson currently works in both the Family Involvement Laboratory and the Learning and Cognition Laboratory at the College of Education.

Graduate Research Assistants

Kelsey McKee is a fourth-year doctoral student in Human Development. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Arizona State University. Her past experience includes conducting in-home intervention programs with the Arizona child welfare system. Her interests lie in how parenting interventions can promote positive parent-child relationships and help parents to support children’s  early social and emotional development, particularly low-income communities.



Avery Hennigar is a fourth-year doctoral student in Human Development. She received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and Master of Public Health from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Avery's research interests focus on how structural and social factors influence parent-child relationships and how interventions can be most effective for low income families. Specifically, she is interested in examining the challenges related to juggling low wage work and family life and the impact of parents' mental health on child outcomes.


Tina Chen
Yu (Tina) Chen is a second-year doctoral student in Human Development. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Economics from Grinnell College. Before coming to UMD, Tina worked as a lab manager with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek at Temple University. Her research focuses on how parent-child interactions and home environment shape child outcomes. She is particularly interested in mothers and fathers from at-risk families and their input to and ways of interacting with their children.



Rachel Ghosh
Rachel Ghosh is a first-year doctoral student in the HDQM program. She received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan, with a minor in Community Action and Social Change. Her research interests include father-daughter relationships, father absence, and the impacts of father involvement on females’ emotional, intellectual, and social development throughout the lifespan. She is also interested in interventions to promote healthy development and resilience among fatherless females, and Public Policy work pertaining to the improved support of low-income, single-mother families.


Angelica Alonso
Angelica Alonso is a first-year doctoral student in the Human Development program at the University of Maryland. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from New York University and her Master of Arts in Human Development from Teachers College, Columbia University. Through her previous work as a research assistant at NYU's Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education and as a research coordinator at NYU Langone Health, she became interested in the role that culture plays in shaping children’s early experiences. Her research interests include how Latino immigrant parents promote their young children’s development through everyday activities, as well as how parents’ documentation status affects parent-child interactions.


Maritza Morales-Gracia is a second-year Ph.D. student in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine with a specialization in Education Policy and Human Development in Context (EPSC/HDiC). Maritza earned her master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University and received dual Bachelor's in Psychology and Human Development (Child Development Emphasis) from California State University, San Bernardino. She has previously worked as a researcher within the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center, The National Center for Children and Families, and the Neurocognition, Early Experience, and Development (NEED) Lab. Her professional and personal bicultural/bilingual experiences are what motivate her research interest in anti-poverty policy, parenting, educational equity, and social justice. Through her research she aims to effectively advocate for—and inform evidence-based family policies as a means to increase upward mobility and access to high quality education for ethno-culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse groups, in particular within Latinx children and families. Her long-term goal is to become a faculty member at a top research institution and utilize that platform to diversify academia by supporting underrepresented students and their families.

Melissa Dahlin
Melissa Dahlin is a third-year doctoral student in Education at the University of California, Irvine. She received a B.A. in History from the University of California, Irvine and an M.A. in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her professional background in early childhood instruction, policy analysis, and program evaluation informs her research interests in how young children develop in the contexts of home and school, the role of family-school engagement in child and family outcomes, and early childhood policy.



Research Assistants

Amy Gaona
Amy Gaona received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Irvine, where she double majored in Sociology and Education with a emphasis in early child development and a minor in Chicano/Latino Studies. Her research interests are exploring how people of color perceive race and ethnicity, along with what conflicts may arise from this. As well as how this might impact people of color’s accessibility in education and health services.



Denise Alvarez
Denise graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate, she was involved in work with foster and adoptive children at UCLA TIES for Families. Most recently, Denise was a research assistant at Children’s Institute, an early education non-profit agency in South Los Angeles, where she was involved in a research project conducted by Ferol Mennen, a professor in the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, that investigated the effects of an intervention on maternal depression and child developmental outcomes. In the future, Denise hopes to work in an education setting as a school counselor, educator, or school-based occupational therapist.


Estefany Araniva
Estefany Araniva earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Family Science with a minor in Spanish from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a full-time research assistant at the Family Involvement Lab. Her research interests include analyzing the effects of family constructs based on parent-child interactions, parental stress and co-parenting. Specifically, she is interested in examining how these different constructs affect family synchrony and child development.



Carol Barrios
Carol Barrios is a full-time research assistant at the Family Involvement Lab. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Leadership Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining the lab, she was a research assistant in the Emotions, Equity, and Education Lab and participated in an intervention that focused on testing the effects of social identity on mathematical achievement in low income Latino middle school students. Her research interests include bullying intervention among middle and high school adolescents, and examining the effects that adolescent development, home climate, and social identities have on school climate and bullying prevention.




Baby Books 2 in Chile

Daniela Aldoney
Daniela, Aldoney, Ph.D. earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from the Universidad de Chile and received her Master of Arts degree and PhD in Human Development from the University of Maryland. Currently, she is a research faculty at the Centro de Apego y Regulación Emocional (CARE) at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. Her research interests include the study of parent-child relationships in disadvantaged populations during the preschool years. She has focused in understanding the development of emotional competences, executive functions, and language in children at risk and how mothers and father can promote an optimal development in their children. She teaches courses for psychlogy undergraduate and doctoral students, directs the Familia, Adolescencia e Infancia lab, and coordinates the implementation of a pilot study of Baby Books 2 in Chile.

Contact Information

University of Maryland-College Park

To reach our UMD office for questions, please call 301-405-7486 or email

University of California-Irvine
To reach our UCI office for questions, please call 1-949-824-8864 or email

Why is this research important?
Research on mothers, fathers, and their babies helps to us to learn how to improve family life and the future of our children.  Such research can influence policy and promote healthy families as well as improve children’s skills so they can be ready to succeed in school.

Where does your funding come from?
Our research is funded by the National Institute of Health.

How can I contact the Baby Books 2 team?
We can be contacted by our toll free 800 number, or via email. See the contact page for details.

Why is it important that my family stay involved in the study?
Our study follows families over two years.  During this time we will learn more about book reading and how your child is growing and developing. Mothers and fathers will receive information about child development and how to be best care for their babies. Working with families over time is the best way to learn about how children grow and develop. So once you sign up, we hope you continue until the end of the study (when your baby is 30 months old).  We understand that this is can be hard for a new family, and we are grateful for the time it takes for you to be in our study.  Because of this, you will be paid for each home visit and phone call.

Am I eligible for the study?
Currently this study is open to first-time mothers and fathers who live together with an infant age 9 months or younger.  The study is currently only in English and Spanish.

Are you currently accepting applicants?
Yes! Please see our contact page to either call or email us and a researcher will be in touch shortly.  Thank you!

How do you keep our families information private?
All of your family’s information is password protected and cloud-based and can only be accessed by authorized researchers.

Your participation is voluntary. That means you are free to stop at any time or skip any part of the visit and/or questions you want. Your participation in this research is completely confidential. That means that your name will not be on any of the information we collect. Instead, we will replace all mothers, fathers, and babies’ names with a number. Data are kept securely and only researchers involved with the study will have access to the information collected.

What compensation is provided for participating?
Participants will be paid for every interview they complete. Each adult parent participant will be paid up to $240 in cash or by check. ($480 per family). Payments will occur after each data collection episode (provided in-person during home visits and mailed following phone calls).  Please see the chart below for more information.


Child Age

Type of Contact

$ Amount per parent

9 month

Home visit


12 month

Phone call


15 month

Phone Call


18 month

Home Visit


21 month

Phone call


24  month

Home visit


30 month

Home visit