Infant Sleep Ecology
Ecology refers to the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. Infant sleep ecology, therefore, examines the parent-infant sleep relations and environment. One branch of the research we conduct at the Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre investigates where and with whom babies sleep, and why. We have explored the prevalence of parent-infant bed-sharing in the UK, and the relationship between feeding type and sleep location. We have documented why parents choose different sleep locations for their babies, observed parent-infant bed-sharing at home and in the lab, and monitored the physiological parameters of co-sleeping babies (room-sharing and bed-sharing). We use the results of these studies to contribute to national and international discussions and guidance regarding infant sleep safety and breastfeeding support.