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Durham University

Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre

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.

Bed-sharing prevalence in UK
How parents and babies sleep together
What happens to babies who bed-share?
What is the link between breastfeeding and bed-sharing
Night-time strategies of adolescent and adult moms
Why might dummies reduce the risk of SIDS?