The Parent-Infant Sleep Lab is a Department of Anthropology research lab, and a research centre of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health and the Wolfson Institute for Health & Well-being. It is the home for a group of researchers examining various aspects of infant and child sleep and parenting behaviour. The lab itself was opened in 2000, while the research programmes it houses have been in operation since 1995. The Sleep Lab provides opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students to become involved in our research, and we welcome enquiries. As our research team has grown our research focus has broadened to cover infant and child sleep ecology, sleep development, sleep safety, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), parental sleep, night-time infant care, feeding practices, thermal care and infant thermoregulation during sleep, twin infant sleep behaviour and physiology, postnatal ward environments and maternal-infant sleep, cross cultural infant care practices, and the evaluation of interventions affecting parental and infant sleep. We collaborate with academics from a wide range of disciplines around the world, and with a variety of research users. We created and run the Infant Sleep Info Source website for parents and health professionals in order to make academic infant sleep research findings available to parents and health professionals.
Participants needed for new study (CoSI)
Can you help with infant sleep research from the comfort of your home? Dr Charlotte Russell is interested in cortisol development and sleep in breastfed babies. She now needs volunteers with new-born babies roughly located between Newcastle and York to make this research happen. See attached details and email if you'd like to know more. See https://www.dur.ac.uk/sleep.lab/current/cosi/
(12 Dec 2016)
Volunteers needed for Swaddle Study
New study commencing in Durham Parent-Infant Sleep Lab on the effects of swaddling on breastfed babies' sleep and feed behaviour. Please share with new mums and mums to be in NE England! See https://www.dur.ac.uk/sleep.lab/current/swaddling/ for more details.
(1 Dec 2016)
Professor Ball appointed as Chair, Scientific Committee, Lullaby Trust
Professor Helen Ball has accepted the Honorary position as Chair of the Lullaby Trust's Scientific Commiittee for the next 3 years. This role will involve proposing and implementing the Trust's 10-year Research Strategy, Chairing meetings of the Scientific Committee (which includes the awarding of research funding) and representing the Lullaby Trust at International Scientific Meetings.
(10 Oct 2016)
- Rudzik, Alanna E. & Ball, Helen L. (2016). Exploring maternal perceptions of infant sleep and feeding method among mothers in the United Kingdom: A qualitative focus group study. Maternal and Child Health Journal 20(1): 33-40.
- Cronin-de-Chavez, Anna, Ball, Helen L. & Ward-Platt, Martin P. (2016). Bi-ethnic infant thermal care beliefs in Bradford, UK. International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare 9(2): 120-134.
- Ball, H., Howell, D., Bryant, A., Best, E., Russell, C. & Ward-Platt, M. (2016). Bed-sharing by breastfeeding mothers: who bed-shares, and what is the relationship with breastfeeding duration?. Acta Paediatrica 105(6): 628-634.
- Rudzik, Alanna EF. & Ball, Helen L. (2016). Baby-Lag: Methods for assessing parental tiredness and fatigue. In Biological measures of human experience across the lifespan: making visible the invisible. Seivert, Lynette & Brown, Dan Springer.
- Crane, D. & Ball, H.L. (2016). A qualitative study in parental perceptions and understanding of SIDS-reduction guidance in a UK bi-cultural urban community. BMC Pediatrics 16: 23.
- Russell, Charlotte K., Whitmore, Mary, Burrows, Dawn & Ball, Helen L. (2015). Where might my baby sleep? Design and evaluation of a novel discussion tool for parent education. International Journal of Birth and Parenting Education 2(2): 11-15.
- Fairley, Lesley, Santorelli, Gillian, Lawlor, Debbie A., Bryant, Maria, Bhopal, Raj, Petherick, Emily S., Sahota, Pinki, Greenwood, Darren C., Hill, Andrew J., Cameron, Noel, Ball, Helen L., Barber, Sally & Wright, John (2015). The relationship between early life modifiable risk factors for childhood obesity, ethnicity and body mass index at age 3 years: findings from the Born in Bradford birth cohort study. BMC Obesity 2(1): 9.
- Ball, Helen L. (2015). The BMJ illustrates hazardous co-sleeping. BMJ 350: h993.
- Taylor, Catherine E., Tully, Kristin P. & Ball, Helen L. (2015). Night-time on a postnatal ward: experiences of mothers, infants, and staff. In Ethnographic Research in Maternal and Child Health. Dykes, Fiona C. & Flacking, Renée Routledge. 117-140.
- Volpe, Lane E. & Ball, Helen L. (2015). Infant sleep-related deaths: why do parents take risks?. Archives of Disease in Childhood 100(7): 603-604
- Ball, Helen L. (2015). Empowering families to make informed choices about sleep safety. British Journal of Midwifery 23(3): 164-165.
- Russell, Charlotte K. & Ball, Helen L. (2015). Bed-sharing, co-sleeping and parent education--a time for change. International Journal of Birth and Parenting Education 2(2): 19-20.
- Ball, HL & Russell, CK (2014). SIDS & Infant Sleep Ecology. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health
- Tully, Kristin P. & Ball, Helen L. (2014). Maternal accounts of their breast-feeding intent and early challenges after caesarean childbirth. Midwifery 30(6): 712.
- Jones, Caroline HD, Pollard, Tessa M, Summerbell, CD & Ball, Helen L (2014). Could parental rules play a role in the association between short sleep and obesity in young children?. Journal of Biosocial Science 46(3): 405-418.
- Jones, Caroline H.D. & Ball, Helen L. (2014). Exploring socioeconomic differences in bedtime behaviours and sleep duration in English preschool children. Infant and Child Development 23(5): 518-531.
- Howel, Denise & Ball, Helen L. (2013). Association between Length of Exclusive Breastfeeding and Subsequent Breastfeeding Continuation. Journal of Human Lactation 29(4): 579.
- Russell, Charlotte K., Robinson, Lyn & Ball, Helen L. (2013). Infant Sleep Development: Location, Feeding and Expectations in the Postnatal Period. The Open Sleep Journal 6(Special Issue 001): 68-76.
- Tully, K.P. & Ball, H.L. (2013). Misrecognition of need women's experiences of and explanations for undergoing cesarean delivery. Social science and medicine 85: 103-111.
- Jones, C. & Ball, H.L. (2013). Napping in English preschool children and the association with parents’ attitudes. Sleep Medicine 14(4): 352–358.
- Ball H.L. (2013) Invited Editorial: Supporting parents who are worried about their newborn's sleep British Medical Journal [view on BMJ website] [download pdf]
- Volpe, L., Ball, H.L. and McKenna, J.J. 2013. 'Nighttime parenting strategies and sleep related risks in infants'. Social Science & Medicine, 79: 91-100.
- Ball, H.L. and Volpe, L. 2013. 'Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) risk reduction and infant sleep location: Moving the discussion forward'. Social Science & Medicine, 79: 84-91.
- Ball, H.L., Moya, E. Fairley, L. Westman, J., Oddie, S. and Wright, J. 2012. 'Bed and sofa-sharing practices in a UK bi-ethnic population'. Pediatrics, 129(3): e673-e681.
- Ball, H.L., Moya, E. Fairley, L. Westman, J., Oddie, S. and Wright, J.. 2012. 'Infant care practices related to sudden infant death syndrome in South Asian and White British families in the UK'. Paediatric & Perinatal Epidemiology, 26(1): 3-12.
To view all Sleep Lab related publications, click here.