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Department of Anthropology: Parent-Infant Sleep Lab

Baby Bed Box Study

Information for parents interested in the Baby Box study

Researcher: Alice-Amber Keegan (Postgraduate Researcher, Durham University)

What are baby-bed boxes?

‘Baby bed boxes’ also known as ‘Infant safer-sleep box’ are boxes intended to provide safe co-sleeping environments for all babies, even those at increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The aim of the box is to raise awareness and education about safe sleeping practices as well as helping parents to avoid hazardous co-sleeping. The boxes are 38 x 75cm Phthalate and BPA free clear plastic boxes which come with specially fitted mattresses and sheets. Babies can sleep in the box in the parents’ bed or they can be used when travelling overnight if there is no safe sleep space. They allow mothers to sleep close to their babies, even share the same bed without increasing the risk of SIDS.

How can you help?

This project is looking for women with young babies under 5 months of age to visit the Parent Infant Sleep Lab at Durham University, Queens Campus and participate in an overnight sleep study using night-time video to record how mothers and babies use the baby-bed boxes. We are looking for mothers to spend two nights in the lab, one night using the baby box and another night using a standalone cot so we can compare the two. You do not have to be in a SIDS risk group to take part.

Are they safe?

There are over 3000 baby boxes in circulation in New Zealand, and rates of infant death are at an all-time low, particularly in areas where the boxes have been provided. Along with a safe sleep programme the boxes were shown to provide high-risk babies with safe sleeping spaces*. There will be a researcher present observing the study at all times who will stop the study if you or your baby are at any risk.

What if I don’t want to do it anymore?

You are welcome to leave the study whenever you want to; you are under no obligation to complete the study.

Thank you!

As a thank you for taking part you will receive a £30 voucher in Love2Shop gift vouchers, £15 after the first night completed in the lab and £15 after the second night.

You are welcome to come and visit the lab and we would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Contact: or fill in an online volunteer form.

Please complete the form below if you are interested in participating in the Baby-Box study at Durham University Parent Infant Sleep Lab, Queens Campus. Someone will get in touch with you shortly about taking part in the study.

If you are currently pregnant but would like to register your interest in taking part in the study when you baby is born, please fill in the contact information and then refer to the end of the form to register your baby's due date. We will be in touch to ask if you are still interested in taking part after your baby is born.

All contact information will be kept on a secure database and will be destroyed at the end of the study or at your request at any point throughout the study.