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In this section we provide information about projects in progress. Some of these may be recruiting participants, some may be in the data analysis/write-up phase. Where we have a call for participants open please feel free to contact us if you would like to be involved. We are happy to visit you, or have you visit the Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre, to find out more. 

Sleep, Baby & You 

Sleep, Baby & You is a new approach for supporting parents with sleep for themselves and their babies. The programme provides tools and training for practitioners and resources for parents that have been field-tested in Newcastle Northumbria, Hartlepool & Derbyshire NHS Trusts. This intervention package is now the focus of a large NIHR funding application for conducting a pragmatic randomised trial. Here we are collaborating with Prof Nick Embleton and colleagues at Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust, Dr Eugene Tang and colleagues in Newcastle Primary Care Trust, the Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit, North East NHS Research Design Service, and colleagues in health behaviour and health economics at Newcastle University. 

Sleep, Baby & You is an adaptation of the Possums Sleep Program (Brisbane, Australia) written by Dr Koa Whittingham (University of Queensland) and Dr Pamela Douglas (Possums Education). Sleep, Baby & You has been developed for use in the UK by Professor Helen Ball & Dr Catherine Taylor (Durham University Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre) and Dr Pam Douglas (Possums Education). Artwork has been created by LDi Studios, Sunderland, UK. Funding for the development of Sleep, Baby & You has been provided by an ESRC Impact Acceleration Award to Professor Helen Ball and Durham University 

Status: Field-testing complete 


Early Evening Care and Sleep in Infancy Study 

This is the research project for a Masters in Medical Anthropology. The project is exploring early evening care and infant sleep. As a participant, you will need to fill in a sleep diary for three nights and on the same three nights put an actigraphy watch on your baby. 

Status: Open for recruitment



The Swaddle Sleep Study Swaddle Sleep Study logo

We are interested in the effects swaddling has upon the wellbeing of breastfed babies’ with special interest in their sleep and feeding behaviour. We are looking at exclusively breastfed participants who are up to 4 months old (and their mums!) who have never been swaddled. Swaddling is the wrapping of a baby so that arms are restrained.  

Status: Recruitment complete - analysis in progress



Postnatal Infant Care (PInC) Trial 

We are trying to find out how parents care for their babies in Newcastle Birthing Centre and how we can make it easier for parents to care for their babies after birth. 

Parents who sign up for the study and give birth in Newcastle Birthing Centre will be provided either a standalone cot or an in-bed cot. We would then like to record video and sound of parent to understand how parents look after their babies with these different cot types. 

At the time of enrolment into the project your must be eligible to give birth to your first baby in Newcastle Birthing Centre and you must be intending to try and breastfeed your baby after birth. If you have not decided where you will give birth yet, that doesn’t matter, you can still sign up 

Recruitment complete – analysis in progress 

Contact: / 07398122110



Third-Stage of Labour (ThiStL) Third-Stage of Labour logo

The Third Stage of Labour (ThiStL) Study is an exploratory study of care during the third stage of labour (when the placenta is expelled), which will involve interviews and surveys. The primary aim of this project is to understand why and how decisions are made around third stage of labour care for women experiencing low-risk pregnancies and labours in a midwife-led unit. This research will take place in the Newcastle Birthing Centre, and will account for multiple viewpoints and experiences, including those of pregnant women and postpartum mothers, and of midwives.

This study is the PhD project of Michele Freed at Durham University, and is currently in the process of receiving NHS ethical approval.  

Status: Recruitment open

Contact:, call/text: 07724528541




New-Mum-Sleep is an Exploration of How Sleep is Experienced by Mothers of Infants Aged 1-6 Months in Comparison to Non-Mothers. 

Various aspects of new motherhood can affect sleep, including how mothers feed their babies, where babies sleep, and whether postnatal depression is experienced. This study will compare the sleep of new, first-time mothers who choose to either breastfeed or formula feed, with the sleep of women of the same age who are not mothers during the same period. We aim to find out how sleep patterns vary for all 3 groups of women, and how they relate to mood and daytime functioning. 

Status: Recruitment complete – analysis in progress 

Contact: Ms Fran Tugwell, Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre Project 325 692