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We usually have mutliple projects running every year. Projects actively recruiting for participants are announced on our social media pages. 

Information about ongoing projects, and reports from complete projects can be found below.

Let's talk about infant sleep (LTAS) -- exploring the feasibility of baby bed boxes in UK

Intervention materials

View intervention materials

Woman and baby

The ESSaM Project (Evaluation of Sleep Safety Materials)

In 2018 Lullaby Trust, UNICEF UK BFI, and Basis (Baby Sleep Info Source) collaborated to design and co-brand new ‘Safer Sleep for Babies’ materials for use by UK health professionals and parents. These were endorsed by Public Health England and launched during Safer Sleep Week March 2019. 

We had intended to evaluate the impact of these materials by formally seeking feedback from professionals and parents in 2020, but a pandemic got in the way. Now, in 2022, the ESSaM project has been set up to find out how we are discussing sleep safety with UK families. This project will compare feedback from health professionals and parents who do and don’t use the ‘Safer Sleep for Babies’ materials, to help us understand whether the new materials are helpful and what changes might need to be made to them. 

Status: Project Complete



County Durham SUDI Prevention Project

This project aimed to co-produce, pilot, evaluate and disseminate learning from multi-agency working training and implementation programme for SUDI prevention in County Durham with local authority public health leads, vulnerable and low-income family facing services, local Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP), key NHS staff, and third sector partners.

Status: Project complete.

The full report on the Eyes on the Baby Report for County Durham can be viewed here.


Laura Murray:



Northumberland SUDI Prevention Project

This project leads on from our previous SUDI prevention project in County Durham. The Northumberland SUDI Prevention Project, like the Durham Eyes on the Baby Project, aims to  pilot, evaluate and disseminate learning from a multi-agency working training and implementation programme for SUDI prevention in Northumberland. This project will be implemented in collaboration with local authority public health leads, vulnerable and low-income family facing services, family hubs, key NHS staff, and third sector partners.

Status: Project in progress.





The Swaddle Sleep Study Swaddle Sleep Study logo

Swaddling is a global infant-care practice in which a piece of material is wrapped firmly around an infant’s body, thought to pacify the infant. This thesis aimed to understand the practice of swaddling from a holistic perspective with a view to addressing several knowledge deficits.

Status: Project complete


Dixley, A., & Ball, H. L. (2023). The impact of swaddling upon breastfeeding: A critical review. American Journal of Human Biology, e23878. 10.1002/ajhb.23878

Dixley, A., & Ball, H. L. (2022). The effect of swaddling on infant sleep and arousal: A systematic review and narrative synthesis. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 10, 1000180. 10.3389/fped.2022.1000180

Full thesis available here


Postnatal Infant Care (PInC) Trial 

Postnatal care is one of the most neglected areas of maternity care and inadequate postnatal care has consequences for maternal recovery, breastfeeding initiation and continuation, and parent-infant relationships. Little is known about the experience of in-patient postnatal care for those giving birth within an alongside midwife-led unit in the UK. Evolutionary medicine has been used in the past to develop interventions to support evolved maternal-infant biology within clinical postnatal settings. This research aimed to trial an evolutionary-informed intervention (an in-bed bassinet), to improve parent-infant closeness, to facilitate responsive parent-infant care and to understand the experiences of families receiving postnatal care within a UK alongside midwife-led unit.

This study was the PhD project of Alice-Amber Keegan at Durham University.

Status: Project complete.

Dr Keegan's full thesis is available here.



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.

Status: Recruitment complete - analysis in progress



Amma-DISC Collaboration: Understanding the Experiences of Mothers with Babies in the UK Asylum System

From 2023, we have been collaborating with Amma, a birth companions charity in Glasgow, to research the experiences of babies and carers living in dispersed asylum accommodation in Glasgow. We have used a combination of photo-voice methods, and focus groups to collect qualitative data on the experiences of those living in dispersed accommodation. We hope that this research, along with wider evidence, can be used to inform policy and practice, improve services, and ultimately keep babies and their families safe in temporary and asylum accommodation.

Status: Project in Progress.