Professor Helen Ball, Head of Anthropology, Durham University
Dr Charlotte Russell, Parent-Infant Sleep Lab Manager, Durham University
Dr Pete Blair, Reader in Medical Statistics, University of Bristol
Decisions about infant sleep locations and their safety are often made and implemented during the night in response to unpredictable events. Hazardous parent-infant co-sleeping may occur in this scenario, but parents currently receive little information about sleep sharing safety and risk-mitigation.
As 50% of parents sometimes sleep with their young babies, information about co-sleeping safety and viable options are needed. The proposed intervention aims to encourage the introduction of forethought and planning to co-sleeping scenarios and involves:
- Facilitating providers to engage in sleep-sharing safety discussions o training providers in sleep-sharing safety
- Supporting parents to assess their infant’s sleep environment and ameliorate risks via tailored discussions
- Providing parents with a free infant safer-sleep box (Baby Bed Box) where sleep sharing contraindications exist to avoid hazardous sleep-sharing
- Providing follow-up coaching for providers and parents.
This will be a collaborative project between Durham University Parent-Infant Sleep Lab, The Lullaby Trust, UNICEF, Best Beginnings, Sunderland Council & NHS trust and local parents, who will together develop the materials needed for the intervention and its delivery, and assess its feasibility within a high SIDS-risk area. This project will therefore:
- Assess the acceptability of the components of the new sleep-sharing safety intervention develop and test education and data collection instruments
- Assess the feasibility and cost of delivering the intervention
- Identify potential barriers to implementation
- Develop a full scale intervention programme to be subjected to a randomised clinical trial.