Side Lying and Upper airways Maintenance in Babies Requiring Surgery for cleft palate repair
Researchers at the University of Manchester and Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are carrying out a feasibility study to identify the best way to answer the question, “which is the best sleeping position for a baby with cleft palate”?   National guidelines suggest that babies should sleep on their back to reduce the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death). UK Cleft Centres differ in their advice about sleep position. Some Cleft Centres advise sleeping on their back, whilst others advise positioning the baby on their side as their experience has been that the child breathes easier during sleep in this position. However, there is no clear evidence about which sleeping position is best.

Cleft centres in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle are taking part. Babies with an isolated cleft palate are seen at ages 1 month and 3 months old. Those consenting then complete sleep monitoring and questionnaires in their home. Parents are interviewed by a qualitative researcher about their experience of being in the study.

The information collected in the SLUMBRS study will inform the design of a bigger study in the future.  The Chief Investigator is Professor Iain Bruce and the study is funded by the NIHR. For more information contact