Parenting Science Gang

Newsletter #2 – Participants, experts, questions and a quiz

And we’re off…

Our first newsletter celebrated the launch of Parenting Science Gang (PSG).
Three weeks on, the project has:

  • 425 new members
  • 720 Facebook comments
  • 4 Facebook groups (launched 13th -15th April)
  • 2 live online Q&As with experts completed
  • 1 residential weekend in the pipeline

Introducing the groups

Our four Parenting Science Gang groups are derived from pre-existing Facebook community groups.

  • Science Aware Natural Parenting  – a facebook group for parents interested in both a natural and science-based approach to parenting and life.
  • Breastfeeding Older Babies & Beyond  – a facebook group for mothers feeding babies over 1 year and breastfeeding supporters.
  • UK Breastfeeding & Parenting Supports – a facebook group for parents including many mothers feeding younger babies..
  • Dumfries & Galloway Bump, Baby & Beyond – a regional group, that started as a group of parents wanting to raise the profile of breastfeeding support locally as well as other child and parenting related areas.

Questions questions!

These first few weeks are all about the four PSG groups getting to know each other and starting to explore which parenting questions we would like evidence-based answers for. Here are words the groups have used when suggesting questions the project could focus on.

Click a group name to see a large (interactive, wohoo!) version of the correct wordcloud.

Online Q&As with the experts

Sleep! Online Q&A with Prof. Helen Ball

  • Is swaddling a good idea?
  • Is nursing to sleep a bad habit?
  • Do babies left to cry have higer cortisol levels?
  • Are mothers obsessed with sleep?!

Professor Helen Ball, Director of the Parent-Infant Sleep Lab at the University of Durham, joined us for our first online Q&A to to share her insights gained over nearly twenty years’ research into infant sleep.

Nearly 700 visitors to our website have read the write-up of Helen’s online Q&A.
Visit our website to find out how she answered to the questions above and many more.

Online Q&A: Breastfeeding – Changing the Conversation

How can we  change the feeding conversation from a polarised debate and, as a society, take a shared responsibility for this major public health issue rather than laying it solely in the laps of individual women?

This week’s thought-provoking online Q&A with Breastfeeding counsellor and NCT Research Manager Heather Trickey was fascinating and led to a suggestion of a small-scale collaboration between Heather and PSG.The write-up will be on the website soon.

9th May: Milk and Beyond – online Q&A with Heather Welford

Journalist, writer, NCT breastfeeding counsellor and tutor Heather Welford will join us next week to explore what we do – and don’t – know about feeding infants and children.

Get involved!

If you are involved in research, would you like the chance to talk online about your work with a keen, interested audience?

Or do know someone you’d like to suggest?

If so, please get in touch with Project Cordinator, Tamasin Greenough Graham at

We polled the gang and across all four groups, these were popular topics that we’d love the chace to chat to experts about.

  • Language and social development
  • Tantrums
  • Breastfeeding rates
  • Cosleeping
  • Education
  • An overview of research on parenting
  • Potty training
  • Children’s mental health

Residential Weekend

We’re planning a residential weekend on the outskirts of the Peak District National Park at Mount Cook Adventure Centre in Derbyshire at the beginning of June.

Member from all four PSG groups will get a chance to meet each other and spend a few days exploring parenting, science and Facebook and work together on how we will develop the project.

We’re taking great care to create a relaxed, family friendly environment: there’s enough space for some  participants to bring their kids and another adult. Watch this space for more details …

Sneak Preview

A supporter of the project has kindly been working on a logo for PSG. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the detail. We love these joyful parents!


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