James McKenna, PhD

James McKenna is the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, CSC, Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Lab at the University of Notre Dame. A world-renowned expert on infant sleep – in particular the practice of bed sharing or “co-sleeping,” especially in relation to breastfeeding, McKenna is a widely quoted authority on this frequently debated parenting issue. As director of Notre Dame’s Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory, he is known for conducting the first ever physiological and behavioral studies of the differences between solitary and co-sleeping mother-infant pairs. McKenna is a strong proponent of co-sleeping and focuses his research specifically on the relationship between sleeping arrangements, feeding method and risk factors for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The author of “Sleeping With Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Co-sleeping," McKenna also has published more than 130 refereed articles in medical, anthropology and psychology journals and completed two monographs on SIDS and infant sleep.