About Us

Basis is a project of the Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre (DISC), in the Department of Anthropology at Durham University, UK.

The aim of Basis (the Baby Sleep Information Source) is to provide online access to up-to-date research based evidence about biologically normal infant sleep, in forms that are accessible to parents and health practitioners, supported by references to research relevant to families in the UK. We conceptualise ‘biologically normal infant sleep’ as being the sleep of babies who are exclusively or predominantly breastfed to at least 6 months of age and cared for in a responsive manner. We do not consider sleep training methods that require leaving babies alone for sleep in the first year of life to be biologically normal.

Basis began as the Infant Sleep Info Source (ISIS) website project, drawing on the combined experience of Professor Helen Ball and her team at the Durham University Parent-Infant Sleep Lab (now the Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre), and senior representatives from La Leche League, NCT, and UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, all being organisations working directly in the fields of parent-support and health professional training in the UK. All three organisations are experienced in the provision of online information to parents and/or health care providers (midwives, clinicians, health visitors etc.).

The original ISIS website project was funded by a grant from the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) 'Follow-on Fund' to facilitate and support the translation of research conducted by UK and overseas researchers on issues regarding infant sleep (e.g. development, environments, safety) into an online informational resource.

Following completion of the ESRC project the Breastfeeding Network (BfN), Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) and Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (LCGB) also volunteered to endorse Basis and provide additional expertise in reviewing and disseminating this work.

The ISIS project was awarded an ESRC ‘Celebrating Impact’ Prize for Outstanding Impact in Society in 2013, and Durham University was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2018 for the work of DISC and Basis. After six years as ISIS, Durham University funded the rebranding of ISIS to Basis (the Baby Sleep Info Source), in November 2018.

ISIS/Basis have co-branded guidance for parents with multiple partners over the past 8 years including Lullaby Trust, Twins Trust, Unicef UK Baby Friendly, Public Health England and numerous overseas organisations. Details of these resources can be found on our ‘Resources’ pages.

Please follow the links below for:

You may contact the Basis team by emailing basis.online@dur.ac.uk

You can find us on Twitter @BasisOnline1; Facebook @BabySleepInfoSource; Instagram @basis_babysleepinfosource