We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

View Research Directory

ISIS: Infant Sleep Information Source

A research project of the Department of Anthropology.


The problem:

There is no comprehensive source of impartial evidence-based information regarding infant sleep available in the UK. UK parents and health professionals have many questions about infant sleep information received via various channels, such as how to implement recommendations, whether there is any evidence behind certain advice, and the justification supporting certain policies and guidelines


The project is funded by the following grant.

  • Infant Sleep Information Source (isis) Project (£96087.00 from ESRC)


The aims:

The ISIS website project (aka ISIS-online) aims to fill the void of ‘authoritative provider of evidence-based infant sleep information’ utilising the combined experience of Professor Ball and her team at the Durham University Parent-Infant Sleep Lab, 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 also experienced in the provision of online information to parents and/or health care providers (midwives, clinicians, health visitors etc.)


The plan:

The ISIS website project (8.11-8.12), funded by the ESRC’s ‘Follow-on Fund’ will facilitate and support the translation of research conducted by UK and overseas researchers on issues regarding infant sleep (e.g. development, environments, safety) into policy and practice via the development, launch and promotion of an online informational resource: ISIS-online. The project will work with several parent-support organisations (LLL, NCT, UNICEF) to ensure ISIS-online reaches both parents and health professionals, and to develop a plan for sustaining ISIS-online on an ongoing basis.


The mission:

To provide online access to unbiased up-to-date research based evidence regarding infant sleep in formats accessible to parents and health professionals, supported by references to research relevant to families in the UK.

Published Results

Journal Article

  • Ball, H.L. (2012). The latest on bed-sharing and breastfeeding. Community Practitioner 85(1): 29-31.
  • Ball, H.L. (2012). Sleeping with the baby. Breastfeeding Briefs 53: 1-12.

Chapter in book

  • Ball, H.L. & Russell, C.K. (2012). Night-time nurturing: an evolutionary perspective on breastfeeding and sleep. In Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development: From Research to Practice and Policy. Narváez, D., Panksepp, J., Schore, A. & Gleason, T. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 241-261.


From the Department of Anthropology

From other departments

Related links