“Nurture Box” Provides Parents with Evidence-Based Strategies for Enhancing Child Development

Technology Overview

Dr. Christakis is a pediatrician, an epidemiologist and an early child development expert. His lab focuses on developing, evaluating, and disseminating actionable strategies that optimize children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. In this regard, he has evaluated the detrimental effects of fast paced video on children’s attentional capacity, the benefits of block play for children’s language acquisition, and he is currently evaluating the potential of well designed apps to promote relaxation. As part of a large NIH funded study, he has aggregated a series of evidence-based strategies that are bundled into a “Nurture Box” and delivered via the mail and internet at regular intervals to young mothers. The Seattle Children’s Nurture Box has three features that distinguish it from all other sources of parenting advice:

Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPHDr. Dimitri Christakis

  1. It is evidence-based. We only give advice that is scientifically proven either by us or others. And because science is constantly evolving, we stay up to date so that parents can too.
  2. It is stage-specific. We give parents advice that is tied to their child’s developmental stage. Unlike a parenting book or website that is intended to cover a broad age range, Nurture Box gives parents a few specific things to focus on during each of their child’s first 24 months.
  3. It is proactive. Rather than relying on parents to ask questions about what to do or what to watch for—which frequently happens when there is a problem they want to address-- Nurture Box gives parents advice each month to help them be ready for each stage of their child’s development.

Dr Christakis is seeking potential industry collaborators who are either interested in commercializing his existing “Nurture Box” into a subscription model for parents or who are looking for a partner to develop or evaluate new technologies that have the potential to optimize young children’s health and development.

Dr. Dimitri Christakis’ Faces of Research Video

Stage of Development

  • Pre-commercial and commercial

Partnering Opportunities

  • Collaborative research opportunity
  • Sponsored research agreement
  • Consultation agreement.


  1. Christakis D, Gilkerson J, Richards J, Zimmerman F, Garrison M, Xu D, Gray S, Yapanel U. Audible Television and Decreased Adult Words, Infant Vocalizations, and Conversational TurnsArch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009; 163(6): 554-558.
  2. Christakis D, Zimmerman F, Garrison M. Effect of Block Play on Language Acquisition and Attention in ToddlersArch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007; 161(10): 967-971.
  3. Christakis D, Zimmerman F, DiGiuseppe D, McCarty C. Early Television Exposure and Subsequent Attentional Problems in ChildrenPEDIATRICS. 2004; 113(4): 708-713.

Learn More

To learn more about partnering with Seattle Children’s Research Institute on this or other projects, please contact:

Dr. Elizabeth Aylward, Director 
Office of Science-Industry Partnerships 
Seattle Children’s Research Institute 
818 Stewart Street, Suite 603
Seattle, WA 98101