What is Nurture?

Nurture is a research study run by Dr. Sara Benjamin Neelon and other researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. We are collecting information from moms and babies who live in our area to better understand how infants grow and develop over the first year of life. Nurture is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

What Are You Helping Us Learn?


The first year of a baby’s life is a major time for growth and development.

Nurture aims to find out how different factors affect growth during this important time.

The factors we are most interested in are:

  • What baby eats
  • How much baby sleeps
  • Baby’s activities
  • Baby’s stress levels
  • The care baby receives
  • Changes in baby’s genetics

We hope that by the end of Nurture we will better understand ways to keep babies like yours growing healthy and strong.


What Makes Nurture Unique?


Here are just some of the things that make Nurture unique.

  • We are gathering information on a broad range of factors – from environments to biology – and will try to understand how they affect your baby’s growth.
  • In addition to parents, we involve regular caregivers to learn about the role they play in your baby’s growth.
  • We are using innovative methods to collect information, such as portable activity monitors and iPads.