Meet Dr. D: KiwiCo’s Go-To Childhood Development Expert

Oct 14, 2020 / By Cailyn Bradley

Since there isn’t an instruction manual for parenting, sometimes we have to turn to experts for answers. And when it comes to childhood development, Dr. Dimitri Christakis is kind of like a walking how-to guide.

Dr. Christakis, or Dr. D for short, is a pediatrician, epidemiologist and child development expert at the University of Washington. He’s also the director of the Center for Child Health Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

Some KiwiCo subscribers may recognize Dr. D from the pages of the Panda Crate Wonder Magazine where he dishes out advice to new parents. KiwiCo works with Dr. D and his team at the Christakis Laboratory to make sure the products and content in Panda crates are rooted in evidence-based research. And what makes Dr. D especially suited for this partnership is the fact that he’s a parent himself.


“What I wish I had is exactly what Panda Crate is”, Dr D says. “A box that gives you hands-on materials to play with your children in an engaging, developmentally appropriate way, and evidence-based answers to questions that you might have.”

And we know all too well parenting comes with an endless amount of questions. This year, the questions continue to pile up. Families across the world have faced a multitude of challenges since the rise of COVID-19, and the impact has been felt by both parents and children.

“We’re seeing an increase in anxiety and depression in older children and a fair amount of fear and concern in younger children. Every child, of course, is different, but I think the first thing that a parent should do is meet your child where they are,” Dr. D tells us.

To help parents with kids of all ages get the answers they need, we (virtually) sat down with Dr. D to talk about all things COVID-19. From socialization to education and future implications, he shared detailed evidence-based research and advice in response to questions from parents in our KiwiCo Community. Now, we’re sharing everything Dr. D had to say with you! Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get all his advice in your inbox. If you have questions you want answered, follow us on Instagram @kiwico_inc and send them our way!

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