The purpose of the Prenatal Experiences and Pediatric Sleep (PEAPS) research study is to learn more about how experiences during pregnancy may influence later infant behaviors and sleep patterns. Sleep quality has been related to physical, emotional and behavioral health in children and adults, and thus we’d like to learn more about what may influence infant sleep.

How will the study be conducted?

The study will use home visits, sleep observations, and questionnaires in order to learn about factors that may influence the development of infant sleep patterns.

Throughout pregnancy

During the second and third trimesters, we will ask participants to complete questionnaires and a series of daily experience surveys. These questions will ask about participants’ backgrounds, experiences, attitudes, and feelings.

24 weeks of pregnancy

Participant will be asked to complete an in-person interview at the Center for Developmental Science . We will ask for recalled details about habits and routines during pregnancy, including substance use. Participants will also be asked to complete a card sorting task with heart rate monitoring.

At birth

For those participants who give birth at UNC Hospital, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, nursing staff will obtain samples of umbilical cords. The umbilical cord sampling occurs after birth and does not affect routine medical care.

3 months after birth

Participants will complete questionnaires. During home visits, we will film mothers interacting with their infants. We will also collect saliva samples from the infants. Additionally, we will monitor infants’ sleep for one week. To do this, we will ask participants to help us by filming babys’ bedtime and sleep through the night for one night. Also, babies will wear heart rate monitors on their chests and watch devices that record movement and activity.

9 months after birth

We will visit the homes one last time. We will provide more questionnaires and film mothers interacting with their infants. We will collect infant saliva samples. All activities will be filmed and babies will wear heart rate monitors on their chests.

Information for Participants

Who is eligible to participate?
  • Women 18 years of age or older who are pregnant
  • Part of this study is conducted with women who plan to give birth at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and another part of the study is open to women who plan to give birth elsewhere.
How do I participate?

If you are interested in participating, please contact the PEAPS team by email at or call us at (919) 962-1538.

How long will my participation last?

Your participation will last about 1 year. Each of the data collection points will take 60-90 minutes. The 3-month sleep observation will last one week.

Are there any costs for participating in this study?

No. You will not incur any costs as a result of your participation.

Will I be compensated for participating in this study?

Yes. You will receive $15 after completing the prenatal questionnaires and daily experience surveys. You will also receive $25 for the 24 week in-person interview and $30 for the umbilical cord sample. You will receive $100 after completing the 3- and 9-month home visits.

How will I benefit from participating in this study?

Besides compensation for your time, you and your child will likely not benefit personally from this study. However, the knowledge gained from this research study is expected to benefit society.

How many families will participate in PEAPS?

Approximately 120 infant-mother pairs will participate in PEAPS.

Interested in Participating?

Please fill out the form below, and we will contact you shortly with more information!