Dads who actively engage with their children can have a positive impact on their baby’s cognitive development, according to new research released by Imperial College London.
The new study analysed how 128 fathers interacted with their three-month old babies and revisted the children one year later to measure their cognitive development.
Even when they’re really young, playing and interacting with baby can have a positive effect
They also observed play and reading sessions when the children were two years old.
The researchers then scored the child’s development using a standard mental development index (MDI), which involves tasks such as recognising colours and shapes.
They found a positive correlation between the amount of quality time fathers spent with their babies and the children’s test scores.
“The clear message for new fathers here is to get stuck in and play with your baby,” said study author Professor Paul Ramchandani.