Playful dads 'have babies who grow to be brainier'
Fathers who interact more with their babies during the first few months of life may boost their child's mental development, experts have found.
Children of dads who are more engaged and active when playing with their babies perform better in cognitive tests later in childhood, according to a study published in Infant Mental Health Journal.
Researchers from Imperial College London, King's College London and Oxford University examined how fathers interacted with their children and then measured cognitive development.
Children whose fathers displayed more withdrawn and depressive behaviours when they were three months old scored lower in the brain tests which included recognising colours and shapes.
"The clear message for new fathers here is to get stuck in and play with your baby," said lead author Professor Paul Ramchandani, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial.