We are forever being told that we need to chill out and relax in all areas of life, no matter how stressful it can get – and a new study has proven that this could have a majorly positive impact on our little ones!


According to a new study from the UK, the babies of fathers who are calm and engage with them actively during play can actually perform better in cognitive tests.


The study, carried out by a team from Imperial College London, involved analysing 128 fathers and how they interacted with their babies at three months. Each pairing was recorded on video, with bonding sessions built around playing without toys and reading books together.


The researchers then measured the children’s cognitive development at age two, using a standard mental development index. The results were fascinating, showing that there was an extremely positive link between the amount of quality time fathers spent with their little ones, and the children’s scores in their cognitive development tests.



The results showed that spending quality time together, reading and playing, boosted the children’s performances in their tests. Furthermore, the researchers found that being around a dad with a more chilled-out, less anxious outlook also bodes well for their cognitive development.


Explaining the significance of the findings in the Infant Mental Health Journal, lead author Paul Ramchandani wrote: “The clear message for new fathers here is to get stuck in and play with your baby. Even when they’re really young, playing and interacting with them can have a positive effect.


“Even as early as at three months, these father-child interactions can positively predict cognitive development almost two years later, so there’s something probably quite meaningful for later development – and that really hasn’t been shown much before.”


Well, what do you think? It’s chilled times ahead for us, anyway!