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Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
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Infant Development: How Your Baby Grows and MaturesInfant Parenting: Keeping Your Baby Healthy and HappyInfant Safety: Keeping Your Baby SafeInfant Enrichment: Stimulating Your Baby
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Health Tip: Avoid Baby Sleep PositionersHelping Preemies Avoid Unnecessary AntibioticsProtecting Preemies From Stress Might Improve Later Mental Health'Sleep Positioners' a Danger to Baby: FDAClinical Exome Sequencing Useful for Critically Ill InfantsTdap Given in Pregnancy Protects Infants From PertussisWhooping Cough Shot Works, But Many Moms-to-Be Skip It: CDCHealth Tip: Breast-feeding May Help TeethHeart-Lung Fitness Challenged in Early Full-Term BabiesHealth Tip: Is Your Baby Teething?Pediatricians Increasingly Aligned With Breastfeeding GuidelinesHigher Cigarette Taxes May Mean Fewer Infant DeathsHealth Tip: Design a Non-Toxic NurseryParents Getting Better at Using Car Seats SafelyVision Problems Common in Babies Infected With Zika'Modest at Best' Discriminatory Ability for CBC Test in InfantsDoes General Anesthesia Affect Babies' Brains?Health Tip: Avoid Juice Before Age 1Race/Ethnicity Shown to Factor Into Quality of Care in NICUHep B Vaccine Should Be Given Sooner: Pediatricians GroupSome Newborns Don't Get Heart Defect, Hearing Loss TestsAnti-Vaccine Info in Pregnancy May Delay Infant ImmunizationToo Many Babies Still Placed on Stomach to Sleep: StudyAnti-Vaccine Family Members, Friends Spur Many Moms to Delay Baby's ShotsIncrease in Survival Without Severe Disability for PreemiesParents of Preemies End Up Just Fine: StudyCharacteristics of Diabetes in Infancy ExploredLow Blood Sugar in Newborns Tied to Brain Problems LaterHealth Tip: Don't Use Sunscreen on NewbornsPicky Eater? It Might Just Be Your Child's PersonalityIs Infant Drug Withdrawal Likelier When Opioids Used With Psychiatric Drugs?Alarms Could Save Children From Being Left in Hot CarsMaking the Most of Childhood Wellness VisitsMRI Approved for Young Infants in Intensive CareCan Fetal Alcohol Damage Be Undone?Impaired Eyesight May Be First Sign of Zika Damage in BabiesHealth Tip: Getting Toddlers to Try New FoodsWidening 'Race Gap' in U.S. Infant DeathsHealth Tip: Are My Toddler's Eating Habits Normal?Probiotic Supplements Failed to Prevent Babies' InfectionsHealth Tip: When Children Grind Their TeethA Baby's Skin No Match for the SunTissue Testing Can Spot Zika at Birth: CDCCould You Raise a 'No-Diaper' Baby?Health Tip: Considering Bed Sharing?Medical Costs Soar for U.S. Babies Born Addicted to OpioidsMany Preemies Don't Struggle in SchoolBabies' Fascination With Faces May Start in the WombEarly Egg Intro May Improve Growth in Young ChildrenSpecial Brain Scans May Predict Autism in High-Risk Babies
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Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
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Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)

Does Dad Time With Infants Boost Babies' IQ?

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: May 30th 2017

new article illustration

TUESDAY, May 30, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- If you're a new father, spending plenty of time with your baby could boost his or her mental development, a new study suggests.

British researchers looked at how 128 fathers interacted with their infants at 3 months of age. When the kids turned 2, the researchers measured their mental development.

Infants whose fathers were more engaged and active when playing with them in their first few months of life did better on thinking skills tests at age 2 than other infants.

Many factors have a major influence a child's development, and this study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. But these findings suggest that father-child interactions at a young age are an influencing factor, the researchers said.

The researchers didn't see any differences based on the gender of the baby. Dad's interactions had a positive influence on thinking skills for both boys and girls.

"Even as early as 3 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," study leader Paul Ramchandani said in an Imperial College London news release. He is a professor at the school's department of medicine.

Study co-author Vaheshta Sethna said, "We also found that children interacting with sensitive, calm and less anxious fathers during a book session at the age of 2 showed better cognitive development, including attention, problem-solving, language and social skills." She's with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College London.

"Our findings highlight the importance of supporting fathers to interact more positively with their children in early infancy," Sethna said.

She added that sharing positive emotions and reading activities seem to be linked to bigger boosts in the child's thinking skills.

The study was published recently in Infant Mental Health Journal.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on child development.