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Article: Babies better behaved when dad's more involved

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Crafts4kids article pictureIf someone were to offer you a safe, quick and natural fix that helped reduce the amount of crying your little ones get up to, we think it's safe to say that you'd bite their hand off - indeed, at times, you'd give anything for one night of unbroken sleep that might have become a distant memory since your baby arrived.

Well, if the results of research conducted by experts in child psychiatry and funded by the Wellcome Trust are anything to go by, the search may be over, as the report revealed that fathers can have a direct influence on the behaviour of their child depending on the extent to which they're engaged with their baby from the age of three months.

The study involved measuring the relationship that dads had with their youngsters when they were three months old, and compared this to certain behavioural indicators - such as crying, sleeping and feeding - displayed by the children once they reached 12 months.

According to the results that were published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, babies whose fathers were more extensively engaged in playing and interacting with them after three months behaved better in the future than those whose dads were less involved.

"We found that children whose fathers were more engaged in the interactions had better outcomes, with fewer subsequent behavioural problems," wrote researcher Dr Paul Ramchandani.

"At the other end of the scale, children tended to have greater behavioural problems when their fathers were more remote and lost in their own thoughts or when their fathers interacted less with them."

With dad seemingly playing an important role when it comes to influencing the behaviours of kids from such an early age, it appears to be important that fathers remember to devote sufficient attention to their youngsters and not let the stresses of work or other distractions get in the way.

Whether it's sitting down with a few educational toys when the little ones get slightly older or having fun with some imaginative play, there are plenty of ways for dads to make sure they're spending some important quality time with the kids.

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