There’s A Big Benefit For Babies Who Resemble Their Dads — And It Goes Beyond Looks

Dads are so important.

According to a new study, the bond between a father and his baby can positively affect the child's health. The research, published in the Journal of Health Economics, looked at 715 unmarried and non-cohabiting parents, and found that if an infant looks more like their father, they are more likely to spend more time together. It goes on to suggest that babies who received extra quality time with their father were healthier a year later.

Researchers attribute the reasoning behind the findings to biology. Simply, dads naturally feel more connected to their child if they resemble them. According to Marlon Tracey and Solomon Polachek, co-authors of the study, the dads who felt more connected to their child were more willing to invest in their well-being.

"We find a child's health indicators improve when the child looks like the father," the research states. "We also find father-child resemblance acts as a paternity cue used by men especially for making time-investment decisions. [...] One possible explanation is that frequent father visits allow for greater parental time for caregiving and supervision, and for information gathering about child health and economic needs."

Photo Credit: Picsea / UnSplash
Photo Credit: Picsea / UnSplash

But there's more to fatherhood than strong genes. Parents shouldn't rely on resemblance to love and care for their children. Luckily, many parents know this, as there have been plenty beautiful stories about adoptive families, step-parenting, and guardianship.  

What makes a great dad is someone who isn't afraid to go above and beyond for their kids. Whether it's dressing up in a tutu for your child's ballet class, being super extra with prepping your kids' lunch, or just doing anything to make your child smile, a father's love can be endless. 

(H/T: Business Insider)

Cover image: Liane Metzler / UnSplash

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