Fathers reveal what really happens in the first 1,000 days with baby

Jun 17, 2015 at 6:10 a.m. ET

Back in June 2013 the NCT and Pampers launched a two-year study into the first 1,000 days of parenthood, beginning with pregnancy and recording the insights of over 1,000 first-time mums and dads up to their child's second birthday.

Findings from the ground-breaking First 1,000 Days Longitudinal Study are now being released, as the two-year period draws to a close, and will be used to identify areas where Pampers and NCT, the largest charity for parents in the U.K., can better help support parents and babies across the country.

One section of the study focuses on how first-time parenthood affects a father's relationship with his partner.

Previous studies of this nature have tended to focus on the negative, or less positive, impact the early days with a firstborn baby can have on a couple's relationship but this study also reveals the many positive aspects from the viewpoint of first-time fathers. Positive life changes include a closer, stronger bond with their partner (44 percent); a greater appreciation of "family time" (22 percent); a shared focus in life with their partner (15 percent) and a greater appreciation of life (6 percent).

The study also reveals that 67 percent of dads believe that they share the parenting roles equally — but only 45 percent of mums agree with them. Perhaps this minor discrepancy is down to the fact that they're simply too exhausted to think straight: a third of parents (mums and dads) said they experienced sleep deprivation until their child turned two.

More: Thousands sign petition to ban ear piercing for babies and toddlers

It's no secret that the first two years in a child's life is a critical period for their development and wellbeing, with scientific evidence confirming that the love, care and support an infant receives during this time will affect their future more than any other and have a huge impact on the rest of their life.

Pampers have also released "A newborn journey of firsts" video. Try to watch it without welling up.


Video: Pampers UK & Ireland/YouTube

Find out more about how NCT supports parents.

More parenting

Doctor refuses to accommodate breastfeeding mum in his office
10 Baby products with the worst Amazon reviews
We are gay parents of a young boy but we're just like you