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Dad time

ONE MINUTE you’re shooting pool in the pub, the next you’re warming bottled milk.

It can be all a bit sudden.

Now brand new research reveals what we already suspected, it just takes a little time to fall in love with the little one.

It is believed men need to spend lots of time with their newborn babies in order to stimulate their “love hormones” to become better fathers.

Mum’s hormones have long been discussed, but dad’s biological mechanisms are just as important.

Men’s high levels of testosterone hormones don’t serve them well once they become fathers, Dr Sally-ann de-Vitri Smith from Charles Sturt University believes.

“Men have ten times higher levels of testosterone than women.” Dr Sally-ann de-Vitri Smith says.

“It’s high when they are finding a mate and want to beat the other guys,” she said. “It’s a bit like a caveman.”

“But when a man meets a woman and settles down, his levels of oxytocin increases, and this continues during pregnancy.”

Her research says higher oxytocin levels — known as the “love hormone” — were advantageous to a man’s ability to support his family and be a good father.

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“Oxytocin can be promoted through the father having lots of contact with the baby, even sleeping together, changing nappies and cuddling a lot and having skin-on- skin contact which is very comforting,” she said.

Science has only recently begun to explore the neural and hormonal mechanisms of dads.

Early evidence suggests that mothers’ and fathers’ brains use a similar neural circuitry when taking care of their children.

Fatherhood can also see a drop in testosterone, which researchers say may work to make the fathers less aggressive and bring them closer to their children. But that’s humans.

In rodent research, some show an increase in testosterone, which is possibly linked to their heightened protective behaviors.

We’ve all felt that – a natural instinct for protective Champion Dads.

How has being a father changed you? Has it changed you at all? Let us know below.