Did you notice your baby has a bigger-than-usual head? If so, don’t be alarmed; it is just an indication that your baby will grow as an intelligent person.
Basically, a new study shows that big-headed babies are likely to be smarter. Researchers at Edinburgh University conducted a study on the relationship between genes, IQ and overall health. Between 2006 and 2010, UK Biobank gathered data from 100,000 residents in the UK between the ages of 37 and 73. Study participants took physical and cognitive assessments and provided samples of their blood, saliva, and urine.
According to the researchers, “Highly significant associations were observed between the cognitive test and many polygenic profile scores, including intracranial volume, infant head circumference, and childhood cognitive ability.” The study found that babies with bigger heads are more likely to get high scores on verbal-numerical tests and earn university degrees.
Researchers also discovered that there are 17 significant genes which affect the function of the brain and influence a person’s mental and physical health. The leader of the study, Professor Ian Deary, explains, “In addition to there being shared genetic influences between cognitive skills and some physical and mental health states, the study also found that cognitive skills share genetic influences with brain size, body shape, and educational attainments.”
The study specifies that babies with 12.5 to 14 inches head circumference have the highest chance of becoming intelligent. Apart from the size of the baby’s head, a person’s overall health also predicts his intelligence level. Researcher Saskia Hagenaars says, “The study supports and existing theory which says that those with better overall health are likely to have higher levels of intelligence.
While having a big-headed baby has benefits, some parents can’t help but worry if a bigger head is a sign of disability or disorder. An author for Today’s Parents, Diane Sacks states, “A large cranium could simply be a reflection of a bigger-than-average-headed mom or dad. One thing is for certain, it’s not an indication of a learning disorder or disability.
In some circumstances, a larger head may indicate a serious health condition or problem. “The most important information here is whether the circumference of your baby’s head has been growing along the same growth line since birth. That’s why your doctor measures your baby’s head and follows its growth monthly on chart,” Sacks continues.
Having a baby with big heads can be a source of pride but also keep in mind that there are many other factors that may affect a person’s intelligence quotient, apart from cranium size. Some of these are sensory development, environmental stress, and nutrition.
According to Child Psychology, children deprived of sensory stimulations such as seeing and hearing may not regularly develop their sensory skills while children exposed to various sounds and sights are likely to develop additional skills.
Environmental stress and nutrition, on the one hand, can also affect the cognitive development of children. Factors related to dysfunctional household, poverty, and malnutrition can have a great impact on the child’s intelligence or their drive to learn.
According to neurologist Lise Elliot, “Nutrition, in many cases, seems to strongly affect a child’s cognitive development — even before she is born. Unborn babies who receive inadequate protein, for example, may have slower development both in the uterus and after birth. The high-quality nutrition children receive from breastfeeding correlates with higher IQ scores later in life. Children who are chronically malnourished often develop slower than other children do.”
Whether your child is big-headed or not; the most important thing is to raise him in a healthy, lively and peaceful environment and fill his life with love and affection.
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