Increasing Your Baby's Intelligence
While scientists can’t agree on how much relative influence genetics or environment has on the development of intelligence, they all agree that both play an important role. Therefore, for the many anxious parents out there, there are many ways you can stimulate your baby’s mental abilities.
From the moment she is born, your baby’s brain and nervous system are working overtime – in fact, they are the busiest they will ever be in her entire lifetime, from birth until 2 years of age, as your baby learns to process information and develop new skills. The more play and interaction you have with your baby, the more you will help to strengthen synapses in the brain and ultimately stimulate optimal development.
Enhancing Your Child's Intelligence
Studies show that one way to enhance a child’s intelligence is by encouraging healthy sleep patterns, starting from when he/she is a baby. This was a common factor amongst children tested to have high intelligence. Increased interaction with and attention to the baby are one of the best ways to stimulate his intelligence - as opposed to any specific miracle food, video, game or other item.
Another way into improve your child's development is by talking to them as babies absorb language and information at a rate which will never be equalled again in their later life so take advantage now. For example, as you are putting him in the car and buckling in his seat belt, tell him every step of what you are doing, describe the weather, talk about the trip and what you plan to buy or do.
Traditional songs and nursery rhymes were created for a reason – rhyme and rhythm can stimulate children and help them get a better grasp of language. Ideally, read to your baby before nap time – it doesn’t really matter what you read, it is the sound of your voice that matters.
Don’t be shy to sing to your baby. There is a specific region of the brain which processes language and music and the more stimulus this receives, the better it will develop. No particular type of music is superior to another, despite the recent claims about the benefits of classical music. Just choose something you like and the baby responds to – variety is a good idea.
Note, however, that real conversation/song/interaction is better than TV or radio, which are poor substitutes. In any case, babies cannot follow TV or radio messages and most of them tune out the sounds because they over stimulate the brain.
Use everyday activities to improve your baby’s hand-to-eye coordination; even simple games with toys and bricks, etc. Try to enlist his help in helping you store things or wrap parcels or even shelve items. This will not only help improve his coordination but also help him begin to learn to judge volumes, shapes and weights.
The outdoors is important. Take your baby out regularly for exercise or even just to accompany you on simple activities, such as tidying the garden Let him enjoy and be stimulated by nature. Let him fully explore his physical surroundings, such as splashing in water, touching flowers, walking over grass or stones in bare feet or playing with mud.
Try to delay the time you return to work as much as possible. In particular, the first year of a baby’s life is especially important for mental development and also for the bonding process.
Try to carry your baby around with you whenever possible. This will expose her to a greater variety of stimuli as you move around and do everyday tasks. In addition, the actual physical act of moving around and bending will also stimulate the part of the baby’s brain that tracks position of the body and balance. Ironically, babies that are carried around actually walk faster than babies that are not!
While there has been research refuting the old claim that breastmilk can improve intelligence, it is still nevertheless the best source of nutrition for a developing baby. Physical touch is also important as it stimulates a baby’s brain so touch your baby as much as possible. Learning infant massage is a good idea, either from a certified infant massage instructor or instructional books and videos.
While not being over-indulgent or over-protective, try to respond to your baby’s attempts to communicate as promptly as possible. Often babies cry when they are trying to communicate a need, whether it is for food, nappy change or simply comfort. Overall, the key is to spend more time interacting and playing with your baby. Naturally, a component of your baby’s intelligence will always be genetic but without doubt, certain exposures and activities can enhance your baby’s mental development.