Between 12 and 24 months your baby goes through more brain development than any other time in their childhood. By age 2, your child’s brain growth is already at 75%. Every last thing that happens prior to their second birthday is incredibly important in determining just how intelligent your baby will grow up to be.
Proven Ways To Make Your Baby Smarter
1. Smart Babies Start In The Womb
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, found that babies who spend more time in the womb have larger brains and as a result greater cognitive processing power. The areas that pregnant moms live in also reflect on child intelligence. If mom inhales a lot of pollution it can actually transfer to the placenta and intertwine with the baby’s DNA, relating to behavioral issues that impact education and relationships.
2. Babies That Breastfeed Tend To Have Higher IQs
Breastfeeding for 2-years has been linked with increased cognitive functioning. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests only feeding your child breast milk for the first 6 months of his or her life.
3. Make Sure Your Baby Gets Good Sleep Every Night
Adequate sleep can boost your baby’s intelligence. The Academy of Sleep Medicine explains that sleeping at night plays a unique role on the brain compared to daytime naps. Sleeping through the night can help increase infant brain development as well as their executive functioning, which relates to things like memorization, attentiveness and self-discipline.
The benefits of sleep follow your child all throughout life. One study of over 3,000 Rhode Island high school students found that students with an A average got around 15 more minutes of sleep each night than students averaging a B.
4. Make Lots Of Eye Contact While Talking Your Baby’s Ears Off
When your baby’s eyes are open, take advantage by looking him or her directly in the eyes. Infants develop facial recognition very early on; every time they look at you they are building their memory. Even if your baby is looking at you with a blank stare, talk away. Leave short pauses where your baby would respond if he or she could talk. Before you know it, your little one will start to catch on with the format of dialogue and begin filling in the pauses.
5. Sing Songs
Make anything and everything into a little jingle or song. You can play real songs or make up songs, either way your child will benefit from simply listening to the beat of music. Music is a fundamental tool to teaching your child things like new words, animals and even the alphabet. Plus, researchers have identified a connection between learning rhythms of music as children and increased capacity for learning math later in life.
6. Every Daily Task Is A Learning Opportunity
Even something as simple as changing your baby’s diaper can serve as a good opportunity to boost his or her IQ. Say the name of all of the clothing you take off and put on, explaining what you are doing as you go along. It may seem like they have no idea what you’re talking about, but their little minds are soaking it all up like a sponge and one day soon it’s all going to click.
7. Go On Nature Walks
Take your baby out on the town or around the neighborhood in a front-facing carrier so that they can see and observe the world. Point out anything and everything, saying, “That’s a dog” or, “That’s a big tree.” This helps build your child’s vocabulary from a very early age.
8. Let Your Silly Side Out
The great thing about kids is that they bring out your inner child. Be silly with your bundle of joy, play peek-a-boo, make funny faces, gently blow on your baby’s arm or tummy and let them crawl all over you as if you’re a human playground. All of these fun tactics help develop a good sense of humor, a positive outlook on life and greater physical awareness.
9. Let Your Baby Touch It All
Take your child around the house and let them touch everything from tissues to curtains to the cold window. Tell your baby what he or she is touching as you go around the house.
10. Books & Numbers
Count everything that you see, like the number of steps in your house or how many blocks your little one stacks in a row. Before long they’ll be counting with you. Books are just as important as numbers. Keep them all around the house to read and reference as often as possible. Instead of just reading to your baby, engage them in the story by asking questions, making eye-contact and pointing out certain words and images in the text. Even if your child is too young to respond, it’s still beneficial.
11. Teach Your Child Sign Language
Babies can learn sign language before their brains are ready to develop words and use verbal language. By teaching your child signs for their wants and needs you allow them an outlet to express themselves from a very early age. Research has found major intellectual benefits for children who learn sign language as babies.