One of the most important aspects of a child’s development is their level of intelligence. While other factors may naturally affect kids’ intelligence, there are also easy methods to raise your baby’s IQ and make them smarter.
No parent wants to have a child who isn’t intelligent or smart. A child’s first few years are crucial for their brain development since it sets them up for future goals.
This article will go through 30 simple ways to make your baby smarter and more intelligent; 30 tried-and-true strategies for fostering your baby’s brain development, from increasing belly time to enrolling in parent-child workshops.
You may assist your child in realizing their full potential and cultivating a lifelong love of learning by using these helpful and enjoyable suggestions.
Understanding Baby Development: How Infant Intelligence Grows
As babies and toddlers engage with the environment and those around them, their cognitive abilities develop. Through compassionate and attentive care for a child’s body and mind, it is possible to promote healthy brain development.
As you discovered initially, a child’s early experiences significantly impact their brain development. Therefore, brain development needs to support a child’s cognitive development through regular, caring experiences and interactions.
Infants and toddlers learn to understand and anticipate how objects operate as they grow. For example, they repeatedly open and close cabinet doors, fill and empty cups at the water table, and bang spoons on high chairs to make noises.
It’s fascinating to see a baby or toddler learn new things. For example, consider how amazing it is when a baby sets blocks (and then knocks them down) or when a toddler pretends to “read” you a book for the first time.
Remember that every infant and toddler is different, and there may be discrepancies in the exact age at which they reach these milestones.
As you may have already discovered in prior classes, milestones serve as a roadmap for when to anticipate the emergence of particular skills or behaviors.
Consider developmental milestones as benchmarks that can be used to understand and recognize typical patterns of growth and development or to assist you in knowing what to watch for as young children age.
You may use this knowledge, what you learn from families, and your own experience to improve the interactions, settings, and environments you provide for babies and toddlers as a caregiver.
What Makes Your Baby Smarter?
There are ways or activities that can make your baby smarter, and some of them include reading books to your child, conversing with them, and playing games (particular kinds of games designed to improve a baby’s intelligence)
You might be surprised to hear that reading, speaking, and playing routinely outperform learning from DVDs in scientific research comparing these activities.
In actuality, you are the finest possible teacher for your child. And according to the most recent scientific findings, “make-your-baby-smarter” software, games, and DVDs educate your child much less than natural parenting.
It appears more contemporary and scientific to see letters flashing on a computer screen instead of curling up in a chair and reading a book the old-fashioned way.
Baby Cognitive Developmental Phases
At two months they:
- Concentrates on faces
- They start to track objects with their eyes and recognize individuals in the distance.
- They start to act bored (cries, fussy).
At six months they:
- Looks around at adjacent objects and puts them in their mouths.
- Displays curiosity about objects and reaches for them.
- Starts to transfer objects from one hand to the other.
At 12 months, they will:
- Discovers hidden objects with ease by shaking, banging, and throwing objects.
- Copies gestures. Starts using objects correctly (such as drinking from a cup and brushing hair). Bangs two objects together.
- Puts objects in a container.
- Takes objects out of a container.
- Makes no effort to assist,
- Uses the index (pointer) finger to poke,
- And obeys simple commands such as “Pick up the toy.”
At 18 months:
- Has a basic understanding of concepts like telephone, brush, and spoon.
- Things to say to attract people’s attention
- Pretend to feed a doll or toy animal to demonstrate interest.
- Owns his scribbling
- Able to obey verbal cues in one step without the need for gestures; for example, sitting when you say “sit down.”
At 24 months
- Finds items even when they are concealed under two or three covers.
- Starts classifying colors and forms
- Completing phrases and rhyming in well-known works.
- plays straightforward pretend-games
- constructs towers of four or more blocks
- Possibly employs one hand more than the other
- Obeys two-step commands, such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.”
At 36 months
- Able to operate toys with moving parts, buttons, and levers
- Imaginative play, including dolls, pets, and people
- Does a three- or four-piece puzzle exist?
- Knows what the number “two” signifies
- Make a pencil or crayon copy of a circle.
- One by one, turns the pages of a book.
- Builds towers with a minimum of six blocks.
- Twists door handles or screws and unscrews jar lids.
The Value Of Early Learning: How Your Baby’s Brain Develops
The health and development of a child later in life are greatly influenced by their early years. The rapid rate of brain development, beginning before birth and continuing throughout early childhood, is one of the fundamental causes.
Although the brain continues to grow and develop throughout adulthood, the first eight years of life can lay the groundwork for future success in learning, health, and living.
In addition to heredity, numerous other factors affect how effectively a brain develops.
- A healthy diet during pregnancy.
- Infection or toxic substance exposure
- The youngster’s encounters with other people and the outside world.
The secret to promoting healthy brain development is to provide the child with nourishing and responsive care for their body and mind.
A child’s development can be shaped by a combination of favorable or unfavorable experiences, which can have long-lasting impacts.
Parents and other caregivers require assistance and the appropriate materials to nourish their children’s bodies and minds.
The correct care for children from conception onwards ensures that the child’s brain develops healthily and to its full potential. To give children’s brains a good start, CDC works to protect them.
The Impact Of Nutrition On Early Brain Development
A baby’s brain develops most sensitively between the middle of pregnancy and age two.
During this time, children who are malnourished, not simply picky eaters but lacking sufficient calories and protein in their diet, do not adequately develop physically or intellectually.
Due to decreased dendritic growth, and decreased myelination, their brains are smaller than normal. (supporting cells in the brain that continue to form after birth and are responsible for producing myelin).
Children who were malnourished as fetuses and infants experience persistent behavioral and cognitive abnormalities, including slower language and fine motor development, lower IQ, and worse academic achievement.
This is due to inadequate brain growth. In addition, the mother’s diet during pregnancy impacts the baby’s birth weight and brain size.
To ensure proper fetal growth, pregnant women should gain roughly 20 percent of their ideal pre-pregnancy weight (for example, 26 pounds for a 130-lb woman).
This necessitates consuming 300 calories daily and 10–12 grams of protein. In addition, after birth, a child’s nutrition significantly impacts their brain development.
Breast milk delivers the optimum combination of nutrients for fostering brain development if breastfed infants receive some iron supplementation at roughly six months.
(Most infant cereals are fortified with iron, and breastfed babies require this supplementation at six months, whether or not their mothers are iron-deficient.)
Young children’s cognitive problems have been directly connected to iron deficiency.
Iron is essential for maintaining a sufficient quantity of red blood cells that carry oxygen, which is required to drive brain growth. Therefore, iron-rich formula should be given to babies who are bottle-fed.
Children require a high-fat level in their diets, approximately 50% of their total calories until they are about two years old, due to the rapid rate of myelination in early life.
Breastmilk continues to be a good source of liquid nutrition throughout the toddler years, with babies receiving most of this fat from breast milk or formula in the first year of life.
On the other hand, whole cow’s milk is an excellent source of protein and fat for toddlers in their second year and can be offered after their first birthday.
Children should start transitioning to a heart-healthy amount of dietary fat (no more than 30% of total calories) after two years old, including lower-fat cow’s milk (1 or 2%).
Play-Based Learning For Babies: The Benefits
Play fosters a child’s literacy and language development, according to studies. For example, a child’s vocabulary expands and develops significantly during preschool, and play-based learning enables discussions to happen naturally.
Language and communication are even encouraged through individual play-based learning activities. For example, a child will frequently act out different sides of a discussion while playing or describe the toys they are using.
Children communicate in various ways when playing with one another, including through discussing goals, negotiating, and telling stories.
Children will select who the teacher is and who the students are, for instance, when they play “school.”
Through play, adults can aid language development by promoting dialogue, posing queries, and introducing new words.
Emotional And Social Intelligence
A child’s ability to acquire social and emotional skills, such as forming enduring relationships with peers, depends on play-based learning.
Children learn to get along, collaborate, communicate, solve problems, and resolve disagreements while playing with one another.
They are learning how to wait patiently and share their resources. These are essential life skills to have later on!
Play is beneficial for fostering the growth of emotional abilities. Children learn empathy, how to identify their emotions, and how to control them while they play.
Psychologists advise play as a stress reliever and as a promising approach for kids to work with their stressors, a practice sometimes called “play therapy.”
A youngster might use fair play to relax and process knowledge when a day gets too much.
Imagination And Creativity
Children may think that imagination and creativity come quickly, but these skills must be acquired. Children need play to handle both actual and imagined circumstances in their life.
This is why play-based learning’s self-directed component is crucial—play must be freely selected to encourage the creative environment.
Youngsters can use any object to stimulate their imagination, such as a stick in the garden that they can use as a sword, a fishing pole, or a spoon.
Children are imaginative problem solvers, whether they are acting like a teacher, mothers, doctors, or firefighters.
This helps kids develop into imaginative, resourceful people who can adjust to their environment.
Self-Assurance And A Willingness To Learn
Confidence is among the most significant advantages of play-based learning. A confident child will be more willing to try new things.
Children who are given freedom in how they play can better understand topics because they are engaged and interested in what they are learning.
As students take the initiative, it also promotes independence in their learning. They make their own decisions rather than relying on an adult to give them the correct answer or instructions.
In play-based learning, there is no pressure on the final product; instead, the process is what matters, and they can enjoy the learning without stress. Learning at their own pace also helps kids establish a good attitude about learning.
Development Of Motor Skills
Play assists kids in developing their fine and gross motor skills. Play activities, including tossing, climbing, sprinting, and leaping, improve balance, hand-eye coordination, and gross motor abilities.
Drawing, painting, building, and roleplaying play activities help children develop fine motor skills.
What To Look For In A Play-Based Program
If you need to know what you’re looking for, locating a good play-based application might be challenging. As you look for the best kindergarten for your child, keep the following things in mind:
- First, check whether play places are inside and outside the kindergarten.
- Find out if a program has extended stretches of uninterrupted play.
- Ensure the rooms include various areas and resources, such as a theatrical nook or sensory play area.
- Third, inquire about how the teachers incorporate the student’s interests into the curriculum.
- Find out if the kindergarten offers both individual and group play opportunities.
Finally, ensure that kids have the freedom to choose their daily play experience.
30 Simple Ways To Make Your Baby Smarter And More Intelligent
- Build an obstacle course to hone your baby’s motor skills by placing sofa cushions, pillows, boxes, or toys on the floor and showing them how to crawl over, under, and around them.
- Move to the music. Teach baby to twist, shout, do the funky chicken, or twirl like a ballerina.
- Be a playground. Let your baby climb and crawl all over you. You’ll help boost their coordination and problem-solving skills.
- Observe their example. As your child gets older, they’ll come up with more imaginative things to do for you. For example, let them prompt you to laugh, make noises, or go backward.
- Go on a tour. When you and the infant are out walking, describe what you notice. They can expand their vocabulary and have a better knowledge of the world by hearing phrases like “That’s a little dog,” “Look at those big trees,” “Did you hear that fire engine,” and similar expressions.
- Buy something. Carry your baby along when you go to the store next. With so many amusing faces, sounds, and colors, the grocery store is a world of wonder for kids.
- Change the setting. Place the high chair for your infant on the other side of the table. You’ll test their recall of the locations of things.
- Astonish them. Your baby will love it if you sometimes give them a gentle blow on their face, arms, or stomach. Watch them respond and anticipate as you pattern your breaths.
- Perform the Three-Card Monte. Collect a few empty plastic food containers, then tuck a tiny toy for the infant under each one. Let your child discover the gift once you’ve shuffled the containers.
- Play peek-a-boo. Your hide-and-seek games do more than just make people laugh. Your baby discovers that things can vanish and then reappear.
- Take it up. Fetch even if your child deliberately drops toys off their high chair to annoy you. The rules of gravity are being studied and tested. Give them a few wadded-up pieces of paper or tennis balls, place an open bucket beneath their seat, and let them shoot!
- Establish eye contact. When your baby’s eyes are open, seize the opportunity to look directly into them. Babies learn to distinguish faces early on; the most crucial face is yours! He is strengthening his recollection each time he fixes his gaze on you.
- Extend your tongue. According to studies, infants as young as two days old can copy basic facial expressions, indicating extremely early problem-solving.
- Allow him to think. Have your infant look in the mirror at himself. He may initially believe he is simply admiring another adorable child, but he will like making the “other” baby wave his arms and smile.
- Make a distinction. Hold two images 8 to 12 inches before your child’s face. They ought to be comparable, yet there is a slight difference. (perhaps a tree is in one but not the other).
The foundation for later letter recognition and reading is that even a young infant can gaze back and forth and recognize the distinguishing qualities.
- Leave brief silences where your kid would communicate even if all you receive in return is a blank stare. She will quickly learn the flow of the conversation and begin to fill in the blanks.
- Go crazy. Your infant is attentive to your ridiculous cooing and whiny baby babble.
- Hum a tune. Create your verses (“This is the way we change your diaper, change your diaper, change your diaper…”) or learn as many melodies as possible. Then, put on some Bach, Beatles, or Britney Spears music. According to some research, learning math is related to learning musical rhythms.
- Convince him. You are teaching cause and effect when you say, “I’m going to turn on the light now,” before turning the switch.
- Tickle them all over. The first step in generating humor is to laugh. Additionally, teach your youngster to predict outcomes through games like “This little piggy” (end by poking her under the chin) and “I’m gonna get you.”
- Make a silly expression. Have your child touch your nose while you puff out your cheeks. Poof! When she does, Then put out your tongue after having her tug your ear. When she pats you on the head, make a silly noise. After three or four repetitions of the same routine, switch up the rules to keep her guessing.
- Make jokes. Show him a picture of Uncle Frank and address him as “Mommy.” Then, to encourage your child’s developing sense of humor, admit that you were stupid and let her laugh at your “joke.”
- Try to breastfeed if you can. Continue doing it as long as you can. Children who were breastfed as infants have higher IQs, which is a proven fact. Additionally, singing, talking, or simply petting your baby’s lovely newborn hair as they nurse is a beautiful way to strengthen your bond with your child.
- Maximize your diapering time. Use the time spent on the changing pad to demonstrate body parts or clothing items. Tell stories to teach your baby to anticipate routines.
- Cut the tube off. No TV program, no matter how informative, can meet your baby’s desire for one-on-one interaction.
- Remember to give it a break. Without music, flashing lights, or funny antics, simply sit on the floor with your infant for a few minutes each day. Let him go on an adventure and follow where he leads.
- Consider Sesame Street as an example. Each week, focus on a different letter of the alphabet. For instance, consume foods that begin with A, read novels that begin with A, cut up snacks into that shape, and create a letter with chalk on your sidewalk.
- How many blocks can your child stack? Or how many stairs there are in your home. Maybe even his toes and fingers. Make it a habit to count aloud; eventually, he will join in.
- Study a book. Over and over! Babies as young as eight months can learn to understand the order of words in a tale when it is read twice or thrice in a row; this is thought to aid in their language acquisition.
- Play with your baby’s food once they are eating solids. Textured foods, such as cooked peas, cereal, pasta, and bits of cantaloupe, will stimulate their senses and help them develop their pincer grasp.
In summary, there are many simple and practical ways you can help contribute to developing your baby’s intelligence. Still, most importantly, you should first support them with a good foundation for a lifetime of learning.
You can support their learning foundation by making provisions for a rich and stimulating environment; this will help constitute a functional learning space.
You can also engage them through conversations, play, indoor and outdoor activities, nurturing their physical health and overall well-being, etc.
Remember that whatever activity you engage your baby in at that early stage will play a significant role in their development later in life, so it’s essential to be selective about the exposures you introduce to your child. But, at the same time, you make the most out of their early years.