As an academician and writer focused on talent development and gifted education in children, “How can I develop my baby’s intelligence?” answers the question with 12 items.
Here are the tricks of intelligence development in babies! Read and contribute to your little one’s intelligence!
1. Establish a sleep routine for your baby!
The regular secretion of growth hormone is very important for the development of intelligence in infants. For this reason, you should be very careful that your baby sleeps between 22:00 and 05:00, when the growth hormone is most secreted. It is equally important that the environment in which you raise your little one is quiet and dark.
2. Pay attention to your baby’s nutrition!
Proteins, which are used in the synthesis of substances necessary for nerve transmission and are effective in tissue construction and repair, play a major role in the development of intelligence in infants. In this sense, meat and meat products, eggs, dairy products, cereals and legumes are among the foods that your baby should consume in abundance.
Another food source that is as important as proteins in the development of intelligence in babies is fats. Omega-3 fatty acids in oils play an important role in the baby’s eye and brain development.
vitamins and minerals
- Vitamins and minerals play an important role in the intelligence development of babies. Vitamin A, which is concentrated in liver, fish and milk, takes part in the formation of the spinal cord. In infancy, the richest source of vitamin A is breast milk. So continue to breastfeed your little one a lot!
- Congenital growth retardation and disability may occur in infants with vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency. The richest sources of thiamine are whole grain products.
- Vitamin B6 plays a role in the synthesis of substances that provide nerve transmission in the brain. Its deficiency negatively affects the intelligence development of your baby, beware!
- Severe spinal cord injuries can occur in the deficiency of vitamin B12. The richest sources of this are animal foods.
- Zinc is a mineral that plays an important role in the brain development of babies. It’s abundant in meat and seafood, so keep that in mind for the supplement period. Breast milk is the best source for your baby in this sense.
- Iron deficiency causes inattention and concentration disorders in infants. The best source is red meat. Legumes, molasses, dark green leafy vegetables, oranges and strawberries are other rich sources of iron. In line with all this, as you can see, it is very important to apply a balanced nutrition program to your little one.
3. Talk to your baby a lot!
According to research, the most beneficial activity for infants’ intelligence development is interacting with them. The more you talk to your baby, the more you develop your vocabulary. When your little one talks to him, he hears more of the patterns in the structure of the language, and thus language development is accelerated.
Hart and Risley, authors of Meaningful Differences, have research on this topic. Research shows that there is a relationship between early family conversation and later success.
When the children of families who speak more with their children and those from families who speak less are compared, it is seen that there is a total vocabulary difference of 32 million between these children who are 4 years old! That’s a huge IQ advantage. Because the IQ test is a test in which the verbal ability potential is also measured.
What are you going to talk about with your child?
- You can talk to your little lamb about everything from toys to blankets, from bottles to booties. When he tries to communicate with you, try to keep the communication by reacting aloud. “You want your bottle?”, “Is your blanket too hot?” like.
- As much as the number of words you speak, the difficulty level and variety of words are also important in the development of intelligence. The more diverse words you use, the more the child’s vocabulary expands.
- For example, in every passing car, “Look, the car is passing.” instead of saying, “Look, a red diesel engine car is passing by.” you can say. The child who can say “diesel engine” at the age of 3 does not say this because he has an innate genetic advantage. He speaks with such words because he heard it from his family and environment.
- Your baby will learn the language faster if you point at the objects in question while speaking.
- If you have trouble finding new words, you can refer to the books.
- Baby intelligence cards are also very effective in the brain development of little ones, you can add them to your home activities.
4. Loving your baby increases his IQ and reduces his stress!
Asst. Assoc. Dr. Spring Access. In rat studies, it has been revealed that rats who receive love from their mothers are more curious, healthier, more assertive, more self-controlled and live longer. The same goes for the human baby.
According to John Bowlby, the father of attachment theory, 75% of the attachment between mother and child occurs between the ages of 0-2. If this attachment is secure, the baby’s self-confidence, assertiveness, mental and physical health also develops positively. A secure attachment also affects the child’s social relationships in the future. All these have a positive effect on the development of intelligence in infants. In other words, the love and attention of the mother in the early period creates incredible behavioral and biological differences in the future.
In another study conducted at New York University, 1200 babies are followed from birth. From 7 months of age, babies’ cortisol levels are measured every year in stressful situations. In this way, it is observed how the baby copes with stress. It is seen that events such as environmental risks, turmoil in the family and poverty have a great impact on the stress level of children. But only if their mother is indifferent. In the scenario in which the mother is concerned, these effects almost completely disappear.
Research over 20 years has come to the same conclusions. The negative effect of negative situations is almost completely eliminated with the mother’s attention and love!
5. Play your baby with creative toys!
As well as playing with babies, it is also necessary to offer environments and games that will give them a sense of discovery and curiosity. This keeps their interest afloat longer. When the interest lasts for a long time, more effective learning takes place.
Says that instead of buying electronic toys, children should buy games that will develop curiosity and creativity. Children often choose to play with the package of the toy rather than the toy. A Barbie doll can stifle imagination because it leaves no room for creative thinking. However, a toy box can take on countless identities in the hands of a small child with a wide imagination. Thus, the child both gets more pleasure from the game he plays and his creativity is supported.
6. Don’t make your baby watch TV!
So why is television harmful?
- Because the baby sits passively in front of the TV. However, working on another, much simpler activity that will make him active at the same time, helps the baby to increase his skills even more.
- Activities such as walking, walking around, fiddling with things, trying to talk to his father or mother, or playing games have a much more positive impact on intelligence development and vocabulary.
- In addition, if the child becomes addicted to the screen, his body remains motionless. Inactivity can also trigger conditions such as obesity and hyperactivity in the future.
7. Read lots of books to your baby!
- Buy books that appeal to your baby’s senses, small, thick, easy to hold and feel different textures.
- As you turn the pages of the book, you can talk to your baby about the pictures, point with your finger, and read the words by turning them into a melody or song to get their attention.
- Recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics; for babies to be read regularly every day from 6 months of age. In fact, there is no reason not to do this from the pregnancy period. Starting to read to the child in the early period allows him to establish a relationship between the voice and warmth of the adult he trusts and loves the most, and reading, so the first step is taken in liking reading.
- Asking open-ended questions (why and how questions) while reading a book to the child in the preschool period improves the child’s comprehension and critical thinking skills, increases his interest, and enriches his vocabulary. For example, “What do you think will happen next?”, “Why do you think the character might have done this?” or “Have anything like this ever happened to you?” You can support thinking with open-ended questions.
- As a result of all these, the IQ score is higher in children who read and read books, because the IQ score also measures verbal skills.
8. Arrange your baby’s room to develop his intelligence!
John Medina, an expert in the development of intelligence in babies, lists the essentials in the baby’s room as follows:
There should be many different options. A corner for painting, a painting corner, musical instruments, costumes, blocks, picture books, Lego type toys… Preschool classrooms are usually arranged in different corners in this way. The child can play freely and safely with the option he wants. In this way, you have the opportunity to observe and discover what your child is more interested in.
Remember, careful observation is the key to finding your child’s passion! In short, the more options there are, the better. The intellectual development of children who develop in environments where options are poor is also hampered.
9. Don’t neglect your baby’s health!
Intelligence development is multidimensional. Healthy nutrition is one of these dimensions and it is very important. Proper nutrition under the supervision of a doctor makes a big difference in terms of intelligence development.
Breast milk plays an important role in the development of intelligence in infancy. Studies reveal that breast milk is associated with higher IQ. Breastfeeding is also a great opportunity to communicate with the child. Talking to the baby while breastfeeding, being in physical contact with him, singing, are activities that improve intelligence.
Another important point is not to neglect the baby’s health checks. For example; A problem with hearing in the early period can negatively affect later language development. This reflects negatively on the intelligence score. This is not an irreversible situation; but it should not be forgotten that early intervention always gives more positive results.
10. Go out with your baby!
- If you tell your baby what you see when you take him out, you will help him develop his intelligence. “Look, the little dog is passing.”, “The fire truck is red.”, “Did you hear the sound of the ambulance?” Share your observations with your baby.
- The supermarket environment can also be extremely intelligent! Because the supermarket; a colorful environment full of colours, sounds, textures and faces. In this environment full of stimuli, the baby both has fun and learns. You can also do your shopping!
- Your baby’s chair is not always in the same direction, after a while, turn it the other way. Thus, he sees brand new stimuli in the direction he turns, which is a positive contribution to the development of intelligence.
11. Be a model for your child with your own behavior!
- Children learn the most by modeling. For example; Rather than telling your little one to read a book, reading a book or something else as a model is much more effective in making it a habit and adopting it.
- If you want your child to take responsibility, share responsibilities at home with him. The sooner you start all this, the sooner he internalizes these behaviors. Because the tree bends when it is wet!
12. Remember, intelligence development in babies is not solely dependent on genes!
Of course, genes are important for the development of intelligence in babies, but genes are not everything. Think of your genes as seeds, and your support as the soil in which the seed is planted. Even the best quality seed cannot grow well if the soil is not of good quality. But if it’s soil-like, a lower quality seed may be at its best. So much so that it can surpass even the good seed that grows in bad soil!
What matters is how genes interact with the environment. Children can realize their potential only with the attention, love, support and good education of the family.