Experts say that while genetics and nutrition during pregnancy do play a part in your childâs overall intelligence, the single largest factor is the stimulation you provide at home. And the good news is that you donât even have to buy those flash cards and smart baby videos, or sign up for those expensive baby classes. There are many ways to boost your babyâs IQ, and many of them are completely free and easy to do in the middle of your daily routine.
Talk to him all the time
There is a strong correlation between your childâs verbal IQ and the number of words he hears in the first year of life. So keep talking to him. Describe what youâre doing, even if you know he doesnât understand you (yet): âLetâs change your diaper!â or âSay hello to the pretty bird!â Itâs best to keep your words simple and to point to concrete objects, which will build his vocabulary and recognize the things around him. âOh, you want the yellow blanket!â or âThe truck goes vroom.â
Reading is one of the best bonding activities you can have. It creates a strong emotional bond, as you cuddle him and he listens to your voice, and teaches your child so many things: words, sounds, pictures. Eventually your child will also realize that there are words on the pages and you read from left to rightâthe very foundation of literacy. And, as you read the same books again and again, you boost your childâs memory and comprehension. (Read our article on tips on choosing your baby’s first books)
Teach baby signs
There are some studies show that teaching sign language can improve IQ and language development. It also helps your child communicate what he wants, which can increase self-esteem and social skills.
Breastfeed if you can
Breastfeeding can boost a babyâs IQ by a few points. Ideally, you should breastfeed for a year, but if you canât (or had to give up earlier) donât lose any sleep. There are many ways to interact with your baby, and to provide the nutrition that will boost his brain growth.
Snuggle and cuddle
Children who feel loved and secure have strong self-esteem, which means he will find it easier to talk to others, or explore in an unfamiliar environment. And in the first few years, your child will want to share every experience with you: showing you a pretty rock, or playing blocks with you. Your bond, and how you build his curiosity through your willingless to learn and play with him, mean more than any fancy learning system you can buy in the mall.
Photo from www.communityofmindfulparents.com