Naturally, once you’re growing a baby, you want to be certain that you’re doing all you can to provide your little one the ideal start. We have got some tricks for creating a smarter, happier baby.
Did you know, when you’re pregnant, your diet, emotions and the way you interact with your bump play a part in developing your growing baby’s brain.
‘Inherited genes play a major role in deciding intelligence and personality, but the right lifestyle choices will help make sure those genes have been programmed in the uterus,’ says Dr Lana Aspreysaid In fact, ‘researchers estimate that only 50 per cent of IQ is down to genes — that the rest is affected by means of a baby’s environment.’ So what are you waiting for? Ensure that your baby inherits your braininess, currently.
1. Start a storytime habit
The foundations for language start in the uterus and, from the third trimester, your baby can memorise sounds she hears regularly. ‘US researchers asked mothers to see The Cat In The Hat for their unborn infants. After the birth, the infants “chose” the record of their mum reading the narrative by sucking at a particular rate to activate the recording,’ says parenting expert Dr Miriam Stoppard.
2. Stay busy
Love the endorphin boost you get from exercise? Well, so does your baby. Hormones released during exercise cross the placenta, bathing your baby in feel-good compounds for up to eight hours. Plus, as exercise increases the flow of blood all around your body, including to the uterus, your child’s growth is provided a boost.
The most recent research also suggests exercise during pregnancy can increase neurons within your baby’s hippocampus — the memory and learning part of the brain — by 40 percent.
3. Get just a small sun
Never has the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D, been significant. And you only have to soak it up for 20 minutes per day. ‘We test each of the pregnant mums who come to our practice to get vitamin D, and 70 percent are paralyzed, ”’ says fertility expert Zita West. ‘That’s due to a mixture of a lack of sunlight rather than having enough vitamin D in their diet’
This nutrient is essential for helping your baby develop strong bones and heart, and researchers have also started investigating a link between a deficiency of vitamin D in elderly women and autism.
4. Heal your bump
From approximately 20 months, your baby will feel that you touching your bump and stroking it could send messages that are calming to her nervous system. Research suggests an unborn baby can even distinguish between her mother and father’s signature. Pass the almond oil. This is the ideal excuse to get a massage ever.
5. Speak with your bump
Infants can hear from 16 weeks and, by 27 weeks, all of the connections from ear to mind are in place,’ says Miriam. In fact, studies show newborns react to accents or languages they hear in the uterus — those born into bilingual families react to both languages from birth, so get chatting!
6. Vary your diet
If you want your baby to have the gourmet feeling of an intellect, then get adventuresome at dinnertime. Your baby’s taste buds develop from around 12 weeks.
From 25 weeks, she’ll be consuming around two minutes of amniotic fluid each day and the foods you consume may flavour it. In one study, babies of mums who drank carrot juice while pregnant revealed a taste for carrots when weaned.
7. Play audio to your baby
Maybe the most important education of all — you can form your infant’s music taste. ‘Unborn babies love music — it helps trigger happy chemicals, such as serotonin, that inspire her to become calm and contented,’ says Miriam. ‘After the birth, your baby remembers and relives those great feelings related to the music each time she hears it’
8. Start singing nursery rhymes
Yep, you can enter this habit now. ‘We all know unborn babies can pick up the rise and fall and cadences in speech,’ says Miriam. ‘You can help your infant song from singing rhythmic tunes — nursery rhymes are perfect.’ Following your baby’s born, sing the very same zest to quieten and soothe her.