Scientific Insights on Big Head Babies and Their Potential for Success

According to a new study, babies with bigger heads may actually grow to be smarter, more successful adults. Yep, that’s right, science says big head babies are more likely to succeed! Read on to learn all about it!

According to a new study, babies with bigger heads may actually grow to be smarter, more successful adults. Yep, that's right, science says big head babies are more likely to succeed! Read on to learn all about it!

Are You Worried About Your Big Head Baby?

If so, you’re not alone! I was worried too! My 10-year-old son was born with a huge head. Oh, and I worried so much every single time his head was measured at the pediatrician’s office.  At every visit, the doctor would tell me that his head was above average, and eventually, his measurements were off the charts!

You know how it is and how mothers worry about their kids, so obviously I was very concerned. As parents, we always worry and want the best for our children. After all, there really is no truer love than that we feel for them.

After a couple of visits to the pediatrician, he advised me to have it checked out by a specialist. I had to take him to the children’s hospital for an ultrasound to make sure his big head was not a symptom of a larger, more serious problem. Those days were hard, I worried my son could have a problem and that it could be a serious one. Thankfully, all of the results were normal. He was just born with a normal but very big head.

Now that I know he does not have any medical problems, reading this study made me feel happy. There is actually great news for healthy big head babies. Having a big head means that my son is more likely to succeed in life!

Science Says Big-Head Babies Are More Likely To Succeed

The international scientists behind the study, which was published in the journal of Molecular Psychiatry, were searching for links between genes, IQ, and overall health when they made this new discovery.

They collected blood, urine, and saliva samples. They also collected information on backgrounds and lifestyles from more than 100,000 British people. Then they analyzed the data for any signs of connections or correlations.

During their analysis, the researchers found that people who were born with big heads were significantly more likely to earn a college degree. They were also considerably more likely to score higher on a verbal-numerical reasoning test.

This means that babies born with a head circumference larger than the average of 13.5-14 inches were likely to exhibit greater intelligence later in their lives. That was exactly my son’s case. And by the way,  let me tell you my natural delivery was not an easy one!

big head baby

Big Head Baby = Smarter Adult

Data from UK Biobank revealed a direct correlation between brain volume, head circumference, and levels of intelligence. Essentially, they discovered that the larger your baby’s head, the cleverer it would go on to be as an adult. In this case, size really does matter!

Professor Ian Deary of Edinburgh University said: “In addition to there being shared genetic influences between cognitive skills and some physical and mental health status, the study also found that cognitive skills share genetic influences with brain size, body shape, and educational attainments.”

Bigger Head = Bigger Brain = More Computing Power

If you think about it, it makes sense that a larger head would lead to a higher IQ. After all, a big head means plenty of room for a nice, big brain, right? Well, sort of. As Grant Hurlburt, a visiting biologist at California State University explains during a Science Update podcast, “Even though head size also depends on factors such as the muscularity of the head and thickness of the bone, it’s very likely that a bigger head means a bigger brain.”

So, yes, it’s reasonable to assume that a big head equals a big brain, but “very likely” isn’t the same thing as “definitely.” Some people just have thicker bones and more pronounced muscles around their noggins.

However, if we go with the “very likely” assumption that big heads equal bigger brains, then it absolutely makes sense that a big head baby would grow up into a smarter adult. In fact, decades of research and studies show that having a larger brain is very much like having a better computer.

A higher volume of grey matter means more neurons and, even more importantly, better connections between those neurons. Basically, it’s like having a top-of-the-line processor right inside your head. Sounds pretty cool to me!

According to a new UK study, babies with bigger heads may actually grow to be smarter, more successful adults. Science says big head babies are more likely to succeed! #bighead #baby #study #parenting

When to worry about your baby’s big head

While the majority of big-head babies are just that- babies with big heads- there are a few instances where that’s not really the case. So, when should you worry about your baby’s XL melon? The easy answer to that is “when your doctor tells you to.”

Seriously, if your newborn’s noggin is caused by something serious, your pediatrician will know. In fact, you may know before you even leave the hospital. Newborn physical examinations include head measurements. They use that measurement combined with your baby’s gestational age to determine where your baby falls on the percentile chart.

If your baby’s head size is greater than the 98th percentile (or babies who have two deviations from a set of standards that doctors use during their exam), it’s called macrocephaly and warrants further assessment.

First, they’ll look at genetics. If big heads run in your family, then it’s highly likely that your newborn just takes after Uncle Todd. If it’s not a genetic thing (of if your baby shows signs of fluid or swelling on the brain), they’ll do imaging to make sure that it’s not related to anything more serious.

Even if that’s the case, more often than not the swelling is the result of benign extra-axial fluid of infancy, a condition that resolves itself with time. When it is caused by something more worrisome, like hydrocephalus, your baby may need surgery to relieve the pressure and drain excess fluid.  When caught early (and you can’t get much earlier than immediately after birth), babies with hydrocephalus go on to lead normal lives (or at least very close to it).

The bottom line is that your baby’s big head is rarely something to worry about. That said, there may be something for YOU to consider (but don’t go crazy with worry). If your tiny tot’s big head doesn’t come from you, you may have a more challenging delivery. On the other hand, if that noggin does come from you directly (and not just from someone else in your family), it shouldn’t hurt any more than usual.

“We found out that women with large heads, compared to women with small heads, possess a birth canal that is shaped in a way that neonates with large heads can pass it easier,” explains Barbara Fischer, a researcher at the University of Vienna.

science says big head babies are more likely to succeed

Size matters…but it isn’t everything

Of course, biology and physiology really only play small roles in determining how smart you’ll be in the future. Even the world’s largest brain needs input to make full use of it. In other words, if you want your baby to grow up to be an intelligent adult, you need to “feed” that brain with books, education, and other learning experiences. And let’s not forget the love and attention our kids need in order to grow up and be successful people. Remember that your kids don’t need more things, they need more time with you!

Now you know that if your baby was born with a big head, instead of worrying about it, celebrate it. Science says big head babies are more likely to succeed. Of course, if you have concerns about your baby’s head size, you should definitely talk to your pediatrician.

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