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!
Are You Worried About Your Big Head Baby?
I was worried too! My 7 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! 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. Thankfully, all of the results were normal. He was just born with a normal, but very big head.
But now, reading this study made me so 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 lifestyle 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.
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. Size 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 states, 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.
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.
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.