Let’s face it: every mother wants to be proud of their son or daughter. Some believe that in order to raise a true genius, they have to start by making a few adjustments right away. In other words, many people believe that there are certain things that pregnant mothers can do in order to make their baby “smarter” before they’ve even taken their first breath in this world. It might sound downright ridiculous for some, but others swear by it.
Now, there is no scientific proof that says you can make your baby smart. It’s just like talent. You either have it or you don’t, but it’s our job as parents to help teach and foster our children in the best environment possible. With that being said though, there are still plenty of parents who are willing to try just about anything to make sure that their kiddo skips a few grades by the time they are in middle school. They believe that the smarter they are while they are still young, the better chance they’ll have of succeeding later in life.
Here are several different ways you can try to make your baby “smart” during your pregnancy.
Before you do anything else, consider a good workout routine for your pregnancy. A healthy body for you might be also be a smart brain for your baby. That’s because there’s a huge connection between the two. In other words, the more you hit that gym (in moderation and with your doctor’s approval), the more of a chance your baby will be smarter and brighter. The Bump writes, “Exercise increases the flow of blood around your body, including your womb, and that in turn stimulates baby’s development overall. Aerobic exercise during pregnancy also seems to target baby’s brain, helping to improve brain function and spatial learning in particular.”
While there’s no doubt that we can debate to pros and cons to having just one glass of red while pregnant, some suggest that if you want a happy and healthy baby, skip it altogether. You’re better off until after the baby is born to have a glass. Plus, no doctor will ever prescribe you a glass or two if you are feeling stressed and not so very blessed. The Bump writes, “There is no amount [...] that’s deemed safe to drink during pregnancy. Abstaining from drinking [...] is imperative for the intellectual development of a baby.”
A lot of people avoid eating any type of fish during their pregnancies because they worry about the consumption of too much mercury. Well, some suggest that eating fish might actually be good for your baby’s brain. The Bump writes, “Kids whose mothers ate three to four servings of fish per week had IQ scores that were 2.8 percent higher than children born to moms who ate less fish. Fatty fish like salmon and sardines—which contain higher levels of DHA than leaner fish—showed the strongest effect.” Instead of tilapia, try organic or wild caught salmon as an alternative for your dinnertime meal.
Yes, we all get confused when one study says that eating too many eggs might lead to high cholesterol while the next study will say that we can eat eggs all day long because they are a super food with super powers that do the body good. Well, there is some truth to that as eating eggs might help boost your baby’s brain power, too. The Bump writes, “Eating eggs during pregnancy may help set baby up to be a faster learner with a better memory. Egg yolks are packed with choline, a member of the vitamin B family.” Egg up!
Yes, you should think about reading to your baby while he or she is still in the womb (and of course, once the baby is born and very often, too!). There is nothing better in this world than to give your child the gift of reading. During your pregnancy, you are most in tune with your body and your baby. By setting the right examples (and reading a good book yourself) you might already be teaching your future little genius that there’s nothing better in this world than snuggling up and being invested in a good story with an unforgettable book.
Don’t be shy to talk to your baby! It doesn’t matter how, when, or how often. Talk to your bump in the shower, during breakfast, at the gym, or heck, even add him or her to the family circle during dinner time. And yes, we are talking about direct conversations, too. There are so many benefits to actually talking to your womb while your baby is still in it. The Bump writes, “When expectant women were given a recording to play toward the end of their pregnancy that included a made-up word, the babies were able to recognize the word and its variations after they were born.”
In other words, go out and get some sunshine, mama. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should spend your entire summer sunning your baby bump at the beach. Instead, you can spend as little as 20 minutes each day outside, and that will be more than enough Vitamin D to make your baby healthy, happy, and hopefully smart one day. Plus, everyone could use a little sunshine in their lives. MotherandBaby.co.uk writes, “This nutrient is essential for helping your baby develop strong bones and heart, and researchers have also started investigating a link between a lack of vitamin D in pregnant women and autism.”
Now here’s a benefit that will definitely work both ways! If you get a prenatal massage, not only will it help relax you and the muscles in your body, but it might also help make your baby smarter. And yes, we already know what your thinking: it’s high time you booked that massage for at least one time per week, right? Better yet, you can save money and have your partner do all the work for you (if he’s willing). MotherandBaby.co.uk writes, “Research suggests an unborn baby can even distinguish between her mother and father’s touch. Pass the almond oil. This is the best excuse for a massage ever.”
Everyone from your mother-in-law to your neighbor to your doctor will advise this: pregnant mamas need to watch what they eat. Just because your pregnant, that doesn’t give you an excuse to eat the entire refrigerator. As tempting as it might be to eat all of the cupcakes (even if they look like they are gluten-free or guilt-free), it’s not. The more fruits and veggies you eat, the better off both you and your child will be. MotherandBaby.co.uk writes, “In one study, babies of mums who drank carrot juice while pregnant showed a preference for carrots when weaned.”
Even if you’ve never tried yoga before your pregnancy, it’s a great and easy way to feel relaxed and less stressed out while also getting in tune with your body. And yes, there are many benefits that link yoga to your unborn baby. After all, a relaxed mother is a focused mother, and the same might apply to your baby, too. Modern Mom writes, “A child who’s more relaxed may have an easier time learning in school. Regular yoga classes not only help you to relax, but they stretch your muscles, making you more comfortable.” So grab a mat, head to your nearest studio and get going!
For some moms it might be a hard daily habit to keep up, but when you are pregnant, it’s essential. If you want to get all of the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs (while also making sure that your baby gets the same), take that daily essential supplement, mamas! But keep in mind what is good for you to take and try to keep it in moderation. Modern Mom writes, “Take a DHA supplement. Omega-3 fatty acids also encourage brain development. These are present in fish oil, but there is a slight risk of mercury contamination in fish oil. Instead, take a plant-based DHA supplement.”
Okay, we are not talking Lady Gaga type of singing here, but if you do something as little as hum along to your favorite song or simple sing to the chorus of a new Ariana Grande tune on the radio, you might be doing your child a world of good (and may even be influencing his or her taste of music down the road, too!). Sing to your bump as often as you can, especially if you believe that it will make him or her smarter. MotherandBaby.co.uk writes, “You can help your baby tune in by singing rhythmic songs – nursery rhymes are ideal. After your baby’s born, sing the same rhymes to quieten and soothe her.”
This might be hard especially if you are the type of person who gets anxiety a lot (don’t be shy to raise your hand), but try and control your stress levels while you are pregnant. In other words, don’t freak out about the little things, because they are simply not worth it. The less stressed you feel, the more blessed your baby will be. And yes, we are totally serious about this, too! Parents.com writes, “Manage serious illnesses such as diabetes, as well as stress. And every time you wish your pregnancy were over, remember that your smart, healthy baby is worth the wait.”
If you want that baby of yours to enroll in future enrichment classes at school, keeping cooking that bump in your womb for as long as you can! While many health experts agree that a full-term pregnancy is a healthy pregnancy, it might also make your baby smarter in the long run, too while he or she continues to develop. Parents.com writes, “The longer your baby's brain has to develop in utero, the better off he'll be in the long run. At 35 weeks, his brain volume is only two thirds of what you'd expect it to be at 39 or 40 weeks.”
Yes, what you do before you even get pregnant already impacts what kind of life your baby will have before the big moment. We don’t want to make you feel guilty, but put down that drink, mama. If you are thinking about getting pregnant and starting a family, your best bet is to start treating your body with the most self-care as early and as often as you can. WebMD writes, “Perhaps the best practical advice for how to have a smarter baby is not to hinder nature's miracle-in-progress.”
A lot of parents believe that if you clean your house while blasting a good Mozart tune in the background, it will make your baby a genius. Well, we would hate to be the first ones to tell you, but that’s not true. Listening to Mozart is great, but it won’t make your baby another Einstein. WebMD writes, “There is no solid scientific evidence that human fetuses either need or benefit from additional stimulation of the 'Mozart-effect' variety. Cranking up the stereo volume could eventually damage the mother's hearing, and transmitting sound directly to the unborn child through earphones could [affect] the baby's sensitive ears.”
Now this is something that a lot of moms can agree on: chocolate sure does make the heart and the mind healthy, right? And apparently, our babies in the womb feel the same way. But just remember to get the healthy, cacao version before you start consuming too many unhealthy fats, sugar, and other unnecessary additives. Us Health News writes, “Frequent chocolate consumption during pregnancy has been tied to a happier, less fussy baby. Pregnant women who eat five or more servings of chocolate each week have a 40 percent lower risk of developing preeclampsia, a high blood pressure condition.”
Okay, we don’t mean that totally (as for a lot of mothers it’s a natural instinct to nest before the arrival of the baby), but try and be very careful with the household products you use, and buy organic as often as you can. Unfortunately, there are a lot of chemicals in our house that might have a long-lasting effect on your baby and his or her future development. US Health News writes, “Household plastics often contain the chemicals bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. These chemicals are endocrine disrupters, which means they imitate the action of chemical messengers in our bodies.”
Yes, you read that right – do nothing at all. The best way to assure that you’ll have a smart baby is starting with yourself – do nothing. Be yourself and better yet, be happy. Take care of your needs while you still can. Sit at home and relax. Read a good book. Take a nice, warm bubbly bath. Go for a walk or a hike. Eat that pint of pistachio ice cream if it makes you feel all good inside. Because let’s put it this way: you can’t force your child to be "smart." But you can definitely teach him or her the meaning of self-love.
With all of that being said, the number one thing you can do, especially while you are still pregnant, is hope for the best. If you are the spiritual type, you might want to try the power of prayer. Otherwise, hoping for a “smart” baby might leave you disappointed in the end. Because no matter what, that diaper blowout is not going to change itself. And as much as we would hate to say it, your child will most likely eat what comes out of his or her nose before they’ll eat their vegetables. But no matter what, we still love them!