Some children are just born with big heads. Sonograms revealing the size of a babys head are often startling to new mothers, but having a large head in proportion to the body is typical and healthy. Many infants, especially boys, are born with very large heads.
Sonograms that reveal early head growth can be disconcerting, but oftentimes a fetus head will grow in spurts, gaining a lot one week and hardly anything the next. The same is true of body size. Often a child will seem to be larger than normal early in the pregnancy but the growth evens out later on. Conversely, a small child can have a growth spurt just before birth.
Big Headed DNA?
Head size has a tendency to run in families, so if you are worried about your baby, ask around. Your family members are sure to reminisce fondly on the size of your spouses head when they were born. The terms bobble-head or glow worm might be mentioned.
Many children, especially boys, have a hard time finding childrens hats or helmets in their size. They may have to resort to adult sizes. This does not mean that they are abnormal. They will grow into their heads. Over 60 percent of all newborns have abnormally large heads, so dont worry if your child falls into that category.
What the Research Says
Having a baby with a big head is nothing to be ashamed of. According to researchers from the University of Southampton, the brain volume a child achieves by the age of one year helps determine later intelligence… it was found that those with the biggest heads achieved the highest IQ scores.
It is also important to note that it is natal and infant head growth that is the most important. Our findings provide additional evidence that infancy is the most important period of postnatal brain growth for determining later intelligence.
So the next time someone comments on the size of your babys noggin, just tell them it means hell be a genius when hes older.
Small Heads Small head sizes have actually been linked to cardiovascular problems later in life. A study from doctors in Sheffield, England found that, “reduced fetal growth is followed by increased mortality from cardiovascular disease. They suggest that reduction in growth begins early in gestation. They are further evidence that cardiovascular disease originates through programming of the bodys structure, physiology, and metabolism by the environment during fetal life. Maternal nutrition may have an important influence on programming.”
The doctors were specifically talking about children with small heads and low growth due to maternal malnutrition in third-world countries. Typically, a well-nourished mother and child do not need to worry about small head size, but consult your pediatrician if you have any concerns.