Birth Size and IQ - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does birth size affect babies for the rest of their lives? I would like to believe that bigger babies will have lifelong benefits. My first daughter weighed eleven pounds, zero ounces. My second daughter weighed twelve pounds, eight ounces.

This article does give a nod to breastfeeding, too. I have seen similar articles but I had not seen this one yet.



http://tinyurl.com/6dkk4

http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/...?oneclick=true
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#2 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 05:54 PM
 
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I can't read the article without registering.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#3 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 06:56 PM
 
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I was 5lbs 3oz, and I have a genius level IQ. (not that I'm bragging, I don't really believe in IQ tests anyway)
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#4 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 06:58 PM
 
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LOL...I was 7 lbs 9 1/2 oz and have a 122 IQ (or did before I had kids and pregnancy sucked my IQ through the floor... :LOL )

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#5 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 08:20 PM
 
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My DH was 7lbs at birth, has a genius IQ and was formula fed
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#6 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 08:26 PM
 
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Mine too! (Got breastmilk for 5 mos) Not sure about the genius part but she was tested as intellectually gifted. She's going to start first grade homeschool in the fall, her choice. She's 4 years old. Now common sense is another issue altogether. :LOL

Nitara was under 7 pounds and so far her therapist said she's intellectually way ahead of her age, and speaks about 75 words. She also was ff after I quit pumping after 7 weeks.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#7 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 08:31 PM
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My dd was born two weeks early and was 6.8 lbs and stayed at 15h-50th percentile up until just recently. Now, at age two she is in 70th percentiles. She and I both have had since birth very large heads for our size and we are both very bright. All that being said, I don't think there is a correlation between size of anything and intelligence. Especially since the idea of intelligence varies from culture to culture and depends on which type of test you use.
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#8 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 08:34 PM
 
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There is a documented benefit of higher birthweight: decreased cardiovascular disease later in life.
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#9 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 08:43 PM
 
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Of my 4 children, the only IQ I know is of my oldest, and he tested, at age 8, at a really really bright IQ. Even though-we-know-all-kids-are-really-really -bright-in-their-own-way -and some-tests-are-really-biased-towards -healthy-not-poor-kids. He was 5 lb 11 oz and 3 weeks early. Completley bf for over 3 yrs, no formula.
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#10 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 08:53 PM
 
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There are a lot of articles about the IQ birthweight connection, just google birth weight + IQ to get a slew of them. Obviously many lower weight babies have high IQs (as seen here), but I think they are tying better maternal nutrition to better brain development.

And wow inezyv, 12 lbs! Way to go! My midwife came from a rural farming family and her mom's ten children were born unassisted, and her last was 12 1/2 lbs.
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#11 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 09:25 PM
 
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Well, that's just great. Another thread that says there's something wrong with being small. What a load of
I was a tiny baby, and so are my girls, and I'd say each of us has well above average intelligence. When I was a child, I tested at 180 (no joke). Of course, I went to public schools and had my intelligence squashed out of me, but regardless....

NO, birthweight has nothing to do with IQ - what a ridiculous notion! ...not to mention quite offensive. :
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#12 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 09:36 PM
 
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Sorry this seems to have offended you. The modest connection between birthweight and IQ just seems to point to good nutrition = good brain development, and poor nutrition may lead to less optimal brain development. I think in light of genetics and body size it is realistic that many small babies may have great maternal nutrition, and I am sure some geniuses may come from malnourished moms. All it means is that maternal nutrition is important.
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#13 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 09:40 PM
 
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I had very good nutrition with both babies. I am just a small person and I don't think I grow very big babies.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#14 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 09:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoAida
I was 5lbs 3oz, and I have a genius level IQ. (not that I'm bragging, I don't really believe in IQ tests anyway)

: except that I was 5lbs 4oz.

Babies, like adults, come in all shapes and sizes. The idea that a particular body type somehow correlates to intelligence smacks of eugenics to me. That psuedo-science was discredited decades ago, and I would just as soon not see it make a comeback.
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#15 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 09:52 PM
 
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I came back to edit and apologize for my knee-jerk response, but think I'll just add a new reply instead. I can see how there might be a correlation seeing as how a certain segment of the population is going to score higher on IQ tests because of how inaccurate they are. IQ tests measure how well you take those tests, rather than a person's actual intelligence. So the same segment of the US population is going to have larger babies, and also score higher on those tests. It doesn't mean a thing, really.

But yes, saying that large babies are superior to smaller babies is quite offensive. All babies are special in their own way. We shouldn't have to put down other's children in order to feel better about our own.
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#16 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 10:03 PM
 
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Well, that's just great. Another thread that says there's something wrong with being small. What a load of
I was a tiny baby, and so are my girls, and I'd say each of us has well above average intelligence. When I was a child, I tested at 180 (no joke). Of course, I went to public schools and had my intelligence squashed out of me, but regardless....

NO, birthweight has nothing to do with IQ - what a ridiculous notion! ...not to mention quite offensive.
ITA. I was 5lbs 13oz, my girls were 6lbs 11oz & my youngest was 6lbs 5oz(born 2 weeks overdue). Weight does not mean higher intelligence or superiority it just means they weigh more.

Quote:
The modest connection between birthweight and IQ just seems to point to good nutrition = good brain development, and poor nutrition may lead to less optimal brain development. I think in light of genetics and body size it is realistic that many small babies may have great maternal nutrition, and I am sure some geniuses may come from malnourished moms. All it means is that maternal nutrition is important.
See now this is still offensive. you are saying that small babies probably had mothers with poor nutrition. Good nutrition does not guarantee a larger baby. I agree that poor nutrition MAY lead to less optimal brain development but a small birth weight does not mean that there was poor nutrition or that the small birth weight baby has a lower IQ.
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#17 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 10:13 PM
 
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But did the OP say that all small babies are dumb and all big babies are smart? A tendency is not an absolute.
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#18 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 10:16 PM
 
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I was a small baby born to a small baby and I gave bi rth to small babies. Some of us are just small.
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#19 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 10:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF
See now this is still offensive. you are saying that small babies probably had mothers with poor nutrition. Good nutrition does not guarantee a larger baby. I agree that poor nutrition MAY lead to less optimal brain development but a small birth weight does not mean that there was poor nutrition or that the small birth weight baby has a lower IQ.
Hi, sorry my post was offensive. I am not getting where I said small babies probably had moms with poor nutrition, did I word it badly?. I said "I think in light of genetics and body size that it is realistic that many small babies may have great maternal nutrition..." Meaning many moms have well-nourished, healthy babies whose size is dictated by genetics. My point has been that these studies are showing maternal nutrition is important to brain development, regardless of size, and that malnourished babies may not have optimum brain development(and there is obviously a major difference between small babies and malnourished ones, as I am sure you know). Does that make sense, or am I digging myself in deeper? My nursing and preggo brain should probably steer clear of these threads, lol. BTW, I consider myself a intelligent person (may not show it on MDC though), my birth weight was just barely 6 lbs (despite the fact I have 9 lbers).
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#20 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 10:24 PM
 
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What would be interesting to see is the results if you simply compared small, but healthy & full-term infants to larger, and healthy & full-term infants.

There are a couple situations I can see having effects on long term brain development that I can also see being more likely to produce low birth weight (prematurity & drug-use/smoking while pg). BUT, comparing drug-exposed, premature babies to 8 lb babies isn't necessarily pointing out a problem with *size* but what caused the size.

I do not think that the concept, in and of itself is offensive. Probably not terribly accurate, but there can always be a trend. For example, I have read that babies born in April are statistically significantly more likely to become doctors (MDs) than babies born in other months. Just one of those odd thinks. It doesn't say anything about *them* or their parents and it certainly doesn't imply that babies born in other months can not be MDs.

 

 

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#21 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 10:31 PM
 
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For the slower students, could somebody please let me know what they mean by "genius IQ"? I am not asking anyone what their own IQ is, or to reveal that of their child -- just give me a range.

BTW, did you know that the further away from average (100) the score is, the less validity the test is considered to have?
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#22 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 10:32 PM
 
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I couldn't read the articles because I don't have a password.

But I would certainly hope not. My 33 weekers were about 4 1/2 lbs. each and I would hope that that wouldn't make them fall on the lower scales of intelligence. I don't think it will anyway--already they're smarter than me & their dad combined at times.
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#23 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 11:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleu
For the slower students, could somebody please let me know what they mean by "genius IQ"? I am not asking anyone what their own IQ is, or to reveal that of their child -- just give me a range.

BTW, did you know that the further away from average (100) the score is, the less validity the test is considered to have?
Generally, a "gifted" IQ is considered to be at least two standard deviations from normal. For the vast majority of IQ tests this would either 130 or 132 (a 15 or 16 sd w/an average of 100). You'll notice that for a long time the "official" cut-off for "retarded" and other designations was the same difference in the opposite direction (around 70). Mensa accepts over 130-135, I think. Personally, I wouldn't use the term genius at 130 simply because I know so very many people who are well above that range. While it may be the official definition, it is definatley not an Einstein or a Little Man Tate, kwim?

 

 

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#24 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 11:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadawg
But I would certainly hope not. My 33 weekers were about 4 1/2 lbs. each and I would hope that that wouldn't make them fall on the lower scales of intelligence. I don't think it will anyway--already they're smarter than me & their dad combined at times.
:LOL It's scary how fast they get smarter than you, huh.

That said, smaller babies could have lower IQs on average than larger birthweight babies and *your* specific babies could still be smarter than any larger baby you know.

Just like bfeeding--- no, not *every* bfed baby is going to be smarter/healthier/etc... than every formula fed baby. It just gives them a statistically better chance (and I would assume the differences they are talking about, if they are talking about babies from healthy pg would be less than for bfeeding).

 

 

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#25 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 11:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
There are a couple situations I can see having effects on long term brain development that I can also see being more likely to produce low birth weight (prematurity & drug-use/smoking while pg). BUT, comparing drug-exposed, premature babies to 8 lb babies isn't necessarily pointing out a problem with *size* but what caused the size.

I do not think that the concept, in and of itself is offensive. Probably not terribly accurate, but there can always be a trend. For example, I have read that babies born in April are statistically significantly more likely to become doctors (MDs) than babies born in other months. Just one of those odd thinks. It doesn't say anything about *them* or their parents and it certainly doesn't imply that babies born in other months can not be MDs.
Prematurity and low birth weight can cause problems, but why would that mean that having a very high size at birth would make you smarter? I can definitely see why the OP hopes this is true though :LOL Those are some big babies you had, inezyv! I hope they are quite wonderful in every way.

I was also on the small side at birth and even possibly technically a bit premature (they might have been off with the EDD though) and I test quite well on various IQ tests. I wish I thought they were a more meaningful measure of intelligence so I could remember my actual score. I was also born in April, so I'm wondering whether there are more April MDs is because parents who plan their pregnancies tend to plan April deliveries.

It's all speculation.

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#26 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 11:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stafl
Well, that's just great. Another thread that says there's something wrong with being small. What a load of
I was a tiny baby, and so are my girls, and I'd say each of us has well above average intelligence. When I was a child, I tested at 180 (no joke). Of course, I went to public schools and had my intelligence squashed out of me, but regardless....

NO, birthweight has nothing to do with IQ - what a ridiculous notion! ...not to mention quite offensive. :
*giggles* short people can sometimes have issues. (is 5 foot 2 and one of the tallest women in her family)

Birthweight has nothing to do with adult size anyways. My older sister had the exact same birthweight as Shaquel O'Neil and she is five feet tall.

IMO Brain power has more to do with genetics, upbringing (like being encouraged to read rather than not) and diet.

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#27 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 11:46 PM
 
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I also couldn't read the linked articles without registering.

I have read in another article that very low weight babies might have slightly lower IQ. The article I read didn't mention nutrition at all. It suggested that they don't really know why in a healthy weight but smaller baby the IQ would be different. It suggested that there were bigger differences in boys.
http://preventdisease.com/news/artic...h_weight.shtml

I think there are a whole bunch of factors that affect a child's IQ. I don't think size at birth really gives as much advantage to IQ as being an AP parent does.
"Most researchers would say that the influence of a person's genetic makeup is stronger but all would agree that the environment a person is brought up in is very important. We now know that a person's IQ is not fixed and innate - it can vary over a lifetime and can be modified by experience. It has been found that the quality and amount of stimulation that a child receives is a major factor in their intellectual development." from http://www.rollercoaster.ie/developm...telligence.asp

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#28 of 91 Old 04-17-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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I couldn't open the articles, either....I would guess that the reason the relationship exists is because the lower birth weight babies, as a group, include so many preemies. Although many preemies do very well....there are large numbers of preemies who have disabilities, including learning disorders and low intelligence overall. I would imagine that the results are skewed because of this. Also, the factors which can lead to low birth weight, like disease, poor nutrition, substance abuse, are the same factors that can lead to lower intelligence in one's offspring. Hard to tease out the connections.

I wanted to add that often when people say "I have such and such IQ," or "I have a genius IQ," they may not be talking about scores on legitimate IQ tests. Some of the scores I've seen thrown around on MDC don't even exist on any real IQ test. IQ tests are not paper-and-pencil tests, they don't require reading or book-knowledge, and they can't be administered on the internet. When studies talk about "IQ," they are referring to scores on the Stanford-Binet and Wechsler Scales. These tests are comprised of at least 10 subtests which assess a variety of verbal and nonverbal abilities, and must be administered by a trained professional. I think if you are going to report your high IQ, or any other IQ, it would help to indicate the scale you are using.
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#29 of 91 Old 04-18-2005, 12:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven67

I wanted to add that often when people say "I have such and such IQ," or "I have a genius IQ," they may not be talking about scores on legitimate IQ tests. Some of the scores I've seen thrown around on MDC don't even exist on any real IQ test. IQ tests are not paper-and-pencil tests, they don't require reading or book-knowledge, and they can't be administered on the internet. When studies talk about "IQ," they are referring to scores on the Stanford-Binet and Wechsler Scales. These tests are comprised of at least 10 subtests which assess a variety of verbal and nonverbal abilities, and must be administered by a trained professional. I think if you are going to report your high IQ, or any other IQ, it would help to indicate the scale you are using.
Mine was the Stanford-Binet...I had to take it as part of my training in psychological testing administration. It's a long test!

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#30 of 91 Old 04-18-2005, 12:35 AM
 
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First, I have learned that everyone deems themselves smarter than most people (with occasional exception to those who've been abused).

Second, breastfeeding may have an influence on IQ. BFing increases baby's size healthfully, obviously after birth. But I do not see how birthweight has anything to do with how smart someone is. Birthweight may affect a child's lifetime physical health (referring to premies (sp?) here). Equating birthweight to IQ is like equating height to IQ. Could you imagine if someone proposed that tall people are smarter. egad!


Abimommy, I agree with you on:
IMO Brain power has more to do with genetics, upbringing (like being encouraged to read rather than not) and diet.

I always look forward to using "egad" in a sentence.
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