Babies with big heads are more likely to be smarter and be more successful later in life, a study has shown.
Babies born with large heads were more likely to receive degrees and score higher on some test.
The average baby head in the U.S. is 13.5" - 14", so if your baby's head is larger than this it is considered to be more intelligent in its later years.
"A large cranium could simply be a reflection of a bigger-than-average-headed mom or dad. One thing is for certain, it’s not an indication of a learning disorder or disability," experts note.
In a paper published by the Nature journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers said: 'Highly significant associations were observed between the cognitive test scores in the UK Biobank sample and many polygenic profile scores, including . . . intracranial volume, infant head circumference and childhood cognitive ability.'
'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,' Professor Deary told Neuroscience News.
The researchers analysed data from around 100,000 people held in the UK Biobank.
Macrocephaly is when a baby has a bigger than average head with a head circumference that is greater than the 98th percentile. According to the fetalmedicine.org macrocephaly is actually pretty common (1 in 100 births) and most often not a sign of a serious problem. It is more common in boys than girls at a rate of 4 to 1. In most cases, having a big head is genetic or inherited, so if one or both baby's parent has a big head, the baby is more likely to have a large head.
In some cases if the baby has a big head it might be a sign of a medical or developmental condition, which is why a doctor will measure the baby's head diameter and circumference during the second trimester screening ultrasound. It is important to know if the baby has a big head in order to monitor the health and development, because it may impact labor and childbirth. A baby with a big head can definitely impact childbirth, increasing the risk of labor complications, assisted delivery, and C-section.
While the thought of giving birth to a big-headed baby might be terrifying to moms-to-be, having a big head actually might be a good thing.