There is a lot to learn when you have a new baby. What temperature should their bath water be? How should you get the baby to sleep? Is it better to breast or bottle feed? Parents are bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information in those first few months, and they’re trying their best so their kids will grow up healthy, happy and hopefully clever.
It is a long wait between those early years and when a child’s smarts will begin to show, so for the extra-curious parents out there we have a solution, and it’s been hiding hopefully not too close under your nose. Thanks to new research, your baby’s poo could be an indicator of how smart they will grow up to be.
Yes, that is correct. Baby excrement is now being tested for indicators on how high their IQ will be. Because parents really do need another thing to worry about with newborns.
A recent study by Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Rebecca Knickmeyer, PhD, at the UNC School of Medicine has found an interesting link between a baby's poo and the development of their cognitive abilities.
In the study, 89 samples were tested and recorded from new-born babies, then measured against the cognitive ability of the babies from which they came aged 2. According to Dr Knickmeyer, the results were "surprising".
What they found was babies with a highly diverse range of "microbiomes" - more commonly known as bacteria - in their poo demonstrated lower cognitive function when tested aged 2.
While the studies are not conclusive, they are a stepping stone for further research into the connection between the gut and brain development, and if nothing else make changing nappies more interesting.