cognitive development
Health, Parenting

All you need to know about Infant Cognitive development

Stop worrying about infant weight, let’s talk about Infant Cognitive Development –  Motherhood brings various challenges with it, some tricky and few outright trivial. Challenges from basic hunger need to the overall development of the child. The first six months of motherhood is exclusively dedicated to nutrition and breastfeeding. When the child outgrows of our arms/lap the real tussle begins thereafter.

I recall when my daughter was born, a healthy child with ideal birth weight and all the right birth parameters. It was a blissful moment for us because I had developed high blood pressure during the last trimester. The labor procedure was long and enduring. But in the end, all was fine, and she was with me in my arms looking all pink and cutesy.

She reached her developmental milestones quite early as per the ideal age standards. But as she started her journey towards growing up, so has my worry of keeping her healthy amplified.

My Child is not gaining weight, is this normal?

For the longest period of time, I considered health is equally proportionate to weight gain in growing children. On every immunization visit to the pediatrician, I would ask the same question – “She is not gaining weight doctor, is there a problem?” The doctor reflexively shoved my question away. I decided to take reins in my own hands and started pushing heavy breakfasts and frequent meals in her tiny tummy.

She developed the habit of purging after every breakfast and became less active as compared to earlier days. When I shared the same concern with the Doctor, we learned the real meaning of ‘being healthy’.

Health and development milestones in infants are the cumulative growth of physical, cognitive, and communication aspects. Which means as experts say – ‘A baby is healthy as far as they are having right physical and cognitive development.’ The then global crisis for me turned out as just a myth forced down generations – ‘A healthy baby is a chubby baby.’

So even if your child doesn’t have those cutesy chubby cheeks, and dimpled chin, he/she can still be perfectly healthy.

Infant Cognitive development – Why it is more important?

infant cognitive development

As parents, it is our prime responsibility to provide the right environment for a child’s overall growth and development. Physical growth is crucial in infants, but so is their cognitive development. A baby starts learning about their surroundings in 0 – 6 months of their birth. Smiling, touching, making sounds are the early signs of cognitive development.

Metal abilities and intelligence quotient mark cognition pattern in a baby. The process that involves the overall development of thinking, reasoning, mental, sensory, and intelligence is called cognitive development.

A baby’s brain starts the process of development from the pregnancy itself, with mother providing right brain nutrition to the baby in the womb. Post birth the child’s source of brain nutrition and growth highly depends on mother’s milk. During later stages of growth physical and cognition development rest on healthy nutrition and #FeedIQ.

When the mother provides healthy nutrition and right cognition stimulators for a child’s brain development it is  FeedIQ. The very reason health experts and doctors across the globe emphasize more on mother’s nutrition during pregnancy.

Healthy Development of the Baby starts from the womb!

During the developing stages of the child, it is crucial to understand the growth milestones and create the environment of overall development. Such as right nutrition rich in DHA and natural vitamin E, vitamins and minerals and brain stimulator exercises. Do you know health supplements like Abbott’s SimMom IQ+ prepares the mother’s body to provide complete nutrition to baby during pregnancy?

During our interactions with our daughter’s pediatrician, I learned that healthy weight gain is a developmental parameter. But timely cognitive growth is the most crucial element in baby brain development.

With all the research work and rich source of information available, I find it really funny that we still focus on the infant weight gain over cognitive development. For me, an active, alert, and smart child is all it takes for being – HEALTHY. What are your thoughts?


© Dipika Singh. Unauthorized use or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dipika Singh (Gleefulblogger). With the right and specific direction to the original content.


The content is not for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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  1. I hope this post breaks the myth that parents should worry about only healthy weight gain. Parents worry about weight and not cognition when kids are small but the reality is that they should look for overall development.

  2. Neha Sharma says:

    I can totally relate to what you have pointed out here. I have seen everyone talking about health from the perspective of weight gain. My baby was never chubby & I know how I had to reply to all those unsolicited advice I would get for my son to make him look healthy (read chubby) however my son was reaching all his milestones on time & doc was also happy with the progress. It’s very important that parents start understanding that overall development doesn’t only mean weight gain or physical development.

  3. An important article!!! So true that a baby’s weight is not directly related to his health!

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank You, Veena for stopping by an reading the post.

  4. Parent, spl grand parents yehi galti karty hain ki baccha patla hai to healthy nahi hai usko aur khilao
    Lakin agar baccha active hai aur physical action aur growth me accha hai to it means ki wo healthy hai
    Is post k liye aapko thanks, kam se kam kuch logo ko to ye samjh aayega ki galti kahan kar rahy hain

  5. It is such a wrong notion to connect health with weight gain. I have faced it with my in-laws. Luckily my husband is a doctor and he kept insisting on focusing on how active the baby is.your post is an eye opener for many new parents.

  6. Active child is better than healthy child. If both goes to together its amazing combination of kids health

  7. alpanadeo says:

    Some kids are born skinny. They never become chubby. To me an active, healthy is more important who is reaching the milestones. ‘#MothersGurukulreads #Myfriendalexa

  8. It really made me think that weight gain is not as much thing to worry about…you covered beautifully

  9. Parents who worry about the conventional things, as they neglect other important aspects should read this informative post.

  10. When I was little my mother rejoiced when I gained an ounce . Now she rejoices when I lose a gram! We wrongly associate health with weight . Healthy children don’t have to be FAT! Thanks for busting this myth.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank You for reading, I agree we need to change the parenting perspectives.

  11. An informative post on the importance of cognitive development over weight gain in toddlers. Thank you for busting the reverse myth.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank You, Deepti for stopping by. Hope posts like these bring some change in perspective of traditional parenting.

      1. I hope so with all my heart. Parenting is complex. Such posts certainly help to decode the mystery. Thank you.

  12. Weight gain is an old school way of measuring growth – I guess it’s relevant in rural areas where babies die because of low birth weight. There is an optimum weight for each age and it also depends on the size of the baby when it was born. A good paediatrician can guide you.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Yes, cognitive development in babies is as equally crucial as weight gain. Thank you, for stopping by.

  13. Nice information and guidance, must be useful for new parents.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank You, for stopping by.

  14. Thankfully I realised this much before and haven’t been too worried about my child’s weight gain. I ensure that he eats well and remains active.

  15. Rightly said Deepika, the myths around a chubby baby is healthy is busted now. Cognitive development is an important aspect too which we often dont pay enough attention to

  16. Absolutely correct. My daughter born at 2.4 kg seemed thin and frail. And my inlaws comments on her health really worried me. But with help of the doctor I understood the most important equation….Active child = Healthy Child

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Oh Yes! I have had my share of such comments a lot in early days. Thank you for reading.

  17. So often we are focused on weight gain and physical milestones that we miss cognitive milestones which are equally important. This is very useful information.

  18. Very true, your post will be helpful to many parents who are still not aware of the facts.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank You Rashi for stopping by and read the post. Glad you find it informative.

  19. Agree that most importance is still given to infant weight. Really useful and helpful post. Will read more about Abott SimMom IQ.
    #momlearningwithbaby #MyFriendAlexa

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank you, for stopping by. Yes Infant cognitive growth is as important as weight gain.

  20. Oh Deepika, you answered one of my most important issues with parenting! Well, my child is reaching her milestones correctly, but she is nowhere close to chubby! The doctor always asks me if she is active, alert and smart! I just nod my head with a smile! She eats and she burns her calories equally! I am identifying her hunger cues only now. Otherwise, I was on my way to force the child with food to make her chubby! Things people say are really hurtful. I only bet, people just keep their thoughts on weight to themselves.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Absolutely Jayanthy, people judge and say mean things. Their ignorance is the biggest cause of this misconception. Thank you for sharing your views, I really appreciate your time and efforts.

  21. true these issues with the babies are more common. your blog is quite informative on this topic

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank you for reading.

  22. Most of us Moms (me included) attach good weight gain with overall good health. You explained and broke these myths in a good way, DIpika. A healthy child is free of disease, energetic and someone who can perform age-appropriate tasks and activities with ease.

  23. Hey deep, your post reminded me of my time. My daughter was underweight. I changed four doctors everytime doctor say if have is active then its ok but people always pinch me saying Kuch khilatee Nahi ho kya. Then i was so frustrated with their talks , i start replying yes, mom eat all food , do not give food to kid.
    I give my kids healthy food and they are active and has sharp mind. Does weight matters?

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank you for reading Gurjeet, and sharing your views.

  24. Sonam Jain says:

    This is a very interesting read. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful information

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank you Sonam.

  25. Overall development of the child is more important.than just the WT gain. Thanks for sharing this.

  26. great post on weight issues of children, moms would love it.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank you Richa.

  27. Glad to know that weight is not directly linked to the health of the baby:)
    Thanks for sharing this article that really matters.

  28. This is an important post. Most of us are so rigid to consider only a chubby child as healthy and ignore other cognitive milestone. Thanks for sharing

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      True, and that’s where the whole problem arises.

  29. I have seen mothers obsessing over weight of the child and complaining all the time. It’s so important to keep track of milestones and notify the doctor incase of any deviations.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Exactly, we too fall into the trap often. Thanks for reading.

  30. MI think in a way…i was better informed when I became a mother. My doctor had advised me not to worry for some unnecessary things, weight of my son being one of them. my son was a fussy eater till 7 years. So he was quite lean and thin and super active. After that he developed taste buds for many things I guess…and gained good weight and height. Its a VERY INFORMATIVE POST.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank you so much Tina for reading and sharing your perspective.

  31. Love this myth busting post. We often forget that ‘healthy weight gain’ does not translate into chubbiness. We should be focusing more on developing a baby’s brain rather than their chubbiness.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank You Suchita, Right! The need is to spread awareness and identify the right developmental boosters.

  32. it’s true that baby’s weight is not related health. Very nicely written dipika .

  33. A very apt blog. Even I used to be baffled with all such issues. Y isn’t the kid chubby, etc. but I never cared about anybody’s opinions.. coz I knew that I was doing the correct thing for the baby

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank You, yes this post emphasizes on the same front.

  34. Am not a parent but this is definitely a must-read post for new and would-be parents. A lot to learn from.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank You Samarpita for stopping by.

  35. Pooja Kawatra Gupta says:

    I feel our entire society mindset is just focused on a baby’s weight gain that we tend to forget other important development. My daughter was a preterm baby and always low on weight but she is doing really well on other front.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      That’s true, this misconception is rude. Thank you

  36. To me, cognitive development is equally important. But I’ve seen moms fretting over weight issues of their kids. Maybe they’re just concerned about health and feel that a healthy body has more energy to contribute towards cognitive development. Maybe they think weight gain is proportional to health.

  37. That’s a very informative post on the importance of cognitive development over weight gain in toddlers. I will surely pass this information to my mommy friends

  38. I am so happy to read this article. Most of us are obsessed with weight ignoring the important milestones. Happy to read this

  39. Throughout my childhood I have suffered in the hands of my relatives who have criticised me for being lanky and thin. It is a relief to see people realise the fact that infancy fat is not something healthy for the child.

  40. Deepika , your post will resonate with all parents. We Indians have this absurd belief ‘ Khate pite ghar ka bachcha dikhta goalmatol ‘ . Actually Healthy child is active , attentive and happy, he / she may or may not be chubby. #MyFriendAlexa #SujatawdeReads

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Oh yes, very rightly pointed Sujata. Thank you for reading and stopping by.

  41. A child’s weight is not the only indicator of his/her overall health. If the child meets all the milestones correctly it means the child is healthy.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      True that, and this is reason we should spread awareness about healthy cognitive development.

  42. First time read about cognitive development. I don’t have experience in babies field (yet) 😀

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Hahah, thank you for stopping by and reading (though it’s a different tangent yet)

  43. Strangely, both my kids were very healthy and reached their milestones way ahead of time but I was underweight and suffering from prolonged post natal depression. Strange are the vagaries of nature.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      I agree with that. I too suffered extreme weight loss post delivery and traits of postnatal depression. Thank you for reading.

  44. A very informative post, Dipika!

  45. Very informative post. A child’s cognitive development is very important than just gaining weight. My son was never chubby and everyone used to give so many advices when doctor said he is perfectly fine and very healthy because he was always alert & active. This is a important topic to make people aware of which will help in overall development of their kids.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank you, Surbhi. We all have faced this situation in life, and it’s time we create awareness and relate to what is right for child development.

      1. Absolutely!

  46. I guess I need to read this out aloud to quite a few people.
    Very informative.
    #sindhureads #myfriendalexa

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Haha, I got that! Thank you for stopping by.

  47. Nisha Malik says:

    I Agree that baby’s development starts right from the womb, hence it is important that during pregnancy a mother eats healthy and stay fit. This post is very informative for all the new mothers who might be anxious about their babies’ cognitive development at a very easy stage.

  48. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna says:

    Very informative post and an eye opener too. yes! health of infant or even babies should never be judged by its weight gain, there are other aspects that are more important. thanks for sharing this valuable info.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      True Surbhi, wish the same message can be delivered to the masses. Thank You

  49. my sis always worried abt her both the kids, i am sure this will help her..

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank you for reading and sharing.

  50. lots of information. I forwarded your writeup to my brother for his child’s development

  51. I can relate to this post as my kid is at this stage where his weight gain has stabilized yet he is active, attentive child. But, I have faced questions on not feeding him enough as he is not gaining weight. I tend to ignore such discussions now.

  52. Extremely useful and insightful post. Thank you for writing this one #MyFriendAlexa #MayuraReads

  53. Very insightful post! Each kid is unique and we have to watch the milestones carefully.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      Thank you for stopping by.

  54. Weight has nothing to do with IQ. Glad you have written on this topic. Informative indeed.

  55. Parents mostly stress over weight gain as milestones instead of checking the cognitive development too. Loved your insightful post.

  56. Its really funny how most of us stress over weight whereas we should be focusing on brain and cognitive development. I too made sure i took DHA throughout my pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      How true Tara, we stress over unnecessary things. Thank you for stopping by.

  57. Nice article, cognitive development improves overall health

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      That’s right. Thank you for stopping by.

  58. Breastfeeding is the most important part for both cognitive development and immunity

    1. gleefulblogger says:

      That’s true, thank you for stopping by.

  59. I remember being stuck in the confused rut between listening to advice form all around and the doctor.. luckily for me my mom was my sane driving force and helped me filter out the helpful advice … and lean baby is not healthy was one such advise that kept coming all the time… so i feel it is really important to spread the awareness about cognitive milestones and this post is fantastic!

  60. I feel cognitive development is more important than weight gain 🙂

  61. We can relate to your thoughts. I believe that a healthy child is both mentally and physically. Loved reading it.

  62. rashimital says:

    My first is thin but healthy. Yet I often hear that I dont feed her well and hence she is weak. And, I then have to tell every such person, she is not weak just thin. There is a vast difference between being thin and being weak. She is active and smart at her age. I have to correct ppl that weight isnt everything. All that glitters isnt gold, every healthy or plum child isnt healthy from within. So wish such ppl read this post. #LiveItYoungReads #MyFriendAlexa

  63. […] The brain learns the basic structure of communication, emotional and mental reasoning, social behavior, and more. Hence, proper nutrition becomes the focal point during this growth phase. Complete nutrition makes smart and healthy kids, but often we ignore the aspect of the brain or cognitive development in the quest of making them healthy. […]

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