To reach their conclusions, researchers from the London School of Economics looked at data from 18,000 children enrolled in the Millennium Cohort Study, and tried to understand the impact a mother's age has on her kids. They were able to determine babies born to moms in their 30s perform best on cognitive tests at age 5.
Researcher Alice Goisis of the study, which is published in the journal Biodemography and Social Biology, explains the results this way: "First-time mothers in their 30s are, for example, likely to be more educated, have higher incomes, are more likely to be in stable relationships, have healthier lifestyles, seek prenatal care earlier, and have planned their pregnancies." She added women in this age group are also less likely to smoke and more likely to breastfeed.
Incidentally, researchers also concluded moms in their 40s play with their kids less than younger moms, and tend to have more obese offspring. But to be fair, they looked at data from only 53 moms age 40 or older.
The takeaway: A mother's age is obviously just one factor in determining how intelligent her babies will be. But as a mom in her late 30s, I'll take all the good news I can get!
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.