Most babies have three basic types of temperament. These are present from birth and are classified as easy; feisty or active; and slow to warm or cautious.
Sixty five percent of babies fall in one of these categories. There are actually 9 kinds of temperament you can research more if you would like. The most influential research is conducted by doctors and psychologists, Chess and Thomas.
Your temperament is mainly defined by genetics, but it can be shaped by the environment you live in or experience daily. You often hear that your temperament is like your parents and/or grandparents.
Temperament is usually defined as how an individual/baby behaves or reacts to other people and situations they find themselves in. Just remember that ALL babies are different and parents need to read their babies cues and signals to know how to best care for them.
Most babies fall into the easy category, about 40% of the population. These babies are happy and content from the first days of life. They don’t cry very much but tend to fuss to get their needs met. These babies are patient, easy to distract, and don’t get frustrated easily. They can even fall asleep very easily unless they are wet or hungry. An easy baby usually has regular bodily functions and positive reactions to different events in their life.
Then there is the feisty/difficult or active little ones. Parents know when they have a difficult baby. These babies are highly sensitive and don’t have regular bodily functions. They don’t like new situations, have negative moods and intense reactions to new things. They cry hard and loudly and they are difficult to soothe.
Feisty babies may have sleep troubles making it hard to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. If they wake during the night, they usually have trouble falling back asleep. Sometimes these babies are said to have colic, are spirited or are a high-needs baby. These babies need calm and patient parents. So, parents with these babies, you please take care of yourself and call for help and support often. If a friend offers to watch your baby, say yes. Take some time for you. You can also consider watching a meditation video in the BABY KNOW course (www.babyknow.org) or taking deep breathes to calm yourself.
Another category of temperament is the slow-to-warm up child. The baby usually has a low level of activity and doesn’t usually react strongly to any situation. They may withdraw from new or strange situations, seem slow to adapt, and tend to show a negative mood.
A slow-to-warm up child is very cautious and a child with this temperament will adapt if allowed to do it at their own pace. If these babies are pushed pushed, they will withdraw.
If parents can become aware of their own baby’s temperament and know how to help the baby cope, then both the parent and child will be happy and enjoy their interactions. We welcome you to spend more time being in tune with your baby.
Thanks for all that you are doing to uplift yourself and your relationship with your baby. We acknowledge all you are doing to be an attentive and responsive parent.
© BABY KNOW, 2023