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Monday, June 18, 2012

Easy or Difficult: Baby Temperaments

Is your baby mellow? Does he fall asleep easily and stay asleep with out much trouble?  Or is he active, driven, and does he wake himself up all the time?



Maybe it should make perfect sense, but parents are often surprised to discover that their brand new little one has a very unique personality, starting even before they are born!  Your baby is an individual right from the start, even your children will vary baby to baby!

Some infants are very mild and quiet, and some are loud and constantly needing attention and stimulation.  Some babies are cuddly and some prefer their space.  If your baby has been around very long, you have probably already observed your baby's personality, and you are on a journey to discover more and more of this new, adorable little person!

If your baby has an "easy" temperament, it's obviously going to be easier and feel more rewarding to be a parent to him.  These babies are generally more even tempered, easier to get on a schedule, and can often sooth themselves well.  Sometimes parents feel like easy babies don't need them.  These babies are often a lot less demanding, and because of that parents tend to forget that they need stimulation too!  These babies still need parental affection and attention, even if they don't ask for it constantly.

If you have a needy baby with a "difficult" temperament it's so easy to wonder what you are doing wrong as a parent and wonder why the people around you seem to be having a more positive parenting experience.  As much as you love your child, it can be draining and discouraging to be a parent to a needy baby, especially if there are a lot of easy babies around you.  It is important to know that it's not your fault and it won't last forever!

These babies are often very active, seem restless, and they may sleep for only short periods of time.  They may react very strongly to discomforts and have a difficult time soothing themselves.  They need a LOT of parental attention.  If your baby is naturally fussy and has difficulty calming down, avoid too much stimulation and learn to recognize when your baby is starting to get over stimulated.  Learn when you need to give your baby alone time, before he gets too fussy.  If your baby is sensitive to changes in routines, make sure that your days are not too busy or filled with lots of changes.  Try to stay calm with your baby; make sure you get a break if you need one!  Ask a family member or another trusted person to take the baby for awhile so you can regain your "calm".

The most important thing to take from all this is that there is no "one-size-fits-all" parenting technique for all babies.  There is no "right way" that is guaranteed to work for every child. No matter what the books say, what your friends think, or what your mother may tell you, your baby is a unique individual and you have the wonderful opportunity to be the expert in your baby's needs!  Take the time to discover your baby's unique needs and traits and figure out what works for your child.  Think about your child's personality when caring for him and keep in mind that your baby's temperament might be very different from your own!

Above all, love your child, let him teach you about his needs, and you will be greatly rewarded!




Info taken from:
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_INFANT_TEMPERAMENT/?page=2
http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/pages/Parenting-Your-Infant.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 (Copyright © 2009 American Academy of Pediatrics)

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