HUG Newsletter: Temperament Differences in Babies

“My Baby Is a Bit too Jazzy!”

Breastfeeding her first baby had been a breeze. In only a few days, that child was nursing well, producing lots of pees and poops, and dozing off nicely.

But Sita is having a different experience with Ning, her second child, who is unpredictable and hard to “read.” The baby goes from a peaceful sleep to a 10/10 robust cry the second she wakes up. Mom and Dad have to use use ALL their calming techniques to settle this precious, but challenging, baby!

And feeding is a struggle as well. Though born at a healthy 7.5 pounds, Ning was easily over-stimulated from the start. Like her brother she is eager to feed, but Ning seems to get confused by her own activity. Her rooting reflex is quick and almost frantic. She slurps and gulps and empties the breast in a mere five minutes — as if afraid Mom might decide to withhold her dinner!

“Get a grip!” Sita exclaims as Ning demonstrates her eating style (and general approach to life).

The Science: Inborn temperament, and how parents respond, both matter …

No two children are the same. Even babies are different, right from the start. Some specialists describe babies as falling into three general types. They are either: “easy and flexible,” “active and feisty,” or “cautious and slow to warm up.”

Parents are surprised to see the youngest babies exhibit distinctive personality traits. Many parents are surprised, and sometimes distressed, by the “type” of baby they need to raise. A laid-back dad can be agitated by an exuberant, vigorous newborn. A type-A mom can be surprised and worried about a cautious, tentative baby. Though parents are sometimes surprised to learn that a baby’s personality traits are “hard-wired” from the start, all the different personality types are normal, glorious, and much needed in our world!

Research shows that understanding and responding to YOUR baby’s temperament sets the stage both for optimal child development and for the most rewarding parenting experience.

CLICK here to discover nine personality traits in a baby and ways to respond to them effectively.

An “Ah-Ha” Moment: How The HUG’s  information helps this mother…

Ning’s behavior is a classic example of how a baby “Sends out an SOS” (Sign of Over-Stimulation). Accurately observing this sign, her mom now realizes, “My baby can’t do two things at once–control her body and nurse.” So Sita watches for Ning’s SOSs and responds to them wisely. Sometimes the baby needs to suck Mom’s finger a minute to calm down. At other times Ning enjoys a gentle sway before going to the breast. At still other times Sita gives Ning a cozy swaddle in order to get her to stay successfully at the breast.

Mom’s sensitivity to her daughter’s body language helps her calm her baby; it also enhances Ning’s ability to “play” with Mom and Dad, and helps mother and baby breastfeed more effectively. Sita giggles as she puts Ning to the breast, “Now that I’ve figured her out, I just love this little girl’s BIG personality!”

© HUG Your Baby 2018