Baby Personality Types and Temperaments 101
Babies go through a fascinating growth process in the first few months. One of the best known aspects of their development is their burgeoning personality.
A shared experience parents share is the desire to witness the first flickers of their baby’s developing personality. You may wonder if your child will show an artistic side or favoritism for the outdoors. The earliest age for a baby’s character to show is around four months old, well before they can talk.
It’s frustrating or worrying when your baby doesn’t show any burgeoning personality traits. We will break down baby personality types and temperaments so you know what to look for. You may analyze your child’s facial expression or responses to stimuli.
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What is the Main Difference Between Temperament and Personality?
It’s easy to get temperament and personality confused with each other. Ongoing research on human psychology shows a distinctive difference between the two.
Temperament is a broad definition that refers to biological traits. These traits crop up pretty early and give you an idea of what to expect years down the line. While a temperament isn’t completely baked in, it’s a very sturdy foundation.
A personality is a more ingrained mode of behaviors and belief systems that manifests later in life. The personality is the more mature and subtle version of a temperament. Dispositions are generally shaped by the environment rather than the biology, though the line can get blurry here.
Related: Why Do Babies Cry in Their Sleep?
Baby Personality Types and Temperaments 101
Baby personalities and temperaments are tough to spot at first. You’re so wrapped up in caring for their physical needs, it’s sometimes difficult to track their emotional development.
As it stands, there are tiny cues that will clue you into their inner world. While your baby’s personality won’t start becoming concrete until the age of five or six, here are a few starting points.
This term refers to a temperament that leans toward being calm, sturdy, and very easygoing. Your baby might show a predisposition for phlegmatic if they are easily calmed and respond well to routine.
This temperament leans toward being wistful and quiet. While this temperament is a disposition toward being moody and sensitive, melancholic types are also very reliable and process-oriented.
You may have a melancholic baby if they have a very even and stable response to outside stimuli.
The sanguine personality type leans toward high energy, optimism, and good cheer. A baby with this temperament is often the life of the party, laughing and quick to play.
A sanguine baby will respond well to changes in their environment and display a high level of curiosity. They always want to know what’s going on and are quick to learn.
A choleric baby is brimming with passion and energy. While the sanguine is more chipper and outgoing, a choleric temperament is bold and assertive.
Your baby may be choleric if they show early independence and a strong will. Children with this temperament type thrive in honest environments with a little extra freedom.
This temperament is known for being energetic, social, and full of life. Extroverted children are easily spotted for how chatty they are and their desire to make friends.
While your baby is still forming their temperament, you’ll see glimpses of extroversion if they do the following:
- Babbling frequently
- Trying to get attention
- Thriving in social environments
- Often being bored, sad, or irritable when alone
- Napping less than other children
The flipside to the extrovert is the introvert. Introverted babies are calmer and quieter than average, showing a focus on their inner world more than the outer world.
While all babies will need soothing and attention, introverted babies need less than average. You may have an introverted newborn if they consistently show the following:
- Less babbling and vocalizing
- Irritability and stress in social or loud environments
- Being calm and relaxed when alone
- Sleeping more often
- A combination of curiosity and caution when exploring
Raising your child in a healthy fashion means being balanced. Giving them too little control increases their chances of acting out. Giving them too much control is also unwise!
An over-controlled baby will struggle to develop independence and confidence in their surroundings. If you smother your child too much, they run the risk of the following traits:
- Excessive shyness and uncertainty
- Limited emotional expression
- Difficulty socializing with strangers
- Unreceptive to outside feedback
Today at least 19% of parents struggle with anxiety disorders. If your anxiety isn’t treated, you may try to be over controlling of your environment to compensate.
The flipside to a neurotic and unconfident temperament is the resilient temperament type. This trait is a wonderful foundation for your child and will ensure they face life with confidence.
Resilient children are given a blend of nurturing and space to develop their personality. They receive a guiding hand from their parents to learn the ways of life, but aren’t denied failures or discomfort. This balanced approach ensures they develop healthy traits such as:
- Effective problem-solving
- Purposeful action
How to Nurture Your Baby’s Personality Naturally
Nurturing your baby’s personality types takes a careful hand. You want to protect your child from everything negative in life, but that’s not the way to go about it.
Your baby needs a healthy balance between guidance and freedom. Effective nurturing looks like:
Don’t Push Your Child to Be Like You
If you’re more extroverted, don’t push your introverted baby toward being like you. Likewise, if you like to read alone, your baby may still prefer to play outside. Let your child be the best version of themselves.
Teach How to Process Discomfort
Being overprotective of your child prevents them from learning how to process discomfort. Instead of shielding your baby from every possible negative outcome, encourage your baby to process feelings.
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