All babies are born with certain personality traits that are hardwired in them. But that doesn’t mean an easy-going baby will grow up to become a softie, nor does it mean a high-need baby will end up becoming a terror teen (and thank goodness for that!).
While nature and nurture both influence your little one’s flourishing personality, your presence also plays a crucial role in what type of a person she will grows up to be. Even the most challenging traits can become less of an issue as long as the child’s parents present her with the right tools to help her cope. Here’s how to recognise the person your kiddo will soon become, plus ways to bring out the best in your baby.
0 to 6 months
* You may have already gotten a sense of bubba’s temperament before she arrived, based on her activity level in utero. On holding her in your arms, you’ll find out if she’s a wriggler or a screamer, or maybe she is a laid-back baby, content to take in the world around her.
* As she starts smiling and gurgling, you’ll notice that some babies have a sunnier disposition, and some don’t. It doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong, it’s just the way he or she is wired.
* Does your baby fuss at the slightest thing, like over a soggy diaper or when there’s too much noise? Or is she not that sensitive to environmental changes? If she’s easily irritated, avoid crowded places and keep her surroundings soothing with soft lighting.
* Knowing her temperament will be an advantage when you help her develop into a well-adjusted child. That said, try not to get too obsessed with labels (eg she’s a high-need or fussy baby) in your mini-me’s first months.
6 to 12 months
* As your munchkin gets more mobile, you’ll notice that a tyke who’s active is more tolerant of being stimulated. That baby who turns diaper-changing into a wrestling match may be well walking sooner than her peers.
* Observe your cutie’s reaction when she meets someone new (though she might be experiencing stranger anxiety at this point) or has a new plaything. Does she adapt easily or proceed with caution? This will help you predict how she’ll fare in unfamiliar situations.
* You’ll also get a better sense of her character when it’s time to introduce solids to her. Cautious babies may be more hesitant to try new fare, so give it time and be persistent about the foods you offer her.
* Most babies this age are on some kind of schedule ― they’ll wake, sleep, eat and play at around the same time daily. Some babies are by nature more unpredictable, so you may have to ease your little one gently into a consistent routine.
Not sure how to handle the Terrible Twos? Click through for tried-and-tested tips!
12 to 18 months
* At this age, your tot’s personality really starts to become obvious, so tune in to her signals. An easy-going child’s feelings may be easily overlooked, while one who is feisty can easily be overstimulated.
* Encourage her to play as it allows your young’un to develop physically, mentally and emotionally. She’ll also be able to interact with others and stand up for herself. Her personality takes shape as she learns to share and take turns.
* Your toddler is acquiring knowledge at an incredible rate now, whether it’s new words, a new song or how to put her wooden blocks back into the box. Offer lots of encouragement, praise her and let her know you believe she can complete the tasks.
* You are probably the person your child models after the most. So, if you want to raise a polite and respectful child, you need to start walking the talk.
* Stormy tantrums and stubbornness can mark your peewee’s second year. Take her feelings seriously and give her a chance to express herself. Listen actively if she needs to talk.
* As your little one starts to exert her independence, give her room to grow. Respect her choices, be patient as she makes a decision, and allow her to give fully into her own personality.
* How you interact and respond to your mini-me will make a difference in how she expresses her feelings. When you interact affectionately and often with her, she’ll be a more assured, confident and happier child.
* You may notice that your sweetie’s birth order plays a role in shaping her personality. A first-born child is likely to be more driven and outgoing, while subsequent children may be more calm and relaxed.
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