Baby temperament

Why is my baby not like other babies?

If you think about your family and friends, you can see how everyone is different. Some people are more lively, some like to try new things – while some are more laid back, or others don’t like surprises.

It is the same for babies! Every baby has a different personality, which is sometimes called “temperament”.

So what? It is important to understand your baby’s temperament because research shows us that babies do best if we match what we do to how they are.

For example, a very placid baby is easy to care for, but needs more stimulation make sure they develop both in brain and body.  There are some ideas here about playing and talking together that might help.


Adapting to your own baby

For example, some babies really don’t like new things. They might cry and fuss – and it might take months before they get used to having a bath without protest. This does not mean he or she is a bad baby. It certainly does not mean you are a bad parent!

What it does mean is that your baby needs to experience changes gradually with lots of reassurance. You can help by building little routines round changes so that your baby learns what to expect and is less surprised.

Other babies are very “good”. They make little fuss, sit quite happily and don’t much mind what is going on. But you may find a baby like this can be more hard work to play with and “get going”. So babies who are “easier” temperament might need a bit more stimulation and a bit longer to learn to pay attention.

Baby temperament does not make any difference in the long term – except that they grow up into adults each with their own personality. Get to know your baby, his or her character – and enjoy learning to adapt to them.


Still concerned?

If you are worried about your baby crying a lot, then there are some ideas to help here.