Babies and personality

For one of the most intimate relationships in your life, you and Baby have not actually known each other for that long. This doesn’t mean you don’t know them well, because you probably know them better than almost anyone on the planet, but it does mean you may not feel totally confident talking about whether they, say, fit their astrological profile of traits yet, or even whether or not they are going to be a morning person.

This is partially because not only is Baby not communicating in words yet, but the world they are responding to is not the same world an adult human sees. Their vision is still developing, the sounds they hear don’t necessarily correspond with words for them yet, and they probably isn&;t forming long-term memories yet, to name just a few things. Still, their tendencies and reactions to the situations they find themself in are already starting to be prompted by the same personality traits that will define how much they like their kindergarten class, whether they will procrastinate on their homework, and how many doors they will slam as a teenager.

Around 4 months, their inborn personality traits should be making themselves known. You might start to notice a shift in their personality that is a result of their growing ability to explore the world.

The traits that are starting to assert themselves, according to infant behavior researchers, show up in Baby’s level of activity, their predictability, their disposition (whether they are all smiles, or a bit more serious), their adaptability, and the intensity of their emotional responses.

These traits may be very defined, but that doesn’t mean they’re set in stone. Baby’s personality, and the way they react to the world based on that personality, is evolving every day.

  • Alexander Thomas, Stella Chess, Richard Lerner, Jacqueline Lerner. “New York Longitudinal Study, 1956-1988.” Murray Research Archive Dataverse (Harvard University). The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2016. Web.
  • Christian Jarrett. “Clues to your personality appeared before you could talk.” BBC. BBC, September 9 2016. Web.
  • Robert Needleman. “Temperament: What is it?” RaisingChildren. Raising Children Network, October 26 2011. Web.
  • “Emotional and Social Development: 4 to 7 Months.” HealthyChildren. American Academy of Pediatrics, August 1 20019. Retrieved October 25 2017. 
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