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 her well, because you probably know her better than almost anyone on the planet, but it does mean you may not feel totally confident talking about whether she, say, fits her astrological profile of traits yet, or even whether or not she is going to be a morning person.

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

Around 4 months, her inborn personality traits should be making themselves known. You might start to notice a shift in her personality that is a result of her 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, her predictability, her disposition (whether she is all smiles, or a bit more serious), her adaptability, and the intensity of her emotional responses.

These traits may be very defined, but that doesn’t mean they’re set in stone. Baby’s personality, and the way she reacts 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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