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

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

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

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