Best Way to Understand Your Baby’s Personality

While all young babies have many characteristics and behaviours in common, there are also immense differences between them, even at the very beginning of life. Your baby is an individual who is genetically unique and has already had a particular set of experiences in the womb, during birth, and in the first few months of life. These experiences all play a part in how she settles and responds to the world and to you, and they go a great deal of the way towards defining her character or personality.

The influence of genetics

From the moment of conception, your baby’s physical appearance – and many other characteristics – has already been set for life. She inherited half her genes from her mother (via the egg) and hall from her lather (from the sperm). But because each sperm and egg contains a different combination of genes, she has her own unique appearance, personality and talents.

Babys Personality Best Way to Understand Your Babys Personality

Babies vary greatly in the composition of their genes, unless they are identical twins. Many of your baby’s physical traits are controlled by these genes, including her hair and eye colour, blood group, gender, height, and body shape, for example.

It is also thought that at least some of your baby’s character or personality trails are determined by genes shyness or intelligence, for example, may be inherited. But while genetic make-up can give the potential for your child to be extrovert or shy, academic or sporty, volatile or calm, the way in which she is brought up also has a powerful influence on her personality.

Gender differences

Most experts believe that gender differences, like personality traits, are attributable to a complex mixture of inherited characteristics (nature) and learned behaviours (nurture).

Social expectations have a great bearing on how babies are treated. No matter how “fair” and impartial a parent tries to be, subtle social influences tend to guide behaviour. One recent study found that when baby boys were dressed in girls’ clothes, they were treated very differently by other parents who had never met the babies before. These baby boys, when dressed in their usual boys’ clothes, were treated in a much more physical way than the girl babies and were offered “boys’ toys” (noisy toys, cars and trains, for example). When they were dressed as girls, they were treated more delicately and given dolls or teddies to cuddle.

Differences in brain development

While outside influences play a major part in the development of your baby, some research suggests that the structure of the brain is responsible for many developmental differences between the sexes. For instance, the right side of the brain, which controls physical activities, is more developed in boys, while the earlier development of the left side of the brain in girls can mean that their line motor skills and speech develops earlier than in boys.

But, although biological factors may be relevant, they should never be seen as a limitation on your baby’s potential. Babies are individuals, and their capacity to learn is far stronger than any biological determinants.

Your baby’s temperament

Many factors contribute to forming your baby’s character and temperament. Genetics, gender, social environment, number of siblings, all play a large part. Of course, most of these factors are not within your control, and you will be well aware by now that you cannot choose your baby’s personality.

But by far the most important of all influences on your baby during the first months – and years – of her life is her relationship with you. You may not be able to choose what “type” of baby you have, but the way you interact with her and respond to her now can have an incredible influence on her developing character.

Babys Personality 1 Best Way to Understand Your Babys Personality

Whatever personality she has, she will benefit from your love and attention. By following her cues, and being as nurturing as possible, tending to her needs and responding to her cries when she is tiny, you can help her establish a feeling of self-worth that will be invaluable throughout her life. Feeling confident and secure is not only a major asset in life, it is also fundamental to development.

Remember that your baby’s personality at this age is constantly evolving. Try not to slick any labels on her, as this can affect the way you respond to her. Nobody can predict what sort of person she will eventually be, but you will undoubtedly delight in discovering all aspects of your baby’s emerging personality.

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