The moment your newborn finds his way to the nursery, he immediately falls under serious scrutiny. “Active,” “sleepy,” “fussy,” or “quiet” are some words used by family and friends to describe your baby.According to Citadel Caparas-de Castro, M.D., pediatrician at University of Sto. Tomas Hospital, “There is not one single personality type in one baby. There is an interplay of these traits at one time or another, but knowing his dominant character guides you in effectively handling him.” Understanding your baby’s personality helps you develop a parenting style that would effectively address his needs and create opportunities for bonding. Which infant personality type best describes your baby?
The active/energetic baby
This baby is always on the go! He explores every nook and cranny of his crib, playpen, or anywhere he finds himself in. Your watchful eye is a must with his heightened curiosity. Home-based entrepreneur Jane Siy-de Guzman supervises her active one-year-old daughter very closely. “Jesse is very curious about everything she sees. She touches them and sometimes even tastes them. She quickly imitates what she sees,” she says. Oftentimes overtired by nightfall, it is difficult to put this type of child to bed. He will go into bouts of crying before settling down. Then, he wakes up the next day recharged and ready to roll again!
Parenting challenge: It can be pretty exhausting trying to keep up with your active baby. “We make sure Jesse is accompanied by an adult to avoid accidents. There are times when she needs more attention, so we drop whatever we are doing and play with her,” says Siy-de Guzman.
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Bonding opportunities: “A baby who is active and energetic may benefit from the chance for vigorous play to work off stored energy,” says Dr. Caparas-de Castro. Siy de-Guzman does this by incorporating actions or hand and body movements in activities like singing or storytelling. Pretend play is another way of channeling your child’s energy towards something he enjoys. Michele Bautista-So, mom to Nathan, 2, and Amanda, 4 months, shares, “Nathan loves cars so once in a while, we spend time inside the car. I let him sit on my lap while he pretends to drive.”
At the end of the day, provide winding down activities for your active one. “This child needs a calming, predictable bedtime routine to help him settle down. Play soothing music, read his favorite story, or give him a gentle massage to help him relax,” suggests Dr. Caparas-de Castro.
Click here to read on to learn more about the mellow/cautious baby and the sensitive/grumpy baby.