As moms and dads we end up rating our ability as a parent based on our baby’s behaviour. Their feeding, their sleep patterns and (often) how much they cry. It’s usually only until we have a second baby that we realise that whether a baby is a settled baby or a fractious baby has more to do with who they are than we realize. Let’s explore the four sensory personalities, how these affect sleep, development and mood and how your sensory personality fits with your babies.
The Social butterfly baby
The social butterfly loves interacting with others and his world. He is a more alert baby and seems to be constantly on the move. He is not happy when left alone for long because he just loves being in the company of others. These babies love to be carried around and you may find yourself getting frustrated that you never have your hands free. Your social butterfly has limitless energy and is a bundle of fun. As a toddler, these babies tend to be busy and a little impulsive. Life with a social butterfly is never dull but can be exhausting, especially in the toddler years.
The Slow to warm up baby
Some babies just take longer to adjust to anything new. They are sensitive to change and take a while to get accustomed to unfamiliar sensory information so appear to be withdrawn at first. But unlike the sensitive baby who is fractious, the slow to warm up baby is calm as long as he is near mummy or daddy or in a predictable environment.
As older babies and toddlers, they may be known as Velcro babies because they are happiest when next to mum or on her lap. Your slow to warm up baby loves his routine and is easily upset by changes in his schedule because routines make his life predictable. As older children, slow to warm up babies are quiet and a little anxious when out of their comfort zone. They are shy and tend to withdraw rather than embrace novel and unpredictable situations. Once they are comfortable with a friend or in an environment they warm up and can be the life of the party.
The Settled baby
Your settled baby is much more laid back than others. He is an easygoing, happy chap. He is flexible and sleeps and feeds with ease wherever he is. Your settled baby copes well with stimulation and interaction and to changes in his routine. By a few weeks old, the settled baby will be starting to fit into a routine; he may well be sleeping through the night and is generally content. As a toddler this baby is as happy at home reading books as he is going out and about.
The Sensitive baby
Some babies are just more fussy and sensitive. These babies often take a long time to settle and are colicky for quite some time. Parenting a sensitive baby is a challenge at times. Breastfeeding often gets off to a rough start with these babies because they are sensitive to the feel of your nipple, the touch of your skin and the smell and tastes involved in breastfeeding.
They are best fed in a quiet room, with dim lighting soon after a sleep, when they are calmest. Your sensitive baby does not learn to self-calm as rapidly as other babies. In addition your attempts to calm him may be a challenge. Often sensitive babies act as though they do not like being swaddled (they are sensitive to the blanket and pressure). And they do not take to dummies (they are sensitive in their mouths too). It is important with sensitive babies to persist with swaddling and sucking strategies because this will make your life much easier. The sensitive baby is very tuned into their world.
What’s your baby’s sensory personality?
It needs to be said that every baby is precious and each personality brings it own set of challenges and rewards. The important thing is to embrace your little person and help him to engage happily with the world. This journey is made all the easier if you understand his sensory personality.
Take the free quiz to discover your baby’s sensory personality and open up a whole new world of successful parenting.