My wife and I are expecting our second child in April! Woo hoo! But…
Yes, there is a “but.” For some reason, I am more nervous about child #2 than I was about the first, who is almost 4 years old. Maybe it was the sheer excitement and novelty of a first child that overshadowed any fears or anxiety I may have had. I knew everyone would be stepping in to help. But now that my wife and I are “old hands” at this parenting thing, we won’t need any help with the second child, right?
Part of my anxiety about the coming baby could also stem from the fact that our first son, God bless him, was a VERY difficult baby. He cried all the time. He always had ear infections. He didn’t poop regularly. The list goes on.
We love our son to death. He is a wonderful, funny, beautiful child. But he was a pain in the neck. And he still is VERY emotional.
So, as April approaches, I am selfishly hoping for an “easy” baby. I know this wish will come back to haunt me. I am going to have the most difficult child ever. Therefore, it is best that I am prepared, and I understand baby “styles.”
So, I cracked open a copy of the Doctor Dad™ Well Child Father’s Handbook, and turned to the page on “Temperament (Style).”
Here is what I learned.
It is important to know your baby’s temperament, because it is often a blueprint for what their personality will be for their whole life. I have seen this with our first son – he is very much the same child he was from day 1, just a more mature version.
Knowing your child’s style will help you temper your expectations and avoid getting frustrated by their behavior. If you know you have a difficult child, when they act difficult it is a little easier to swallow. If you have an easy-going child and he is acting up, it could be an indication that he is getting sick, for example.
So, here are the three main “styles” of babies:
The Easy Child
- This child can easily handle change, in both people and places.
- This child is biological regular. He eats, pees, and poops on a regular schedule and without much fuss.
- This child’s intensity level is mostly moderate. She doesn't need much to entertain or comfort her.
The Difficult Child
- This child is the reverse of the easy baby. This child is “strong willed.”
- This child finds change difficult and is biologically irregular. She eat, drinks, sleeps, pees, and poops whenever she does or doesn’t want to.
- This child is shy and is slow to warm up and adapt to change.
- This child usually cries when faced with change, but the intensity is low and you can calm this child.
My first son was indeed the difficult baby. Can the stork please deliver an easy one in April?
What style was your baby? Do you have any advice on handling difficult babies? Please share!