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I believe too many parents today have let their children rule their households. Their children dictate their daily lives, demand every ounce of their attention and do not show any respect for their parents. This needs to change. The only way to do this is if parents start letting good old common sense start dictating their parenting practices and stop letting their children run the show. You're the parent. Act like one.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baby Style

All babies have a certain temperament. Some call it nature. Some call in genetics or personality. I like to call it style. When you hear people say, "every baby is different," they aren't kidding. Figuring out who that unique individual you are holding in your arms can take...oh, a lifetime!

But for the sake of figuring out your baby when they are still a baby, they will generally fall into one or two major categories that Tracy Hogg lists in The Baby Whisperer.

Knowing your baby's style is key in developing a bond with your baby and figuring out the best way to handle certain situations, including sleep training. I will outline those situations in an upcoming post. For now, read the descriptions below. What "style" is your little one? When deciding, you are looking for the dominant behavior of your baby. Most babies have a combination of all of these at some point, but keep in mind what your baby is like most of the time. You might find your baby is a cross between two styles.

Baby Styles

1. Angel: Easily adapts to situations. Rarely cries, easy-going and even-tempered. Meltdowns are rare. Good sleeper--might just need a hug and kiss and falls asleep on her own. Smiles a lot. Hard to read "sleepy cues"--often doesn't show signs of being tired.

What Parents Say About Angel Babies: This is too good to be true. When does it end?

2. Textbook: Reaches every milestone like clockwork. The Book says smiling by 6 weeks--check! Sleeping through the night at 12 weeks-check! Sits alone at 7 months--check! Babies like these are very predictable making it easy for parents to read their cues. A textbook baby might have some cranky spells, but they are generally easy to calm and reassure. Can get irritable when his schedule changes, but adjusts fairly quickly. Generally easy going.

What Parents Say About Textbook Babies: Low maintenance baby. Give him what he wants, he's happy. Life is good.

3.Touchy: Sometimes cries for no reason. Often sensitive to light, noise, temperature. Light sleepers. Temperamental; you will sometimes see that "fight or flight" reaction kick in when they are experiencing something new, unknown or undesired. Prefers mellow, quiet situations--doesn't like chaos. Cautious. Touchy babies need very patient and understanding parents who will recognize their "Baby Style" and try to work through it.

What Parents Say About Touchy Babies: I'm exhausted. The slightest things set her off. Cry baby.

4. Spirited: As a baby, spirited children are usually the most demanding. One wail or scream and Mom knows he means business! These babies actually love stimulation, don't mind noise and chaos. Baby just seems energetic. People will describe baby saying, "Wow! He's so alert and active!" Always on the move, loves touching and feeling things, even as a very young baby. Spirited babies tend not to be great sleepers. They like action! Spirited babies take lots and lots of work to sleep train. These babies generally need less sleep than other babies.

What Parents Say About Spirited Babies: He's a handful. He needs everything NOW. He freaks when I don't feed him fast enough. Relentless crying sometimes! Meltdowns! I sometimes feel like I don't have the energy to deal with him!

5. Grumpy: Irritable baby. Doesn't really sleep well, never seems really content. Hates being swaddled. Cries and cries when doing something undesired (i.e swaddling, diaper changing). These babies do very well on a routine...but are very pissed when they're off it!

What Parents Say About Grumpy Babies: Dang--he's mad!!! It's his way or the highway! Look at him turn red! Why doesn't he smile more?! Look out--here comes another meltdown!

Now keep in mind, every baby at some point has been angel, textbook, spirited, touchy or grumpy baby. Some babies will show some traits I listed in all of the categories. However, you have to look at the overall baby. What is she most like, most of the time?

...so...what's your Baby Style?

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