From the moment your baby is born you have noticed the things that make him special and unique. The way your baby responds to situations, shows emotions, adapts to new people and places make up what we call temperament.


Here are some questions that might help you start to think about your baby's temperament: Does your baby startle easily? How does he respond to new people or situations?  How predictable are his eating and sleeping cycles? 


It is important to recognize and respect your baby's temperament, even if it is different from yours or different from what you expected. Knowing your baby's temperament will help you know how to respond and interact with baby in ways that he enjoys and understands. 


What's Your Baby's Temperament?

Brain Science for Your Baby


Sixty years ago everybody believed that all babies started out the same.  Anybody who had had more than one baby knew this really wasn't true!  In a famous study called the New York Longitudinal Study, researchers found that normal babies come into the world with different "behavioral styles".  Most babies are "easy" babies, but 15% of babies are cautious or shy, and 10% of babies can be quite challenging with fussiness, intense responses, and irregular feeding and sleeping.


Temperament isn't the same as personality, but is important to how personality develops.  Understanding your baby's temperament is really important to being a Baby Buffer - understanding temperament will help you better understand your babies cues and being sensitive to her needs.  You can help your baby's emotional development if you can "fit" your responses and her environment to her temperament.  


Video:Who is My Child?

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby

Watch your baby and take note of the following to learn more about his or her temperament:


What is their mood like? Are they mostly happy or do they tend to get upset easily?


What is their activity level like? Do they have boundless energy or are they content to stay put?


Think about your baby's temperament when you plan your daily activities so that you can be sensitive to how your baby is likely react in different situations. 

A baby Buffer Prescription for You   


Remember, your baby might have a very different temperament from you!  You may not understand why your baby reacts a certain way to different situations, but you can be sensitive to your baby's feelings.  


It's OK to take some time for yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed with your duties of being a mom!  Let a family member or friend step in to care for your baby while you take a walk, go out for coffee, or anything that will help you feel like yourself again for a little bit. 



What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Emotionally, one-year-olds are just learning to recognize and manage their feelings. They experience a wide range of emotions and have tantrums when they are tired or frustrated. They may also respond to conflict by hitting, biting, screaming, or crying. One-year-olds want their independence, and may say, "No!" to adult suggestions or insist that they, "Do it!" Then, moments later, they might cling to an adult's leg or ask for help.

Baby Buffer Blog
Written by "Gene"
aka Greta McFarland, MD, FAAP 

Does your schedule have about 10 "to-dos" and only time for 5 of them?  Well, welcome to the club.  So here is number 11... no,... bump it up to at least number 4; it can only take 1-2 minutes.  Your child's safety may depend on it!  Go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission web site for recall information at 


A children's advocacy group, called Kids In Danger, released their 2013 annual report on recalls and children's injuries due to faulty or dangerous products.   The good news is that the number of injuries is down from 2012, but the bad news is that the deaths are up and there was an increase in the number of products recalled.  The majority of deaths occurred with nursery products and furniture, falling or entrapping the youngsters.  The report noted that only 10% of the recalls for 2012 were known to be corrected.  Now, it's possible that parents knew of the recalls, and stopped using the products rather than returning the items for repair or replacement.  Read more

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