I put this in the other thread but as not everyone will see it, here it is again: The baby whisperer "Know Your Baby Quiz" The "Know Your Baby Quiz" For each of the following questions, pick the best answer. In other words, chose the statement that describes your child most of the time. 1. My Baby A. rarely cries B. cries only when shes hungry, tired or over stimulated C. cries for no apparent reason D. cries very loudly, and if I dont attend to it, she quickly gets into a rage cry E. cries a lot of the time 2. When its time for him to go to sleep, my baby A. lies peacefully in his crib and drifts off to sleep B. generally falls asleep easily within twenty minutes C. fusses a bit and seems to be drifting off, but then keeps waking up D. is very restless and often needs to be swaddled or held E. cries a lot and seems to resent being put down 3. When she wakes up in the morning, my baby A. rarely cries - she plays in her crib until I come in B. coos and looks around C. needs immediate attention or she starts crying D. screams E. whimpers 4. My baby smiles A. at everything and everyone B. when prompted C. when prompted but sometimes starts to cry within minutes of smiling D. a lot and is also very vocal, tending to make very loud baby noises E. only under the right [email protected]!stances 5. When I take my baby on any kind of outing, he A. is extremely portable B. is okay as long as where I take him isnt too busy or unfamiliar C. fusses a great deal D. is very demanding of my attention E. doesnt like to be handled a lot 6. When confronted by a friendly stranger cooing at her, my baby A. immediately smiles B. takes a moment and then usually smiles fairly quickly C. is likely to cry at first, unless the stranger can win her over D. gets very excited E. hardly ever smiles 7. When theres a loud noise, like a dog barking or a slamming door, my baby A. is never rattled B. notices but isnt bothered C. flinches visibly and often starts to cry D. gets loud himself E. starts to cry 8. When I first gave my baby a bath A. she took to the water like a duck B. she was a little surprised at the sensation, but liked it almost immediately C. she was very sensitive - she shook a little and seemed afraid D. she was wild flailing about and splashing E. she hated it and cried 9. My babys body language is typically A. relaxed and alert almost always B. relaxed most of the time C. tense and very reactive to external stimuli D. jerky his arms and legs are often flailing all over the place E. rigid arms and legs are often fairly stiff 10. My baby makes loud, aggressive noises A. once in a while B. only when shes playing and is highly stimulated C. hardly ever D. often E. when shes angry 11. When I change my babys nappy, bathe him, or dress him A. he always takes it in stride B. he is okay if I do it slowly and let him know what Im doing C. is often cranky, as if he cant stand being naked D. wriggles a lot and tries to pull everything off the changing table E. he hates it - dressing is always a battle 12. If I suddenly bring my baby into bright light, like sunlight or fluorescent light, she A. takes it in stride B. can sometimes act startled C. blinks excessively or tries to turn her head away from the light D. becomes over stimulated E. acts annoyed 13a. If you bottle-feed: When I feed my baby, she A. always sucks properly, pays attention, and usually eats within twenty minutes B. is a little erratic during growth spurts but generally a good eater C. is very squirmy and takes a long time to finish the bottle D. grabs at the bottle aggressively and tends to overeat E. is often cranky and feedings take a long time 13b.If you breastfeed: When I feed my baby, he A. latches on immediately it was a snap right from day one B. took a day or two to latch on properly, but now we do fine C. always wants to suckle but goes on and off the breast, as if hes forgotten how to nurse D. eats well as long as I hold him the way he wants me to E. gets very annoyed and restless, as if I dont have enough milk for him 14. The comment that best describes the communication between my baby and me is A. she always lets me know exactly what she needs B. most of the time her cues are easy to read C. she confuses me; sometimes she even cries at me D. she asserts her likes and dislikes very clearly and often loudly E. she usually gets my attention with loud, angry crying 15. When we go to a family gathering and lots of people want to hold him, my baby A. is very adaptable B. is somewhat selective about whom hell go to C. cries easily if too many people hold him D. might cry or even try to lurch out of someones arms if he doesnt feel comfortable E. refuses anyones arms except Mummys or Daddys 16. When we come home from any kind of outing, my baby A. settles in easily and immediately B. takes a few minutes to get acclimated C. tends to be very fussy D. is often over stimulated and hard to calm down E. acts angry and miserable 17. My baby A. can amuse herself for long periods by staring at anything, even the slats in the crib B. can play on her own for around fifteen minutes C. finds it hard to be amused in unfamiliar surrounds D. needs a lot of stimulation to be amused E. is not easily amused by anything 18. The most noticeable thing about my baby is how A. incredibly well-behaved and easy he is B. much he is developing precisely on schedule just like the books said he would C. sensitive he is to everything D. aggressive he is E. grouchy he can be 19. My baby seems to A. feel utterly safe in her own bed (crib) B. prefer her bed most of the time C. feel insecure in her own bed D. act feisty like her bed is a prison E. resent being put down into her bed 20. A comment that best describes my baby is that A. you hardly know theres a baby in the house hes as good as gold B. hes easy to handle, easy to predict C. hes a very delicate thing D. I fear when he begins to crawl, hes going to get into everything E. hes and old soul - he acts like hes been here before To score the self-test above, write A, B, C, D and E on a piece of paper and next to each one, count how many times youve used each letter, which denotes a corresponding type. As = Angel baby Bs = Textbook baby Cs = Touchy baby Ds = Spirited baby Es = Grumpy baby Zeroing in on Your Babys Type When you tally up your letters, chances are that youll have picked predominately one or two. As you read the descriptions below, remember that were talking about a way of being in the world here, not an occasional mood or type of behaviour associated with a difficulty, such as colic, or a particular developmental milestone, like teething. Youll probably recognise your baby in the following thumbnail sketches, or perhaps shes a bit like this, a bit like that. Read all five descriptions. Ive exemplified each profile with a baby Ive met who fits it almost exactly. The Angel baby. As you might expect, this is the kind of baby every first-time pregnant woman imagines herself to have: good as gold. Pauline is such a baby mellow, eternally smiling, and consistently undemanding. Her cues are easy to read. Shes not bothered by new surroundings, and shes extremely portable in fact, you can take her anywhere. She feeds, plays and sleeps easily, and usually doesnt cry when she wakes up. Youll find Pauline babbling in her crib most mornings, talking to a stuffed animal or just amusing herself by staring at a stripe on the wall. An Angel baby often can calm herself down, but if she gets a little overtired, perhaps because her cues were misread, all you have to do is snuggle her and tell her I can see that youre overtired. Then, turn on a lullaby, make the room nice and dim and quiet, and she will put herself to sleep. The Textbook baby. This is our predictable baby, and as such, hes fairly easy to handle. Oliver does everything on cue, so there are few surprises with him. He reaches all the milestones right on schedule sleeps through the night by three months, rolls over by five, sits up by six. Hell have growth spurts like clockwork periods during which his appetite will suddenly increase because hes putting on extra body weight or making a developmental leap. Even as young as a week, he can play on his own for short periods fifteen minutes or so and hell coo a lot and look around. And he smiles when someone smiles at him. Though Oliver has normal cranky periods, just like the books describe, hes easy to calm. Its not hard to get him to sleep, either. The Touchy baby For an ultra sensitive baby like Michael, the world is an endless array of sensory challenges. He flinches at the sound of a motorcycle revving outside his window, the TV blaring, a dog barking in the house next door. He blinks or turns his head away from bright light. He sometimes cries for no apparent reason, even at his mother. At those moments, hes shouting (in his baby language), Ive had enough I need some peace and quiet. He often gets fussy after a number of people have held him, or after outings. Hell play on his own for a few minutes, but he needs the reassurance that someone he knows well Mum, Dad, a nanny is close by. Because this type of baby likes to suck a lot, Mum may misread his cues and think hes hungry when hed do just was well on a dummy. He also nurses erratically, sometimes acting as though hes forgotten how. At nap time and at night time, Michael often has difficulty falling asleep. Touchy babies like him easily get off schedule, because their system is so fragile. An extra-long nap, a skipped meal, and unexpected visitor, a trip, a change in formula any of these can throw Michael for a loop. To calm the Touchy baby, you have to re-create the womb. Swaddle him tightly, snuggle him into your shoulder, whisper a rhythmic sh .sh .sh sound (like the splashing of fluid in the womb) close to his ear, and pat his back gently, mimicking a heartbeat. (This, by the way, will calm most babies, but it works especially well with a Touchy baby). When you have a Touchy baby, the quicker you learn his cues and his cries, the simpler life is. These babies love structure and predictability no hidden surprises, thank you. The Spirited baby. This is a baby who seems to emerge from the womb knowing what she likes and doesnt like, and she wont hesitate to let you know it. Babies like Karen are very vocal and even seem aggressive at times. She often screams for Mum or Dad when she gets up in the morning. She hates lying in her own pee or poo, and she says change me by boisterously vocalising her discomfort. Indeed, she babbles a lot and loudly. Her body language tends to be a bit jerky. Karen often needs to be swaddled to get to sleep, because her flailing arms and legs keep her up and over stimulated. If she starts crying and the cycle is not interrupted, its like a point of no return, and her crying leads to more crying until shes reached a fever pitch of rage. A spirited baby is likely to grab for her bottle at an early age. Shell also notice other babies before they notice her, and as soon as shes old enough to develop a good, firm grasp, shell grab their toys as well. The Grumpy baby I have a theory that babies like Gavin have been here before theyre old souls, as we call them - and theyre not all that happy to be back. I may be wrong, of course, but whatever the reason, I assure you this type of baby is downright mardy, as we say in Yorkshire hes mad at the world and lets you know it. (My coauthor informs me that the Yiddish equivalent is farbissiner.) Gavin whimpers every morning, doesnt smile much during the day, and fusses his way to sleep every night. His mum has a lot of trouble keeping baby-sitters, because they tend to take this little guys bad humour personally. He hated baths at first, and every time anyone tried to change or dress him, he was fidgety and irritable. His mother had tried to breastfeed him, but she had a slow letdown (the pace of milk working its way down and through the nipple), and Gavin was impatient. Even though she switched him to formula, feeding is still difficult because of his cranky disposition. To calm a Grumpy baby, it usually takes a patient mum or dad, because these babies get very angry and their cries are particularly loud and long. The sh ..sh ..sh has to be louder than the cry. They hate to be swaddled, and they certainly let you know it. If a Grumpy baby has reached a major meltdown, instead of shushing say Its okay, its okay, its okay in a rhythm while gently swaying front to back.