Your Newborn Has a Unique Temperament


Your Newborn Has a Unique Temperament


You’ve heard the saying “every baby is different” and it’s very true! 

We are all born with a unique temperament which shapes how we interact with the world around us. Your little baby was born with is own temperament, which has an impact on everything in their life, from how he reacts to new experiences or meeting new people, to his energy levels and how he responds to feelings. 

As you can image, it has a lot to do with sleep as well!

Forget about control!

Over the weeks, months and years ahead of you, you will see your baby temperament emerge as he grows up. You have absolutely no control over your child’s temperament, as it seems to be very greatly influenced by genetics. Your baby was born with his own temperament and now is a great time to start understanding well his personality to be able to customise and adapt your parenting skills to your child.

What is a “spirited” temperament

Spirited is defined as being more sensitive, more energetic, more persistent and more perceptive than other children by Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka in her book “Raising Your Spirited Child”. Frequently, little ones who struggle with sleep have a “spirited” temperament. Temperament needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about your approach to parenting, including sleep or potential methods to help your little one learn to sleep better. For example, if you have a very persistent baby, using a sleep method that involves a lot of crying, is just not going to work or will result in way too many tears. Tailoring your sleep plan to your child temperament is essential for you to reach the most success.

What are the characteristics of a spirited child?

Knowing the traits of a spirited child will help you understand your baby better and find the right way to improve their sleep.

Intensity – Intensity is very easy to spot, everything is bigger and loud. You can always hear your baby easily, playing loudly, high-pitch screeches, he doesn’t hold anything in so you know how he’s feeling and what he wants at all times. 

Persistence – These little ones will just keep going, and going, and going. If he is focused or upset about something, he won’t give up very easily.

Sensitive – Sensitive babies react to sounds, textures, changes in schedule, discomfort, voice tones or being held by other people more than others. 

Adaptability – These little ones struggle with change and they may not respond well to changes in routines, new food, travel, etc. 

Regularity – Often spirited children struggle more than others to get into regular schedules and routines. 

Energy – Spirited children often have very high levels of energy. Ever wondered where your little one gets all the energy from? Often they are actually overtired but because of this rush of cortisol, they have increased hyperactivity.

As you get to know your baby better, take some time to observe and understand their temperament to be able to parent the unique needs of your baby. Every little one is different (just to keep you on your toes), so you’ll need to tailor your parenting approach according to each child’s unique personality and introduce a sleep method that adapts to your baby’s temperament.

Mary Foster is the founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting, and mum of three little ones (at one time three under three).

She’s a proud Canadian, loves living in England and is passionate about healthy sleep with a strong focus on emotional wellness, using her education background in science.

Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultants support families around the world, and the Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy is an affordable and comprehensive online sleep program, has supported families worldwide.

In 2018, we launched a comprehensive training program to become a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant and franchise program. Opportunities are available worldwide. Visit for more info.

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