Posted in Infant, Parenting

Angel + Angel = Spirited?

“You’ll see: they eat, dirty diapers and sleep.”

“You’ll have to work harder on keeping them awake than on getting them to sleep.”

“You just have to feed them and they fall right to sleep.”

Among other things, these are some of the nuggets of knowledge that were bestowed upon me by family, friends and strangers alike when they found out I was pregnant.


You know what?  I think my son didn’t get the memo.

But seriously, all babies are different.  They are individuals just as us adults are and their personality generally shines through early on.

Take my son for instance.  He.  Is.  So.  Curious!  He wasn’t even 24h old and the nurses kept commenting on the fact that he was always awake when they came in (which, for the record, was often *sigh* so much for trying to get some rest while at the hospital)!  He’s still like that: fighting sleep to the death!  (In fact, that is what he is doing at the moment…excuse me while I try for an umpteenth time to get my son down for bedtime).

Back to personalities!

Several authors have come up with a typology of baby personalities.  Among them, was the late Tracy Hogg.  In her book The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems she and co-author Melinda Blau list five.

So, in a nutshell… (paraphrased from the book)


Eating: Efficient eater (whether nursed or bottle fed) and open to new foods once solids are introduced.

Activities: Can play alone or in groups easily in moderately active settings.  Very social and adapt well to new situations.

Sleep: Easy to put down for independent sleep pretty much from birth.  Will generally start sleeping through the night (6 consecutive hours) by the time they are 6 weeks old and will be going down without a fuss for two good naps and a catnap by the time they hit the 4 month mark.

Mood: Generally easygoing and hardly reactive.  Their cues are easy to read.


Eating: Efficient eater, but may be more resistant to solids at first.

Activities: Developmentally, they are “by the book” meaning that they will be able to play with a 3month tagged toy at 3 months and a 6 month tagged toy at 6 months.

Sleep: On average, they require about 20 minutes to drift off to sleep on their own.  They may need assistance if they are overstimulated.

Mood: Generally easygoing and hardly reactive as long as their cues are read adequately.


Eating: Easily frustrated and distracted while they eat and will likely refuse solids when introduced.

Activities: Are generally weary of anything new (toys, people, situations) and need support and encouragement in those instances.  They prefer to play alone or in a one-on-one setting and are more easygoing in the morning than in the afternoon (note that ‘more’ easygoing’ does not mean ‘very’ easygoing…).

Sleep: Need to be swaddled and in a low stimulation environment.  They get overtired very easily and tend to nap for longer periods of time in the morning than in the afternoon.

Mood: Very reactive and can get overstimulated in a heartbeat.


Eating: Efficient eater (though they can become impatient if the milk doesn’t come quickly enough).  Breastfed babies seem to resent the colostrum phase.  Their natural curiosity means that they will readily accept solids.

Activities: Very active and seem to have endless amounts of energy.  They are highly reactive and can become overwhelming to peers in a group.  They are typically calmer in the mornings.

Sleep: They begin to protest as soon as they realize that they are going down (naptime and bedtime rituals) and fight sleep because they do not want to miss anything.  They generally resent being swaddled and need to be in a low stimulation environment to sleep.

Mood: Very vocal and impatient.  Their mood can change in a heart beat and are generally described as being stubborn.  Because of their high-energy and curiosity, they can become overstimulated or overtired quickly.


Eating: Very impatient and feeding (whether nursed or bottle fed) can take forever.  Will typically be very resistant to solids when introduced.

Activities: Prefer playing by themselves and hate being interrupted in the middle of an activity.

Sleep: They fight sleep which generally leads to them becoming overtired.  They are also notorious catnappers.

Mood: They do not react well to a change in routine and it is very important to learn to read their cues to avoid a meltdown.  They need a routine to function.

Now, to hear my parents and in-laws tell it, both my partner and I were Angel babies.  Stands to reason that our son would be the same, right?


He falls into the Spirited category (though, if I had to choose a sub-category, I would say that he is Grumpy as well).  As such, I need to time my outings properly, spend a lot of time stimulating him to quench his never ending curiosity and spend even more time getting him to sleep.


But it’s all worth it.  Or so they say…

(Just kidding, I know it’s worth it)

Tell me, what type of personality do your children have?

Related posts

Mr. Spirited in the flesh!
Mr. Spirited in the flesh!




Thirty-something year old discovering the joys and bumps of motherhood.

11 thoughts on “Angel + Angel = Spirited?

  1. I think my son has traits from all categories! I can’t pin him down – he is a good sleeper, (but we have relied on the swing, the swaddle and the breast). He is angelic half of the time and grumpy other times! He was a great breastfeeder and has recently become a bit distracted…I don’t know! 🙂

    1. I honestly hope that your son remains an Angel sleeper! Sleep-deprivation is by far the worst part of motherhood in my opinion. (Are you still swaddling? I’ve tried a couple of time to put him down unswaddled, have also tried one arm out, but it always ends in disaster *sigh*). Mine was a very efficient breastfeeder until he hit about 3.5 months. Then he started getting distracted by everything. His feeds got shorter (I think he was only nursing to hit the spot and then would forget to continue to nurse because he would be too occupied with other more interesting things) and then he started waking up more often at night (probably because he wasn’t getting enough calories during the day) and waking up every 45 minutes during his daytime naps and everything went downhill from there. (And I’ve just realized that this reply is getting long and I’m pretty much rambling sooo I think I’ll stop now). Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Yup, I knock on wood every time he sleeps through the night bc I know there is only a small chance this will last.

        We have both arms out of the swaddle now! I think we’ll be out of it all together by the time it’s too warm here in NY for this fleece wrap 🙂 For better or worse, having his arms free allows him to suck suck suck his fingers all night long – we watch him (and hear) him doing this on the video monitor, ha! 🙂

      2. Glad weaning off the swaddle is going well! I can’t wait to be rid of it to be honest as it is getting warmer here too (we actually don’t live that far apart). I’m going to keep trying once a week every week until he shows signs of being ready to be left unswaddled (or until he rolls over, whatever comes first).

  2. I honestly think my older two don’t fall into any of those categories (is that weird?) but my youngest is DEFINITELY in the “spirited” category. He is a whirlwind of energy that I am always trying to keep up with! He usually means well but his actions usually end up driving me nuts and earning me stares when in public. Spirited kids are TOUGH but also so much fun! 🙂

    1. Nah, I don’t think it’s weird. As I said, babies are individuals and can’t be summarized to a few lines from a typology. I must admit, I always thought I’d get angel babies. But I’ve been told time and time again that we have the babies that we are able to have and that they will all teach us something. I’m thinking my son is here to bring some unpredictability in our lives. It’s exhausting, but hey… Besides, I’ve plenty of years to learn to channel his energy.

      1. I also tend to think our parents sometimes conveniently “forget” any shenanigans that we might have gotten into when we were little! 🙂 The really weird thing is that my “spirited” kid was actually an angel baby (except for the sleep part – none of mine were sleepers, much to my chagrin); it wasn’t until he started walking that the crazy emerged! haha!

      2. I agree about our parents forgetting. I’m pretty sure that if I were to poll my friends’ parents, they would all say that their babies were calm, content, good sleepers, etc. But then again, it’s probably a good thing that we forget the hard moments as our kids grow up.

      1. Thanks for stopping by! You blog is really interesting. I found myself reading post after post this morning. It must not be easy raising children with food intolerances. I’m curious, when did you find out and how?

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