The Difference Between Babies
Christine Sweeney, LICSW Program Manager, Parent Connection, BIDMC
MARCH 16, 2016
I’ve been leading moms groups for close to twenty years now, so in addition to recognizing the complete difference in temperament between my own two children, I’ve had lots of opportunity to witness the range of temperaments between newborns, and the resultant impact that has on new moms in their own adjustment to parenting.
Those lucky few who have “good” babies---those that only cry when they are hungry, need a diaper change, or need to sleep, typically have a very different experience than those moms whose babies are a bit more, shall we say “challenging.”
My own firstborn would have fit into the “challenging” category. As a newborn, he cried a lot and it wasn’t always easy to figure out why or what to do to sooth him. I remember many days when I just sat home and held him, afraid to leave my house at the risk of feeling publically shamed for my inability to calm my baby. It took me several months into mommy hood before hearing anything about infant temperament, and then the huge relief I felt in learning that these challenging traits were inborn and not a result of my incompetence.
As a leader of new moms groups I talk about temperament a lot. It’s my own personal experience as well as knowing that it’s a topic most parents have heard nothing about in their childbirth education classes. I was particularly thrilled when I came across this blog yesterday, written by Dr. Perri Klass, a pediatrician and mom.