Get to know your baby's personality
Though your baby's personality may change as she grows, understanding her disposition now can make both of your lives easier. "Tailoring everyday activities to suit her may keep her from getting grouchy," says Kate Cronan, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and a mom of three.
Watch how your baby behaves for clues about her basic personality type-as well as what to do when her most hated situations arise.
Sure sign: She chills out in her bouncy chair long enough for you to clean the kitchen.
Crankiness trigger: Overstimulation. She isn't big on loud parties or in-your-face coochy-cooing.
To deal: At gatherings, let her warm up to guests at her own pace. Forcing her to interact will only frustrate you both.
Mover and groover
Sure sign: She escapes her swaddle like a mini Houdini.
Crankiness trigger: Being confined. Whether she's in her car seat or a relative's arms, expect to hear about it.
To deal: Build plenty of time for unrestricted movement into her day. If she's tired of cuddling, put her on the floor where there's plenty of room to wander. Break up a long car ride with a stop at a park so she can roll or crawl on the grass.
Center of attention
Sure sign: She smiles, waves, claps hands, kicks feet, or plays peekaboo whenever there's an audience.
Crankiness trigger: Boredom. She gets upset if you're in the same room and not interacting with her.
To deal: Take her out for socialization. Stuck inside? Put her in front of a mirror so she can react to herself, or give her toys that "respond" to her, whether through sounds or lights.