You are here

Is My Baby Angry?

The scrunched face. The furrowed brow. The screaming. Your 4-month-old looks amazingly like that always-furious boss you once had, but what is she really feeling?

"It's a stretch to state that a newborn or even a six-month-old actually experiences anger," says Joan Luby, M.D., a professor of child psychiatry at Washington University's School of Medicine, in St. Louis. "'Distress' might be a more accurate label."

In other words: She's uncomfortable, and she has a limited number of tools with which to ask for help. In fact, says Dr. Luby, it's not until around 18 months that she'll develop a sense of desired goals, as well as the capacity to get peeved when those are thwarted.

One thing you might get now, though, is a preview of your next year. Temperament stabilizes at 6 months, and that can predict how your munchkin will behave as a toddler. Get ready!