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The BW "Know Your Baby Quiz"


Diegos Mama:
The "Know Your Baby Quiz"

For each of the following questions, pick the best answer.  In other words, chose the statement that describes your child most of the time.

1.   My Baby

A.   rarely cries
B.   cries only when she’s hungry, tired or over stimulated
C.   cries for no apparent reason
D.   cries very loudly, and if I don’t attend to it, she quickly gets into a rage cry
E.   cries a lot of the time

2.   When it’s time for him to go to sleep, my baby

A.   lies peacefully in his crib and drifts off to sleep
B.   generally falls asleep easily within twenty minutes
C.   fusses a bit and seems to be drifting off, but then keeps waking up
D.   is very restless and often needs to be swaddled or held
E.   cries a lot and seems to resent being put down

3.   When she wakes up in the morning, my baby

A.   rarely cries - she plays in her crib until I come in
B.   coos and looks around
C.   needs immediate attention or she starts crying
D.   screams
E.   whimpers

4.   My baby smiles

A.   at everything and everyone
B.   when prompted
C.   when prompted but sometimes starts to cry within minutes of smiling
D.   a lot and is also very vocal, tending to make very loud baby noises
E.   only under the right circumstances

5.   When I take my baby on any kind of outing, he

A.   is extremely portable
B.   is okay as long as where I take him isn’t too busy or unfamiliar
C.   fusses a great deal
D.   is very demanding of my attention
E.   doesn’t like to be handled a lot

6.   When confronted by a friendly stranger cooing at her, my baby

A.   immediately smiles
B.   takes a moment and then usually smiles fairly quickly
C.   is likely to cry at first, unless the stranger can win her over
D.   gets very excited
E.   hardly ever smiles

7.   When there’s a loud noise, like a dog barking or a slamming door, my baby

A.   is never rattled
B.   notices but isn’t bothered
C.   flinches visibly and often starts to cry
D.   gets loud himself
E.   starts to cry

8.   When I first gave my baby a bath

A.   she took to the water like a duck
B.   she was a little surprised at the sensation, but liked it almost immediately
C.   she was very sensitive - she shook a little and seemed afraid
D.   she was wild – flailing about and splashing
E.   she hated it and cried

9.   My baby’s body language is typically

A.   relaxed and alert almost always
B.   relaxed most of the time
C.   tense and very reactive to external stimuli
D.   jerky – his arms and legs are often flailing all over the place
E.   rigid – arms and legs are often fairly stiff

10.   My baby makes loud, aggressive noises

A.   once in a while
B.   only when she’s playing and is highly stimulated
C.   hardly ever
D.   often
E.   when she’s angry

11.   When I change my baby’s nappy, bathe him, or dress him

A.   he always takes it in stride
B.   he is okay if I do it slowly and let him know what I’m doing
C.   is often cranky, as if he can’t stand being naked
D.   wriggles a lot and tries to pull everything off the changing table
E.   he hates it -  dressing is always a battle

12.   If I suddenly bring my baby into bright light, like sunlight or fluorescent light, she

A.   takes it in stride
B.   can sometimes act startled
C.   blinks excessively or tries to turn her head away from the light
D.   becomes over stimulated
E.   acts annoyed

13a. If you bottle-feed: When I feed my baby, she

A.   always sucks properly, pays attention, and usually eats within twenty minutes
B.   is a little erratic during growth spurts but generally a good eater
C.   is very squirmy and takes a long time to finish the bottle
D.   grabs at the bottle aggressively and tends to overeat
E.   is often cranky and feedings take a long time

13b.If you breastfeed: When I feed my baby, he

A.   latches on immediately – it was a snap right from day one
B.   took a day or two to latch on properly, but now we do fine
C.   always wants to suckle but goes on and off the breast, as if he’s forgotten how to nurse
D.   eats well as long as I hold him the way he wants me to
E.   gets very annoyed and restless, as if I don’t have enough milk for him

14. The comment that best describes the communication between my baby and me is

A.   she always lets me know exactly what she needs
B.   most of the time her cues are easy to read
C.   she confuses me; sometimes she even cries at me
D.   she asserts her likes and dislikes very clearly and often loudly
E.   she usually gets my attention with loud, angry crying

15. When we go to a family gathering and lots of people want to hold him, my baby

A.   is very adaptable
B.   is somewhat selective about whom he’ll go to
C.   cries easily if too many people hold him
D.   might cry or even try to lurch out of someone’s arms if he doesn’t feel comfortable
E.   refuses anyone’s arms except Mummy’s or Daddy’s

16. When we come home from any kind of outing, my baby

A.   settles in easily and immediately
B.   takes a few minutes to get acclimated
C.   tends to be very fussy
D.   is often over stimulated and hard to calm down
E.   acts angry and miserable

17. My baby

A.   can amuse herself for long periods by staring at anything, even the slats in the crib
B.   can play on her own for around fifteen minutes
C.   finds it hard to be amused in unfamiliar surrounds
D.   needs a lot of stimulation to be amused
E.   is not easily amused by anything

18. The most noticeable thing about my baby is how

A.   incredibly well-behaved and easy he is
B.   much he is developing precisely on schedule – just like the books said he would
C.   sensitive he is to everything
D.   aggressive he is
E.   grouchy he can be

19. My baby seems to

A.   feel utterly safe in her own bed (crib)
B.   prefer her bed most of the time
C.   feel insecure in her own bed
D.   act feisty like her bed is a prison
E.   resent being put down into her bed

20. A comment that best describes my baby is that

A.   you hardly know there’s a baby in the house – he’s as good as gold
B.   he’s easy to handle, easy to predict
C.   he’s a very delicate thing
D.   I fear when he begins to crawl, he’s going to get into everything
E.   he’s an “old soul” -  he acts like he’s been here before

To score the self-test above, write A, B, C, D and E on a piece of paper and next to each one, count how many times you’ve used each letter, which denotes a corresponding type.

A’s = Angel baby
B’s = Textbook baby
C’s = Touchy baby
D’s = Spirited baby
E’s = Grumpy baby

Zeroing in on Your Baby’s Type

When you tally up your letters, chances are that you’ll have picked predominately one or two.  As you read the descriptions below, remember that we’re talking about a way of being in the world here, not an occasional mood or type of behaviour associated with a difficulty, such as colic, or a particular developmental milestone, like teething. You’ll probably recognise your baby in the following thumbnail sketches, or perhaps she’s a bit like this, a bit like that. Read all five descriptions. I’ve exemplified each profile with a baby I’ve met who fits it almost exactly.

The Angel baby.

As you might expect, this is the kind of baby every first-time pregnant woman imagines herself to have: good as gold. Pauline is such a baby – mellow, eternally smiling, and consistently undemanding. Her cues are easy to read. She’s not bothered by new surroundings, and she’s extremely portable – in fact, you can take her anywhere. She feeds, plays and sleeps easily, and usually doesn’t cry when she wakes up. You’ll find Pauline babbling in her crib most mornings, talking to a stuffed animal or just amusing herself by staring at a stripe on the wall. An Angel baby often can calm herself down, but if she gets a little overtired, perhaps because her cues were misread, all you have to do is snuggle her and tell her “I can see that you’re overtired”. Then, turn on a lullaby, make the room nice and dim and quiet, and she will put herself to sleep.

The Textbook baby.

This is our predictable baby, and as such, he’s fairly easy to handle. Oliver does everything on cue, so there are few surprises with him. He reaches all the milestones right on schedule – sleeps through the night by three months, rolls over by five, sits up by six. He’ll have growth spurts like clockwork – periods during which his appetite will suddenly increase because he’s putting on extra body weight or making a developmental leap. Even as young as a week, he can play on his own for short periods – fifteen minutes or so – and he’ll coo a lot and look around. And he smiles when someone smiles at him. Though Oliver has normal cranky periods, just like the books describe, he’s easy to calm. It’s not hard to get him to sleep, either.

The Touchy baby

For an ultra sensitive baby like Michael, the world is an endless array of sensory challenges. He flinches at the sound of a motorcycle revving outside his window, the TV blaring, a dog barking in the house next door. He blinks or turns his head away from bright light. He sometimes cries for no apparent reason, even at his mother. At those moments, he’s shouting (in his baby language), “I’ve had enough – I need some peace and quiet”. He often gets fussy after a number of people have held him, or after outings. He’ll play on his own for a few minutes, but he needs the reassurance that someone he knows well – Mum, Dad, a nanny – is close by. Because this type of baby likes to suck a lot, Mum may misread his cues and think he’s hungry when he’d do just was well on a dummy. He also nurses erratically, sometimes acting as though he’s forgotten how. At nap time and at night time, Michael often has difficulty falling asleep. Touchy babies like him easily get off schedule, because their system is so fragile. An extra-long nap, a skipped meal, and unexpected visitor, a trip, a change in formula – any of these can throw Michael for a loop. To calm the Touchy baby, you have to re-create the womb. Swaddle him tightly, snuggle him into your shoulder, whisper a rhythmic sh….sh….sh sound (like the splashing of fluid in the womb) close to his ear, and pat his back gently, mimicking a heartbeat. (This, by the way, will calm most babies, but it works especially well with a Touchy baby). When you have a Touchy baby, the quicker you learn his cues and his cries, the simpler life is. These babies love structure and predictability – no hidden surprises, thank you.

The Spirited baby.

This is a baby who seems to emerge from the womb knowing what she likes and doesn’t like, and she won’t hesitate to let you know it. Babies like Karen are very vocal and even seem aggressive at times. She often screams for Mum or Dad when she gets up in the morning. She hates lying in her own pee or poo, and she says “change me” by boisterously vocalising her discomfort. Indeed, she babbles a lot and loudly. Her body language tends to be a bit jerky. Karen often needs to be swaddled to get to sleep, because her flailing arms and legs keep her up and over stimulated. If she starts crying and the cycle is not interrupted, it’s like a point of no return, and her crying leads to more crying until she’s reached a fever pitch of rage. A spirited baby is likely to grab for her bottle at an early age. She’ll also notice other babies before they notice her, and as soon as she’s old enough to develop a good, firm grasp, she’ll grab their toys as well.

The Grumpy baby

I have a theory that babies like Gavin have been here before – they’re old souls, as we call them - and they’re not all that happy to be back. I may be wrong, of course, but whatever the reason, I assure you this type of baby is downright mardy, as we say in Yorkshire – he’s mad at the world and lets you know it. (My coauthor informs me that the Yiddish equivalent is farbissiner.) Gavin whimpers every morning, doesn’t smile much during the day, and fusses his way to sleep every night. His mum has a lot of trouble keeping baby-sitters, because they tend to take this little guy’s bad humour personally. He hated baths at first, and every time anyone tried to change or dress him, he was fidgety and irritable. His mother had tried to breastfeed him, but she had a slow letdown (the pace of milk working its way down and through the nipple), and Gavin was impatient. Even though she switched him to formula, feeding is still difficult because of his cranky disposition. To calm a Grumpy baby, it usually takes a patient mum or dad, because these babies get very angry and their cries are particularly loud and long. The sh…… has to be louder than the cry. They hate to be swaddled, and they certainly let you know it. If a Grumpy baby has reached a major meltdown, instead of shushing say “It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay” in a rhythm while gently swaying front to back.

Diegos Mama:
Please let a moderator know if you find a typo or spelling/grammatical error.  Topic is locked.  You may begin a new thread with any questions pertaining to the quiz.


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