How early in life does temperament appear?

Maternity room nurses say they can identify the "loud, intense squawkers" from the first day. But not all elements of temperament show up at once.

For example, "persistence" is difficult to see until a child begins to develop skills (rolling over, sitting up, crawling, etc.). Only then are parents likely to notice how diligently the child practices each skill.

Children have to teach their temperament to their parents. So it takes time for parents to learn their child's temperament. The image emerges slowly over time, like a photographic negative in the developer tray. At birth, the image can be clouded by prematurity, birth hormones, the after-effects of a difficult birth, unfinished neurological development, or colic. For this reason, we recommend parents wait until 4-6 months to complete the child's first temperament questionnaire.


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