Is your baby too shy? According to experts, that trait could define your future

One of the questions that parents ask the most after the birth of their baby is: “How is he behaving? Is he too shy or does he prefer to be outgoing? ” The answer is always different: each little one has their own temperament and personality that accompanies them for the rest of their lives.


One of the questions that parents ask the most after the birth of their baby is: “How is he behaving? Is he too shy or does he prefer to be outgoing? ” The answer is always different: each little one has their own temperament and personality that accompanies them for the rest of their lives.

Several psychological studies have determined that there are three types of temperament in newborns: the easy, the difficult and the apathetic. For many years, these investigations worked to analyze the behavior of children, however, they did not show what was its long-term effect.

Recently, a study conducted by the University of Maryland has revealed how a newborn’s temperament affects his adult personality. The results, in addition to representing the beginning of more research on the neurological development of children, has also yielded results that no one expected.

Personality in childhood

A reflection of the future?
According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and funded by the National Institutes of Health of the United States, the temperament that a baby presents in the first years of life, can define in its entirety, the personality that will have in adulthood.

Temperament refers to the individual, biologically based differences that are manifested through the emotional and behavioral responses of human beings. During childhood, this factor sets the precedent to define the personality they will have in adulthood.

The study revealed that inhibition and shyness in childhood usually predict, in most cases, a reserved, introverted and insecure personality that will reach its peak at 26 years of age; age at which the human body has managed to fully develop its personality

The researchers confirmed that when children show a cautious, shy and fearful personality towards situations, objects, people or scenarios, the risk of suffering from anxiety disorders and social disorders grows exponentially, unlike those who are more extroverted.

The research, recognized as one of the most important in the area of ​​child psychology, was developed between 1989 and 1993. In it, 165 people were followed for at least 25 years, who were analyzed from 4 months of birth .

“Although many studies link early childhood behavior with the risk of psychopathology, the findings in our study are unique,” says Daniel Pine, study author and head of the Affective Neuroscience and Development Section of the National Institute of Mental Health of the United States (NIMH).

“This is because our study evaluated temperament very early in life, linking it with results that occurred more than 20 years later through individual differences in neuronal processes,” explains the specialist.

The study analyzed the behavior of the patients through three different activities that were carried out at different ages: 14 months of age, 15 years and finally, 26 years.

The first test, carried out at one year and two months after birth, consisted of exposing the patients to an unknown playroom where only they, a toy robot and a stranger were found. With this, the specialists were able to observe how they reacted to strange and unknown situations.

At age 15, the participants underwent a test that was intended to show how their brain signals responded to failure and mistakes. If the signal was strong, it meant that the situation caused them stress and anxiety, therefore their mind was weaker in the neurological field.

When the patients reached the age of 26, a survey was conducted regarding their vocation, personality, mental health, and relationships. This latest experiment confirmed that those who were shy in childhood were more reserved and introverted people compared to those who were more outgoing.

Finally, they concluded that the presence of this type of temperament in childhood is not related to a better performance in adult life, however, it is a factor that predicts mental and emotional problems that may occur in the future.

This study, in addition to expanding the knowledge and findings that existed in this regard, also marks the beginning of a new generation of experts who are dedicated to investigating childhood behaviors and how they relate to mental illnesses.

In this way, the possibilities of finding solutions and answers that improve the quality of life of those who suffer from these conditions grow to an unsuspected level. It is a great discovery for science and humanity.

Why does my baby cry when held by strangers? Experts explain

Most mothers have experienced the following situation: you find yourself holding your baby, he or she smiles and someone comes over to carry him or say a compliment. Immediately after you pass it on to that person, be it a family member, friend or acquaintance, the baby begins to pout and cry inconsolably.

The child’s reaction can be disconcerting and worrying; even more so, if the newborn usually has this behavior with certain people in particular. Fear of strangers is a real thing, and while it is often a temporary season in your baby’s life, it’s important to know how you can help your baby overcome that fear.

Anxiety about the unknown

According to the psychologist Andrea Díaz Mendoza, the anxiety of babies towards strangers usually occurs between 6 and 12 months of age. That is, when the child’s brain begins to develop the ability to understand the difference between faces that are familiar to him and those he has never seen in his life.

At this stage, the child is developing the ability to recognize the face of his parents and close relatives, therefore, it is normal for him to present a rejection reaction when someone he does not know approaches to have some type of contact with him or she.

The specialist argues that another factor that could influence this behavior is the so-called “separation anxiety”. According to the psychologist, this disorder is normal and transitory; usually presents between 8 and 24 months of age

By this point, his brain and cognitive abilities have managed to link familiar faces with feelings such as love, affection and protection, so it is normal that the little one prefers that you or a close family member carry him instead of a friend or family acquaintance.

What can I do about it?

The specialist argues that the best thing you can do in these situations is to remain calm and offer a secure attachment to make this process more relaxed.

We know that you can feel anxious or stressed, however it is important that you remain calm so that you can show that nothing bad is happening.

Dr. Luis Martín Álvarez, a pediatrician specialized in behavior and primary care, explains that the most important thing is to make the baby feel in a safe environment and, under no circumstances, force him to remain in the arms of someone with whom he does not want to be .

Instead, the specialist suggests that you stay close to the person who wants to carry it for a couple of minutes, this will make the little one get used to it little by little and gradually become familiar.

You must also respect the rhythms and emotional needs of the baby. If you know that he is having a hard time and that he is entering an anxiety crisis, do not let more time pass and take him in your arms, remember that crying and stress can seriously harm his emotional development.

Be patient and give him his space and time, do not pressure him. We assure you that once your child gains security and autonomy, they will begin to feel more comfortable in novel situations with people they do not know.

Finally, remember that it is normal for your child to want to be with you or in your arms. Do not forget, they see the world through you, do not despair and stay calm, it is a matter of months before you start to get used to it and venture to explore unknown faces.

Learn about the best early stimulation exercises for babies from 0 to 12 months

At birth, all children develop a defined rhythm of learning that will accompany them throughout their lives and that must be respected.

However, there are a series of exercises that we can do in order to help them develop certain skills and improve their psychomotor health, this activity is called early stimulation.

Recommended by multiple experts in health and pediatrics, early stimulation consists of performing exercises that aim for newborns (from one month to 12) to exercise with activities that allow them to develop areas such as child psychomotor skills and language .

What is early stimulation?

According to Pamela Maravillas, a family psychotherapist and certified therapist by the Mexican Association for Early Stimulation, these activities are designed to strengthen the following areas of development:

Between 30 days and 3 years, the little ones have the greatest period of growth of their lives, which is why it is necessary to develop their motor and intellectual abilities during that time.

Early stimulation exercises can be games, activities, or songs. The key is to present them in an attractive way so that the baby feels comfortable doing them. In addition to improving motor skills, it will also foster the emotional bonds you have with your little one and help him perform better in adult life.


Early stimulation is divided into specific areas for the age of your little one: during the first year of life, they are classified into periods of two months and later, of six

At first, we will need to focus on those exercises that will help you strengthen your neck and achieve head control; later in the turns, which he must carry out by himself, to finish with those activities that allow him to sit down while learning to balance his body.

If we maintain a constant rate of learning, by the first semester, the little one will begin to crawl and crawl. Later, when you are about to turn one year old, you can probably start taking your first steps.


Start from head to toe; each part of the body should perform two exercises per repetition, for example:

• Head. Move it up and down • Shoulders. Up and down; front and back • Arms. Flex and extend them; knead them – gently squeeze them – from the armpits down

• Dolls. Inward and outward circles • Fingers (hands). Knead each one starting from the thumb • Legs. Flex and extend them, imitating the pedaling of a bicycle.

• Feet. Inward and Outward Circles • Toes (feet). Knead each one starting with the thumb

Tip: start with five repetitions and increase them until they can do 10 per session.


Each exercise has a level of difficulty that depends on the age of the newborn. These are the right exercises for the stimulation to have the effect you want.

0 to 2 months. Turn him upside down and get his attention with a rattle; move it from left to right and top to bottom. The aim is that each day he holds his head better and that he is able to recognize where the auditory stimulus is coming from.

2 to 4 months. Put a diamond blanket and place it in the center. Hold the side ends and pull one, as if you were going to cover it. When it’s about to turn, pull the other end to compensate for it so that it doesn’t roll completely. After rocking him a couple of times on each side, roll him upside down.

6 to 8 months. Help him to bounce slightly. Take it with your hands and sit it on a ball (it can be Pilates or yoga, the only requirement is that it must be against a height greater than 65 cm), then alternate the speed in fast and slow segments. Listen to a song that has different rhythms to make it more fun.

8 to 10 months. Keep him face down on the ball and roll it from right to left and front to back. Be careful and be very alert to avoid accidents.

10 to 12 months. Sit it inside a sturdy box, clean and with enough space for it to move freely. Then, you must push it as if it were inside a car. If you think it is convenient, give him a toy, in this way he will have to keep his balance while holding what he is carrying.