What were we thinking! promote confidence and reduce distress in parents with a first baby

Each baby is different

Each baby is differentYour baby is born with an individual temperament. Temperament has a number of characteristics, each of which varies across a wide range.

Sometimes undemanding babies are labelled as "good" and those who are more difficult to care for as "bad". Babies are neither good nor bad; they are themselves.

Crying BabyOver the next year you will come to know your baby well. Your task is to become familiar on your baby's unique temperament or personality. This can take time. By watching closely you can learn to care for your baby in ways that are effective and satisfying for all of you.

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Learning from your answers

If your baby is easily distressed or not easily comforted or has sleeping and feeding patterns that vary a lot from day to day, then a caretaking routine is likely to be helpful. This means that each day is structured to follow a similar pattern, and that consistent ways of feeding, soothing, bathing and playing with the baby are used.

This can be difficult when it feels as though nothing is working, but research and health professionals' experience have shown the strategies described in the following sections to be effective. It is important not to label your baby as being "good" or "bad".