Baby Whisperer Personality Types: Textbook Baby




About six months ago, we discussed the Angel baby as described by Tracy Hogg in The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems.


Of my children, Kaitlyn is undeniably Angel. Some of you wondered about McKenna with the last post and I have friends question that isn’t she an angel, too? She is such a good sleeper and eater…yes–but I think she is textbook rather than angel. We will discuss that in this post. She has some very angelic qualities to her, but I would attribute that to her being a textbook baby who swayed angel with Babywise principles. 


Brayden is also a swayer. At his core, he is mostly spirited, but displays mostly textbook when Babywise principles are applied. We will discuss him here often as well as McKenna.


So let’s talk textbook. A textbook baby is a baby who pretty much does everything “by the book”–their fine motor and gross motor skills are reached when “they” say they will be. They have their typical stormy times of life as “they” say they will and the easy times of life promised in books. Textbook babies are found on pages 58-59 in Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems.



Similar to Angel babies (Generally good eaters as babies and open to trying something new. ), though Hogg says solids might need to be introduced more slowly.


McKenna definitely fits the Angel baby description of eaters. She has always been a good eater and is always eager to try new foods. Brayden has been more of the textbook description of eaters. He is a good eater. He is usually willing to try new foods, though sometimes hesitant. As a baby, he had no reservations about new foods. Today, he will always try a new food, but he is often nervous about it. He has noticed, however, that he often really likes the new food, so he is willing to try new things.



Moderately Active. Since they do everything on time, it is easy to chooose appropriate-level toys. Some are real doers; others hang back a bit. 


As a baby and pre-toddler, this definitely fit McKenna exactly. She was a baby my friends envied because she would sit on my lap when we were out and about and was content just to sit with me. As a toddler, however, she is quite active–but she is also a toddler. Toddlers are usually active. Brayden has always fit spirited description of activities more. 



Need the full 20 minutes (typical length of time to fall asleep) to fall asleep. If overstimulated, they might need more calming from a parent to settle.


McKenna did sometimes take 20 minutes to fall asleep (which I only know thanks to a video monitor), but her typical was about 5 minutes. If I got the timing right, it was fast. Brayden fell asleep easily unless overstimulated (that is, once we started following Babywise).



Similar to angel babies. They are low-reactors. They go with the flow so long as their signs of hunger, tiredness, etc. are met.



Yes, McKenna was very chill. Hard to rattle. Brayden was this way so long as there was no hunger and no overstimulation, but if there was either of those things, he was more spirited. 



Right on time with everything. She is mellow unless she needs something. Low-maintenance.


This is McKenna. 


Why Textbook?

You can see that textbook and angel really are very similar. Many of the descriptions say “similar to angel babies.” So what is the difference?


With an angel baby, you basically can’t go wrong. Your baby isn’t going to be good and easy pretty much no matter what you do. Even with reflux, Kaitlyn was without question angel. 


A textbook baby will often act like an angel if you meet all of her needs, which is so easy to do on the Babywise or Baby Whisperer routine. So they are easy. They are also very predictable–they are stereotypical in their milestones. With McKenna, she met her wonder week milestones. For example, when it was the 19 week wonder week (the worst typically), she had a random two week bad period (bad for her). Kaitlyn never really had that. 


Brayden was textbook so long as I kept him on track. If we deviated from our normal, he really had a hard time. So with all things right, he was a textbook baby in his demeanor, but was easy to shift off of that track with disruptions. The girls were both easy when disruptions came along. 



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