Baby Whisperer: Wake Up Disposition

Baby wake up dispositions. Some babies wake up happy and cooing and some wake up grumpy and mad. Read about the different types of babies and how they wake up.

Baby wake up dispositions. Some babies wake up happy and cooing and some wake up grumpy and mad. Read about the different types of babies and how they wake up.

In keeping with her rule of respecting baby, Tracy Hogg implores parents to be gentle, quiet, and considerate when waking baby up from naps and in the morning. I always go in and say, “Good morning [insert name or nickname here]! Did you have a nice nap/Did you sleep well last night?”

But of course no matter what you do to wake baby up, he will have his own reaction. According to Babywise, your baby should wake up happy. See this post: Waking Up Happy . Tracy Hogg says there is a disposition based on your child’s personality profile for waking up. The caveat here is that Hogg doesn’t give an age range for these reactions. A Babywise baby wakes up happy usually starting around 5 months of age. Here they are (found on page 139):

  • Angel baby: Smiles, coos, goos…these babies are just happy. Unless they are really hungry or sitting in a soaked-through diaper, these babies wait for you to come get them. I have found this to be true of Kaitlyn. She was really happy waking from birth. Granted if she woke up and wasn’t gotten as a younger baby, she would slowly start to make noise because she was hungry. I have also found this to be true of Brayden, but only after the 5ish month age. Before that, he was more like a textbook baby (see below).
  • Textbook baby: Will wake up, make little sounds with fidgeting as though letting you know he is awake. If you don’t respond to that, he will start to get louder. If you still don’t respond, he will go into an all-out cry.
  • Touchy baby: Almost always wake up crying. They want to be retrieved quickly.
  • Grumpy baby: This baby also quickly moves from small fussy sounds to all-out crying. These babies don’t like to be wet or hungry. Hogg says these babies simply won’t give you a smile first thing in the morning.
  • Spririted baby: These babies don’t give you small fussy noises when they wake. They make coughlike cries–stop–coughlike cry–stop…will escalate to wailing if you don’t show up.

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Reader Comments:

  • Rachel Stella said…
    I can’t believe it! I categorized my baby as a “spirited baby” from your previous post and looked at this post and laughed. My baby wakes up EXACTLY like a spirted baby in the mornings (usually happy for naps though). Hogg really does know what she is talking about!
    September 1, 2008 10:58 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Rachel, that is funny. She is quite knowledgeable–though there are some things I ademately disagree with (like not reading to your child until they are 6 months old–no way).
    September 5, 2008 2:35 PM

Reader Questions:

  • Sarah said…
    Hi , i just had a question…My son is currently 10 months old. He’s been waking up happy since he was 5.5 months old. Recently, for the past week and a half, my son has been waking up screaming bloody murder. I follow the BW model- routine nap schedule, CIO, etc. He sleeps 11.5 hours at night straight, his naps are 1.5 hours long- however without fail when he wakes he cries his eyes out. Initially I rushed to him, because it was so unlike him, but after realizing everything was okay, I tried to let him CIO. However, that was shortlived cuz soon he’s almost to the point of hyperventilating. Trying to figure out why, I’ve come to the conclusion it could be separation anxiety. WHen i do pick him up, it takes him awhile to calm down, and if i put him down within the first 20 minutes, he’ll bawl and bawl until i pick him back up. What should i do in this situation?
    September 2, 2008 10:07 AM
    Sarah said…
    oh i forgot to mention, he’s a very happy baby except when i take something away from him =)
    September 2, 2008 10:09 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Sarah, are you sure there is no teething or something? This is strange. Do you do independent play? If so, is he okay for that? If not, it might help him to learn to entertain himself when he needs to.As for what to do right when he wakes up, with what you described I think I would just get him.Baby wake up dispositions. Some babies wake up happy and cooing and some wake up grumpy and mad. Read about the different types of babies and how they wake up.
    September 5, 2008 2:46 PM
  • The Traveling Turtle said…
    This is the perfect post for my question of the day! And it is actually similar to Sarah’s above. My 6 month old daughter is a BW baby and has been waking up very happy (babbling and playing for about 10 minutes or so before we go get her up for good). This all stopped, except for her morning wake up, this past week. Now most of the time when she wakes from her naps she is crying. I don’t know why. I have some reasons that MAY be answers but am not sure if I am just grasping here. She stays with a sitter for 3 days a week and her grandmother (at our house) the other 2. I think the sitter gets her up after an hour or so if she wakes and doesnt let her CIO as long as she needs to if she woke earlier than normal. Even though I have asked her to do so on numerous occasions. I ask her to let her CIO for at least 25 minutes, knowing that around 20 she will be asleep. Since we had the long weekend this past week I could really watch her new habits. She is only sleeping for about an hour of her first 2 hour nap. then she will wake and talk for a while. The sitter would get her up then thinking the nap was over but my baby would be whiney and fussy until her next nap. she is usually a very happy and good baby so I know she didn’t get enough rest if she does that. Her schedule WAS 2 two hour naps (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) with a 1 hour nap in the late afternoon before dinner. And she was fine with that. She did really well actually. Then it all went downhill. Now we let her play in the crib when she wakes up early and then let her CIO when she realizes we are not coming in to get her. Then she will cry for about 20 minutes. Maybe 25. And cry very hard. But she will go back to sleep after that. I don’t know if the fact that she can now see over her bumper plays into anything. We recently lowered her matress all the way down b/c she is pulling up. So she can see over the bumper and tell that we are not in the room when she wakes. Could that be the problem and should I let her cry for a while even though the nap is over? I think she may be dealing with a little bit of seperation anxiety to be honest with you b/c now I am not able to be out of her sight when she plays in her room. That was not an issue a month or so ago. Advice please. 🙂
    September 2, 2008 10:48 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Traveling Turtle, There could be a lot of things at play here. Separation Anxiety could be one of them. If that is the case, be sure she is getting good time in with you each day. She should calm down with that as she gets used to the new schedule. 6 months is a growth spurt time, also, so if she hasn’t had one yet, consider that as a possibility. See also: 5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions
    September 7, 2008 8:30 PM
    The Traveling Turtle said…
    One more addition to my comment earlier. I have been watching my daughter closely for a full week now (and reading her logs when she is at the sitter’s during the day). She sleeps very well from 7P-7A every day. I am so thankful for that. She USED to take the 2 two hour naps with one 45-60 minute cat nap for her 4:00 nap, waking around 5:00 before her 6:30 feeding. That was great with me and seemed to be going well. Then one day she realized she could pull up in her crib and play with stuff. After that we 1)lowerd her mattress for safety reasons and 2) removed her mobile since she was playing with it in her crib during nap time. So she will go to nap time at the same times she used to, but now she wakes after an hour or so. We leave her in there to play in her crib hoping she will go back to sleep after a while. sometimes she plays for like 30-45 minutes and then will finally drift off for another 30 minutes or so. I don’t know how to take it. I have read the blogs you suggested, but am wondering if it could just be her new abilities that keep her from going back to sleep. she has always been VERY aware of her surroundings and likes to really take things in. I think that is great – but am wondering if that could be the napping problem here? We have decided to let her stay in her crib and play when she wakes up and hope that one day soon she will just adjust back to her normal routine. She is about 6 1/2 months old now and has been doing this nap thing for about 2-3 weeks now. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks as always for such a wonderful blog! Thank goodness this is out here!
    September 8, 2008 6:27 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    All of my adivice for that would be in this post: Nap Disruptions: Rolling, Standing, Crawling, etc. It sounds like she is just fine since she goes back to sleep. If she is waking because of standing in the crib, then it most likely won’t last too long. It should wear off as the novelty of the skill wears off.
    September 12, 2008 11:18 AM

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