Cute african american toddler playing in a cardboard plane

Do You Know Your Toddler’s Personality Type?

We're sure you've heard phrases like "Ohh, my oldest was a breeze to raise, but youngest drained life energy from me." It's peculiar that two children of the same parents can differ this much. But it's not as strange when you understand the various personality types of toddlers and how they change over time. 

If you've been in the parenting game long enough, you'll know that each child has a distinct personality and showcase a mixture of different traits. Some may show radical energy, humor, intelligence, flexibility, shyness, etc. Such a demonstration of a personality can occur as early as ages 1-3

Why would we want to learn about toddler personality types?

Well, first of all, it's essential to understand your toddler a bit better. It can help you change your parenting style to adjust to your baby and help them realize their full potential. And as a side note, you have fun noticing your toddler's unique traits. 

So let's dive deep into the four types of toddler personalities. 

4 Classic Personality Types of a Toddler

The easygoing child

Mommy bloggers often call this type the "Zen Child" or a "Dream come true." These toddlers are cheerful and active. They like new people, activities, books, and more. Raising this child requires common sense, warmth, and attention from the parent. Often, easygoing children are neglected because their siblings might require more attention and guidance. 

How to spot an easygoing child: 

  • They're active and energetic;
  • They handle changes easily and adapt quickly;
  • They have healthy and predictable daily habits (eating, sleep);
  • They're mostly happy and giggly;
  • They have a healthy amount of emotional turbulence and don't throw tantrums often;
  • They're not sensitive to noises, smells, and distractions.

How to bring out the best of an easygoing child:

  • Practice positive reinforcement - Children can sometimes copy unhealthy behavior to get the attention they want by observing how more "ill-behaved" kids;
  • Let them know that it's okay to ask for help - Since they can be overly independent sometimes;
  • Join them in playful activities - Easygoing kids can have a lot of fun on their own, but this doesn't mean you shouldn't have quality bonding time with them; 
  • Tune into their signals - Easygoing children may not show their needs, and we tend to overlook them. Some things may upset your zen child, so make sure to notice those cues. 

The shy child

You've met shy children, haven't you? Some people call them the "Wallflowers." They usually take longer to warm up to new people; they're cautious in unfamiliar situations. Parents of "the wallflower" have reported that their children have a low intensity of reaction, slow adaptability, and aren't as active as other kids their age. 

We often encourage shy children to be like others by pressuring them to be more active and engaged. This can make them fearful and withdrawn even more than before. So here are some signs to identify a shy child and bring out the best in them

How to spot a shy child: 

  • They enjoy their personal space and some quiet play; 
  • They are not comfortable with sudden changes and new situations;
  • They get anxious in unfamiliar places and with strangers;
  • They might display mild to strong emotional turbulence; 
  • They can be ultra-sensitive to noises, smells, and distractions;
  • They're especially sensitive to rejection, disapproval, criticism, or ridicule.

How to bring out the best of a shy child:

  • Be a safe space for them - But don't forget to teach them how to self-regulate. You can let your toddler lean on you when they're in unfamiliar situations and let them know you're there; 
  • Don't rush when introducing them to something new - It might be a change in a routine or eating habits. Introduce unfamiliar things with something familiar;
  • Give them certainty and clarity - You can prep your toddler by talking to them and explaining what and who they'll interact with when going to a family dinner or a birthday party;
  • Respect their preferences and don't pressure them - Not everyone wants to be a social butterfly. Let your toddler be a shy and mysterious stranger at a party sometimes. 

The spirited child

The spirited child, also known as a "spitfire" is a toddler that will jump up and down, run around, play, and scream loud enough for you to hear when they're upset or happy. 

These toddlers are highly active and fussy. They display intense reactions to changes, new people, and different activities. The spitfire can be a strong-willed, energetic, and entertaining child. While they are full of life and parents enjoy watching their baby explore the world, raising a child with irregular habits and impulsive and impatient behavior can be challenging.

How to spot a spirited child: 

  • They are highly active and can fidget a lot;
  • They're passionate and can have intense emotional reactions to shifts;
  • You'd be surprised how well they adjust to changes sometimes, and other times they blow into a temper tantrum; 
  • They're highly sensitive to noises, smells, and distractions;
  • They have unpredictable sleeping and eating habits; 
  • They can be stubborn, impulsive, and impatient;
  • They can get distracted pretty easily.

How to bring out the best of a spirited child:

  • Listen to the cues and prepare for a tantrum - take a careful look at the circumstances of the last temper tantrum and be prepared. Learn how to handle the situation or even stop the tantrum before it's blown to full scale;
  • Give them clear directions - Impulsive children need precise directions. Childhood development experts advise getting to their eye level and talking to them with clear directions;
  • Find a healthy way for your toddler to express their energy - Toddler sports can be a great way to help spirited children let their energy out;

The Explorer

Explorers are energetic toddlers. They run around, jump around, and can get easily distracted by the closest shiny object. These are the children you'll see on a playground exploring every swing and slide; they're coming up with new scenarios for pretend play and rounding their friends around. 

How to spot an explorer child: 

  • They're energetic and strong-willed; 
  • They're mostly cheerful and happy;
  • They're not afraid to explore new things and like meeting new people; 
  • They can have strong emotional reactions to changes; 
  • They can easily lose focus and aren't well-adjusted to monotonous routines; 
  • They have unpredictable sleeping and eating habits; 
  • They make impulsive decisions but aren't stubborn.

How to bring out the best of an explorer child:

  • Allow your explorer child to be independent and give them positive reinforcement - Let them do "adult" chores like swiping the dust or carrying the groceries to the kitchen;
  • Make rules, but don't forget to include exceptions - Explorers are independent children and might ask for extra time on the playground. Make some exceptions to your rules once in a while to make them feel like you're a team; 
  • Stick with the routines - Explorers have irregular sleeping and eating habits, and they might need a routine to keep up with healthy cycles; 
  • Avoid monotonous activities - Your explorer will want to spice things up a little bit, so instead of watching TV every single night, you can try different activities that might interest your energetic toddler.

These are the classic four personality types you might encounter in toddlers. Does this give you a bit more clarity? 

It can be interesting to explore the unique traits of your children, but sometimes these traits can mix up, and a shy child may become active in certain situations; explorers or spirited children might find their peaceful selves, and so on. 

Remember, every child is unique and need support and understanding from their parents. Don't pressure them to change no matter the personality traits they exhibit. Love them and encourage them to bring out their best, and your children will grow up healthy, diverse, and unique adults. 





Toddlers come in all shapes and sizes. We joke, of course, but they do have unique traits and personalities. Learn how to identify these traits and how to bring out the best in your child.