Have you ever seen a baby sweat? Neither have I
You’ve heard of the ‘terrible twos’ – that age when babies for whatever reason start to drive their parents and others crazy because of tantrums and what not? What about children who, as they grow, seem to be more aggressive and physical than their playmates? What accounts for this behavior? Why do some babies develop into little monsters and others angels?
Well, there are all sorts of theories and studies on the subject but one of the more peculiar – yet serious – is the recent research that you can predict how a child will evolve based on how much they sweat. That’s right sweat as in beads of salt water pouring off their little bodies as if they’d just run in a marathon. I’ve never seen a baby sweat before, but according to researchers babies that don’t sweat much when they encounter a scary situation will grow to be three year olds who are more physical and aggressive. Really?
Cool, Calm Babies Not A Good Thing?
According to these researchers this tendency toward aggressiveness because of fewer sweating episodes as a baby will stay with a person through adolescence if not longer. The theory goes on to suggest that because these sweat-less babies don’t seem to be bothered by something that might scare another infant, they lack the kind of emotions that would make them less likely to be aggressive later in life.
So, how do you even guess at this outcome? The scientists actually attached electrodes to the feet of one year olds and measured the baby’s reaction to loud noises and a remote-controlled robot. They retested the babies as three year olds. The results showed the babies who were less perturbed by the sounds and the robot sweated less but later on showed more of a tendency toward being aggressive.
Is This Something To Sweat Over?
One might wonder if there aren’t lots of other situations that might make a child be more or less aggressive. Maybe some babies just didn’t like the idea of having electrodes attached to their feet? Maybe they were just having a bad day – you know their applesauce was kind of sour that morning or something. Or perhaps they’d prefer to be out in the sandbox instead of some lab with a bunch of white-coated researchers looking down at them like they were little aliens?
Whatever the case I’d suggest parents and their little ones take this research with a grain of salt – in other words, don’t sweat it.