5 Science-Proven Facts About Youngest Children

5 Science-Proven Facts About Youngest Children

Do the babies of the family have it made? Scientific birth order studies know.

By Kelly Bryant

Ah, the baby of the family – so cute, so coddled, so adept at getting away with anything and everything, right? Well, that depends on who you ask. Birth order experts weigh in on the youngest cub. See if you agree with their findings.

1. They may not necessarily be the most responsible. The youngest child in the family tends to be very outgoing, social, and friendly, but he may not be so conscientious or good with responsibility, says Catherine Salmon, PhD, an associate professor of Psychology at the University of Redlands and author of The Secret Power of Middle Children.

”[Youngest children] have one trait referred to as openness to experiences and, of course, there’s positives to that,” says Salmon. “Sometimes, taking a risk is what you need to do in order to be successful or move ahead in some way, but taking risks can end badly.”

2. They may be more self-centered. In terms of negative traits, Salmon notes the baby is often referred to as overindulged or spoiled. “That certainly can be the case in some situations where they end up perhaps being more self-centered than one would ideally like,” she says.

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3. You should fight the urge to spoil the baby. “You don’t want to spoil them too much,” says Salmon. “You don’t want them to believe the world solely revolves around them. They need to understand that everyone else also feels as though the world should revolve around them.”


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4. They can be just as powerful as firstborns. Just because presidential candidates tend to be firstborn or only children doesn’t mean a family’s youngest child can’t have big political dreams. “Ronald Reagan was one of the few babies of the family that made it to the White House, but they called him The Great Communicator, because he was quick on his feet,” says Kevin Leman, psychologist and author of The Firstborn Advantage and The Birth Order Book: Why You Are The Way You Are, among others.

5. They’re natural-born salespeople. Career-wise, Leman says you’ll find many babies of the family working in sales. “They’re your natural salesperson, your marketing person, the guy that can figure out how to do things using their great social skills,” he explains.

How do these characteristics match up with the baby in your family?

Kelly Bryant is a freelance writer and pop culture junkie. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and their two sons. Follow her on Twitter @MsKellyBryant.

Image ©iStock.com/DarrenMower

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