Having a baby is serious business—but it doesn’t all have to be serious! Between birth plans, CPR classes, and car seat installation, why not have a little fun by taking a sneak peek into your baby’s personality (and future) with the help of the Chinese zodiac? The Chinese zodiac assigns each birth year one of twelve animals...and that animal is thought to determine your baby’s dominant personality traits. For example, if your bundle of joy is expected between February 1, 2022—which is the Chinese New Year—and January 21, 2023, you’ve got yourself a Tiger Baby! Here’s everything you need to know about the newest member of your pack.

Year of the Tiger: Baby’s Personality Traits

Your sweet Tiger cub is the shining star of the liter, brimming with cheer, humor, confidence, optimism, and an awe-inspiring zest for all of life’s adventures. So, while other babies and toddlers may sit quietly on a picnic blanket during playdates, your precious bub may be itching to crawl, waddle, and eventually run around exploring! But even when jetting toward adventure, your little daredevil will never leave their pals behind. In fact, Tigers are always surrounded by a loyal crew of friends. Considering all the above, it’s no shock that Tigers are natural-born leaders, always looking to bring folks together, put their brilliant ideas into practice, and ensure that equality reigns. (Fairness is super important, so if your little one perceives an injustice, be prepared for shouts of “no fair!” during family game night!)

At the same time, brace yourself: Tigers are strong-willed, big-egoed creatures who have an opinion on, well, everything! Once your tyke makes up their mind, it’ll be a challenge to change it. (Hello mealtime battles!) And while your tot’s confidence propels them to success, know that they can be easily frustrated by failures and be quick to tantrum. To help, always offer a generous helping of support and understanding when they stumble. Teach the pillars of resilience, including patience, and empathy from the get-go. And learn to counter your Tiger’s big emotions with these expert-tested tantrum tamers. Your emotional future-leader will thank you for it!

Year of the Tiger: Baby’s Physical Leanings

While all Tiger babies clearly look different, they are thought to share some telltale physical characteristics. Namely, Tigers are healthy, brave, super-active, and adore sporty activities. Their enthusiasm for adventure and activity means that your kiddo will relish pushing their physical limits. Deep breaths, mama! It’ll be up to you—and other influential adults and big kids—to teach your Tiger to assess their limits, to engage in healthy risk-taking, and to prepare. To help, create spaces in your home for getting wiggles out and schedule oodles of outside time for your child to romp and roam. Also, plan adventures with your kiddo! In the eye of your Tiger, that’s the stuff that bonds are made of!

Tigers’ bodies aren’t the only thing racing. Even when lying down for sleep, your cub’s mind can work in full-power mode, continuing to think about all that they want to do next. To calm your tyke’s mind during bedtime—and ready them for a restful night—start bedtime sweet talk young. Here, you softly and calmly remind your child of all the ways they successfully handled obstacles that day, which calms the brain and encourages them to do more of the same the next day and beyond. 

Year of the Tiger: Your Baby’s Learning Style

Curiosity and cats go hand-in-hand...and your Tiger is no exception! Your inquisitive child’s world is their personal classroom, where they ask zillions of questions and explore the ins-and-outs of all. And, wow, is your tyke a fast learner! (Tigers tend to master crafts and arts quickly.) The catch? Lessons need to be interesting at all times! After all, your curious cat is prone to daydreaming when bored. To bolster your child’s learning, leap onto what interests them the most—be it dinosaurs, ponies, cars, or space—by offering more, more, more information! And, by all means, add chores to the mix, too. Tigers are fiercely independent and love to tackle big-kid tasks. Doing so bolsters their self-confidence and, ultimately, their resilience.

Year of the Tiger: What’s So Special About 2022 Tigers

In the Chinese zodiac, each year corresponds to an animal and one of the elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, or water. While the predominant element for all Tigers is wood, baby Tigers born in 2022 are considered Water Tigers, which means on top of all your child’s curiosity and confidence, they’ll also be blessed with the ability to reflect and contemplate what they experience in the world. Another special thing about 2022 Tigers? All those twos! The number 22 has long been associated with success and luck in all areas of life. Perhaps that’s because babies born in an even year are well-liked by all and brimming with leadership qualities. (Guess who’ll be organizing backyard performances with the neighbor kids?) Also adding to your wee Tiger’s future success: Being born under so many twos goes together with balance, meaning you’ll have quite the diplomatic problem-solver on your hands. (Sandbox quarrels have nothing on your pint-size mediator.)

Year of the Tiger: Fun Facts

Each animal of the Chinese zodiac has their own signature season, element, lucky numbers, and more. Here’s how it shakes out for your Tiger baby:

  • Stone: Ruby and Sapphire

  • Season: Spring

  • Month: September

  • Flowers: Yellow lily and cineraria

  • Colors: Blue, gray, orange, white

  • Lucky Numbers: 1, 3, 4 (and numbers containing them, like 13 and 34)

  • Unlucky Numbers: 6, 7, 8 (numbers containing them, like 67 and 78)

  • Lucky Days: 16th and 27th of any month

Year of the Tiger: Other Tigers

Folks born in 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010 are fellow Tigers. But remember: While the Western new year always begins in January, the Chinese lunar calendar starts in either January or February, so you’ll want to double check that you’ve determined the proper sign for those in your life. (For example, if you were born on February 1, 1986, you wouldn’t be a Tiger, but an Ox. However, if you had a birthday between February 9, 1986, and January 28, 1987, you’d be a Tiger.) Some famous Tigers include Usain Bolt, Lena Dunham, Lady Gaga, Amanda Gorman, Bear Grylls, Shawn Mendes, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Stevie Wonder. 

Craving even more insight on your baby? Here, fascinating facts about:

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