Looking to the zodiac for a glimpse into baby’s personality—and future—is always fun. But you’re not getting the full picture if you’re just consulting Western astrology. There’s a whole other zodiac—the Chinese zodiac—that’s brimming with fresh intel on your child. Here, we break down what each sign means for your child, and what’s likely in store for her in 2018.
What Is the Chinese Zodiac?
The Chinese zodiac assigns each birth year a different animal sign, which is believed to determine your dominant personality traits. There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac, and the series repeats itself every 12 years. In 2018, for example, it’ll be the Year of the Dog—and that Dog sign won’t appear again until 2030.
While the Western calendar kicks off a new year in January, the Chinese lunar calendar can begin in January or February. So if your little one has a birthday in either of those months, double check that you’ve determined the proper signl. It simply wouldn’t be right for kids to run around thinking they’re Dogs when they’re actually little Sheep. From age 12 to the soon-to-be born, here’s how to figure out which animal is in in your family’s own personal zoo:
Dog: January 29, 2006 - February 17, 2007; February 16, 2018 - February 4, 2019
Pig: February 18, 2007 - February 6, 2008
Rat: February 7, 2008 - January 25, 2009
Ox: January 26, 2009 - February 13, 2010
Tiger: February 14, 2010 - February 2, 2011
Rabbit: February 3, 2011 - January 22, 2012
Dragon: January 23, 2012 - February 9, 2013
Snake: February 10, 2013 - January 30, 2014
Horse: January 31, 2014 - February 18, 2015
Sheep: February 19, 2015 - February 07, 2016
Monkey: February 08, 2016 - January 27, 2017
Rooster: January 28, 2017 - February 15, 2018
Chinese Zodiac Personalities and Predictions
Curious about the natural traits and tendencies of each sign? Read on to learn about the unique zodiac personalities and what you can expect for your own little animal in the coming year.
Personality traits: According to the Chinese zodiac, your new arrival will be loyal and cheerful—in fact, the Dog is one of the most likeable signs in the entire zodiac. Dog is also the symbol of justice, so as your child grows, his strong sense of right and wrong will grow too. (There’s no cheating in Candy Land with this one!) These traits, however, can make your child a bit hard on others and their missteps. Dog children also tend to be rather serious and prone to worry, but they’re still filled with playfulness and humor.
Predictions for 2018: If you’re expecting a child in 2018 after February 15 (or have a child who was born between January 29, 2006 and February 17, 2007), it’s a Dog’s life. “As a parent, you’ll be expected to be completely and utterly devoted to your puppy. If you feed your lovable beast well, you’ll be bonded for life,” says Sharon Smith, a New York-based Chinese astrology expert and Tai Chi master.
Personality traits: As you’ve likely noticed by now, your sweet, social butterfly is the heart of your family. Even as she grows older, your child still freely doles out hugs and kisses with the utmost sincerity and love. Filled with compassion and empathy, she’s also bogged down by guilt and can let her trusting nature get in the way of smart decisions. Nurture your little one’s instinct to help others, but also arm her with the ability to stand up for herself.
Predictions for 2018: Whether it’s for a tough homework assignment or a creative pet project, your little Pig will start to learn that she needs to ask for—and accept—help. The easiest way is to spur this trait? “Encourage your child to join a club or a team where cooperation is everything,” Smith says.
Personality traits: In China, the Rat is a symbol of fortune and luck, two things that your ambitious child has in spades. He also possesses a sharp, inquisitive mind and is always on a quest to learn more. (He especially excels in reading and languages.) When your Rat isn’t absorbing knowledge, he’s demanding attention by way of megawatt charm—or tears. Be warned: Your Rat child loves to gossip, and if he’s not careful, this tendency may cost him a friendship or two.
Predictions for 2018: In the coming year, your child will become hyper-focused on forging new friendships. “It’s the year of the playdate,” Smith says. As the parent, it’s up to you to help make sure the bonds he makes are positive ones.
Personality traits: Temper tantrums aren’t typically in your Ox’s repertoire. Instead, your child uses his quiet self-confidence and willpower to patiently plug away, rarely allowing frustration to take over. Children born during the year of the Ox are on the shy side, so you’ll likely need to coax answers out of your little one with “what’s wrong?” questions. But shyness in no way means she’s a loner—your Ox takes her time forging meaningful, long-lasting bonds. Take heed, though: Ox kids are quite the grudge holders.
Predictions for 2018: Your Ox will feel especially anxious this year. “She’s very focused on getting things done perfectly,” Smith says. “Luckily, the year of the Dog will provide a cushion of support, encouragement and camaraderie.”
Personality traits: Tiger kids aren’t the types to sit quietly. Instead, your wild child is always on the hunt for excitement, fun and daredevil adventures. (That’ll morph into rebellion soon enough.) And because of her charismatic nature, bright-eyed optimism and big heart, she’s never doing it alone. At the same time, don’t let your Tiger’s tendency to daydream fool you: She’s a natural leader who is intensely curious when she zeros in on the right interest.
Predictions for 2018: Your Tiger will thrive during the year of the Dog. “She’ll experience a big boost of confidence,” Smith says. “You’ll really start to see your little kitten roar and pounce!”
Personality traits: Your bright Bunny loves to make mom and dad happy, telling you exactly what you want to hear and impressing strangers with his good manners. While genuine, your kid will use all of the above to get his way. It also doesn’t hurt that the Rabbit is known to be the luckiest member of the Chinese zodiac. Finally, your child craves peace and tranquility and abhors conflict, making him a top-rate diplomat.
Predictions for 2018: Wow, 2017 was filled with chaos and excitement, right? Take heart: “In 2018, your little Rabbit will thrive on the peace and quiet of the Dog year,” Smith says. “Take this reprieve to help nurture a new interest or talent in your child.”
Personality traits: Your mini Dragon is kind of intense, huh? When she gets older, she’ll channel that to great success. For now, feel free to pile on appropriate responsibilities. She’ll love it—and thrive because of it. Just be sure to offer praise afterward to fuel her fire. Your intelligent and hard-working kid tends to give everything her all, so watch out for burnout, especially since she’s her own harshest critic. Your Dragon’s unwavering honesty and big personality ensures that she’ll always be surrounded by pals.
Predictions for 2018: Your Dragon’s high-energy personality won’t quite jive with the chill vibe of the Year of the Dog. “Socially, this will make it a rougher year,” Smith says. “But it’s also a great time for you to encourage your Dragon to exercise her creativity and imagination.”
Personality traits: Much like your child’s animal counterpart, a kiddo born in the Year of the Snake relies heavily on his own gut instincts. And lucky for him, he’s often confidently led in the right direction. But also like snakes, your child is naturally guarded, shooing away nonessential friends. (However, the friendships your child deems worthy are deep.) Thanks to his defensive nature, he’ll also be reluctant to share his worries, opting instead to ponder in silence.
Predictions for 2018: It looks like your Snake is ready to shed some old habits and try new things this year. “Normally Snakes are not a team players, but you’ll find your child striving to learn—and demonstrate—cooperation,” Smith says.
Personality traits: Stubborn and hard-working? Sure sounds like kids of the Horse sign. But that doesn’t mean your child is no fun—in fact, children born in the year of the Horse are clever, cheerful and oh-so-chatty. It’s even said these kids are the easiest to fall head-over-heels for. It probably helps that they’re brimming with energy and always aching for an adventure. The bad news? Your adventure-seeker is also the impatient and impulsive sort.
Predictions for 2018: Horse kids thrive on excitement! Unfortunately, the Year of the Dog will provide little of it for your child. This year, it’s up to you to serve up some scintillating activities, Smith says.
Personality traits: Like the animals themselves, kids born in the Year of the Sheep stick with the herd, taking care of those around them. While Sheep children have a knack for watching out for others, they also love to be babied. (Tip: Offer oodles of reassurance.) Since competitiveness makes a Sheep kiddo bristle, let her express her artistic talents without any pressure.
Predictions for 2018: “Lot of rules and regulations will have your little lamb feeling hemmed this year,” Smith says. Expect an uptick in incessant “why” questions.
Personality traits: Who doesn’t love a monkey? Your child is constantly on the move and thrives on entertaining friends and family alike. He possesses a quick wit and clever mind, and has a successful future in store for him. Your little one also loves to solve puzzles, and ask lots of questions. He may have a bit of a superiority complex, so it’s important to instill respect.
Predictions for 2018: Watch out, mom: “Monkeys tend to get into trouble during the Dog year,” Smith says. It’s your job to keep any monkey business as safe as possible.
Personality traits: Your Rooster is a self-starter who loves to pursue plans she hatches on her own. And just like her cock-a-doodle-doo counterpart, your Rooster child lives for shouting her opinions for all to hear. Moreover, her gift for self-expression may land her squarely in the spotlight—which she loves (and her optimism and energy will help get her there). Interestingly enough, your outspoken Rooster is, in reality, a bit of a loner.
Predictions for 2018: “Your child ruled the roost in 2017, but now your Rooster will need to occupy the backseat,” Smith says. “Look out for big lessons about learning to share the spotlight.”
Published December 2017