Stereotype: Free spirit, risk taker, charming.
Why it’s true: Parents are less cautious. (Hey, the older ones ate the dog’s food and lived!) And they also probably have more resources than they did when starting out. “Parents are more lenient, so youngest kids tend to be less rules-oriented, and yet they still get lots of attention,” says Salmon.
When it’s not: “Some babies resent not being taken seriously,” says Linda Campbell, a professor of counseling and human development at the University of Georgia, in Athens. “They might become very responsible, like the oldest, or social, like the middle.”