Courtesy of Cat Bowen

Here's What 2018 Has In Store for You, Based On Your Baby’s Chinese Zodiac Sign

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When I got pregnant for the first time, my grandmother-in-law drew up several charts for my unborn baby. They were all of his potential astrological charts based on the Chinese zodiac. My late mother-in-law went over them with me for hours, painstakingly telling me what each meant, and why it mattered to them. It is thanks to them that I'm actually excited to tell you what 2018 has in store has in store for you, based on your baby's Chinese zodiac sign.

You see, I'm not superstitious. I don't put much stock in signs and the stars, but I get it. For some Chinese people, these beliefs are as important to them as many of our Western faiths are. That's nothing to be mocked. If anything, I found myself grateful that my family already loved this little baby so much, and he hadn't yet been born. These charts aren't cheap to have drawn, and they combine so much modern astronomy, math, and what looked like trigonometry to me, that they're practically a work of art. It was fascinating to go through these charts and see what they thought my son, and later my daughter, would be like based on the day, and even the hour of their births.

This year is the year of the Earth Dog. Each year is assigned not just an animal, but also an element — earth, air, fire, and water. Also, they can be either yin or yang — light or dark. It's strictly binary, complementary, and highly indicative of the year. 2018's Earth Dog is in its yang form, according to Shen-Nong.com. Yang is a hot, bright, and exciting time. Combined with the exuberance of the year of the dog, and its earth form, 2018 should prove to be interesting. I spoke with Master Li Shen of Chinatown, New York, to get the scoop.

Rat

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Born in years 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, and 2008, rats are the first sign in the Chinese zodiac, and tend to be more introverted and contemplative. 2018's exuberant year of the dog means your child might need more time to recharge and may like more calming activities when possible to deal with the stimulation present, Li Shen tells Romper. You might need to guide your rat into ways to slough off the excitement and move on.

Tiger

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Tigers were born in years 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010. Apparently, they will need to use their natural charm and feline swagger to learn to share more. Dog years are prone to collaborative work, and while Tigers are good at getting others to do for them, or just doing everything for everyone else, this is a good year for them to learn to work together and complete a project, with time between for isolation and relaxation, notes Li Shen.

Dragon

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Dragons, born in years 1928, 1940, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, and 2012, are the opposing sign of the dog. Dogs are followers, friendly, and fierce. Li Shen says dragons are the alpha sign. They are powerhouses in life and work. Thankfully, being that the dog is in earth and yang, this will allow a bit more relaxation than otherwise having a dragon in an opposing year. Be sure to nurture your little fire beasts, Khaleesi — they'll need it.

Horse

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They're born in the years 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, and 2014. Naturally athletic and full of energy, horses are well-suited for dog years, Li Shen notes. However, this year your little colt will need some extra TLC when it comes to pursuing what he or she wants. It's a year of dream fulfillment and missed dreams, which for a 3-year-old probably means something like going to Legoland, so be on your organizational guard, and help them out.

Monkey

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From years 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, and 2016, monkeys are brilliant manipulators, ready for anything, and skillful to an extreme degree. They're a problematic sign as children, but as they grow into adulthood, monkeys harbor everything they need for success. This year, they'll need to work on common sense and consequences, according to Li Shen. Which, for a 2-year-old, makes a lot of sense. "Don't touch that," might be the mantra for 2018.

Dog

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It's their year! Born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and after Feb. 16 of 2018, dogs are strong, playful, loyal animals with cheerful energy and they're willing to get down and dirty. This year, their year is in yang earth, meaning their obstacles might be more homebound — probably sleeping through the night or entering middle school — but it's all good because it's their year.

Ox

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Born in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, or 2009, Oxen are talkative, traditional, and prone to tantrums. If your third grader is losing his mind over losing iPad privileges, it makes sense for 2018. Patience is the name of the game for 2018, and their lack of it. However, their year is looking good overall with Dog being in Earth. The grounding of the yang energy keeps their home fires burning and confident, Li Shen says.

Rabbit

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Born in years 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2011, rabbits are diplomatic and given to finding resolutions through negotiating and interlocuting between parties. This year is the year of love for your rabbit, so if your 6-year-old is extra cuddly, this is why. Personally, my rabbit is already really cuddly, but a few more snuggles are good for the soul. Be sure to meet them with open arms. If you're a rabbit yourself, the first year of your 30s is looking good on the love front, so take advantage. Love at first sight is not out of the question.

Snake

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Born in years 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, and 2013, snakes are charmers who love to manipulate a room. They're also given towards curiosity and confidence, Li Shen notes. This year, snakes are in for a restful year that they can use to focus on themselves. If your child is a snake, they're likely starting pre-K or kindergarten this year. This is great, because this year looks to be a prioritizing year for them, easing the tricky transition.

Goat

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Goats hail from years 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, and 2015. They are the most reserved of the zodiac. A bit shy, but once they find their niche? They're visionaries capable of accomplishing anything. Don't take their quiet reserve for weakness, because they're anything but, Li Shen says. This year might be a hard one for them. They'll need to focus on prioritizing their needs and strengths in a way that works out for them. For a toddler hitting the three zone, this might mean more frustration than normal. They'll need more help finding their inner zen goat from their mamas. Maybe a bit of goat yoga is in order?

Rooster

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Born to years 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, and 2017, roosters are outrageous, flamboyant, and fun AF. Your little rooster will not only turn one during the year of the dog, it's a year of growth and purpose for these little chicks, according to Li Shen. They might experience periods of stagnation, though, so that 4-month sleep regression might prove to be a real pain in the butt. Just keep up the soothing, and hopefully the next time they stall is that glorious period between sitting upright and crawling.

Pig

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Born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, and 2007, pigs are, well, pig headed, but also extremely smart, faithful, and anxious, according to Li Shen. This year, pigs will dwell on the past. If your 10-year-old is suddenly worried about last year's band performance before this year's? Blame the dog. However, this is the year pigs learn to keep their cool without getting up with their fists raised ready to battle any newcomer. Your pig will need your quiet assurance and strong presence this year, so be prepared for long, late night chats with your fifth grader.

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