My son is 4mo and BF, so naturally right now he wants me more frequently than DH. He is starting on solids so that should be changing soon, but until then how can I make DH feel more included (a bottle is not an option)? I would like a father's perspective on this.
Part of the reason I'm looking for help on this is that he has started throwing temper tantrums if someone else holds him and my husband reacts by putting him in his swing. A) He's going to start seeing his swing as a punishment rather than entertainment/comforting motion, B) he's NOT going to get over be held by his dad instead of me if his dad doesn't hold him, and C) he needs to learn he isn't going to automatically get what he wants by throwing a tantrum.
This is why I'm looking for ways his dad can redirect him instead of putting him down.
We went through the same thing with my husband and daughter. My husband would be so excited to see her when he got home and she would just scream. If he had had a bad day he'd just hand her back over to me. It would seem as if he was mad at her but I think his feelings were just hurt. We had to start my daughter on solids at 4 months which made my hubby feel more apart of the feeding process. I also began leaving for an "errand" more often (usually to Starbucks or anywhere just to be out of the house alone) which gave them some time alone together - even if it was just an hour. I found that if I was there, she'd naturally gravitate towards me but if I wasn't around she was happy as a clam with him. He also found that if he took her outside to look at trees, flowers, grass, anything she would be so fascinated and entertained that she wouldn't even notice I wasn't there. You may just want to try and get him as involved as possible with the solid feedings. All of you need to give it some time. Maybe start with a 20 minute errand to the store or something and build up to something longer. But don't stop trying...I think this is a phase they all go through. Hang in there!
I know this is what DH's feeling. Though he absolutely loves his "daddy's girl," he was so excited to have a son. With our daughter, she preferred him to me, but she wasn't BF, so he gave her a bottle just as often as I did. He loved the time they spent together and I know he originally intended to do the same with our son but things have gotten out of hand!
DH is so frustrated that I can't even leave the house without taking the baby with me because he refuses to watch him now (which he didn't do with our daughter). This is why I know it's not my husband in general - it's the specific situation.
DH gets so frustrated that the only "alone time" I get is when I go to church and hand my son over to the nursery during the sermon (I keep him with me during worship b/c he loves the music.) Basically, 20 minutes at a time over the last 3 weeks - since he was born! I NEED some "me" time! Even when he's sleeping, I'm the one who has to listen for him!
And DH was so excited at first! It's like he's checked out b/c our son is showing a preference for me and his refusal to work on it is actually exacerbating the situation. I would just like to be able to go to the bathroom without taking the baby with me! Is that so much to ask??!!
I'm starting to get frustrated with the baby b/c it has gotten so bad! And in my head, I know it's not his fault or mine, but emotionally the lack of time to myself is making me a wreck! Ar-r-gh!!!!!!!!!!
Last edited by 1st Time Mom - Again; 07-24-2008 at 04:12 PM.
Take a deep breath!! Have you had a talk with your DH about how you're feeling? I know it may be uncomfortable for him to step up and help when he feels like the baby doesn't like him, but he still has to help you out! He needs to put his feelings aside and try to soothe and bond with the baby as much as possible. We all get frustrated as parents but the baby isn't malicious or vindictive and has no idea what he's doing. He just knows where he's feeling and can get some comfort from. I would start by talking to your husband and see if together you can come up with a game plan that helps all three of you out. I'm sure once you tell him how you're feeling he'll be happy to help.
I've read so many things saying that dad's should be the ones to read to the babies. I know your baby is young but, I would try creating that special time between them now.
Ladies, i took both of your suggestions and so far so good. Daddy's stepping up a bit more and I'm a tad less frustrated - which is good 'cause the tension was starting to affect BF.
I went through the same thing as your hubby with our first one. When you're feeding baby, that's your time and let's face it, we (fathers) aren't equipped, so that's that! Where hubby can step in is at bath time, bed time, etc... Even at 4mo, reading to your kids is HUGE! I would read 3 books to our first one (and second one too) and at around 16mo he started reciting the books to me. Now, reading a couple books before bed is our 1 on 1 time and I love it! My suggestion though, is don't be monotone. Hubby needs to make the stories fun. I'd make the sounds of the animals in our boy's zoo book and when he got older, he started doing it. Then we'd go to the zoo and I'd ask him what sounds the animals make and he'd know. It's not just a way to bond, but it's kind of an educational investment too. The little things add up, I know. I ran the entire emotional gammet after our first one was born with everything from being afraid of hurting him, to being frustrated that he didn't want me. The key is, hubby has to suck it up and spend some time with baby!
I am always under the impression that babies will always gravitate towards their mommy's. But I do like it when my daughter reaches for me too. I work at night and take care of my daughter by myself all day, so I actually get plenty of bonding time with her, until I leave for work. Maybe your husband needs some time by himself with your baby and you can go out for a little while or go somewhere else in the house and watch tv or something. Evenutally your husband will be alone with the baby at some point.
Daddy to Chloe Rhiannon 1/17/08
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