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Baby cries when dad holds her?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
S is now 8 weeks old, and is very attached to mama. Her fussiest time is in the evenings, when my hubby is home...which is also after a long day of me and me alone holding her (hubby leaves at 630 am and gets home at 5 pm). First of all, I need some time without a baby touching me. Second of all, S needs time with her daddy, and he wants to kiss and hug her all evening because he misses her. But the minute I pass her off to him, she starts screaming! We don't CIO and don't want to...but I feel horrible, knowing that if I just cuddle her close, she will usually calm down. I also feel like she needs to learn that daddy is a safe person, that he loves her so much, and he needs to learn how to comfort her (which is hard for him. He sort of freezes up a lot of times when she is crying, and the more often this happens, the more his confidence slips, I think.) I mean, he doesn't see her all day, and works a lot of weekends (Navy , so this evening time is sometimes the only time he gets to spend with her...and she is fussy and upset every time.

Am I making her CIO to be with dad? How can we make this easier (on dad and baby)?
post #2 of 13
Ohh I so know how you feel. This was exactly us with my dd when she was that age. She would scream with dh and he would freeze up and eventually got to the point where he was nervous to be with her. But it will get better over time .. I know cause it happened for us. As she gets a bit older and more comfortable with him he will settle in and find his "way" with her.
No I dont think it is CIO if your LO is in daddy's safe, loving arms .. she has someone there responding to her. But do I think you should allow her to scream just for the sake of "bonding" time ..NO, well I didnt cause it broke my heart to hear my dd scream for periods of time so I just would take a breather and do one thing for me a day then go back to her .. and well I knew the time would come when she would like being with dh .. but with that said .. I think every mama needs a break every so often, especially after being with baby all.day.long. SO go take a bath, walk, read, etc,.. whatever you do to relax for an hour or so and let dh and her find they're way, so to speak .. maybe you not being around will help them find they're way ... he can then try various things "his way" to soothe her and maybe feel more relaxed about it .. and it will all fall into place eventually.
With us dh eventually found various ways to soothe her and all the things he did, DID NOT work for me to soothe her .. and vice versa .. the way he held her, the way he rocked her, everything .. was soo different than what I did .. but it worked out and she relaxed .. maybe your dh can try wearing her in a sling or carrier .. if you guys have one .. or take a walk or rock her .. give him suggestions and then take a step back and let him do it his way .. you will be surprised.
And soon this will pass .. and she will love being with her daddy .. I can say now, when my dh leaves .. my dd cries from time to time to see him go .. and she is now 7 months .. Good Luck ! Hang in there .. they will bond on they're time !!
post #3 of 13
first of all - totally normal. just in case you weren't sure.

secondly - we did mama/daddy/baby snuggles with our other two dc. i was technically holding them, but daddy's face was the one closer to them. we'd huddle close together and slowly i'd get a bit farther and farther away until he was holding them. i mean, this is in addition to him just holding them when life required it LOL but we also tried to get them used to it slowly.
post #4 of 13
We went through a similar thing around that age - in fact I think I started a thread to ask about it Since about 6 months their relationship has been amazing. She lights up when daddy gets home in the evening and cries when he leaves the room. On weekends I sometimes think she prefers him!

I also don't think it is CIO if she is in dad's arms, but I could never stand to listen to it. I mean, how exactly is that a break for me? Plus I felt like it was making DH feel bad. Our solution was for them to spend as much time together as possible when she was in a good mood. She always loved her bath, so we made sure that was something that they did together. It was annoying that for 6 months I had to be the primary soother and the only one to put her to bed... but I guess that's motherhood

Good luck, as long as he hangs in there and keeps trying I am sure they will develop a marvelous relationship.
post #5 of 13
yeah. that's hard. my DS was like that at that age -- i'd nurse him and be like oh ok, he should be happy for a while, i'm gonna take a shower/nap/walk/etc...hand him to DH...and come back from shower/nap/walk etc to find an unhappy baby and an unhappy daddy.

it makes sense though...he just came out of you, so you're your baby's whole world. dad is cool...but just not like momma and her magical boobies and her nice soft skin and her sweet smell and her familiar heartbeat and etc.

so that's hard. i think things got better around 11-12 weeks, somewhere in there. once daddy got him to laugh like crazy it was better.

and now (6.5 months)...now dad has what we call "daddy's magic shoulder" which is excellent for putting ds to sleep. he will be nursing in bed with me and kind of flailing and not really settling down, and daddy will come in and pick him up and ds will literally drape himself over daddy's shoulder and fall asleep almost instantly.

so, it does get better. really. i know it is so hard when you feel like you're the only one who can make it better when you so desperately want and need a break. but it does pass with time. now ds is a daddy's boy.
post #6 of 13
We also went through the same thing and like the others, daddy just found his own unique ways of soothing. DD would suck on his fingers or he was really good at swaddling and shooshing her-Happiest Baby on the Block techniques.
post #7 of 13
I would not call that CIO at all. CIO, in my opinion, is a callous disregard for the baby's needs, intentionally leaving them there to cry, intentionally ignoring them. A baby being held is, by definition, not CIO (unless of course one is outright refusing to feed them even though they're hungry, or something similar).

A happy mommy makes a happy baby, and a happy daddy makes a happy baby. If daddy doesn't get time with the baby, he's not happy and you're not happy, and that's bad for all 3 of you in the long run.

If it makes you feel any better my baby's been extra clingy lately and I've not had much break from her. I'm going kinda stir crazy and not dealing with it well. I find that if I get an hour a day to myself to do what I want (and NOT any chores), I deal wonderfully with the baby. I haven't been getting htat lately and it shows.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihugtrees View Post
S is now 8 weeks old, and is very attached to mama. Her fussiest time is in the evenings, when my hubby is home...which is also after a long day of me and me alone holding her (hubby leaves at 630 am and gets home at 5 pm). First of all, I need some time without a baby touching me. Second of all, S needs time with her daddy, and he wants to kiss and hug her all evening because he misses her. But the minute I pass her off to him, she starts screaming! We don't CIO and don't want to...but I feel horrible, knowing that if I just cuddle her close, she will usually calm down. I also feel like she needs to learn that daddy is a safe person, that he loves her so much, and he needs to learn how to comfort her (which is hard for him. He sort of freezes up a lot of times when she is crying, and the more often this happens, the more his confidence slips, I think.) I mean, he doesn't see her all day, and works a lot of weekends (Navy , so this evening time is sometimes the only time he gets to spend with her...and she is fussy and upset every time.
Us, too, almost exactly, even down to DH's work hours. (except the Navy part-- DH is an Army contractor.) And DD is 8 weeks old today.

DH tends to walk her around saying "shhh" and gently patting her back. This doesn't work. But it's usually all I see him doing--- he says he has tried "everything" when I ask him if he's okay. I think he needs to pat her back a little more firmly, or rub it in circles, or TALK to the child (versus just saying shhhh really quietly...) but I don't give this advice because I am trying to back off and let him find his way.

HOWEVER, last night it was killing me to try to eat my dinner while DD's cries were escalating and becoming screams. And so I suggested the radio (up pretty loud.) This worked! Eventually the DJs started talking, so DH flipped over to a Bob Marley CD, and he "danced" with DD for a few songs while she stayed calm on his shoulder. It was really sweet.

(Of course, this only lasted about ten minutes. But it was good for him to succeed, KWIM? And by then I was done with my dinner and could tell DH that she probably just wanted to nurse anyway.)
post #9 of 13
It is not CIO with Dad. You need to be able to take the time you need to restore yourself so that you can be the best mother you can be. That means allowing a loving and attentive father spend some time with her. We had the same problem, and Daddy held her for short periods of time and gave her all of his attention. When she got frustrated, I would pick her up if I could. If I couldn't, I tried hard not to feel like I was doing something wrong by her. We found that she liked to go for walks with Daddy, so he takes her for a walk almost every evening so she gets some positive Daddy time, and I get a few minutes to wrap things up for myself for the night. I keep an eye on my own emotions. She senses them so well, so when I am getting frustrated, it only gets worse. This seems to happen the most at night when she won't go to sleep. Things have gotten better recently, but they used to be really hard. I would give her to Daddy no matter how loud she screamed, and I would take just a minute or two to breathe and pull myself together. Yes, I felt guilty, but I knew that she was being cared for, I was not neglecting her, and I was making an investment for both of us. Then, with renewed patience, I was able to more effectively put her to sleep.
post #10 of 13
That is totally normal! My DD wanted nothing to do with daddy at that age. She was attached to you for 9+ months, and she is not really ready to give that up. At that age you are her entire world. It hurts to watch, I know. I remember my DH saying "She hates me!" when he tried to care for her during her first weeks. It broke my heart to see him hurting. It will pass! Now my DD wakes up calling for dada.

I agree with the other posters that this is not CIO. It is hard to let her cry in daddy's arms when you know you could immediately comfort her. You have to give him a chance to create a relationship with her though. At first I would grab DD from DH when she was crying, but that just kept him from having the opportunity to learn how to comfort her. Maybe you could give him 10 minutes at a time to try and comfort her and then you take her. It will get better!
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihugtrees View Post
S is now 8 weeks old, and is very attached to mama. Her fussiest time is in the evenings, when my hubby is home...which is also after a long day of me and me alone holding her (hubby leaves at 630 am and gets home at 5 pm). First of all, I need some time without a baby touching me. Second of all, S needs time with her daddy, and he wants to kiss and hug her all evening because he misses her. But the minute I pass her off to him, she starts screaming! We don't CIO and don't want to...but I feel horrible, knowing that if I just cuddle her close, she will usually calm down. I also feel like she needs to learn that daddy is a safe person, that he loves her so much, and he needs to learn how to comfort her (which is hard for him. He sort of freezes up a lot of times when she is crying, and the more often this happens, the more his confidence slips, I think.) I mean, he doesn't see her all day, and works a lot of weekends (Navy , so this evening time is sometimes the only time he gets to spend with her...and she is fussy and upset every time.
Interesting question for you...did Dad by chance cut the cord? I have heard many stories about this happening, and even later in life making things difficult, when the father cuts the cord. It was explained to me as "the baby thinks the dad broke the connection between themselves and the mother and is angry". Pretty woo-woo maybe, but it's a possibility.
post #12 of 13
You have a lot of great advice already in this thread...it is definitely totally normal, but still I think it's super hard on dad and mom! DD has always been very attached to me, but both DH and I know the benefits of this and he's great at not taking the screaming/mama-reaching/clutching to heart!

JMJ's thoughtful reply is much in line with mine--so long as I'm in sight, in hearing range, well, pretty much in the same house, if DD wants me, she wants me, and that's how it's going to be. Can you leave the house for a little alone time? Or have your DH take a walk in the evenings? If not, can you go to a different floor, take a shower in a closed bathroom, or do something quietly in a room that's closed off? DH replied in another thread not long ago that he felt he really hit a turning point with DD when he had to spend some major alone-time with her (2 days) and she realized that he really was an acceptable caregiver.

DH also has some special things that he does with DD...they listen to soul music and dance in the living room while I take a shower upstairs, they hang out together while DH practices the guitar, they go for a walk up to the baseball field and crawl around on the grass in the evenings, stuff like that. Sometimes I think it's easier for DH if he has something to "DO" with DD, instead of just, you know, walking around the house with her trying to comfort her while I'm close by.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raene View Post
Interesting question for you...did Dad by chance cut the cord? I have heard many stories about this happening, and even later in life making things difficult, when the father cuts the cord. It was explained to me as "the baby thinks the dad broke the connection between themselves and the mother and is angry". Pretty woo-woo maybe, but it's a possibility.
Nope, actually my mom cut the cord. DH planned to both catch her and cut the cord but the position I needed to be in to push her out, he was actually behind me supporting me, so he couldn't reach :-P

That is really interesting though.
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