My daughter is 22 months old and is very attached to me. DH is a very loving, gentle, patient father. If DD is gets hurt or worried or sad she only wants me, if DH tries to comfort her she will just scream. Even if I'm holding her while she's crying if DH tries to pat her on the back she screeches and tries to wiggle away from him like he's going to take her from me. This is really hard on DH as he really wants to be able to be a comfort to her. So far I've just been trying to wait things out and figure that someday she'll feel closer to her Daddy and maybe even prefer him over me sometimes. But sometimes I worry that she's never gonna feel close to him and maybe we need to try to do something different for them to bond. I used to go out shopping or to an exercise class occasionally and leave her with him but one time I came back early and she was so distraught that I don't leave her anymore. I stay home with DD and she nurses frequently and DH has been an excellent support person through this part of our relationship but he wants to be more than a support person. Will she bond with him eventually or is this how things are going to stay?
Ways to help Mama's girl bond with Daddy.
I don't know the answer to your question - as we have found the same thing with our daughter who is now three plus.
I'm fairly sure that kiddies switch alliances throughout childhood though...so daddy will have his time in the sun too.
I do have a theory though, that aside from breastfeeding, mothers often take care of the bubbies most intimate needs (dressing, bathing etc) - if you couple that with stories, cuddles, and bedtimes...that is a whole lot of love coming from one source, and not at all surprising therefore that the provider of such moments and care is the parent-of-choice. So to share the more gentle/intimate tasks, is to spread the love around a bit more perhaps. Take with a grain of salt however, it's just a theory.
But when we were going through a particularly rough time with this issue, we had daddy do more nappies, more bath times, and more bedtime stories. We definitely noticed a change for the better! However, we weren't able to keep this up because of circumstances, and are looking at how we can get daddy involved in those things more again now.
My about to turn 2yo is very much all about mommy. I only work part time, Daddy has 2 jobs, so I'm obviously home more to care for her. It took us a while, but DH is able to do bath time now without her calling to me every 5mins, and she will let him get her out of bed when she wakes to nurse (this used to be a big deal and she was hyperventilating, freaking out and biting him, hard, when he would go and get her). He still can't get her to sleep without a fight on the rare occasion I'm out (like seriously I've done dinner with friends twice in these 2 years) but it does eventually get better.
I would second what Grover said about having Daddy take over some of the intimate baby-care duties. I would add, do this when baby's happy - don't expect her to take comfort from DH until they've laid some groundwork. My daughter is the same age as yours, and at our house, the favorite Daddy-Daughter activities are:
- Bathtime (they blow bubbles, play, splash, and cuddle in a towel warmed in the dryer)
- Cooking breakfast (let her stand on a chair and help Daddy cook)
- Walks/Adventures (we live in an apartment complex, and they go off to look for bunny rabbits, climb the stairs, pet doggies, look at the moon, etc)
- Outings (once a week he takes her to Mighty Mites, which is a toddler playtime at our local gymnastics center. Afterward they walk to a cafe for lunch. DH was terrified when I insisted we start this ritual, but it actually has gone amazingly well.)
- Storytime (DD still nurses to sleep, but Daddy does most of the bedtime stories - I come in and out of the room until time to put her down).
- Physical play (Intimacy has many forms. Tickles, hide-n-seek, wrestling, etc all give opportunities for little snuggles and kisses and touches).
I also agree with the other posters that her alliances will likely change over time. I'm already noticing, though, that my DD will use these dynamics against us - for example, if I set a limit she doesn't like, she'll cry for Daddy - beware!