He's been fussy to begin with (some tummy issues, some general crankiness), much more so than our first (who was the world's most chill baby), but when he's with DH and gets so worked up he's hysterical, one of three things has happened. At first, DH would just hand him to me and say, he needs the boob. Then he started joking aroound and say something like, stop yelling at me, but he'd keep trying to calm him. Now, he's starting to quit. Today, he gets visibly frustrated, says, I tried everything, then puts him down sobbing to CIO. I tell him that CIO doesn't work and isnt even supported by the guy who popularized it (it was a non-issue with our first super chill son) and that at 8 weeks, he's not crying for no reason and that it's not something we're doing. So, I pick him up (he immediately stops screaming).
I don't know what to do. At first, I'd take DS to calm him, but then I thought I should let them figure it out between them (but if I ask DH if he wants me to take him when he's losing it, he says yes in a completely relieved way). Tomorrow at nap time, I'm gonna see if DH will put him in the Moby so maybe DS will start associating DH's smell/feel with being calm since he'll be super relaxed (sleeping). Does anyone have any other suggestions? DH is clearly frustrated, and I don't want him to start resenting him. Thanks!
We went through this. DH used to say "She hates me" and it just broke my heart.
I just kept taking her to calm her, and now that she is a little older, 13 and a half weeks, she is much better about being soothed by him.
I noticed that Dh was actually much better at burping her than I am so sometimes I would give her to him when she needed to be burped and then he would give her back to me, I think this worked out well because it gave him a good skill he could be proud of.
Some babies are like that, and you just have to be the one to hold them until they are bigger.
But, you can try to evaluate HOW your dh is holding him. Examine how you hold the baby, and see if maybe he is uncomfortable in your dh's arms somehow. Also, with my colicky ds, he had associated me with being able to relieve some of his pain, and would panic without me. Truthfully, he would scream anywhere, but WAY worse without me.
You might just have to ride it out, though.
"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."
Unfortunately, I have to work once a week for a full day outside the home, and once or twice for a few hours, and he's hysterical with those who watch him - the g-rents told us last night when we picked him up that he screamed most of the time. I was gone 9 hours, and it breaks my heart, because I know how broke he is when I'm gone, but I can't not work. This morning, the first thing my 4 year old told me was how much he cried, so against everything I believe, I feel like I'm being forced to let him CIO. If anyone else has any ideas what I can do to make the times I'm gone better onhim, I'd love to hear any and all advice!
I just wanted to tell you that my DD was the exact same way at that age. It slowly got better and now at 5 months she loves her daddy. My husband is a medical resident, so he was, and still is, not around most of the time, which made it hard for her to get used to him. What I found helpful, was if I sat really close to him on the couch and had him hold her. I would try and keep a hand on her or talk to her frequently so that she was aware of my close presence. This is our first child and DH was so excited about it, so it was pretty sad to watch him be so sad and disappointed with our DD's behavior towards him. I had to throw a lot of "she is going to love you so much pretty soon, that she will be wanting you more than me" and "in the not too distant future, she will be so excited when you walk through the doors because little girls just love their daddies". Sounds silly, but it helped him in the moment. I think! ;) It will get better very soon, especially if your DH is around often.
In the 2nd to 3rd month it was like this for us as well. Generally I think most DHs just need to grow up. 'S/he hates me!' is such an unbelievable reaction for an adult to have to a BABY. They are not born with some evil gene to reject their fathers and I dont believe they have the capacity at 8 weeks to deliberately hurt feelings. You gave all the reasons yourself why DS prefers you. My DH felt rejected by our son when he couldnt do anything for him in the crying month (around 8-12 weeks). And that is just the way it is for a lot of babies. Happiest Baby on the Block has a few good suggestions to help the crying month. That would be a great thing for your DH and maybe your caregivers to read (mostly it involves swaddling, football hold, gentle shaking/rocking). Also are your caregivers open to babywearing? I think that would be a great idea to try. A wrap might be a bit intimidating for a grandparent, but a meitai might work. That and keeping a shirt that you have worn nearby so DS has your smell.
Other than that, is it possible for you to have your LO in a wrap with you at work? I am sure you have thought about this, but generally the crying gets better at around the 3 month mark. Would it work for a few weeks?
Good luck! I remember that 8 weeks being just about the hardest.
My 8 month old was/is like that too. It's gotten better as he gets older - but DH still struggles with hysterical screaming. And anyone else who looks after him endures screaming for 80% of the time they are with him. He never does that with me. It's just something I hope he'll outgrow. You're not alone!
I feel like this is a little harsh. Clearly, dad's don't really think their babies hate them. It's a way for them to express they're unhappiness at being unable to properly soothe their own babies. It's ok for them to have their feelings.
In the 2nd to 3rd month it was like this for us as well. Generally I think most DHs just need to grow up. 'S/he hates me!' is such an unbelievable reaction for an adult to have to a BABY. They are not born with some evil gene to reject their fathers and I dont believe they have the capacity at 8 weeks to deliberately hurt feelings. You gave all the reasons yourself why DS prefers you. My DH felt rejected by our son when he couldnt do anything for him in the crying month (around 8-12 weeks). And that is just the way it is for a lot of babies. Happiest Baby on the Block has a few good suggestions to help the crying month.
Mom to Reya (13) and Little baby Lila 9/22
I think that is very, very normal. DH never said that the baby hates him but I can see how it would feel rejecting when you feel your baby doesn't like you and you can't parent and nurture like you want to. That will change. Most of my kids preferred me til well after their first birthdays. That doesn't mean they didn't like or go to their dad, it just means that now she will choose to go to dad sometimes even when I'm right there.
Sometimes we say things we know in our hearts are not true but that feel right at the time. In our case, this was our first baby, I was recovering from a C section, we had no help, no family, and no experience with babies at all. We were both pretty on edge for a good while after she was born and even now at 14 weeks I still feel pretty incompetant and sometimes have emotional reactions that someone with more experience with babies might find silly!
Perhaps I need to grow up.
I didn't say "she hates me" with any hostility or anger toward my daughter, only the most profound sadness I have ever felt.
I feel like I was the one who was trying to convince DW that we should have a child, and then her pregnancy and labor resulted in so much distress to her with the emergency room visits, activity restrictions, and eventually the emergency c-sections due to fetal distress, and subsequent recovery. We come home from the hospital as first time parents (one of us recovering from surgery) who really had no clue what we we were doing. We have no family within 1000 miles to help, and (for me anyway) nobody that I can turn to for emotional support other than DW, and she had already been through so much for me to be dumping any more on her. When my daughter was so obviously unhappy to be near me it just made me feel so hollow inside. Both because of the personal rejection from this little person who I want more than anything to do right by, but also from the fact that I couldn't even give DW a brief respite from the baby, even when I could see that DW felt terrible and really just needed to get some sleep. I had never felt so sad or worthless as I did at that moment.
Things are much better now.
Married to my wonderful DH 5/2010, Mom to DS1 Kayden 7-14-2011 and DS2 Jakob 8-29-2013
Owned by Friesians and Drum Horses, plus the dogs, cats, rabbits and chickens
This is so normal. My first was like this (although not my second-- but then he's a "chill baby" too). I also remember how sad my husband was.
It sucks. But it passes. Reassure your husband-- tell him all these people online said the same thing happened to them :D . My daughter didn't really "like" her daddy until she was like 6 months old, and now (just turned 2 yo) they are seriously best friends-- she likes him so much more than she likes me, lmao. All you can do is try the best you can to be there for the baby (without completely running yourself ragged). Pass more of the older-child-duty on to your husband to free yourself up for more baby-duty.
Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies: Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10
My DD was this way until 4 months, it was like one day someone hit a switch and she was happy. Its hard but I promise it gets better. Now at 18 months she is completely in love with her daddy.
:Mommy to Lennon Elizabeth 11/27/09 and somebody new, due 10/08:
Were you working with your first? I went back to work part time but with odd hours when my first DD was 6 weeks old, increased hours as she grew until I was working a full day at 6 months. The result has been that DD is super duper attached to me. Would not take bottles, cried her head off if held by anyone else, all that other stuff. She's 2 now and while she'll go to the park with her dad, she still clearly prefers me. She'll push him and tell him to go away if I talk to him too much, or if he annoys her. Luckily DH isn't fazed by this, the way he sees it the baby and I are a unit. Interestingly she's also super duper attached to her daycare lady, and has a very hard time if left with her friend who fills in once in a blue moon, to the point where she goes to daycare lady's doctors' appointments with her now. I've always wondered if those first months of not having mommy (and breasts) around when she wanted her/them made her overly anxious. I think you were a bit spoiled by your chill baby - I'm hoping for one of those this time around.
I've been on both sides since I birthed our son and DW birthed our daughter. Those early days are so imbalanced and it's hard on both parties. No baby has any agenda, they are beautiful blank slates who just need their basic needs met. And there is nothing to do - a baby is a baby and it's not the baby's job to help your DH feel better. Your husband is not saying something about the baby, he's saying something out himself. He's saying, "I love this baby and I want to be this baby's person and because of the circumstance, I can't right now, and it's heartbreaking." I think instead of trying to find fixes, affirm your husband's feelings of rejection and hurt. Remind him that this baby is certainly not trying to hurt him, it's just kind of sucky right now. Tell him that this baby is going to LOVE him, adore him, and they will find their own special things.
As the birth parent for my son those early days were hard. There is so much pressure because you are the only one, and that sometimes feels crushing. But at least it gave me some understanding when DD arrived that DW was what she needed to feel safe, comforted and okay in a really strange and cold world. I knew my time would come. DD is nine months now and she and I have our special things together. Actually she is now EASIER for me to comfort because I don't have milk for her and DW's boobs clearly drive her a little insane. Your baby is certainly not rejecting your husband in any way, shape, or form. It's just the way things are right now and the beautiful thing about children is they never, ever stay the same.
I hope that helps a little. I know how hard it can be.
Queer Parenting since 2007
We're currently trying to have everyone hold him/wear him while I stand right there and he's taking to that, so hopefully, he'll get used to being comforted by others and we can ween me out of his sight, the room, the house, etc. Thanks, again, for all your replies!
and perhaps "damaging" isn't the right word to use... our children are a product of who we are (you have to leave him when you work, that's just the way it is). I try to remind myself that when I feel like I am doing something "wrong", even though I am doing my best. You and everyone else are doing their best in this situation and though your baby's cries are heartbreaking, remember that they have no other way to process what they are feeling, except by crying which can get intense. I agree, it must be hard to hear from the babysitter, when there is nothing you can do about it....