DD is 3 months old (almost 1 month premature). Probably in the last month or so, DH has been noticing that she cries when he picks her up, or even just lies down beside her. We are both home during the day, and DH makes lots of effort to be with her and bond, though we are moving soon so he is doing most of the work of packing (and cooking and cleaning....he is really great) and I tend to spend most time with DD, since I'm the one who can feed her! He is beginning to feel quite discouraged by her reaction. He is afraid she won't love him, or want to snuggle with him and be close. I feel like I read somewhere that it is common, especially in the first months, but I'd love to have stories to share with him. I mean, partly it's because often when he has time to be around her it's during the evening which is not the best since she is a bit grumpy then. But it does seem like she will be happy and then see him and cry...
Anybody have any suggestions? Or words of comfort for DH?
That's pretty normal in my experience. Ds was like that...well....he cried a lot even when I had him, but he would SCREAM if dh tried to hold him. Fast forward a few months and they because best friends! At 9 months, Ds loves his daddy now. He will cry if dh doesn't come directly to him and pick him up when he first gets home from work. It's so cute.
Give it time. Tell him to keep trying and to be patient with her. She will come around and love him back, even more so if he is patient and loving with what her needs are right now. I hope he can learn to not take it personally. She's not rejecting him as her father, she is just stating a preference for her mommy, which is normal and healthy.
ITA with the PP.
For really new babies, everything is really new. All your DD has ever known is the inside of your belly - for now, she likes to stick close to it! She knows your DH's voice - but the smell, feel, texture, etc, is all new - all part of the new world she's in... and came to a bit early, too. It's normal that she prefers you at this age - you are the comforting smell she is accustomed to.
When Dad is making an effort to bond, it will happen. It just sometimes takes until baby starts to blossom a bit in their development. Right now all your babe is looking for is food and security - aka Mom! DD (almost 6 m/o) and DH really "hit it off" around 4.5 months. As she got more interested in conversation and playing and things, she began to find DH incredibly amusing and he is her favorite play buddy. She still preferred me to cuddle and such, so they started doing a lot of skin-to-skin time recently. On the weekends, I nap with DS (almost 3 y/o) and DH naps with DD skin-to-skin. There's been a big difference in their interactions since he started doing that. She is clearly identifying him as her other "safe zone" now. I even went to see Harry Potter (haha) with a friend last week while DD stayed home with DH. He said she didn't cry at all.
It was really hard on my DH at first when she didn't seem to "like" him, as he kept saying. My DS was bottle fed, and I was a bit of an emotional wreck, so he did the vast majority of the baby care when DS first arrived, and their bond was solid from day 1. Me being mentally and physically healthy and breastfeeding this time around made DD's bond to me strong and instant, and it made him feel unneeded. He no longer feels that way as DD expects him for bath time, and for being tucked in at night, and she now likes being carried by him, etc.
Totally normal.. both your LO's actions and DH's feelings. It will change with time.
Sleepy, running, wife to DH 08/09 - Mama to DS 8/08 & DD 1/11
"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. " - Japanese Proverb
Thanks - you are saying all the things that I thought but it is helpful to hear others say them, if you know what I mean. DH did not have a close relationship with his father, and he said he was worried that would be the case with him and DD. But a - the fact that he even thinks about that means it's unlikely and b- he has already shown himself to be very keen to form that relationship. I will tell him your experiences to let him now to just hang on and soon they will be best buds!
i would second the 4.5 month time frame.it's like my LO woke up and realized he had a papa. just kept watching him wherever he moved...and now when he wakes up (we cosleep) he rolls away from me to pat/poke/talk to papa until papa opens his eyes and responds. very sweet for both of them. but yeah...about 4.5 months for us.