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clynnr 11-20-2006 11:00 AM

I really don't know what to do. She obviously doesn't "hate" him, but she would really rather that he almost never hold her.

My older DD was 18 months when she was born, and when Daddy comes home she monopolizes a lot of his attention--especially in the beginning, since we were nursing a ton. Now my older one just expects that he will play with her, and gets SUPER jealous if he tries to hold Norah. Plus Norah is only happy with him for a few minutes.

I am okay with her being super attached to me--that's fine. But it seems like she is hardly attached to him at all! He has worn her, and she has done okay with that in the past, until she was hungry or realized that it wasn't me holding her. Anytime she realizes it's not me holding her she screams.

This is mostly a problem for us in two ways: 1) I never get a break, and 2) Every night I nurse and rock my older one and put her to bed. DH holds Norah in the other room, and she screams her head off until I come back and take her. Screams bloody murder. My older one rarely gets a whole five minutes of mommy time because I can't stand to hear Norah cry like that.

Last night I took her back, and DH tried to cuddle both of us, telling Norah that he loved her, and she would just move her head to my other shoulder so she was further away. If she even got a hint that he was trying to hold her, she would start screaming again. But she stops the second I am holding her.

He is so frustrated and disappointed and feels like a failure. I don't know what to do to make him feel better or help Norah to be okay with him holding her.

Please help. Any suggestions???

vermontgirl 11-20-2006 11:19 AM

It sounds like she is just having a little bit of mommie seperation anxiety. I dont think it is that she doesnt like her daddy but just that she is afraid he will take her away from you! It sounds like she really just wants to be with her mama right now and I think it is very normal for that to happen at some point with some babys. I think that all you can do is let her do what she wants right now and have her dad keep trying to show her that he wont take her away from you.
I dont know much about this stuff but this is what my gut is telling me about your situation.

clynnr 11-20-2006 12:02 PM

I do realize that separation anxiety is normal, but this has been going on for pretty much her entire seven months. There was a period of a couple weeks where she didn't scream at him, but that's about it.

Catherine12 11-20-2006 12:17 PM

My ds is a bit this way too. I assume he'll outgrow it as he gets less dependent on my milk...

I've found he does better for dh if he is in a good mood and not hungry. Have you tried giving dd to your dh right after a thorough feeding? Also, it might help if you are nearby while dh is holding her, so she doesn't feel like you have left her (OTOH, out of sight, out of mind sometimes works too - but it sounds like that may not work for your dd).

Or maybe dh could cuddle her while you nurse, or you could cuddle her together.

Aeress 11-20-2006 12:24 PM

how long will she scream? I only ask becuase sometimes 5minutes or even less can seem like an eternity to you and your dd.
my dh got a little stubborn and continued holding dd even if she cried...he would she dd that mommy was still here but he wouldn't bring her back to me. I am saying he would let her scream out of hunger or out of total stubborness but he felt that she wouldn't adapt if her didn't continue to encourage the relationship.

this didn't usually work, but there were times when after a few more miunutes she could calm with dh. more times than not she wanted me and only me.
now at 2 she still prefers mom but will happily play with dad.
this is just what my dh did...I never encouraged or discouraged as I felt he needed to find his own way. i never felt like he was trying to make her cry or anything...just trying to find his own to comfort her.

clynnr 11-20-2006 12:50 PM

We've tried all times of day, after feedings, after nap, etc. She does the best in the morning, but still not for long. She always smiles and plays with him if I'm holding her, but if he takes her she screams.

I have left the house a couple of times for an hour or so, and she does okay for a little while, then starts in again. Whether I'm there or not, she will usually scream herself to sleep (even if she just woke up from a nap) within ten minutes, and then when she sleeps she heaves these big sobbing sighs. If she doesn't scream herself to sleep, her cries just get more and more hysteric until I come get her.

Last night I was gone for five minutes nursing my older DD, and when I came back she was beet red, sweaty, and sobbing uncontrollably.

She also screams if I leave the room and only Daddy is there. She will look around, see the room is empty of mama, and then scream. She will even see a closed door and freak out.

Aeress 11-20-2006 03:40 PM

aww mama, that is tough. I think she justs needs mom. I know I got touched out at times when dd needed/wanted only me and sometimes I left the house so I wouldn't hear her cry becuase it made me more stressed and very sad.
usually, I just put her in the sling and tried to find a way to veg with her.

how does your dh feel?

Peony 11-20-2006 04:18 PM

dd1 was like this, she literally could of cared less if Dh was around the first 2 years of her life, she only wanted me. It took time, lots of time. She slowly started playing with DH but I had to be in the room with them, eventually I could be in other parts of the house. It wasn't until she was 3 that DH was able to comfort her, put her to sleep, or even go off alone with her. DD1 is almost 4 now and is very much a daddy's girl, now she doesn't care if I'm around. She talks about DH all the time, all I hear all day long is her asking when he is going to get home. She just had a very intense need for me those first couple years, in hindsight I'm very glad that I didn't push it and allowed her to accept Dh on her own terms. It was very hard, I couldn't do anything because I could never leave her, I know how you feel. It was also difficult for DH, he didn't understand why she didn't want anything to do with him. Hang in there, it will get better.

clynnr 11-20-2006 04:59 PM

I really don't want to push her, but Livi needs me too, KWIM? I really don't know how we'd get her down for nap and bedtime without me rocking and nursng her. Those are the only times this causes a problem. Well, that and when I absolutely need a break, but that is different.

mum2be 11-20-2006 06:50 PM

My dd is the same way. I'm at a loss as to what to do. Dh is having a super hard time with it too. He thinks she is always rejecting him.

The first few weeks of her life, he didn't interact with her much. I think that's why she isn't too excited about being with him.

We are introducing the bottle this week because I have to start rehearsals soon (I'm a musician). I'm hoping that this will help them bond.

georgiegirl1974 11-21-2006 01:08 AM

My 8 month old DD is the same way. She's super attached to me and screams bloody murder when anyone else holds her or tries to hold her. She has always preferred me, but now it is absoutely insane. She even freaks out in the car because I cannot hold her (or sit next to her.) She does like to play with other people (so long as I'm sitting right next to her.) I don't have any advice, since nothing has worked for me, just sympathy.

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