My 4 month old hates her daddy! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, "hate" is a strong word...but, she won't even let him hold her without the tears flowing.
She is definitely a momma's girl, and I am sure I am to blame for enabling them both. Ever since she was a newborn, I would rush to her if she cried in his arms. Daddy was more than happy to give her up to me every time. I think he had this notion that babies came out happy and didn't cry or fuss. In the first month he would "babysit" (yeah, that's what he called it - I call it being a parent!), and he would just want her to sleep. It frustrated me. I wanted him to foster a relationship, not just get her to sleep so he can "nap" himself.
So, I can't even leave the house for an hour without coming home to her with red eyebrows from crying so much and with daddy bummin' because he can't seem to get it right. Even when I am around, it is rare she will let him take her. She isn't much for anyone else holding her (me and gramma), but if there is one other person I would choose to have the touch it would be her father. I am sure she sense his nervousness/anxiety....
I have a life to go back to outside of the home. I need to be able to leave for a bit, right?
What can I do to help daddy and baby get along better? Should I just keep trying and let them learn that way?
I am so sad over it, I really want them to bond, and have a stronger connection, but it hasn't happend yet. Any words of wisdom? It's really starting to break me.
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#2 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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Well, I don't know if this will help - but I've got a kid who will only smile/giggle for Daddy. I'm the only one he'll accept when he's feeling hungry, of course... anyway, while I'm totally jealous of the smiles, I think I brought it on myself.

From the first minute, if the kid did ANYTHING that looked like a snuggle, I would say "Boy, that kid loves his dad." After every feeding I handed the baby to the husband and said, "I can't ever get a good burp and you always do." If he was holding the baby, and the baby started crying, and the boob didn't work... I handed the kid back and said, "I don't know any more than you do, we became parents on the same damn day, after all." Finally, when my husband is home, he's on diaper duty. I have never criticized by word or deed his technique in this matter, and whenever he does anything neat like count the onesie snaps out loud, or sing silly songs, or whatever, I tell him that he must be a natural dad because I had to get those neat ideas from books, whereas he just DOES them.

I know it sounds contrived, but I swear to you it's not. I am in awe of my husband's abilities and naturalness with his son. However... all that cheerleading and praise means he's not the slightest bit unsure of himself, and it sounds like your husband thinks he can't do the job. He needs to know he CAN do it, and do it so well that you're proud of him.

As a side note, my friends with older kids say it doesn't matter a rat's patootie right now, the kid will switch allegiances whenever the kid is ready. So you COULD just ride it out!

Mama to EG, Mate to MD, Writer, Editor, International Jewel Thief.
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#3 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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I would probably let Daddy take charge more. If he's holding the baby and she cries, let him figure out his own way of comforting her.

Your DD will be fine so long as she's being comforted by someone who loves her.

You are right, that by rushing to her every time she cried when he was holding her, you probably taught her that Daddy can't be trusted.

Let them work it out. Give them five minutes and if he can't settle her, try suggesting something that works for you and then if it's still not working, step in and help.

Reassure your daughter when he's holding her, by saying 'It's OK darling, Daddy's got you! You're safe!'

It's complicated.
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#4 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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You have got my sympathy!!

It is not necessarily because of anything that you did...some babes just really want Mama!!
my first was more of a daddy's boy, and so far my second is a total mama's boy!!

I am not worried about it, I know that he will eventually be able to let other people take care of him more. It does get overwhelming that I can't pass him off for more than 15 minutes without him starting to cry.

I have been letting Dad take over when I know that Silas is fed and I will try and let them figure it out. I have to go somewhere in the house where I can't hear the crying (doing laundry in the basement drowns it out ) so that I can resist the urge to go "take over".

DS #1 was happy with anyone as long as he was fed...and I mothered him the same way that I am Mothering DS #2. It really depends on the babe...please don't blame yourself or feel that you have done something wrong!!!!

The suggestions that PP's had are very good as well...MDC is a wonderful resource whenever you are in doubt as a Mama!!
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#5 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 11:18 PM
 
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Try and pick something that Dad can do on his own....like bathtime. Maybe start out with both of you doing it and then slowly step back (over several days) and let dad take over more and more until DD is comfortable with him giving the bath.

Like the PP Said...if daddy's holding her and she starts fussing 1) reassure her "you're okay, it's okay" and if it continues offer dad a tip on how to soothe her.

Hopefully they will "click" soon and have that magic bonding moment where Dad realizes he CAN do this.

You have to foster that by 1) being encouraging and 2) letting them figure some things out on their own (step back)

good luck! HTH

wife to DH, Mama to DS "Bug" (09/07), and DD "Sprout" (01/11). 
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#6 of 11 Old 04-18-2008, 02:12 AM
 
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I was worried about my DS and DH. However, as DH spent more one-on-one time and DS got older, they developed a fabulous relationship. It helped that DH is the "fun guy" and I'm the "feeder lady." As your child gets older, she'll look for fun and there's her daddy.
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#7 of 11 Old 04-18-2008, 07:39 AM
 
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4 months is a hard time for daddies

I would let your DH bond with your LO in anyway he feels best. Taking baby for a walk is always a good suggestion because it takes LO out of the house and entertains them without the pressure of Daddy having to keep them happy by himself.
My DH use to let LO nap on him in the afternoons and it was a great bonding experience for them.

Dont worry. Time will pass and they'll get along better. ((hugs))

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From little things, big things grow
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#8 of 11 Old 04-18-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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DH is not a baby person, it'+s really hard on him from the time they are born till they are walking or so, though it gets much easier when they start to sit up, crawl, etc... He just isn't comfortable holding them, comforting them, and they sense that. On the other hand, DH LOVES the toddler, preschool+ ages, he is really into playing little games with them, taking them swimming, for hikes, biking, etc... Both the girls love their daddy, and have a great relationship with him but that is something that took time to develop. DD1 was 2y before she was interested in daddy, from 2-3 she would play with him only if I was right there with her, as soon as she hit 3, it was all daddy, and 2 years later that is still the way it is. I think she was tolerates me until he gets home.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#9 of 11 Old 04-18-2008, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone!

I am heading out of town for 4+ hours tomorrow and this will give a daddy a full day of hanging with her. I will encourage him to do something he likes to do with her - go for a hike, walk.

I am most definitely going to try the encouragement thing more often....don't think I have been all that good about that, now that you mention it. If I tell him he's doing a good job, and reassure her while he is holding her, then they both will get a little dose of confidence. My running to "save" her probably does have some adverse effects - of course!

We'll get through. Every day it gets better...so in no time they should be old chums!
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#10 of 11 Old 04-23-2008, 09:11 PM
 
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He's gotta put some time in! Once he gets more confident and feels like he has the skills to calm her and make her happy, he will enjoy taking care of her and want to do it more.
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#11 of 11 Old 04-24-2008, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Writerbird View Post
......From the first minute, if the kid did ANYTHING that looked like a snuggle, I would say "Boy, that kid loves his dad." After every feeding I handed the baby to the husband and said, "I can't ever get a good burp and you always do." If he was holding the baby, and the baby started crying, and the boob didn't work... I handed the kid back and said, "I don't know any more than you do, we became parents on the same damn day, after all." Finally, when my husband is home, he's on diaper duty. I have never criticized by word or deed his technique in this matter, and whenever he does anything neat like count the onesie snaps out loud, or sing silly songs, or whatever, I tell him that he must be a natural dad because I had to get those neat ideas from books, whereas he just DOES them......

Wow.....we've done practically the exact same things...with the exact same results! Like you said, DH and I became parents on the same day. I told him right off that I didn't come to parenthood knowing more than he did. (However, I did read a lot more books. And to help him out, I got him a slim volume of a daddy handbook, which he read on the commuter bus, because I got tired of his asking if DD1 should be doing things well before she was old enough, LOL!)

On top of that, with both my daughters, DH was responsible for infant feedings and changings from 9pm to Midnight, so that I could get some sleep and be fresh for the 3 am feeding. Those were good bonding times for Dad and his girls. DH works long hours all week, and sometimes they are in bed when he comes home. But these days I work on Saturday, and DH has them all day. He takes both the baby and the 3 year old to the library, bookstore, grocery shopping, and the playground by himself while I work.

Writerbird is right--- they will switch allegiences back and forth. And while DD1 loves her daddy, she does default to me for everything if we are both present. (I often send her right back to her dad.) Don't let your DH off the hook with babysitting comments. Your DD is 50% him, and she deserves 2 parents, not a mom and this guy who lives here. You guys can work it out, slowly but surely, if you just give it practice.

Xoe
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