When did you start leaving your child with DH? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-02-2002, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Malia is 6 months old, and has only stayed alone with daddy while I've showered or napped. Once while she was sleeping I ran to the corner store.
DH doesn't change diapers, Malia doesn't take bottles or eat solids really.... and he really can't read her que's like I can. I really don't feel comfortable leaving her with him. Am I the only one? Everyone seems shocked by this, but I've seen alot even on AP boards about mom going out and dad staying with kids... so I'm wondering if maybe I'm being "too attached"? Malia is very aattached to me, loves other people but after about 10 minutes she has to see that I'm close by. I would be scared to leave her where she couldn't see me or hear my voice... Not to mention I dont desire to go out with friends or go anywhere without her... should I force myself? What is your take on it all?

Aly
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Old 01-02-2002, 04:14 PM
 
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well the first day we got home I gave the baby to my DH and went to bed for a few hours.

after 2 weeks I started going out with my oldest son (alone) and leaving the baby for a few hours at a time. lance and i went rollerskating --left baby with dad. We had a fantastic time. So did baby and daddy.

i felt my DH was just as capable as me. there isn't anything I can do that my DH can't do just as well. baby is equally bonded as far as i can tell. (though i can get him to bed at night much easier)

i gave my dh "Lessons" my whole pregnancy about babycare. And from the first day home we did allllll the baby care together so he would know how to do "everything". He knows where everything is and how to do it all.

i like it this way.



PS

I had a MAJOR fear of dying in childbirth. so I wanted my DH to be totally ready in case i did not make it.

I still worry that I might die in some sort of accident. I want DH to be totally able to carry on without me.

I don't know why I have these feelings. I maybe have some sort of anxiety disorder? dont know


PSS *** I am SURE your husband "COULD" change the diaper if he needed to. From what you say about him he is a very smart guy


it is up to the family though. you have to use your own judgment.



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Old 01-02-2002, 04:32 PM
 
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I know we're not the AP norm here, (ooh, that's a cool new icon!) but I always wanted dh and I to be equal in ds' eyes. I, too, took a good long nap on day 1 and continue to feel totally comfortable leaving ds w/his daddy at 10 mos. I started going to the gym or a bike ride for an hour/day when ds was about 2 weeks old just so that I would could regroup and clear out the mental cobwebs.

But...I don't know. It could be rough to start now. My son has never really differentiated between us except when he is really tired or not feeling well. Then, only his "boobies" will do.

Someone posted on here somewhere to let dh make a bond and learn his interactions WITHOUT mommie's help or hovering. I think that's pretty insightful.:cool:

But, yup, it's a tough one. 3 different comfort levels to consider. Good luck!
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Old 01-02-2002, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I suppose Dathan is capable... he can entertain her well. But she has an obvious mommy preference... Dathan spends 100% of his home time with her/ or us... but when she needs something like a diaper change, I tend to do it. He knows how, but he is afraid he will hurt her wiping in her creases so he doesn't clean her well. I've showed him, but it makes him nervous. He's a great dad... he loves her to bits. But I'm definately the primary caregiver.... I only offer advice on how to help when he asks, cause I know it would be bothersome to hover. Truth is though, I don't mind the way things are... and either does he. He has never really been around children, and I was a nanny before a mommy... and I've done alot more with child care than he has. So, he tends to take my lead with parenting. Which works good because he trusts the choices I make on APing and the like. I just wonder if I'm somehow setting their relationship up for failure. I don't *feel* like I am, but I'm starting to see that I'm the only one who has yet to leave them alone together by 6 months old. To be honest, I think I'd be more miserable than my DD.

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Old 01-02-2002, 05:05 PM
 
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i'd say you need to do what makes you and your husband happy.
it sounds like that is what you are doing.
keep the communications open.
if you decide you need more help, tell him.
if he decides he needs time alone with baby, make sure he is comfortable to tell you.

i don't think you will fail as long as you are both happy and don't let things build up.

sounds like you are both happy.

PS

I read an article somewhere that said 75% of mothers never even have held a baby once when they give bith.

not being used to children isn't a good "excuse" in my book.

i hadn't ever been around a newborn when i had lance. you just have to figure it out by tring.... that said...............i think you two are just fine.
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Old 01-02-2002, 10:07 PM
 
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I think confidence is the key to a DH (or anyone else) succeeding at caring for a baby, and until your DH develops his, it's probably best that you not leave the baby with him for long periods of time.

My DH is the sort who's bursting with confidence anyway, and I had a terrible cold and was sore after giving birth, so he started right in caring for DD from the start, which has worked out great.

I guess I started leaving DD with him for an hour or two every once in a while (like once a month if I am lucky) when she was about 6 months old. I waited until she could go for longer between breastfeeding (no bottles used here). Then I bf her and make sure she's happy before I leave, and call to check every, oh, 3 minutes or so!

If you don't want to leave DD, then don't! Screw what everyone else thinks. People think AP is strange. I think wanting to leave your child all the time is strange.

If you *DO* need some time to yourself, or just have things it's easier to get done without DD (like 42 errands that need doing but DH wouldn't be able to figure out how to do), start encouraging DH to care for the baby while you are there and praise him when he does it right, and help when he doesn't. Eventually the confidence will build, the baby wll get used to him changing the dipes, and as the baby grows he'll feel less like he's going to hurt or break something!

Good luck!
Carol
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Old 01-02-2002, 10:11 PM
 
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I can't remember exactly how old the twins were when I left them with dh, maybe around 6 months, for just an hour. Before that he did watch them so I could nap.

With twins he didn't really have a choice as to how much he wanted to be involved-he just had to get in there and do it!

As for the diaper changing, when dh just couldn't deal with the poop, he would turn on the tub, put one hand under her head, one hand holding her feet and rinse away. It works remarkably well.

I did find that as anxious as I was with leaving, most of the time, dad and the girls had great fun (as long as there was some pumped milk ready).

When you are ready, maybe try it in baby steps. 20 minutes, 40 minutes, etc.

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Old 01-03-2002, 01:20 AM
 
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My DH is a part time wahd, and I work outside of our home those hours, so ds is with his dad a lot and has been since day one. I had a c-section, and DH changed 85% of the diapers the 1st month. DS is now 14 mos and going through a nobody is as good as mama stage, but they are pretty attached! For me AP is about both parents, not just the mom. I have the boobs, dh has the best prefold folding system ever! DH is better at playing it seems too. I am always thinking, man, I should really put those dishes away, or fold that laundry or...dh is blind to those things and has a whole lot more block towers on his resume than I do. It's all important work though! I am trying to play the toy zylophone more, as a resolution!

Mama to 3 kiddles. joy.giffencing.gif Doing my best and trying to stay afloat.vbac.gif

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Old 01-03-2002, 01:24 AM
 
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I agree that if it is working right now, and everyone's happy, then to just keep doing what you're doing. But I can totally relate to needing the occasional couple of hours to yourself.

My dh has watched ds alone a few times since he was born (he is now 7.5 months) for a couple of hours but I have always left a bottle of expressed milk. I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving without a way to feed ds, but that's because I never really know when he is going to want to eat. It's the only time ds gets a bottle, but I made sure he would take one before I left, as he also is not eating solids. However, I do get nervous that ds will just want me, and I won't be there, even though dh is perfectly capable and they have a lot of fun together.
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Old 01-03-2002, 01:38 AM
 
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Boy am I in the minority here.My dh has never watched my 33 month old dd,except at home while I was sick.
My situation is special though, my mom lives close & she has watched my kids for me while I worked .
My husband cared for my first ds when he was 18 months for a few weeks on the nights I worked.Not easy though for him.
I am a take my kids anywhere almost person .

::
momma to 4
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Old 01-03-2002, 03:26 AM
 
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Well, I'd like to point the conversation back from the daddies toward the babies. My DH would do just fine with DD (same age as Malia!), but DD would not be happy for long without me! She definitely wants to know that mama is nearby at all times. We are still very much in that "team" mode, one being, one heart, one breath. That feeling is infinitely stronger for me right now than any desire to get away for a while.

Frankly, though, short of really really wanting to see Lord of the Rings in a theatre, I can't think of much I want to do without her. Sleeping of course would be grand, but I nap with her, so by day's end I'm usually caught up what I miss out on from night nursings. Gosh, the times I manage to sneak out of bed during a nap to go do something else, I am missing her like all get-out by the time she wakes up!
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Old 01-03-2002, 07:58 AM
 
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For me, there was a big difference between DD#1 and DD#2. With DD#1, I didn't need a break and didn't have any desire to go anywhere without her. She was a happy baby and I took her everwhere. She slept a great deal at home and I had plenty of "me" time. I really don't remember how old she was when I first left her, but I think it was over a year. We were just always together.

After DD#2 was born, I desperately needed a break! She was a high-need baby AND I had a toddler to deal with. The only way I got any peace was to leave the house without them. So pretty much every Sunday I would leave for about an hour and go have a mocha and read. It was the only time I had to myself all week, as I was tandum nursing and co-sleeping with 2 kids under 2.

do what ever works for you!!!
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Old 01-03-2002, 10:27 AM
 
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Seeing my dh with our ds now (3 1/2) is wonderful for me. They have a totally different relationship than what ds and I have, they play different games, he doesn't prepare his food exactly the same way but ds still gets fed and usually it's pretty healthy. When I once suggested that dh might sleep with ds when our new baby is born (in 2 weeks or so) so he at least could be rested, he was most offended and said he wanted to bond with the baby too (in our bed). If your kids are lucky enough to have two parents then they deserve to have a meaningful relationship with both of them.

But of course it's not easy to leave a fully breastfed baby (I never could get that expressing thing!) and to trust your dh if he acts imcompetant about diapers or whatever. Do what you feel is right, but I really think you shouldn't deny your child's father the right to really be a father and to have sole responsibility even if it's only for an hour.
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Old 01-03-2002, 11:49 AM
 
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My dh and I are completly equal parents - yes I'm the SAH parent but neither of us had any kids before - or certainly neither of us never had any NICU experience! We both learned abou diapers, breastfeeding, sleep habits, colic, soothing, carrying, etc. together.
So basically I never even questioned leaving any of our kids with DH - to me it would be just as strange as if he questioned leaving them with me...

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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Old 01-03-2002, 01:16 PM
 
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I would caution against developing the "Mommy's the expert" mentality in your house. This really backfired on me! I had some experience taking care of a newborn from a babysitting job in college, and I had read baby care books like a fiend while pregnant, so i guess i came across as pretty confident when dd was born. As a result, dh always deferred to me, which seemed great at the time because I kind of liked being the one making all the rules , but of course I created a monster. He had no confidence and little experience, so that two years later he still couldn't clip her nails, give her medications, remember any of her medical history, and so on. He still needed my "help" with so many things, and the things he did alone, even changing a messy poop, were often a major production. It seemed to affect his overall relationship with her. I finally just asked him if he wanted to feel like a competent dad or an incompetent dad, and he started to take initiative and do things himself without using the excuse, "But you're better at this than I am..." It took a long time to undo all of this, and now, with dd at age three, he can pretty much do everything I can, and his relationship with her has improved a lot. I think feeling like a bumbling dad caused him to feel insecure around her, while learning to care for her confidently has really cemented his role as a dad.
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Old 01-03-2002, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think I deny him fatherhood... He loves co sleeping and is quite bonded to Malia. Infact when she went into her own bed (by her choice... she had a hard time sleeping with me) It was his choice to bring her bed and push it up to our bed. The idea hadn't even ever come to me.
She's a very low needs content baby. Last night she slept from 9:00pm to 10:00 am... (she has never wanted to night feed) so I get plenty of breaks. DH on the other hand is eitehr at work or with her. He goes to bed with her and she falls asleep with him very easily (no boobies even).
I decided to talk to him about this last night....
I guess we are just a wierd couple. DH reminded me that he has only gone out once without her and me that was at all recreational and it was to see Lord of the Rings. Of course he leaves daily to work, but outside of work and an early morning work out on T&TH when she is sleeping anyways.... He's only gone out for "fun" once. So he's only got one up on me I guess since she is so low needs neither of us feel the need to get away at all... kwim? We take her everywhere we go, and when he's at work she goes everywhere with me.
The one thing I *do* think we need to work on is what Peacemama suggested. It's already been biting me in the behind. Trying to decide ont he whole vaccine issue... if I hear "whatever you think hun" one more time I might cry. I really *want* him to take a deeper interest in helping me make decisions. But I also want to get him in the AP mindset. So I have been making a point to ask him his opinion and such alot more. Peacemama, what kinds of things did you do to loose the "mommy knows best" motto in your home?

Aly
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Old 01-03-2002, 02:37 PM
 
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Aly,

I think the comment I mentioned about the competent vs. incompetent dad really got to him. And once he kind of understood where I was coming from, I did something he really needed - I asked him to do things and then just laid off and bit my tongue when I found myself wanting to correct what he did. So, for example, I would ask him to get her dressed and just deal with her overall straps being twisted and her ponytail (yes, he even tried to do her hair! : ) looking like she slept in it. Other things, too...like saying, "Honey, would you give her the eardrops? Five drops in her right ear, and she has to lie down for five minutes," and then just continue what I was doing. I think this gave him the message that I trusted him to do a good job. After all, the man is an intelligent adult and I think he can figure out how to get drops into his daughter's ear!

This really worked well. It's really hard for us overprotective mommies to think anyone else can do as good a job as we do, but dh is the only other person who loves your child as much as you do, and he needs to find his own way of doing things without feeling it's wrong because it's not your way. Try really hard to give up that "expert" job title for a while! Your dh sounds like a warm and loving daddy, so I'm sure it won't be too hard!
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Old 01-03-2002, 05:37 PM
 
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My dh has been with our 5mo old dd alone since day 1. Since he couldn't stand the thought of dd being without one of us, he went with her to the nursery after her birth for all of the routine stuff they do to newborns (and wouldn't leave to come check on me without her...the nurses finally gave in and let him carry her back to my room before they were done so that he could make sure I was ok).

He wears her in the Baby Bjorn (which he likes better than the sling), plays with her, sings to her. He is great at reading her cues. He knows the hungry fussiness from the tired fussiness. He knows when she is bored with something and ready to do something else.

He is a great dh & a great daddy!
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Old 01-03-2002, 07:09 PM
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About once every 2 weeks I go out with my girlfriends and dd stays with her daddy. In addition, he often takes her for long walks in the Bjorn, shopping, or just walking. I think it's REALLY GOOD for them to have time alone, without me hovering, and I know it's good for me to get a break!! I love it. I feel kind of sorry for dads who've never had a few hours alone with their children. That's why dads are so disconnected in our society so much of the time: because mommy is the only one who knows what to do, supposedly. I think that's a bunch of crap. Sure moms have a very special bond with their babies, but that's not going to be broken by a few hours apart. Parents should be equal partners, and both partners should have quality time with their kids.
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Old 01-03-2002, 08:38 PM
 
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When ds was about 1 mo I strted to leave him for breif periods w/ dh- I'd run to the grocery store, or once a week I'd go to the chiropractor. Then I started taking him everywhere w/ me... until about 6 mo- then dh would watch him while I had clients (acupuncture & shiatsu)n or I'd go to the gym for an hour... now ds is 11 mo and dh stays w/ him for an hour or two a couple times a week, sometimes more.
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Old 01-04-2002, 01:00 PM
 
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Although I am home more (working out of the office only two days a week), dh is awsome. I would not be able to do it without him. You single mothers have it much harder and I now know what my mother had to go through. I cherrish dh and his relationship with ds (now that is SEXY). He was alone with ds from the very beginning.
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Old 01-04-2002, 06:04 PM
 
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Well, dh is an extremely hands on dad, and has had both girls for an extended period of time (2 or more hours) from about 7 or 8 weeks old. He is very competent in about anything, and will volunteer for most diapers etc. when he's home/available (sometimes he works at home, when he's NOT available). He is extremely timid about clipping nails, but other than that can do anything. He was heartbroken when dd #2 developed a mom-specific preference for about three weeks that nearly wiped me out. What a relief when she was okay with daddy again. I would leave them to go to store, etc. during a nap, and from time dd #2 was 4 1/2 mos. old, I was in a band and rehearsed weekly for about 2 hours.
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Old 01-04-2002, 08:51 PM
 
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I have been guilty of becoming the expert in our house, too. I will definately take your advice, peacemama, because DS is only 9 months old and already I see how I have become responsible for too many decisions. DS is very clingy with me, but if he and DH are completely alone, I can't be seen or heard, they have an awesome time.
I went to see Lord of the Rings with DH last weekend, and DS stayed with his grandma. It was the longest I've ever been away from him, only twice before for a massage and a dentist appointment. He had a great time, never fussed or cried. And he fell asleep in her arms. I've never given him a bottle, so I thought it would be tough to get him to take a nap since I always nurse him to sleep. But, he cuddled up to grandma and slept on her lap for an hour.
I think mothers have a special place in their babies lives. But I also think it's important for babies to have one or two other caretakers they trust completely. It took me 9 months to feel comfortable leaving him with his grandma, so don't be hard on yourself if you don't feel like it's the right time. I don't think you should force yourself.
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