Babies: 0 - 3 Months

DH not exactly interested in the baby

DH was SO excited during my entire pregnancy and the birth and hospital experience were amazing.  Now that we're home, he doesn't seem interested at all.  He doesn't really want to change her or hold her or anything.  He says that he is "too tired" and that he just wants to sleep.  He has been working a lot lately and I get it, but I'm at home with a newborn all day and I'M TIRED TOO! I told him yesterday that I was bothered by this and he said that I was overreacting.

The other night I was in the bathtub and I started crying because I was hurting and my stitches were hurting and I was just frustrated and he told me to get over it. 

I don't really know what to do about this.  He has NEVER been this way before.  He is usually super helpful and compasisonate.  What would you say to him??

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Re: DH not exactly interested in the baby

  • I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Sometimes dads get those baby blues too. I'd give him a little more time, and keep encouraging him to hold your dd and bond with her. If things don't improve after a week or 2 more, I'd suggest he see a counselor.
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  • image AbJams:
    I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Sometimes dads get those baby blues too. I'd give him a little more time, and keep encouraging him to hold your dd and bond with her. If things don't improve after a week or 2 more, I'd suggest he see a counselor.

    This, I 100% agree. 

    Side note - how cute is your LO!  I love the headband.  :)

  • My husband gives me the same excuse when he gets home from work.  He does work outside in the heat and I know that wears a person out but I feel like he thinks taking care of a baby all day is so easy because he thinks that DS sleeps all day (HA!).  I don't have any advice to give you to tell your husband since me explaining that I am busy during the day too seems to fall on deaf ears in my life.
  • My DH is also super helpful and compassionate, but I feel like he had a hard time adjusting at first.  The first two weeks were a little tough, and he seemed really overwhelmed. But after a little bit, he got more comfortable with LO and the situation, and has been great ever since! If this isn't typical behavior for him, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I think it will pass soon, and each day will get better and easier. GL!
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  • My husband had the baby blues after DD was born big time.  I actually overheard him tell someone on the phone that he was so tired while in the hospital that he wished that we could have left her there.  Can you believe that???  I was PISSED at him over that and screamed at him to knock that shiit off ond get over himself.  I was the one who was up with her all night while he was laying in bed grumbling with a T-shirt covering his eyes from the light.  I was the one who was feeding, changing and rocking her to sleep while he did nothing and I was getting that attitude from him.  It really upset me.

    We came home from he hospital and I felt like I was the one left to entertain the guests because he would be in the living room all by himself playing video games while we were all in the nursery.  He was withdrawn and quiet.  He would lose his cool when she would cry.  He didn't want to hold her that much, if she started crying he would hand her over immediately.  When he did hold her, he would not really interact with her, more like holding a bag of flour and zone out in front of the TV.  It broke my heart to see that.

    About 1-2 weeks pp I came into the room and he was crying.  He told me that he didn't know what to think about our daughter.  He just wasn't happy and said that he didn't feel the love towards her that he thought he would have.  "I love her, she's our daughter, but I just don't feel a connection to her" is what he told me.  That sentence is burned into my memory because it hurt so bad to hear it.

    I told him that he needs to learn that this is our new lifestyle, you have a daughter who is depending on you.  I reassured him that it's going to be hard at first, newborns don't do that much, they cry, eat, sleep and poop for the first few months.  I then told him that he should seek counseling.

    He never did but he did seem to come out of the fog and now loves his little girl to no end.  They play, he sings to her, changes her and is very protective over her.  Please have a sit-down talk with your husband.

     

    Having a baby is a huge lifestyle changer.  I lost my appetite for a whole month a after giving birth.  I do think the husband tends to get over-looked when a baby comes into the house.  Everyone asks you how you are doing but your husband can get left in the dust.  Make sure you ask him how's he's doing.  Talk with your mom (if you have an open relationship of course) or a girlfriend.  Talking with someone helps.

  • I had a similar experience to Ivana.....DH complained about being exhausted in the hospital, was in a daze the first few weeks, and was generally useless for the first two months of LO's life.  He loved him, but wasn't "in love" with him.  Until last week when I went back to work and he was forced to look after him from 8am until he went to work at 1pm.  Suddenly, the kid is amazing and he is madly in love.  :)  So just give it some time.  Guys get bored easily, so the vegetable infant stage is sort of boring....once they start to coo and move more, the bonding comes more naturally. 
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  • After we brought DD home I made DH take her everyday for 30 minutes while I took a shower with the door locked and that really seemed to help him with transitioning into fatherhood.  Maybe trying something like that would help your DH and give you a little you time.


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  • Don't worry, my DH was exactly like that when my son was born. He was so excited and helpful with DD, but then DS came along and he seemed completely uninterested.  Turns out because he was working so hard and long hours, he came home stressed and exhausted. He just didn't have the energy, and he was not in the best frame of mind because of work stress.  Also, dads get post partum depression, too. They've actually shown that many dads exhibit the same hormone imbalance after a baby is born as the mom does.  In addition, many men simply don't know how to connect with a newborn.  The baby doesn't smile at them yet, doesn't laugh, etc.  When the baby gets older they are completely different because now the baby can communicate with them more. Now my DH is incredibly involved with both children. If it doesn't improve in a few months, I would suggest he see someone to help him cope with the new transition. Good luck!
  • image kwinters87:

    After we brought DD home I made DH take her everyday for 30 minutes while I took a shower with the door locked and that really seemed to help him with transitioning into fatherhood.  Maybe trying something like that would help your DH and give you a little you time.

    This is a really good idea!  the moms get to spend all day alone with the babe so it's good to force dad too as well, and give some free time. 

    I bet, like everyone else, your DH is going through PPD.  i never really thought about the guy going through it but why wouldn't they?! they prob see mom with this amazing connection and they have nothing so they just hide away and are miserable.  I appreciate this thread so i can be aware that this could happen to my DH too.  He's just like your's, soooo excited for our arrival and just loves this baby already (heck even more so than me! lol) but he too could wind up like this in the beginning.

    Good luck loves!

  • BeckFBeckF
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    HE MAY FEEL THAT HE'S BEEN REPLACED BY THE BABY. I KNOW IT SOUNDS STRANGE TO BE JEALOUS OF YOUR BABY BUT MANY MEN ARE, THEY AREN'T GETTING THE SAME ATTENTION THAT THEY WERE BEFORE WHICH THAT MAKES IT HARD ON THEM AND COULD POSSIBLY MAKE THEM NOT WANT TO BE HELPFUL WITH BABY; BECAUSE THEY FEEL GUILTY FOR BEING JEALOUS. TRY TO GIVE HIM TIME TO COME AROUND. IT IS SO DIFFERENT FOR A MOM AND BABY THAN FOR THE DAD. A MOM USUALLY MATURES IN THE PROCESS OF BEING PREGNANT AND WANTING TO PUT THE BABY BEFORE HERSELF BUT FOR A DAD ALL OF THAT NORMALLY COMES IN THE FIRST YEAR. GOOD LUCK AND TRY TO HANG IN THERE.
  • My husband was working 12 hour days when my daughter was born.  That coupled with the fact that a newborn is SO dependent on Mom, especially when you're breastfeeding, and that a newborn baby is simply not that responsive to people yet...my husband finally blurted out to me one night, "I feel like a third wheel. I don't BELONG here!". He didn't feel connected with the baby.  Give it time...once my daughter got into her second month and started responding to my husband with smiles and giggles, he was a goner. Now, at 4 months, they are like peas and carrots!  He changes diapers, asks to feed her bottles, and picks her up to play as soon as he gets home.  We're born with the maternal instinct...I think it doesn't come as naturally to men.  That being said, caring for a newborn is VERY demanding work, especially when you're recovering from delivery. 

    Maybe if he heard it from someone other than you...your mother in law or friends who have young children?

  • I'm sorry he's being so insensitive!  Babies are so life changing he may just be in mourning as to what was lost (freedom, sleep, his wife as she formerly was).  It will take time for your relationship to get back on course but make sure to appreciate what he does do and focus on his good qualities.  I also think it is hard for men to really bond with the baby until the baby starts interacting with them.  My husband is much more involved with my son now that he can communicate and interact with him.  Just make sure to take care of yourself and don't be afraid to reach out to family and friends if you need a break or some rest.

  • It sounds like you are going through a rough time. With our first my DH was kind of the same way. He later told me that he was really scared to hold the baby because he was so little. Maybe your DH is intimidated by the reality of a tiny little creature who needs his care. His history of compassion is a good sign, it's not like he was standoffish from the start. Have him help out with what he is comfortable with or work with you side by side to see how you do it. He just needs to build his confidence, he'll come around. If you need to for your sanity enlist help of family or friends to help you while he's at work.
  • Ditto to all the previous posts! I've definitely seen an improvement in DH the past couple weeks. and I know as DD gets older and starts doing more he'll probably get even more involved.
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  • I have read all the posts and considered my own experience as well. Seems like we all say the same thing...with time it will get better! You'll establish a routine with the baby, and everyone will fall into it and things will get easier to handle. Both of you are new at this stage of your lives, some people have a harder time coping with the huge change. Communicate your feelings clearly, but do it in a non-confrontational way, and encourage him to do the same. This is such a wonderful time in your lives and it will bring you closer together. If it doesn't seem to get any better (but i pray that it does!) please speak to a professional- there must be post-partum specialty services in your area.

    My hubby was great during our first pregnancy and great after the birth, but the first month was hard on everyone. Nursing troubles, Jaundice, colic, lack of sleep, a breast infection, excitable dogs due to lack of walks and too many guests and an overbearing MIL made my life hell! as much as i LOVED my baby, i couldn't wait til hubby got home so i could get some 'me' time. With time, all of these things got resolved and my hubby and i got closer than before- we just hit the 'new parent rough patch' that every could hits. Please keep us updated on the progress!

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  • image BeckF:
    HE MAY FEEL THAT HE'S BEEN REPLACED BY THE BABY. I KNOW IT SOUNDS STRANGE TO BE JEALOUS OF YOUR BABY BUT MANY MEN ARE, THEY AREN'T GETTING THE SAME ATTENTION THAT THEY WERE BEFORE WHICH THAT MAKES IT HARD ON THEM AND COULD POSSIBLY MAKE THEM NOT WANT TO BE HELPFUL WITH BABY; BECAUSE THEY FEEL GUILTY FOR BEING JEALOUS. TRY TO GIVE HIM TIME TO COME AROUND. IT IS SO DIFFERENT FOR A MOM AND BABY THAN FOR THE DAD. A MOM USUALLY MATURES IN THE PROCESS OF BEING PREGNANT AND WANTING TO PUT THE BABY BEFORE HERSELF BUT FOR A DAD ALL OF THAT NORMALLY COMES IN THE FIRST YEAR. GOOD LUCK AND TRY TO HANG IN THERE.

     This makes so much sense! My husband and I are TTC and I never even thought he might feel like this someday. We are very close and tend to spoil each other, so it's good to be aware of this before it happens. Thanks so much!

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  • I hate to be the bearer of bad news but girl, my husband was the same way the entire time I was pregnant and when she got here it was the complete oppisite. He didn't help do anything. Needless to say she is now 8 and he regrets it now, because she will not have anything to do with him. I'm now pregnant with my second and it's another girl, he is wanting me to have a third to try for a boy. I told him it all depends on how much he helps with this one. So hopefully it will be different this time around but I don't really see him changing. Hopefully your DH will come around before your child is old enough to realize that he has no interest in helping, because they do notice and they will hold it against him.
  • My first thought when I read this was not that he needs therapy but that he needs to talk to a dad.  Do you have any male friends with babies/young kids?  Whatever he's going through - feeling like he's lost freedom, intimidated by the baby, jealous, whatever - he might be able to talk about it with another guy who had the same issues.  If you have a friend or brother that he could talk to, I would definitely try to arrange a guy's night out for them.  Good luck!
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  • I am so sorry that you are going through this!!!! And I wish I could say it will get better, but it sounds like your husband has PPD just like I do.  My DH sleeps in every weekend-  I have tried to get him to wake up and take her after her morning feeding so that I can sleep in, but he just lays in bed with her and talks to her and lets her cry.

    I remember having feelings of not wanting my DD- the most horrible feeling in the world because you know you shouldn't be feeling this way.  Counseling has been a big help but I am being put on medicine this week.

    It took my hubby a while to really understand everything that I was going through.  I don't think he ever fully appreciated the 32 hours of labor, the baby coming out sunny side up, the third degree tear, the breastfeeding for hours on end (the first feeding wiould end only for the second feeding to start in 30 minutes) and the fact that I was the only one who could feed her when she woke up at night.  It finally hit him one day when I cried at my 6 week check up and the doctor asked him if he felt safe taking me home or should they admit me to inpatient.

    GOod luck with everything.  I hope he comes around.

  • Sounds like a lot of us can relate to what you're going through with DH.  My situation is a bit different.  I had PPD for the first two months, and during that time, my DH was great.  Someone had to pull things together and take care of DD, and he really stepped up to the plate.  I just cried all the time, laid on the sofa and didn't want to hold DD or anything.  BFing was so difficult for us, and she cried all the time!  So then I got help, got better, and went back to work.  That's when DH went downhill.  Even now, DD is 6 months old, and he makes comments that are hurtful (things like, he likes the dog better than his daughter, or that his life is ruined now).  I've told him over and over that it hurts to hear him talk about his child that way, but it doesn't seem to sink in.

    He has gotten better, and he does a lot to help out (diapers, getting her up each morning so I can snooze for a bit before getting ready for work, he's even started giving her some solids), but I don't think he's completely over "mourning" his old life.  And for your sake, I hope your DH gets better sooner.  Maybe like someone else said, if he has another dad friend to talk to, it will help.  Mine doesn't.  I just hope yours realizes how hard this is on you.  Yeah, it's a huge adjustment for both of you, but the majority of the work falls on the mom. 

    Hope time helps, but if not, don't be afraid to seek out others to talk to, even counselors! 

  • I found out that my husband didn't interact with the baby -- or want to do anything at all with her........but it was because he felt like he didn't know what to do. He felt like I was spending most of the time with her and learning how to take care of her and what she liked and didn't like, and he felt sort of useless not knowing any of this stuff. He was afraid to ask, because he felt like he SHOULD know, and was embarrassed that he didn't.

    Maybe your husband is going through something similar??

  • It's pretty normal that men go through this.  Especially with the first baby.  My husband was not exactly happy to know that I was pregnant (the first time) and he was not interested before, during or after our LO was born.  He was the same as most men... too tired, complained of being tired, showed no interest in helping out with the LO and not interested in bonding with her either.  After many arguments and talking it out with him, as well as DD getting older, he was actually starting to show interest in her.  He realized that he was scared, feeling a bit jealous that he was not getting all of my attention and had to share it with someone else and that he had to get over his fear of not being ready for fatherhood.  Instead of making excuses, he started to take on his responsibilities.

    With our 2nd DD, he was totally different.  He was happy to be in the OR with me for my c-section and even filmed it!  He ran off with our LO as soon as she was born and on her way to be cleaned up and he stayed there filming the whole time!  He also took care of our oldest DD while I was in the hospital and they came to visit every day.  When I got home, he did anything and everything he could to help.  He's still afraid to bathe a newborn, but he does try.  He did bathe our 2nd DD when she was old enough to sit up on her own.  He changes diapers when he can too.

    The only thing I can say is that he might just need time to adjust.  This is how some new fathers cope with a new addition to the family.  It does get better. 

  • A male friend of mine who has 3 children that he adores once told me something that might help your husband. He said that although most men won't admit it because they are scared or embarassed, they don't connect with/ love their children when they are first born - sometimes it takes up to 6mths before they really feel the love mothers feel from the beginning. Since as a dad they didn't have the ability to connect before the baby was born. I think some men withdraw because they feel like what they are feeling is horrible. Your husband needs to know he isn't alone and the love will come, but he needs to be patient and needs to help you with the baby.  

  • I couldn't put my little girl down. I DO comment to say that there is an ebb and tide that I go through at the daddy and I try to remind myself of what a lot of you mothers are saying: You guys are very busy with the new baby all day too. :)

     

    We get it. Some just more than others. And at different times.

     

    DH

  • KGskyKGsky member
    Nothing new to add, but this definitely sounds like Daddy baby blues.  The latest research says they are just as susceptible and it will manifest in the same symptoms you described.  Also, I have to be honest, I did not bond with #1 right away.  It took time together and time alone with each other.  By the time I found out #2 was coming I was worried that I could ever have enough love for her and another baby, so it happens over time sometimes (I adore #2 as well just FYI LOL).  Still, now that we know there is a such thing as male baby blues, it might not hurt to research it, have him speak with someone, etc...
  • image Ivana.Stolichnaya:

    My husband had the baby blues after DD was born big time.  I actually overheard him tell someone on the phone that he was so tired while in the hospital that he wished that we could have left her there.  Can you believe that???  I was PISSED at him over that and screamed at him to knock that shiit off ond get over himself.  I was the one who was up with her all night while he was laying in bed grumbling with a T-shirt covering his eyes from the light.  I was the one who was feeding, changing and rocking her to sleep while he did nothing and I was getting that attitude from him.  It really upset me.

    We came home from he hospital and I felt like I was the one left to entertain the guests because he would be in the living room all by himself playing video games while we were all in the nursery.  He was withdrawn and quiet.  He would lose his cool when she would cry.  He didn't want to hold her that much, if she started crying he would hand her over immediately.  When he did hold her, he would not really interact with her, more like holding a bag of flour and zone out in front of the TV.  It broke my heart to see that.

    About 1-2 weeks pp I came into the room and he was crying.  He told me that he didn't know what to think about our daughter.  He just wasn't happy and said that he didn't feel the love towards her that he thought he would have.  "I love her, she's our daughter, but I just don't feel a connection to her" is what he told me.  That sentence is burned into my memory because it hurt so bad to hear it.

    I told him that he needs to learn that this is our new lifestyle, you have a daughter who is depending on you.  I reassured him that it's going to be hard at first, newborns don't do that much, they cry, eat, sleep and poop for the first few months.  I then told him that he should seek counseling.

    He never did but he did seem to come out of the fog and now loves his little girl to no end.  They play, he sings to her, changes her and is very protective over her.  Please have a sit-down talk with your husband.

     

    Having a baby is a huge lifestyle changer.  I lost my appetite for a whole month a after giving birth.  I do think the husband tends to get over-looked when a baby comes into the house.  Everyone asks you how you are doing but your husband can get left in the dust.  Make sure you ask him how's he's doing.  Talk with your mom (if you have an open relationship of course) or a girlfriend.  Talking with someone helps.

     

    I agree 100%. Talk to him, the fog will clear soon. Prayer always works as well!

  • i have always had the opposit problem.Hubby is so uninterested in the pregnancy.We are expecting baby #4 and this will be the first 20 week ultrasound he will attended. Discussing names is asking to fight....but once baby gets here he takes a month of leave to help out and bond and from the moment he holds them he loves them with all his heart.

    The two things I can say is don't do everything for 3 months and then  expect him to just jump in.expect his help from day one and don't nag how he dose things.If you think the baby is dressed a bit to light...let it go and wrap her in a blanket when you leave. Talk about the division of baby jobs.Men like to know what is expected of them.For my husband(who is military) he is expected to do 1 dirty diaper a day,feed baby dinner every other night,and put him to bed about 2x a week. It's not even but he knows what I expect and everything else is extra and appreciated.

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