January 2012 Moms

Getting DH to connect w/ the LO

For those second time mommies, or really for anyone who has advice. :D

I'm just wondering what kinds of things you can do to get your DH involved with the LOs? I just feel like we get to experience all the really cool stuff, you know? We get to feel the babies moving, and all the neat stuff along with it.

I've tried letting him feel whenever one of the girls is kicking, but he'll usually just hold his hand there for a kick and then pull it away. I've had him rub cocoa butter on the bump, and usually the girls go crazy after that too. But it just seems like he's not quite as connected to them. :S

I've often been told that girls become mothers as soon as they find out they're pregnant; men become fathers after the babies born. Do you think that's true?

After TTC w/ PCOS for 17 mo.s, we finally got our BFP!
First u/s 5/19/11 showed: ♥Twins!♥ Second u/s 8/12/11 showed: Girls!
12/20/11 & 12/21/11: 2 Little Girls, 2 Birthdays, and 2 Very Different Personalities!

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Soon to be Big Sisters! Baby #3 due 4/18/14
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Re: Getting DH to connect w/ the LO

  • I dont have a whole lot of advice, but very interested to see the responses as this question has been in my head as well. DH hasnt been able to feel the baby move just yet. I try to involve him as much as possible though. At night I have been reading to Raeleigh and now he will come in and read too, on saturday we went to build-a-bear and he surprisingly got REALLY into it. I saw him watching some of the dads and little kids at church yesterday, i think he is getting excited but just doesnt know really how to express it or handle the emotion.
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  • I think it's true. my DH really was good during the pregnancy last time around. he read the daddy book and we read WTE together and all that jazz. he painted the nursery and went to the ultrasounds.

    but I really do think it's true that they connect when they hold that baby in their arms.

    My advice would be to let your partner do as much as possible during those first few weeks. It's sooooo easy to get into this whole "I know best!" mentality (since we've been taking care of LO 100% of the time since conception) but even though they might not change diapers the same way as you or whatever, they really REALLY need to feel like a full partner and like they're actually just as responsible for this little person. I've seen dads get pushed away and then the mom is sitting there going "why doesn't he help!" when all they do is criticize. Not sure if this makes sense and it probably seems way obvious... but do keep it in the back of your head to really ALLOW them to bond when the time comes. (and for anyone who has concerns that you can't do this properly while EBFing, you can if you choose. there is SO much for both people to do.)

  • Ya I think it's true. I just posted how my DH was able to feel the first kick yesterday and he just said "oh ya that's pretty cool" And at first I got a bit disappointed b/c I thought he'd be more excited but then I started to think and realized:

    First off it must be quite the shock  and like my DH said after that, "us guys are just more visual". He said he can't wait to see my belly move or see that little foot sticking out and not to mention when the baby is born.

    He rubs and kisses my belly all the time so I know he's so happy and excited. The guys just need a bit more stimuli I think. :)

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  • My DH isn't typical in regards to connecting with people/children (mild asperger's syndrome), but I will share our experience with our daughter.  He had a very hard time connecting with her while I was pregnant, and I often felt like I was alone during the pregnancy because he wasn't sharing the joy/experience of registering and getting the nursery ready, etc...  He enjoyed feeling kicks but he was very scared and anxious about a baby joining our family and the related expenses, etc... I think that inhibited his happiness quite a bit.  It also took him the 20 weeks until she arrived to get used to the idea of having a daughter rather than a son.

    Once she arrived, he was in love with her, but left all the care-giving to me.  It wasn't until she got older and really started to interact with him that he really connected with her and she became a vital part of his life.  Now that she is 2 years old, she has him wrapped around her little finger and he can't wait to get home and play with her.

     He has expressed to me that with this baby he wants to be more involved from the beginning, I think he realizes that he missed a lot of bonding time with Natalie and he doesn't want to make that mistake again.  However, he is acting much the same way during this pregnancy as he did during the first.  He is extremely stressed about our financial situation, regardless of our plan that we have in place, etc... and that is impeding his ability to be happy about this baby.  He is also a little worried that he'll be able to love this boy just as much as he loves our girl.  That is comforting to me, since I was worried that now that he is getting his son that he would be less interested in doing things with Natalie.

  • I totally agree with the Women are mothers as soon as they find out they are pregnant but men do not become fathers until they see/hold their child. We are going through changes that they can't fathom and all they see is our bodies getting fatter and a large abdominal tumor ;) I personally feel like I am in it on my own a lot of the times too because he thinks that so many of the warnings are just BS. (Such as not lifing over 40 lbs where my job requires me to often wrestle 70-150 lbs of scared animal.) Anyway i know he will be a great father but don't expect much until he gets to see our little monkey. Ahh. Men. I would imagine if you had one of those rare sensitve dudes maybe he would be more into it? Wish mine was.
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  • For my DH, yes, it wasn't until he could hold him that he really connected. He told me later that it was more from being nervous... He didn't want to think about it at all b/c he was a little nervous about having a newborn around, providing, etc. So, it seemed to me he was distant, but he just didn't want to think about it too much. This time around I haven't "pushed" him like I did w/ DS, as in I haven't brought up names too much, we need to buy this, or get the nursery ready, and have just tried to let him do things at his own pace. He's still super excited, just likes to take things one day at a time. Now that I know that, I don't worry that he doesn't seem involved. He also wanted me to give birth to a toddler because he was just more ready for the whole playing thing. Once DS was born he was awesome, and involved :) I agree w/ pp about letting them do lots of diaper changes, etc (especially if you are nursing). It's hard not to be posessive of your LO, but dads really can take care of a baby- just differently!

    Someone told me today that when babies are born they look like their father more so that the dad's will bond better since they don't bond the same as we do while we are carrying them. I thought that was interesting!

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  • Thank you all. :) I really appreciate all the input.

    I completely agree. With twin newborns, I won't have TIME to think about being selfish! ;) I know that I'm going to have to rely on him so much when the girls come, and I know that he's going to be a wonderful father. He's an amazing husband, and he is so supportive. I don't want anyone to think that he isn't, because he is. I just don't know how to help him feel more involved. He goes to all my doc appts. and all the ultrasounds. He holds my hand and smiles at the little ones. I know that he's excited, I think he's just scared as well. (Which, who can blame him?! I'm exstatic, but I'm terrorfied too. Lol) I just want to do whatever I can to help him bond with the babies.

    I PPH ya'll! Thanks for the advice. :D

    After TTC w/ PCOS for 17 mo.s, we finally got our BFP!
    First u/s 5/19/11 showed: ♥Twins!♥ Second u/s 8/12/11 showed: Girls!
    12/20/11 & 12/21/11: 2 Little Girls, 2 Birthdays, and 2 Very Different Personalities!

    image

    Soon to be Big Sisters! Baby #3 due 4/18/14
    image

  • I really don't think there is anything you can or should do to "help" him bond right now. We're the ones going through all the changes right now, and, while they can see those changes, they're not physically or emotionally (i.e.hormones) feeling what we are. When your girls are here, he'll fall madly in love and bond with them however is best for him. I don't think you can really force it - it will just come naturally.
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  • lp0lp0
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    I completely understand what you're saying. My dh doesn't really show much interest in me being pregnant but talks all the time about once the baby gets here. When I grab his hand to feel the baby kicking he gets a big smile on his face when he feels lo moving around but he doesn't really try to touch my belly on his own. I do believe the guys are more visual and it doesn't become real until they can actually hold their lo. I know my dh is going to be an awesome dad so I'm trying not to get upset that he's not doing back flips over me being pregnant.

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    "Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it the more it will elude you but if u turn your attention to other things it will come & sit softly on your shoulder."

    BFP! 04/26/11 - DS born 12/28/11 - BFP #2! 04/02/13 - DD born 12/11/13 -
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