Babies: 0 - 3 Months

DH can't handle crying baby

In the words of my father, when DD began crying when my mother and I stepped out of the house (we were visiting them), DH looked pathetic. He said he looked like he would vomit. DH can't handle DD crying. It stems from him wanting to "fix" things that are wrong and he just can't fix his daughter. I tried telling him that as long as she's fed, dry and comfortable there's nothing you can do but try and soothe. I also told him he can't get "tight" because she'll sense that and be even more up tight. Anyone else's DHs react this way? How did you encourage them? I'm afraid that my H is a bit traumatized and when I mentioned I'll be cleared to start my jogging again soon, he was very quiet.

Re: DH can't handle crying baby

  • Your DH needs to handle your LO more, so he can get used to handling a baby and LO can get used to him. Your father needs to mind his own business.
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  • I make sure to tell MH some of the things that I do during the day to help soothe the baby when she is upset.  He then employs those techniques and also tries to come up with his own when he is alone with her.  Together we have a pretty solid arsenal of tricks to help soothe her.
  • image mabenner1:
    Your DH needs to handle your LO more, so he can get used to handling a baby and LO can get used to him. Your father needs to mind his own business.

    This. Your DH must not be used to being around newborns or handling them? I'm sure that was a time when your dad was the same way. I sure hope he didn't call your DH pathetic to his face. If my dad had done that to my DH it would have made him feel even worse about not being able to soothe DS

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  • My DH was home with me the first month and has watched my DD alone several times while I've run errands or gone to appts but even he is not good with her crying. When I'm home, he often just hands her to me like I have the magic touch or something rather than do something to soothe her.  Sometimes she'll wail uncontrollably and he just puts her in her bouncer where she cries even more.  It drives me nuts!  Like what is that going to accomplish?  I have to tell him that she's probably crying because she has gas or stomach upset and wants to be held and patted.

    I think it's just harder for men to know how to comfort a baby and know how to interpret a baby's cues.  Most men are not very patient either so they give up rather than try a different position or rub their backs or whatever it takes to calm the baby down.

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  • Is there something that he does for your LO that he can do better than you?  For instance, my DH is still way better than me at diapers :) His have never leaked!  So maybe you can approach it by having him "teach" you or show you his technique for that thing he does.  It might make him feel more useful, or that he CAN fix certain things, and thereby get him more comf. with the crying?
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  • It took my DH forever to feel comfortable with our LO. He took the baby crying way personal and would just end up handing him back to me. He even got teary eyed several times thinking that the baby didn't like him. The turning point was when I took a couple hours to get my hair cut and he was watching him alone. I will admit, I was really anxious to leave them, but I came home and all was well. Since then, DH has been much more helpful and holds our LO a lot more. He even will take turns holding LO if he is being fussy rather than just leaving me to soothe him by myself.

     It's been a huge relief! 

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  • I was surprised at my own intolerance to my son's crying at first in the early weeks/months of his life.  I'm a first time mom and like to have the house pretty mellow most of the time.  I hate lound blaring TVs in the house, etc. 

    He's a year old now, and believe me, after a few months the sensitivity to the crying eases up.  You just tolerate it more and better.  And also, it really decreases by leaps and bounds as the months go by.

    Your husband is not abnormal at all.  I think it's more normal to have an aversion to the crying, especially if you aren't used to it, or are a first time parent.  Just do the best you can to soothe her, like you said, and it will pass.  Even if you think it won't now.

  • My husband gets pretty overwhelmed/frustrated/annoyed when my LO starts crying. I know it drives him insane when the baby just won't stop crying, and I get it -- it's not like it's a pleasant sound to my ears, either. It frustrates me when he shows how irritating the crying is to him...but I try to be understanding. It's stressful, and he can't fix it, and I know he hates feeling powerless like that. When he gets too frustrated to deal anymore he does one of two things:

    #1: passes LO off to me and either says he thinks he needs to be fed or that the baby just likes me better

     #2: puts him in the swing or bouncer and says that LO needs to cry it out (which I absolutely loathe and always immediately pick LO up). 

    As our baby is only 3 weeks old and I'm still super new to this, I don't really know how to encourage him or make it less frustrating to him, but know that your DH isn't alone...I think it's pretty normal for new dads. 

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  • -I would make sure they get daddy/baby time every day. You go somewhere else in the house where you are accessible, but won't be tempted to give advice. They have to work out their own way of relating. Set dad up for success by starting him with a calm, fed, baby, and a baby carrier.

    -Watch the Happiest Baby on the Block video together. (I think it is on Netflix.)

    -Do things together as a family and have DH wear or hold baby so they can get in their bonding time while your DH is otherwise occupied and feeling confident and you are around but not the primary caretaker in that moment. This could be going for a walk, cooking dinner, eating dinner, grocery shopping, etc. Emphasise physical contact (so don't use a stroller, swing, etc.) so they get that touch/bonding thing going on.

  • Leave a bottle or two and leave the house for a few hours. Your DH will figure it out.

    Caring for the baby is what will help your DH bond with your kid. It has to be done.
    I make cute babies.

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