Dad helping with baby — The Bump
March 2015 Moms

Dad helping with baby

whenever my husband holds our four week old baby she immediately starts crying. I know it is normal for breastfed babies to prefer mom, but he can't get her to calm down. When I come back in the room, I can tell he is frustrated and he will basically give up and she will just be laying in his arms and he will be watching tv instead of trying to soothe her. I have tried to drop hints to him at other times like saying she likes to be talked to all the time now and she doesn't like just laying there, but he hasn't caught on. I want to help him know some pointers for when she is upset, but I don't want to offend him either to make him think I think he is doing a bad job. I know he just doesn't know what to do. It is started to get to me because I feel like anytime I do anything, like shower, I have to go as fast as I can because she is screaming. Any tips?

Re: Dad helping with baby

  • Our son was acting very similar and it took me leaving the house and giving them some real quality time and now he's almost as happy now with Daddy. It was hard for him for a couple hours but now he's happy to watch him and hold him.
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  • I have to say communication is key. I wrote a post not too long ago about how much daddy doesn't help. Things are much better now. I even got to nap for 4 hours today! I find it hard to not take over when the baby is fussing but the more he feels useless the more he won't help. Try to tell him exactly what you need him to do and see if that helps. Good luck!
  • Men dont do hinting around ive come to find out. You must tell him!
  • My daughter did the same thing with my DH, and sadly you just have to communicate and leave them be to work out their relationship. It took about a week before he became an expert at soothing her while I was gone, and now it is SO nice to be able to walk away a short while and come back to them being cute together.

    BTW, it is 100% unacceptable that your DH ignores your LOs crying. It teaches your baby that they are alone and unsafe with him.
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • I'm in a similar situation, except my husband actively tries to soothe our baby, but he just won't calm down. I did tell him, though, flat out, when he got frustrated last week and asked me to take him, that he'd never get used to it and neither would baby if he didn't hold him. It's hard, because yesterday we were going out and as I was doing my makeup, baby is with dad crying til he's red-faced. I know it's bad, but I took him just to calm him because we get scared when he cries and doesn't take a breath...I know we need to get him used to dad soothing him, I just don't know how to do it. He talks to him, rocks him, walks with him, bounces him, lies down with him, plays music for him..nothing seems to work when he wants me to hold him. Any suggestions? Dad is fine now just holding him and trying to soothe him, but I hate to hear him cry like that so I usually take him.
  • I wonder if letting dad bottle feed makes my difference? My LO is soothed pretty well by my DH, but I have been pumping daily and she gets a bottle from her daddy every couple days to practice for when I'll go back to work. Not sure if there's a correlation, but it might be worth a try. Certainly can't hurt!
  • My husband and I are both learning as this is my first baby and I feel bad that I have what he doesn't as far as soothing methods, the breast. He tries things like walking and the swing for a bit as well as the pacifier but will eventually give up and tell me he must be hungry since our son constantly roots especially when tired. I can't help but come running when baby cries but I also know that I have to let him figure it out with encouragement when he is doing well instead of always correcting him so that he can handle baby when I go back to work (which I'm terrified to do because I worry about lo crying the whole time I'm away! I work ten hour night shifts)
  • Pump breast milk and let your DH feed the baby too. It's an intense bonding experience for them. The main thing is that he can't give up, even though it's hard. Think about it, your pregnancy was a really hard bonding experience with baby, but you didn't just give up and make someone else do it. It took time and hardship. DH needs to keep experimenting with soothing methods, and eventually things will click.
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • This is so hard!  I am dealing with a similar issue, but mine has to do with feeding baby the bottle.  He just won't take it from DH.  I put our older daughter to bed tonight and my son screamed the entire time.  When I was done putting her to bed my husband shoved the baby in my arms and said, "Here, he won't take a bottle from me"  He is very frustrated and won't take any advice…I don't know what to do either.  I am trying to think of it from his point of view..not being able to feed your own kid.  I like what a PP said, which is to leave the house for a few hours.  He will be forced to deal with the issue and not quit.  Good luck!
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