Husband Not Connecting with 4 mo old — The Bump
Babies: 3 - 6 Months

Husband Not Connecting with 4 mo old

My husband loves DD, but I feel that he is just so disconnected from her.  Anyone else going through this?

It's not that he doesn't help.  He does chores and projects around the house and will change diapers and get her ready for the day.  I try to give hubby and DD time alone while I cook, shower, garden a bit, etc.  But it just ends up with her crying.  I try not to intervene right away, and I try not to tell him how to do things unless he asks.  I read that dads have a different way of relating to baby, so I respect that.  For example, he likes to lay on the couch and sit baby on his tummy with her back on his legs.  I don't think she likes being in this position for very long, but I don't say anything.  Many times during their time alone, I will walk in the room and DD is fussing while hubby is on his tablet or phone.  I don't like this, but I don't criticize.  DH knows how I feel about this bc we've had a discussion before she was even born.  He also seems to get frustrated with her easily, because he has trouble calming her.  This makes him give up easily.

When DD was a newborn hubby was so good with her, though he'd never even been around a baby.  He could calm her and would spend time with her when he came home.  It was great.  I even got to sleep in most mornings.  Then, when she was 6 wk old he had to go to England for 5 weeks.  So, we were a part for some time.  He came home early July, and things have not been the same.  I think he found himself coming home to a baby that was so different than the newborn he left.  She was fussy from tummy issues at 3 mo, and now it's that 4 month fussy period.  I really though they would be getting to re-know each other, but the disconnection seems to be getting worse.  Hubby is also discouraged bc she know longer want to take a bottle from him (or anyone).  Oddly two days after he left, she refused the bottle.        

I've tried everything I can think of....time alone with her, involving him more in care, encouraging more snuggling, outings as a family.  Any other advice??  

Re: Husband Not Connecting with 4 mo old

  • Is there a particular activity that LO enjoys? If so, have her and DD spend time together doing what it may be. Bath, going for a walk, reading a book, etc. It may just take some time for them to reconnect. Good luck! 
  • I agree with @ejled. My husband sometimes works 10 hours a day, so there are some days where he only sees our boys (also 4 months) for a half an hour and then it's bed time.  They love playing on the blanket, and have finally started tolerating tummy time, so we decided that blanket time is daddy's time.  They get really excited and it's cute to watch the 3 of them play together and it makes my husband happy to know that's "their thing".  Good luck!
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  • My husband loves DD, but I feel that he is just so disconnected from her.  Anyone else going through this?

    It's not that he doesn't help.  He does chores and projects around the house and will change diapers and get her ready for the day.  I try to give hubby and DD time alone while I cook, shower, garden a bit, etc.  But it just ends up with her crying.  I try not to intervene right away, and I try not to tell him how to do things unless he asks.  I read that dads have a different way of relating to baby, so I respect that.  For example, he likes to lay on the couch and sit baby on his tummy with her back on his legs.  I don't think she likes being in this position for very long, but I don't say anything.  Many times during their time alone, I will walk in the room and DD is fussing while hubby is on his tablet or phone.  I don't like this, but I don't criticize.  DH knows how I feel about this bc we've had a discussion before she was even born.  He also seems to get frustrated with her easily, because he has trouble calming her.  This makes him give up easily.

    When DD was a newborn hubby was so good with her, though he'd never even been around a baby.  He could calm her and would spend time with her when he came home.  It was great.  I even got to sleep in most mornings.  Then, when she was 6 wk old he had to go to England for 5 weeks.  So, we were a part for some time.  He came home early July, and things have not been the same.  I think he found himself coming home to a baby that was so different than the newborn he left.  She was fussy from tummy issues at 3 mo, and now it's that 4 month fussy period.  I really though they would be getting to re-know each other, but the disconnection seems to be getting worse.  Hubby is also discouraged bc she know longer want to take a bottle from him (or anyone).  Oddly two days after he left, she refused the bottle.        

    I've tried everything I can think of....time alone with her, involving him more in care, encouraging more snuggling, outings as a family.  Any other advice??  
    It could be a simple as babies are boring. I wouldn't try to force it as it sounds like he is spending some time with baby even if it's not how *you* want him to spend time with LO. 
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  • @ejled His favorite activity is watching soccer at the pub....so a little rowdy for a baby.  :)

    It could be that he doesn't know what to do, and when she was a NB it was easy.  You just cuddled her and she went to sleep.  My friend suggested giving him specific things to do....like read a book or here are some baby games.  Maybe if he learns things to do with baby, then he will interact with her more.

    The secondary problem is that by not connecting with her, he can't calm her.  She's only happy hanging out with him for a short time.  That means that I never get a break more than a shower or watering plants for 10 minutes, and there is no one else here who can come watch her.  We live far away from family and friends.  It's also stressful for him, because there are times when I have to be away like a dentist appointment last week.

    He did wear her last week and she fell asleep.  Maybe I could encourage that more.  The only thing is he gets annoyed bc you can't sit with her when you wear her....she hates that.    

    It seemed like he enjoyed being with her when she was a "boring" NB, not now that she's become an active baby.
  • I have a 4 month old too, DH is great with her and they seem to have a good bond.  Some things that have worked for us...I cook dinner after DH gets home from work, this gives him time to play/entertain DD since I really can't tend to her.  If she is getting fussy I do suggest things if what he is trying isn't working.  I know he appreciates this because I spend all day with DD so I do know some tricks to calm her.  You could suggest reading books, going on a stroller walk or carrier walk...just some things to give you a little bit of a break.  Eventually our babies will be more interactive and be able to do more fun things with all of us! :) 
  • Just keep trying and leave the house for a bit to let him figure it out on his own. 
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