Getting Dad More Involved for An Exclusively Breastfed Babe — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Getting Dad More Involved for An Exclusively Breastfed Babe

My husband and I are first-time parents to an almost 1-month old baby girl. We've been exclusively breastfeeding so far, and its going well. I seem to have good supply, and she's been steadily gaining weight. She has been a bit fussier lately though, which I attribute to a growth spurt, since she often will only settle down when I begin to feed her, and she's been wanting to eat much more than usual. I've paid attention to see that she is doing nutritive sucking, and not just sucking on my breast for comfort. 

My husband admitted to me yesterday that this makes him feel "helpless" when he can't give her what she wants (breast milk). He'd want me to start pumping sooner than later so he can take part in feeding her and give me a break. He's a wonderful dad and loves to cuddle our little peanut, takes his turn burping her, changes all of her diapers when he's home from work, will tend to her in the middle of the night, etc. even if she instead wants the "goods" that only mom can provide right now.

Is it too soon to have him start offering a bottle or 2 here and there? Or do you have other ways to get dad to feel more helpful? I tell him over and over how much I appreciate everything that he does for us, and the last thing I want is for him to feel down and helpless :-(

Re: Getting Dad More Involved for An Exclusively Breastfed Babe

  • I breastfed all 4 of my babies. I'll admit my husband has never felt left out. I do hand him the baby to burp him. Now that my baby is eating solids he is definitly getting that time together. But petsonally I wouldn't stop just for my husband to be part of the feeding process. 
  • I think it's completely normal for your H to feel this way. Mine did even though he did help with bottle feeding early on (low supply issues). I think it's just the way it is for the first few months as baby is just usually closer to and more comforted by mom, especially a nursing mom. I wouldn't stop exclusively BFing just because of this unless you need a break too but at the same time, I personally don't think introducing a bottle here and there would be a big deal either. Totally your call. You may want to read up on nipple confusion first and see how you feel though.

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  • If you plan to introduce a bottle at all, 1 month would probably be the right time. If you wait too long LO might not take it at all. If you're comfortable with how breastfeeding is going start pumping to build a stash and let Dad try out the bottle.
    ME: 32  DH: 32 DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
  • I would say if you are okay with it and it would help your husband feel closer to her do it. Both of my daughters get tossed back and forth between bottle and breast since day 1 and have never had a problem with nipple confusion. I know for me when i had latch issue with daughter #2 i felt awful until we got it figured out; there is just something special to be able to provide sustenance for your baby. 

    [Deleted User]
  • My son is 4 weeks and has had bottles and breast since about day three. No issues whatsoever. 
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