28 answers

3 Month Old Cries When Dad Comes Home

My husband and I just had our first child in February so he is almost 3 months old. I am still on maternity leave so I am home with our little boy all day long. He is a very happy baby and doesn't cry at all when he is with me, my mom or mother-in-law. My husband went back to work after he was 2 weeks old and ever since, each night when he comes home from work and greets our son, he just starts crying at the top of his lungs! I know this is starting to really hurt my husbands feelings as he thinks his son hates him. I am a little worried as I will be going back to work in 2 weeks and my husband is going to stay home on Monday's to care for him. Does anyone have any advice on how to get dad and son to bond? He is exclusivley breastfeed but will take expressed milk in a bottle which my husband has given him a couple times.

What can I do next?

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It's not that daddy is home, it's that mommy is 'gone'. I'd let daddy do at least one feeding a day, especially since you will be going back to work soon. Try giving them some time alone to bond also. Often when my husband comes home and I leave the room. Sometimes I get dinner ready or just have some quiet mommy time. Baby will get used to his one on one time with daddy and will look forward to daddy's going home.

I think that their Mondays together will be the perfect thing. My kids are 6,4,and4. To this day I basically have to leave the house for them to "want" daddy to be the one to help them with things. And like everything else...this will pass.

Get dad to bottle-feed him as often as possible. My husband bottle-fed my youngest (along with breast) from day one and it was a great bonding experience for them.

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You should start having your husband spend more time alone with the baby. If they do not have time together w/o you in the room your baby will not have the opportunity to form a bond with his dad. Have your husband do more feedings before you go to work.

I would like to add that I totally disagree with Marilyn's advise. A baby will be a perfectly well rounded child with a Mom who works. It is important for your own security and mental health to get out of the home and work. There is no reason we need to play into the patriarchal mind frame of western society. Woman have fought for the right to work, and proper education. I commend you for going back to work. Your baby will benefit from being raised by an independent Mom. Children who attend daycare have better social skills then children who do not. They also get exposed to education earlier then children who stay at home. Good luck with the transition.


2 moms found this helpful

My daughter did the same thing. We figured out that her daddy came home at the same time every day, which was at the same time as her colic started acting up. It lasted for hours each day. Once dad could wrap his head around that, he felt better. We gave her some medicine for gassy tummy and she improved immediately.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm a stay at home mom so I'm w/our 7 mth 24/7. He is okay w/daddy for about 10-15 min at a time but anything after 3:30 pm with ANYONE except me, he whines and cries uncontrolably. We've talked with others and have been reassured this will pass once he is about a year or two old. I can only suggest that his daddy spend morning hours when possible with him; reassure your son that your still there with him. I do this and at times it works for a few minutes. Let your husband know that it isn't personal and it will pass soon enough.

1 mom found this helpful

Is it crucial that you go back to work? Your son is already expressing his concerns, and I think you need to trust his judgment. He's not ready to lose mom to anyone, especially another male (the alpha male, at that!).

Is your income really crucial for your survival? Your son doesn't need a room of his own, tons of acquired stuff to hold him, entertain him, and to keep him occupied, he needs his mother!

A baby's need for his mother as his only caregiver lasts for at least two years, probably three, and best for five! That's what allows a child to grow up trusting and loving.

When we leave our babies, it's perceived by them as abandonment! You have only a few years with this baby, your son, and this is your time to help him to become the best he can be--to thrive--not a time for him to be developing skills simply to survive. We do, of course, want our children to thrive...and that means being there for them.

Your son is telling you, in the best way he knows how, that this is HIS time. He NEEDS his mother. It's your job to be there.

And, by the way, this part of the mothering job is short-lived, it's a window of opportunity, and, if it's missed, you've not done your job and your son's life will reflect the loss of his mother too soon.

Sorry, I know this is tough, but it's crucial information and, now, you must determine your priorities in your life and in the life of your child. You can't compromise on this one!

Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

This is a very common phase and he will get past it. My daughter did the same thing and now at 7 mo is a total daddy's girl. Have them spend extra time together on the weekends. Especially during your son's natural play time (he may just be too tired at the end of the day when dad comes home.)

Also don't let anyone on this group make you feel guilty for returning to work. I saw Marilyn M’s post. It seems like there’s always one. Do what you know to be best for your family and it will work out. Oh and get dad some earplugs.

If its not Colic at the same time of every evening, than maybe your husband is putting off a "vibe",is he nervous around baby still,(babies can sense things like that) if its not that or colic, than they just need more bonding time, we make sure that bottle time is for daddy and baby since breastfeeding is with mommy, I think our baby even misses bottle time with Daddy when Im home on that day.Baby will get used to Daddy eventually.

Hi E.,

First of all, take a deep breath and relax. Your baby is only three months old and has a lifetime to bond with his daddy. Second of all, even the most docile baby typically has a fussy period in the late afternoon or early evening. The same thing would happen to me - my baby was a dream all day and then he'd fuss and cry when daddy came home. It had NOTHING to do with daddy, it simply was the baby's fussy time of day. He'll outgrow it, no worries.

Baby wearing can be very comforting to your baby, help the bond between infant and parent and give you a greater sense of freedom and autonomy. This same scenario happened to my husband and I, our Bjorn baby carrier was a saving grace since we had one of those babies that wanted to be held (by me)constantly. It is said that being in the carrier mimics the environment in the womb and is therefore comforting to the baby. I hope this helps, good luck to you.

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