18 answers

I Think Husband Is Jealous of Child. What Do I Do?

I have a 3 month old little boy who is extremely attached to me. I am a stay at home mom so I am with him 24/7. My husband leaves for work around 6 every morning and may not get home until around 5 or 7 at night. If my little boy gets fussy or won't quit crying while his daddy has him he's gets mad because he can't get him to stop crying and of course when I get him he immediately stops. (most of the time anyway) I don't know how to make my husband understand that it's natural for a baby to want his mother. Any suggestions?

What can I do next?

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Maybe Dad needs to spend some time with baby away from Mom. That way if baby cries, he can't be "rescued" by Mom. It's totally normal for him to be comforted by you since you are home with him and care for him all day every day. Maybe you should go out and get a pedi and leave baby with Dad for some bonding time. It will be hard on both of them at first but then baby will learn that Dad is someone who loves him and he can trust.
Just an idea!

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I imagine your husband is less jealous of the child than resentful of your seeming ease with him. Imagine being excited to have your first child, and he doesn't like to be with you. Have you shared with your husband how many hours you've spent learning how to soothe your baby when he fusses? It may seem like you have a magic touch, but really it's just greater familiarity. Perhaps he also feels like his work schedule keeps him from knowing his child very well and he resents that, too, even wonders if he's guilty of neglect. You can reassure him that he's doing a very good job as a father, working so hard so you can stay home and take care of your child. You both have difficult jobs to do, and it's no easier to stay home with a child all day than it is to bear the responsibility for providing for a family. And someday your son will want to follow Daddy everywhere and be just like him, so just hang in there. :)

Remember too, the most important gift you can give your child is for him to see his parents happily married. Put your husband first. Your baby does need a lot of attention, and his demands do come first temporally, but don't ever put your baby ahead of your husband in your affections. It will bless you, your husband, your children, and their children if you can set that priority. Take some time every week (or every other week at least) to go out on a date, just the two of you, even if it's only to get an ice cream cone and walk in the park.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi J.,
I want to start by saying a mothers love is immediate a fathers love grows. Men do get a bit jealous when a baby comes b/c they somtimes feel out of place b/c they think us moms know exactly what we're doing b/c of maternal instinct so the men think we've got it all figured out when really we don't its just trial and error.
I went through the same thing with my first son, whenever daddy was holding him and he started to cry daddy wanted to hand him back to me. Don't let him! Dad needs to figure out on his own (just as you have) how to comfort him. What works for you might not work for your husband. ie: your son likes it when you hold him this way but when dad trys holding him the same way he crys. When dad does figure out his own way of comforting the baby and he will, what works for dad might not work for you. Make sure when dad talks to him he uses his normal speaking voice. Durring your pregnancy yours and dads voice were the first thing baby heard he knows both of your voices. My husband always tried to do the sweet baby voice to our son and he didn't like it b/c it wasn't familiar but when he spoke to him in his normal speaking voice it was more soothing. Take great care not to make dad feel like hes not doing it right b/c you know how men are if they think they can't do something right they won't even try. My sisster-in-law (shes evil) would constanly gripe at her husband saying to him "no wonder the babys crying your not holding him right" then she would take the baby from him and say "you have to hold him like this" and of course the baby would stop crying. So it ended up getting to the point where she would ask him to get the baby when he was crying and her husband would say "no! you know I can't calm him down you have to do it".
When dad gets home from work make sure baby is fed burped and changed and then just leave it up to dad. Just assure him he can do it and remind him that this parenting thing is new to both of you and all you can do is learn together as you go.
My husband would lay on the couch and lay the baby on his chest. When we had our daughter she had colic and daddy was the only one who could soothe her. He figured it out and your husband will too!
Good luck and keep us updated!
Sorry it was so long!

2 moms found this helpful

I learned that it is a very loving thing to allow our husbands to find their own way with our children. If the baby starts crying, resist the urge to jump in and rescue. You may make suggestions of things to try, but allow him to also find what works for him. Always compliment anything that he does well with your son and encourage him. Encourage him to be calm and not stress because the baby can sense that. He is likely worried that the baby will cry and you will take over and the baby will be able to sense that worry. If you are the least bit critical of how he does things, he will likely pull away and not be very helpful for fear of failure. Know and be prepared that he will do things differently and embrace those things as special for him and his son. Possibly suggest taking him outside if he gets fussy or something else that your son might like. Be patient and allow the bonding. Remember that crying does not injure the child and it won't last long. If you train your child to always run to Mommy, you will end up regretting it. Your husband will love and appreciate you for believing in his ability to parent and that will enhance your relationship with him as well as allowing you a much deserved break once in a while. My husband had never been around babies and really didn't want much to do with our first baby when she was born (he loved her, but didn't feel the need to hold or bond at first). I gently encouraged him, never told him that his way was wrong and really appreciated his relationship with her. We now have three children and he is the most confident Daddy I could ask for. I can leave for a "girls weekend" with my friends and have no worries. Their hair might not get brushed and the activities aren't as organized as I would be, but they love their daddy and are safe with him. I remember that the one thing that he was confident with on our first child was waking her for feedings (she would constantly fall asleep while nursing). I would call him in and ask him to stimulate her because he was so good at it. If I tried to do it, he started telling me how lol! I loved it because he felt like he had an important job. Also, try to leave him with the baby starting with short trips - maybe 20-30 minutes. That way you can't jump in and he can discover what works for him. You might even start with a warm shower - relaxing for you and "safe" because you are not really gone.

2 moms found this helpful

J.,

Many of us have been there. One question are you the only person that calms your child through out the day? The reason I ask is that baby sometimes relate smells to felling safe, they also can sense tensiom and uncertainty. First try having your child sleep and near a dirty shirt of his fathers maybe one after he showers at night and sleeps in. This can help familiarize him with daaddy's smell. Another suggestion is that if you have a near by friend that can come over a fewtimes a day and calm him for you while dady is not home this will hlp get him used to others people tensions and smells. Baby's need to bearound other people in order to learrn how to be around other people even daddy who is at work all day. It may take time but baby's do cry and pleas give baby and daddy a chance to figure each other out. It is hard to hear your baby cry but in the long run it will be worth the time taken to let them figure each other out. Best to you and your boys.

2 moms found this helpful

I'd pick up a couple of baby care books and show him that all say the same thing: that it's very natural.

Also, your husband is just propagating the problem by getting mad. Your baby is picking up on the anger and feeling stressed and scared while your husband holds him. Make sure to explain to your husband that it's important not to take anything personally. Late in the afternoon until bed-time can be hard on a baby, it being so late in the day.

In fact, I read in No-Cry Sleep Solution that 6:30-7 or so is the best time to start the bed-time routine. People think oh, fussy time is in the evenings. Probably the reason why is, baby's past bed-time! Dads, coming home late in the day, think it's them!

This will also help with your husband, because you two will get some alone time after baby's asleep.

1 mom found this helpful

Maybe Dad needs to spend some time with baby away from Mom. That way if baby cries, he can't be "rescued" by Mom. It's totally normal for him to be comforted by you since you are home with him and care for him all day every day. Maybe you should go out and get a pedi and leave baby with Dad for some bonding time. It will be hard on both of them at first but then baby will learn that Dad is someone who loves him and he can trust.
Just an idea!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think your husband is jealous, although it can seem that way. I believe your husband probably just wants to feel like he can sooth his own child. I went through the same thing. It didn't get better until I really relied on my husband to take care of my child. Try going somewhere with your other kids and leaveing the baby with daddy for a couple hours. That way dad and baby can have some much needed quality time alone, and the baby will have to let daddy sooth him. Yes, of course your baby will cry for a little while for you , but once daddy sings, or bounces, or dances, or humms, or whatever he my find that works between him and his baby then the baby will accept him and it should start getting easier. My husband use to slow dance with my little girl when she was a baby and was fussy it worked for him everytime but she didn't want me to dance with her, that was her and her daddy's thing i guess, i had to sing to her, and what is funny is she didn't want him to sing to her. I hope I have helped Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a husband like that! We have raised our children and now have the joy of grandchildren. The best advice I can give you is make special time with your husband. Make his favorite meals, get a babysitter and spend quality time. Let him know how much you need him and appreciate him now that he's a Daddy! Encourage him to take part occassionally with the new addition. As your child grows or even now have a special day when Dad arrives home and decorate a banner for Dad. It is the little things we can do that helps Dad to know he is still important. Take care sweetie-B. Pitts

1 mom found this helpful

I think part of the problem could also be that men like to "fix" things. It's in their nature. Your husband could very well be getting upset not because he's jealous but because he's mad that he can't "fix" the problem (help your son stop crying). I've seen this before but as he learns to relax and realize that sometimes you just can't make it stop or that it's natural for the mother to be able to calm the child easier he will not get as upset. I also believe that babies relate a lot to scents so perhaps get a blanket and put your scent on it. Carry it around for a while, sleep with it, put some of your perfume on it, etc. and then when the baby is fussy and daddy is holding him perhaps the blanket will help soothe him because he will recognize your scent. Once your son is older and has more of a personality and dad can relate to him and play with him things will get easier. Just be patient! Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

Do you breast feed or bottle feed? If you breast feed,you can have a bottle ready for when daddy comes home, after he unwinds, and let him have that bonding time with him. You can encourage him to find a way to soothe the baby, in his own way. My present husband was great at that, when our three were babies. I breast fed all of them, but would pump so he could feed them. One of them wouldn't even go to sleep,unless she was laying on his chest.You, as the mother, just have to be supportive, so he can feel the joy of having a baby too!When you get the baby and he doesn't stop crying,say something like "See I can't always get him to stop either, maybe you can help me." Trust me ,he's not as near as mad as he is hurt. He feels left out, and if you want to make him feel great about being a dad, take every opportunity you can to help them bond! You have to remember, he was really looking forward to this too, and at the age your baby is, he really only cares about who is going to feed and take care of him next.I hope this helps. I know when you're a new mother, you don't want to relinquish your childs care to anyone else, but most likely he will do just fine.Be careful not to step in too quickly, give assistance if he asks. Good luck,and let us know what happens.

Encourage him to hold/cuddle baby just after he has been fed, so he is in a good mood. In a few months, baby will start to play - learn to sit up, roll a ball, knock down a block tower, enjoy a stroller ride around the block. Dad's tend to enjoy this type of play more. Babies are a mystery that many dads don't "get". It's not that they can't, some just don't - but don't give up, many get more involved as baby grows. Always encourage their time together and DON't criticize his childcare. Enjoy that baby!!

I remember when I had my first, my DH felt a little bit left out, since I was BF him. He would hand my son over as soon as he started crying, figuring that he must be hungry and needed only me. My DH usually comes in around 5:30, which I call the "crying hour" around here. My 4-mo-old is usually crying, my 21-mo-old is getting hungry,and my 5-yr-old is getting the grumpies because she doesn't nap anymore (and if she does, won't go to bed until late!!). I think this time of the day is already stressful to us and our spouse, and the baby can sense that. Your baby is tuned in to your smell, touch, etc, and you can calm him that much easier.
Maybe on the weekend if your husband has time, have him spend more time holding, touching and talking to your son.
I know babies don't do much at this age, my DH isn't very hands on when they are this young. If your husband doesn't make the effort to "bond" with the baby, he's not going to calm down with someone he's not comfortable with. It took having this last baby (#4) for my DH to actually get his hands on and help out - especially in the evenings.
Congratulations on your wonderful son!!

I went through the same exact thing. I wish I had a better answer for you but just hang in there. It does get better with time. My son is now 17 months and there are times when my husband is holding him and he won't come to me. I understand your frustration. I husband would be really angry, hurt, and feel so left out. And I could see how he felt that. I know I would have felt the same way. However, as my son got older and had more time to develop his relationship with his dad it got better. Now don't get me wrong he still usually wants me when he's sick, tired or hurt but my husband deals with it better since he does have his moments too. Just try not to argue with your husband about it. Let him know you understand and wish you could make it better but his time will come too. One suggestion I may make that we didn't do much - is to allow them some bonding time without you around. I think if early on I had left them alone to bond it would have transitioned sooner. Not only is it good for them but I'm sure it would be nice for you to get out of the house for some alone time too. I breast fed my son so that hindered me. But, looking back I know with our next child I will pump and allow him to feed our child with a bottle while I get out of the house for a bit. I hope this helps. Just try to hang in there.

Would it be possible for you to go some place for a couple of hours each week during the time your hubby is home. SO that you son will began to develop a closer relationship with his father. Is it possible that you do not feel completely comfortable with that way your hubby react with the baby and your son can feel your uneasiness.

Aww..well first let me say congratulations. I know this time is frustrating for the two of you,but you will actually miss these times when the baby grows.And let me say that boys seem to be more attatched to mom Dad needs time seperately with you and time with baby. Everyone has had great responses so I wont repeat what they've mentioned. Enjoy your times with your new baby!!!!

I think what it is is that your DH needs to stay calm. When he gets aggitated because he is not getting immediate results, your little boy feels and responds to that emotion accordingly..and gets aggitated himself! You, on the other hand, are calmer and your son senses that and quiets down. I don't think the DH is doing anything "wrong", just getting frustrated really quick. Good Luck to both of you!! And congratulations on your new baby!! :)

This is very normal behavior for both of your guys (younger and older!). It is extremely frustrating for the dads to not be able to have that calm/control when they are typically take charge in so many other areas of their lives. You are probably already doing what is good, make as little as possible of the frustration and maybe sit with both of them to help the baby bond with him. It will take a pretty long while since Dad is gone most of the day. This is not uncommon at all with his work schedule. When the baby gets older (maybe 2-3), he and Dad will have much more in common when they can play more together. Until then the baby most likely will be all about mommy!!

Its possible that the child doesnt "recognize" his father. Its up to you to help build the bond between them. Sit close to your hub with him in a calm and quiet setting. If breastfeeding, encourage Dad to be a part of that too by bottling some so he can feed (Avent makes an awesome little manual pump), or having him sit close and talk to the child while you're feeding. It should be a time of coming closer as a family and not a "mom" or "dad" -time situation. Dad also needs to know that if he is stressed, the baby's going to sense it and respond by being stressed as well. I hope this helps :]

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