November 16, 2010,
N.G. asks from Rensselaer, IN on November 15, 2010
Need Serious Opinions. My Newborn Son Doesn't like His Father
Hello mothers. I've come to you for advice. My son is soon to be 11 weeks old and ever since he was about 4 weeks old I noticed a slight change in his attitude for his father. He started by getting grumpy and crying a bit whenever he would hold him. As the weeks progressed it's only gotten worse. He won't let his dad touch him, hold him, feed him, talk to him, NOTHING without completely turning red and screaming his guts out. This is no exaggeration. He would rather starve than lt his father feed him. And the second me or grandma take him away he calms right down. Even if we are holding him and he comes to talk to him h starts crying immediatly. He's tried not using cologne. Taking a shower. He even used the same soap as me. What can we do? Why doesn't he like his daddy? FYI his daddy is deaf (hard of hearing) so yes his voice is not as clear as mine but he should still know it from the pregnancy and then from birth. It's to the point where my husband can't even help out much and I can't ever get a break or a chance to sleep in a little longer bc he refuses daddy. Help!
So What Happened?™
Thanks so much for all you're guy's responses! I forgot to mention that my husband has a son from a previous relationship and he is now 3 years old. so its not so much that he is nervous with the baby. hes actually very confident and im surprised he hasn't given up yet. but im going to tell him all you're guys advice and try it a few days and i'll come back and let you know how it goes. And also, i am out of the house 5 days a week because i'm back to work and even still my son just screams but i guess you're right we are not going to give up because i want him to be used to both of us! i'll come back in a few days and edit this and tell you if there are any changes!
D.D. answers from Chicago on November 15, 2010
He will get over it. For the longest time, my baby preferred me over anyone. It took several months, too. Maybe even close to a year. My daughter is now 5. She wants her daddy ALL the time.
M.L. answers from Houston on November 15, 2010
This is very very common. Many babies refuse their dads when they can sense their mother in the room. Babies often prefer the higher pitched voices of their mothers as well, since women's voices are usually more calming and soothing, and their bodies are often more soft and gentle for snuggling.
Your husband and the baby need to spend one on one time together. Show him how you hold and comfort the baby, how to swaddle the baby in a blanket, what the baby's favorite cuddle position is, favorite place to be stroked (like the legs, feeet, side of cheek...)
He needs to feed the baby, but it wont work if you and grandma are in the home, because the baby can sense that you are there and will always prefer you until the baby becomes okay with dad feeding him.
Can your husband hum at all? He can try humming softly in the baby's ear while lightly swaying him side to side. If he can't hum, he can turn on light nursery or classical music while rocking the baby (just preset the music volume before you leave so it isn't too loud or soft).
He also needs to remain calm, as babies can sense agitation and stress, which will only make matters worse.
Here is an expert article of ways to help fathers bond with newborns:
and an expert answer to this same question:
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B.B. answers from New York on November 15, 2010
The same thing happened with my first son. Many times dads are pretty tense when holding a newborn baby, because they think they are going to break the baby or they feel like they don't know what to do. Baby can sense that. As he starts to get a little older, they will both change. Dad will become more comfortable and baby will absolutely LOVE daddy. Just wait, there will be a time where your precious little angel literally pushes you aside because he wants daddy.
I have to say that with both of our kids, it was around the 10 month mark where my hubby really enjoyed hanging out with them. Don't get me wrong, he loved the boys before that...but he would always say "But he doesn't do anything"! Once baby can communicate a little more, and play everything will change.
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S.T. answers from New York on November 15, 2010
This is a self-perpetuating problem now. I would bet that your husband is now all tense when he holds your son. Babies are very perceptive about tense vs. relaxed in adults who are holding them. The more you and your husband stress about this the your husband tenses up when he holds baby. Have your husband consciously try to relax himself - muscle by muscle from his head/neck down to his toes. Babies alos liek to be held closely to your body - it's a wierd feeling for men. i recal once begging my hsuband to rock our baby to sleep one night when I was completel exhausted. She kept crying louder and louder. Finally i got up to peek into her room and I see my husband holding her far from his body and swinging her like she was on a an amusement park ride. She was probably terrified when she wants calmness - and the more she cried the faster he "swung" her. I showed him how to hold her close to his tummy/chest and rock her calmly and slowly, to stroke her back or forehead, etc. And this is a man who could get the babies to fall asleep on his chest while laying on the couch any time otherwsie...!
Maybe laying on your bed have your husband bring the baby in and all kind of "chillax" on the bed together. Have baby lay up against his dad, in the crook or his armpit, while you coo at him. Leave the two of them to hang out together. and let him cry when he's with daddy. Remind him to try to relax as he cries. Crying is tough to hear when it's your child - but it doesn't harm babies.
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K.S. answers from La Crosse on November 15, 2010
some of this is natural... and i'm afraid made a bit worse by taking baby from dad. my kids were fussier with dad too, at first, but i let dad work thru it and let him gain the confidence he needed to care for them. try giving baby over to dad after he's eaten and when he's sleepy. let dad lull him to sleep (when he's about to go to sleep anyway). let dad hold him while he sleeps so baby can get used to dad's breathing and smell. hope this helps.
1 mom found this helpful
C.B. answers from Kansas City on November 15, 2010
i agree that baby and daddy need some alone time. you and grandma should go shopping or get your nails done. i bet if you give it a couple hours (and don't rush home just because he says he is crying!) they will work it out. be so thankful you have a husband who cares so much - many men are shy of newborns and would rather not try.
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S.S. answers from Chicago on November 15, 2010
My son is twenty wouldn't nurse and still hates me, don't worry. Just kidding. He likes me once in awhile, not the nursing part, though. He really wouldn't. This is pretty normal. One day he will be begging for dad. and then you'll feel left out.
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J.C. answers from Lynchburg on November 15, 2010
For us, I was so exhausted that my daughter kind of had to learn to deal with daddy. He worked at night, and then got home around 7:20 am. He'd take her for 2 hours while I slept, after being up with her all night plus the day before, and on his days off, he'd let me rest for 3-4 hours at a time, whether she was awake or not, because then I'd be up with her again at night. She didn't start sleeping until around 11 months. He had to practice patience, as it was hard for him emotionally that his daughter didn't want him. Not exactly what he dreamed of for "daddy's little girl." But over time, they got used to each other, and then started enjoying each other (probably took about 2 months for him to be the clear favorite). Because I stay home now and he works a normal shift, she's getting used to me being with her all the time, and I can give her special one-on-one time while my son is at school-something we can't do in the evenings, she's turning more to a mama's girl now, but it's not nearly as bad as it was. She absolutely adores her daddy.
E.D. answers from Boston on November 15, 2010
This is very common. Keep trying. I wish I had. Both my kids prefer me and it is exhausting!