27 answers

Question About My 15 Month Old...

Ok mommys.... I'm probably feeling over sensetive or something today, but something is bothering me. I have a 15 month old that seems to prefer his daddy over me! I probably spend the majority of the day with my son while my husband works, and my husband is really good to spend alot of time with our son in the evenings when he is home. For the past several weeks I have noticed more of a bond between my husband and baby which I think is a great thing. The thing that bothers me is if my husband is around, my son doesn't want anything to do with me! He always wants daddy to hold him, and he usually prefers daddy to comfort him when he is crying. If I take my baby from him to hold him or to love on him, he just reaches to go back to daddy. In the middle of the night when he wakes up crying it's daddy that he wants to pick him up and rock him. I'm not complaining at the fact that my son loves his daddy...I'm so happy he does, but I'm feeling a little unwanted lately!
I'm his mommy and have taken care of him since birth, and yet I have to force him to sit on my lap and be with me for a few minutes. My son is very loving towards me, but the fact that he prefers his father for everything confuses me. Aren't babies supposed to be more drawn to their mothers? It makes me feel like I am doing something wrong. Are their any other mothers that have this same issue?

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Featured Answers

no babies are not necessarily drawn to their mothers.

Some actually prefer grandma.

My daughter prefers me.. My son prefers his daddy.. maybe it is a male bonding thing

More Answers

When I had my first daughter (3 yo now)she did the same thing. Now she wants both of for different things and at different times. Sometimes if I am home she only wants me and other times she only wants her daddy. I know this is hard to handle at first but my suggestion to you is that you enjoy the time while you have it. Take a few hours of you time and do something you enjoy even if it is just going to your room and reading a book. The time will come when your son won't be willing to give you this time. It sounds like your husband is very willing and able to care for your son so maybe even if you just go to the mall and walk around. Get out of the house and enjoy yourself. Hope everything works out for you and I hope this helps.


I have 5 boys and the youngest is 19 months right now. He wants his Dad all the time, when Dad leaves he cries at the door. When Dad is home he is stuck to him like glue!

At this point I have had enough experience to know that next week it could be totally different. Sometimes they prefer grandma or grandpa (we see them several times a week) or mom or dad. It depends on their mood, toddlers can be fickle creatures lol.

I wouldn't take it personally. Definitly don't let your son see that it bothers you. With one of my boys, (son #2 I think) this was happening and it bothered me, and maybe I was paranoid but it seemed like the more I wanted him to want me, the more he wouldn't, but after I started acting like I didn't care one way or the other, he seemed to prefer me again. This may have been just a coincidence though. Does that make any sense to you?
Good luck and remember it won't last long!

Hi S.,
I know how hard it is to not take things personally, but try your best not too. I totally understand how you feel-mommies are the ones who are with them all day and we take care of them and everything else...then daddy comes home and is the "fun" one who is exciting and plays with them. So, sometimes it's hard for us to see how important we are in their lives.
Just try to be glad that your son has a great mommy AND daddy that love him and want to spend time with him, and try not to take it so personally. I am sure your son misses daddy while he is at work and wants to make up for lost time at night.
Then take a minute to think about all that we as mommies have to juggle...it's hard to take care of the house, the kids and everything else and still be the most exciting person in the world no matter how much we try. Maybe trying to look at it as a nice break for mommy at night by letting your husband do some of the caregiving might help??
Good luck and know that us moms understand and have been there!

I think it might be part of the age. My son acts similar to that and started at about the same age. He snuggles with me if his Dad isn't around but he certainly doesn't come out of skin the way he does when his Dad walks in the room! I think Mom's are just taken a little for granted. They are very secure in us so they don't need to be excited when we come around. It is a given. My husband is also a very active Father. I'd say enjoy the good parts for now. :)

He may just miss his daddy during the day. When he's at home, your son may be overcompensating for lost time. It's understandable, especially if your husband is a good and fun dad. My 17 month old calls my husband daddy all the time, but hardly says mommy even though she can say it well. I figure it's because she puts more effort in getting her daddy's attention. I haven't figured it out yet, but I know there's a logical rationale. It's not that she doesn't like me as much. She and I are together slot and I
pretty sure she enjoys my company. My husband has selective hearing (and hearing difficulties)!!! When he's focused a firecracker can go off in front of his face and his reaction would be delayed. So I think she sees me saying his name before I start talking to him (to get his attention) and imitates that. In short, don't worry.

S. D, take this time while your son is clinging to your husband and do something for yourself, relax, read a book, give yourself a pedicure, ect. because the day will come when you are the only one he wants and you will have not minute for yourself which is what i'm going through right now...i have a 2 1/2 year old and a 8 month old and they both want me to do everything for them...during dinnertime they want on my lap and i can never eat in peace, if i go to bathroom the oldest follows me, i have to tuck them into bed then i have to get him something to drink then i have to get his stuffed animal for him, its always me that he calls for and i never get to just sit back and relax...don't get me wrong, my husband is a good father but he works alot of hours so that probably makes the kids more attached me, which i do love feeling needed by my kids that is what being a parent is all about but having some private time for yourself is also good so enjoy it while it last...T. c

I agree with one of the other moms that kids go through phases. But in all honesty your little one sees you all of the time. But he doesnt see daddy as often of course he wants to absorb as much time with him as he can. Its almost like absence make the heart grow fonder saying. Know what I mean? Just dont take it personally. I think this is quite common.

Sounds absolutely normal. If you think about this..... you and your child are together for most of the day, day in and day out; You have a comfortable, secure routine. Nothing wrong with that, excellent. Daddy comes home from work and YOU are excited to see him, you want to have a conversation, exchange the happenings of the day. The child is no different! It's not that the amount of love is any stronger for your hubby than it is for you. I recall watching a Bill Cosby comedy tape, in which he described how he spent so much time teaching his son all kinds of things about life and football. Had him tackling him and hitting him hard etc. Then the day came when his son was interviewed on television right after a game and the first thing he said was " I love you MOM! Try looking at the positive aspects of the bonding time that your Men are having, and count this as a blessing!

My son is also a Daddy's boy. I will assure you that kids definitely go back and forth constantly with this. For a month or two, he'll constantly want his Daddy and then for the next month or so he'll constantly want me. He does loves to hang out with Daddy though because they do guy stuff like ride 4 wheelers, etc. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. Just give him his space and keep loving him the way you are and he'll come around very soon. :)

My DD is 14 months and she recently began the same behavior. I am a SAHM as well and soon as her father hits the door she no longer wants me and if she senses he is leaving the house she has a tantrum to the point that even if she is going with him she wont even let me put her shoes and coat on like she seems to be fearful of staying with me or something. I remember reading an article once on babycenter.com that around a certain age toddlers will begin to prefer one parent over the other due to them being able to distinguish the fun parent vs the nurturing parent not that we arent fun too but I think in my DD's case she is excited to see someone other than me..LOL Hang in there..hopefully it will pass over soon..I felt unwanted at first but I began to enjoy the break I get for a little me time...LOL

"wild at heart " is a great book that really opened my eyes with my boys. It is a mommys job to comfort the babys while its the daddys to challenge them... Your little one has reached the age where he CAN do more stuff and WANTS to do more stuff... I suggest using the time daddy and lil guy are together to cuddle up with a good book and take some time for mommy... :-)

Yup very normal. It's hard to deal with sometimes. But they will switch back and forth a lot. My daughter who is now 3 mostly prefers her dad over me...but sometimes she just wants me especially if she hurts herself or is sick and when she does I eat it up.

Just know that your child loves you know matter what. Even though I my 3 year old is such a daddy's girl. When asked who the boss is she says "mama". And when you ask her who she belongs to she says "mama".

Just think how good it must feel for your son to have two very loving parents...that's not always the case these days!

I remember going through the same thing with my son when he was about a year old. He is twelve now. At first, I was feeling hurt and jealous like you. But then I realized it was a chance for me to enjoy a little freedom and some time to myself. Being a stay at home Mom is a wonderful experience. But it can also be overwhelming. Enjoy the time that your husband and son are spending together. It's a chance for you to have some time to yourself. If you are home with your son all day long it's nice to have a little repreve in the evenings when your husband is home.

My 12 month old daughter prefers my husband as well. I stayed home with her for the first 8 months and daddy has been home with her since. It has definitely gotten better than it was when she was 9 and 10 months. It did hurt my feelings at times but many people told me it changes with different stages.

I know it is hard. My son is 3 and he has always gone through phases where he prefers either me or my husband. When he was a baby he was a bit of a "mama's boy" but that has certainly changed. He views dad as more of a playmate whereas he comes to me when he needs something. Try enjoy your husband and son bonding together because it is good for both of them, and maybe take some time to yourself in the meantime. This is hard, but it will be just as hard when you try to go somewhere and he screams because he doesn't want you to leave (which is where we are with my son right now). Know that your son loves you even if he does only want dad's attention right now. He still needs his mommy even if he doesn't know it! Good luck!

This is so cute. I am dealing with the same thing with my youngest. He LOVES his daddy. If daddy is around forget about mommy. I too have felt a little bit like why is he so attached to daddy. At first I was like how cute, but after a while I was just like he's my baby and I want to hold him and comfort him, but he wants daddy only unless of course daddy is at work. My husband works a lot too. I think its great though that our son really bonds with his dad because he works so much and I thing part of it too is that my husband really tries to give my son all he's got when he is home because he feels bad that he works so much. Don't worry about it...its really good that your son bonds with your husband. Don't feel bad because you'll get him all day when your husbands working. Its a good thing... I am dealing with the EXACT thing so its good to hear this from you :) I love my little one so much too I crave to hold him and cuddle with him, but he won't do that with me only with his daddy. He'll lay on his dads chest and be totally content, but would never do that with me. I sneak kisses and hugs as much as I can. He does show affection towards me through out the day when dad is not home. My son just turned two.

This is one of the reasons it's so great if you breastfeed babies through their second year - only you can give them the "nursie milk"! Anyway, breast or bottle-fed, this is a normal thing and a good thing. Believe me, Mom, you'll have plenty of time with your son over the next however-many years he lives at home! All kids who have a good dad go thru this to one degree or another, and boys need to establish their sense of identity as a guy. I'd say it's a sign that you're a really good parental team! Be thankful and don't worry. When he's hanging on you while you're trying to get things done in a few months or so, you'll only wish he'd be happy to stay with Dad a little more!

I know it's hard, but don't worry about it. This is just what boys do, my son does the same thing. And even thoug hI knew it would happen, it still hurt when it did. When daddy is around, there is no want for mommy. But after a few months he only wanted me again, and then only daddy. He will flip back and forth eventually. I have learned to love the daddy times, b/c it gives me a much needed break lol:)
GL! And try not to be upset about it.

Hi S..

I only have 1 baby ... who is 13 months old. But, I have lots of friends with multiple children. From my observations it seems as if kids go through phases where they want one parent more then the other.

Also, you have to remember.... you are with him all day. You're a stay at home mom, like myself. Our kids get 'filled up' on mommy all day long. Daddy is a unique person in their lives. I think it's like they know the time with daddy is short ... so when daddy is around, they want to fill up their daddy love tank.

I wouldn't worry about it too much honestly. I would just look at is as a time to have a moment to YOURSELF! No toddler hanging off your legs, you can go to the bathroom with no audience, you could take a nice looooooong bath or shower without wondering what ytoyur son is getting into ... or heaven forbid... go the store ALONE! ha ha ha Our moments to ourselves are precious and few. There are times when my daughter wants her daddy more then me... and at first it bothered me too. I'M the mommy !! But, then I realized that if I stop fretting over it, let it happen ... then I can get some much needed rest and recooperation. I can recharge MYSELF. And when I get recharged, I am a better mommy.

I'm sure something is going to come up where only mommy will do. So, for now... take a breather.

My son is 2 years old and the two of us are together 24/7. But as soon as daddy walks in the door, I'm chopped liver.

Although I'm my son's primary caregiver, his daddy is his hero (hands down!). Yes, it's a little hard to swallow at times but it makes me proud that my husband has turned into this wonderful daddy.

In the early childhood education field they teach you that the most influential person in a child's life is their parent that is the same sex as they are (i.e. daddy & son). I'm learning first-hand that this is true!

I have two boys (4&6) and Daddy has achieved Rock Star status here. I read "Bringing up Boys" by James Dobson (who I'm not really a fan of) but it was so helpful in understanding what makes boys tick. The book was excellent! It explained how between 15-18 months a boy will pull away from his mother and really attach to his father. It does come back around and there are always things that they just need their mommy for. Another good book for understanding boys is "Wild at Heart" I think by John Eldridge.

Enjoy the days with your son and go to the spa some night when daddy's home while he doesn't notice your gone! :o)

My sister's friend, who has 4 kids (3 boys and a girl) says that her boys are the same way, but that "kids NEED Mama, but Daddy is FUN." Maybe it is different with boys, but my 3YO daughter goes through phases. Yesterday everything was about Daddy and she wanted to show him everything and share everything with him. Last weekend, it was only about Mama. I had to carry her, give her a bath, only I could put food on her plate.
Your son loves you and knows how you love him (how could he not when you care for him all day?), but Mamas are necessary, while Daddies are FUN. But all this could change in 3 months.
Good luck! Being a mama is hard and we tend to agonize over everything!

My home situation is the exact opposite of yours - my husband stays home with the kids while I work. When I get home from work the girls are drawn to me, likewise when my mom gets home from work (she rents a room from us). One time I mentioned how bad it made me feel that they didn't want him when I got home and his comment to me was "I have them all day, I get all the snuggles that I need then - take what you can get." Yesterday was one of those moments in our house - our when our 3.5 year old was up, she was on me. I asked my husband about it and was told it was the normal for her the last few days - which explained why a lot of the housework wasn't done!! I guess the short version of this is - your son does have a bond with you, you take care of him all day long, get snuggles and attention from him all day long. When daddy gets home he's just simply getting his daddy time in. Imagine how your husband would feel if his son didn't want anything to do with him after being with you all day. Take the time that he is attached to daddy to do something for yourself, a long relaxing bath or something else equally as enjoying for you, or to do some of those household things (grocery shopping) that are harder to do with a toddler. If your attention is diverted to something else, the feelings will be diverted as well.

At the same time - I think it is completely normal to have our mother noses bent out of shape on occasion for things like this (I still do when they spend a lot of time with my mom).

My 16 month old is also doing this after being a total mama's boy for 15 months. I remember my 5 year old doing this around this age as well. I think this is just the age when they start to identify with the same sex parent and realize they have a daddy who can do the same things mommy can (ie, mine started going to daddy more after I stopped nursing at 13 months). Don't worry, he'll come back in time. My 5yo is still a mama's boy when he needs comforting, but a daddy's boy at bedtime.

no babies are not necessarily drawn to their mothers.

Some actually prefer grandma.

My daughter prefers me.. My son prefers his daddy.. maybe it is a male bonding thing

AWWW how great!!

My son is now starting to do that as well. My hubby watches our son for at least 3 hours while I work at home in the evenings so he has a strong attachement to him.

I've heard it comes and goes though.. next year he'll probably not want dad and want only you. I could imagine the feelings would be a little rough for you now.

I know that your feelings are hurt right now, but you have to remember that your son is with you all day, so when Daddy comes home, your son probably feels it's daddy time. Don't worry, the tides will change and he'll go back and forth with this. It's wonderful that your hubby is such an engaged father and you should let this be. If you try to force your son to be on your lap, he'll only want daddy maore and get angry with you and the situation will get worse. Be thankful of such a good dad your husband is and take that time to do something relaxing for yourself or maybe go out and have fun once a week with girlfriends. Usually it's hard for dads to bond that well with babies - be thankful.

Good luck and remember - there's nothing really like the bond of mother and son.

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