My 6 Month Old Will Not Let My Husband Hold Her

Updated on January 07, 2010
L.S. asks from Duluth, GA
10 answers

I'm having a major problem with my DD and her refusal to go to practically anyone but me. My kids go to a babysitter four days a week while I work and she does great with her babysitter. However, she cries uncontrollably if my husband tries to hold her. We don't have family here and since my daughter was born in June, we haven't socialized much with people who would want to hold her so really, she hasn't been around many people other than me, my husband and her babysitter. We stayed with family out-of-town over the holidays and for the most part, she cried when ever anyone tried to take her from me or hold her. After a while, everyone sort of stopped trying to hold her because they didn't want a screaming baby in their hands! I understand not wanting to be around "strangers", but she's around her daddy all the time and she still won't give him the time of day. My poor husband has very little contact with her since she makes it so miserable when he does try. I had to work late last night so he picked the kids up from their babysitter's house and then fed them and played with them until I got home. For the two hours he was with her, she cried almost the entire time. I breastfeed so our pediatrician suggested pumping and letting my husband give her a bottle. That hasn't worked. She cries the entire time he tries to give her the bottle. On the few occasions we threw caution to the wind and let him put her to bed, she cried and cried and cried while he tried to rock her (which is what I do EVERY night) and he finally just put her in her crib and let her fall asleep by herself. It's hard on both of us (my hubby and me) because he's sad he isn't getting to really bond with her and I'm tired of being the one who has to do everything with and for her. Any suggestions?

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answers from Atlanta on


I'm sure I will not be the first to say this to you. You have a VERY strong-willed daughter. When she figures out that she won't get what she wants every time, she'll stop the behavior.

At the SAME time every night, put her in her CRIB (not rocking) and let her cry. The first night will seem like eternity (for us it was about two hours). The second will be less, the third will be even less. If she gets that cuddling and rocking from mom each night, that's what she will expect and no one else will do! If you want a well-rounded, sociable kid, let her cry. She WILL fall asleep. Let dad feed her. When she gets hungry enough, she'll take the bottle from him.

Trust me on this one - you can't have a 6 month old in charge.

Good luck!!

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answers from Atlanta on

L., she'll more than likely grow out of that. I have 4 kids and one of mine was like that when he was really young like yours....just wanted me and not daddy at all. I also had a child that only wanted his dad and not me at all, while dad was around.

I have another child that wouldn't even look at men or get near them, except her daddy, but all woman were okay. She is almost 4 and has grown out of that. My first child let anyone and everyone hold him. My 2nd child preferred his dad over me and wouldn't even hug his grandparents until he was a bit older. Each child just has their own needs/wants/personalities/oddities.

Of course right now, you would never know that my oldest 3 were like that when they were young. They will talk to anyone and everyone. lol

Right now at her age, she is really just needing you. I hope that you and your husband are not reading into it too much. Some kids are just that way for a bit while they are young.

While you are gone with your work 4 days a week, even though she does fine at the babysitters, she is needing you. So when you are home, just hold her as much as you can. She needs you and that is the only way little ones can communicate what they need. If it wasn't necessary, she wouldn't be crying. You want to build a mentally healthy, loving child. Little ones at that age can only tell you by crying, etc.

I had read this the other day and thought it fit well here...especially for those that think what is going on is wrong... "Why are babies treated as less than human? Why would we WANT to teach our children that we won't be there for them? Why should we get to pick and choose which needs are "real" and which ones are not." (Anyway, this was mainly talking about letting children 'cry it out'.)

I would just give it some time. Your husband just needs to wait until she needs him. Let your baby be the one to come to him when she is ready. {{HUGS}}

Mother of 4 well adjusted, happy, kind, compassionate children

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answers from Los Angeles on

I suggest you both do things with her together for a week, such as give her a bath, feed, play, etc...You start out doing your usual for the first day or two while your husband just watches and talks to her. Then, have him share in the task and then see if you can transition to him doing the task while you observe. Meanwhile, have a small "silky" blanket that "smells" like mama (rub it on your chest and hair so it smells like your perfume or such) have this blanky with her so she can "carry" you with her. Hope this helps. Good luck. BTW consider if your husband has a strong cologne ordor that turns her other words, does he smell so much different than mommy?

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answers from Atlanta on

I have always heard that when they are going through this, that Dad just sits and hums or rubs her leg (if she will let him) as you rock her at night. Or, during the day, you just sit beside him and let him give you attention as you hold her. It is important she learns he won't go away even when she wants you - he will be there and love her anyway. Time will work the rest out.



answers from Savannah on

While it's not unusual for a child to prefer one parent over another, you need to work on encouraging her to play not only alone but with others as well. Try letting your husband pick the kids up from the sitter more often like once a week. So what if all she does is cry the whole time. She'll live. Don't hold her, carry her all the time either. She needs to learn independence and start getting some self confidence in order to able to approach other adults. More than likely this is a phase, she'll out grow it but she'll do it faster with your help of not babying her or hanging over her all the time.

Good luck



answers from Atlanta on

Clingyness can be a side effect of vaccinations. Your ped and most people will never tell you this.

Take your child to a Homeopath, that should help...



answers from Spartanburg on

WOW! That was us 16 years ago!!! (And our baby was born in June, too - how funny!) I don't know what works for others in this boat, but this is what we did.

Every night when my husband came home from work, he would take Alyssa (who would start crying almost instantly) and he would sit down to watch a movie with her in the rocking chair. There they would sit until dinner was ready. Him patiently talking to her and rocking her, she wriggling and crying. It took several weeks, but once she got the idea that this was going to be the routine every night, she finally got to where she would wimper and then she stopped crying altogether. Thankfully, she outgrew it by the time she was one.

That child (we have seven) also had problems with night terrors, and we would run into her room because she'd be laying in there crying loudly over a bad dream. I had two children that did that, one that sleptwalked, and the rest were "normal." Everyone outgrew these oddities, so rest assured this won't last forever! =)

Just tell your hubby to keep trying. And when he's taking care of her, it would be best if she can't hear or see you, because that will just make the process take longer.

I know it's painful to listen to the baby cry, but really, you have to make her conform to your will - you are her parents, her authorities, you love her with all you have. If you give up now, it will establish a pattern that she can have her way - something you really don't want to deal with as she gets older. She will get the idea eventually, so just keep at it. Our Alyssa is now a sweet 16-yr old, who loves us, obeys us, and has a terrific relationship with both of us.



answers from Charleston on

At least it's not just your husband -- she screamed with other family members, too! I would suggest to your hubbie that he try being close to her but not try to hold her when he's spending time with her. Place her on her tummy on a blanket and read to her, lying on the floor with her. Roll a ball to her. Move puppets in front of her face. One thing that quieted our 2 boys was whispering in their ears. Ask her soft questions, and she might quiet down so she can hear! She'll warm up to him, but for now, it seems to be how she is. Our boys "played favorites" too, switching back and forth. So for now, you'll shoulder the burden -- sorry! But hopefully not for long!



answers from Spartanburg on

It is a bit of an age thing, I think.

I also think that pumping and giving the hubby the bottle to feed her will eventually work--but only if you leave the premises for a long while. Not just a quick trip to the grocery. Maybe take your son to a movie, then shopping. Go away and leave her alone with him. And don't just do it once.

I have four kids--ages 14, 12, 7 and 2. The only girl is 12. She still prefers mom--but loves her Daddy--it is kind of become her 'thing' to act as if she prefers mom. But all of my kids have preferred mom to dad at that age. I breast fed all of them and only had trouble (mastitis that was MRSA) with the 2 year old. He HAD to be supplemented. He even got so I could give him a bottle of formula. But Dad had to start, and they had to be alone.

My husband swears that all of the kids from about six months to even almost four--'work' me. They make a HUGE scene when I have to leave by myself. Depending on kid and age--the calm down takes from the time they hear the car start--to I return.

I think it is a stage. It is hardest on your husband because he has to remember he is the grown-up and the father---and never never hold it against her!



answers from Atlanta on

Does your husband smell like his workplace or cigarette smoke? He could try showering prior to holding her and putting on clothes that would smell like yours do. It's just an idea that she may be sensitive to his smell. V.

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