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Attachment Parenting

Daddy's Feelings Are Hurt . . . How Do We Get Baby to Like Him?
From Our AP Forum Archives
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storkFrom JenElizabeth ~ I can't leave Justine with my dh for more than 5 minutes! She senses I am gone and starts screaming. The more he holds her and tries to comfort her, the louder she screams. I went shopping for much needed clothes yesterday and was gone for 2 hours. By the time I got back, he was completely frazzled, and Justine had red eyes from crying so much! I nursed her right before I left, and we had a bottle ready for her.

My dh is great when it comes to playing with her, bathing her, changing diapers, etc. But it seems like she wants me all the time for everything else! I love nursing her, holding her and sleeping with her, and I am not going to give that up. Is it normal for her to be so attached to me and not be able to be comforted by him? HELP!!! I need a little time to myself now and then! Last night she shrieked while I tried to brush my teeth and wash my face! Is there anything else we can do? Or does it just take time? Thanks!

stork From FlyingFingers ~ Perfectly normal! Both my kids were like that. Robb is now 22 months and has just now taken a shine to his daddy. Before, he would tolerate daddy, but let everyone know that he wasn't happy with the deal. Katie liked daddy a bit younger, but she was 10 months old before she'd stay home with daddy without having a complete breakdown and at least 20 months old before she actually "liked" daddy. It does just take time. Some kids are different than others and develop the daddy bond sooner, but usually daddy is working all day and only a "stranger" that comes home and interrupts mommy time in the evening. Have patience and good luck.

stork From Flatfork ~ Mine is like that too. It really sucks! I can't go and do anything. The problem is that DH won't call me and when I do get home he says he screamed the whole time. It is normal and there is just nothing that I can do about it. I think that is why daddy's always feed the kids junk food while we are gone -- to keep them quiet.

stork From Hannahsmom ~ Same here . . . It seems to go in waves . . . sometimes she is ok, other days not. My DD likes her daddy (he's fun), she just wants mommy more sometimes I totally have the yelling while I brush my teeth too . . . LOL! Don't worry, perfectly normal and it will pass. Think of the times when she's older and won't even want to hug you!

stork From Gayesy ~ As the others have said, it is perfectly normal (albeit hard to cope with at times). Probably at this stage minimising separations will save all of you from distress. Could DH come with you when you go shopping, and do all the baby carrying etc? That way, you "kind of" get a break while not having to worry about baby being upset.

Hang in there because this will pass. Thomas still wants me when he is very upset or sick but apart from that he often prefers Daddy. The two of them can have quite long outings together without me.

As for DH's feelings, perhaps if you let him know that it is not HIM, but that it is very normal and that all the ladies here said that their babies were the same way at the beginning. You could also try to encourage DH to take over baby's favourite things, maybe getting in the bath with her etc. That will help her to get used to Daddy and to enjoy being with him. Don't try to force it though, because it could then just take longer for her to be prepared to be without you. Good luck!

stork From patnrose ~ No advice, but boy have I been there done that. I still can't even go pee without Anna hollering for me So, now she actually comes into the bathroom with me. My DH felt about it too. As I recall, at about 4-5 months she became more happy with her dad. Now, she plays "favorites" - she'll cry till he takes her, then she cries for me! Likely it will get better with time.

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stork From LisaJo ~ I agree that it is perfectly normal and one of those things that will get better with time. My DD is a total mama's girl! It truthfully was a bit overwhelming at times, so I know how that feels. At around 9 months, when she started crawling and pulling up, she really began to enjoy exploring the house and "detaching" from me a bit. She also became very fond of daddy at that time and is absolutely fine now when she is left with him.

stork From AmyD ~ Give it time! Elisabeth was the same way and as some of the other ladies have said about their kids, she now prefers her daddy a good portion of the time. Darrell used to be a little hurt too when she would cry with him but now he is just so incredibly touched when she wants him and only him.

stork From SusanH ~ I tend to agree with everyone else - it just takes time. Susy still has her phases when only I will do, but most of the time she just loooves her daddy now! Just tell your DH to hang in there and some day his little girl will run to him with a giant smile and give him hugs and kisses. He's doing all the right things by playing with her when she is in a happy mood.

stork From huntergirl ~ Emma went through the same thing you describe, but our other kids haven't done it at all. I attribute this to the fact that DH is now at home every day and is totally responsible for them two days a week when I do my "work work". Perhaps DH could start doing more for her in the evenings and on weekends so she begins to get as comfortable with him as she is with you. And, if that doesn't work, remember that it does get better. Emma became a "Daddy's Girl" around 9 months, and always looks for him first when she skins her knee and cuddles next to him when she has a bad dream. So I guess I could advise you to enjoy it while it lasts.

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