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Thread: Why wont he go to his Dad?

  1. #1

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    Default Why wont he go to his Dad?

    This week has been icky in the evenings. My H has been very hands on with our son and primarily holds him all evening and on the weekends... but this week our son just gets really, really worked and hysterical when my H tries to settles him in the evenings.

    He normally cries a bit when he's tired and going off to sleep so my H just kept trying to settle him (usually in the hug-a-bub) but then he's been getting more and more worked up so I take him back to feed him and try to calm him down and he stops crying. Last night he pretty much stopped crying the moment I would take him and would start up again (no matter how well fed and tired) if my H took him.

    My poor H is heart broken and feels very rejected... but I'm sure it can't be personal as he's such a gentle, hands on father. At first I thought it was just 'the arsenic hour' as our son is calm the rest of the day but it's looking like it is related to my H holding him.

    Some theories I have for why this could be happening are:

    - At just 6 weeks our son sees 'Mum' as the life source and just wants to be with me. But he had been happy to have my H settle him before...

    - I am better at settling him (loads of prior experience and also more bonding time during the day means I follow his nuances well) and he knows it so prefers me. Not to say my H does a bad job though- he pretty much does what I do.



    - He's trying to cluster feed so even though he keeps dropping off to sleep he's worried if he's not with me that he'll miss out on milk.

    - He doesn't see my H enough now he's at work so feels less confident with him. I hope this isn't true but if it is I'm sure he'll grow out of it at a later stage- but when?

    Anyone know why it might be? Anything I mentioned or something else? Can we do something more to help fix it? Is it just a phase?

  2. #2

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    It might just be a stage that he is going through as well, I think from memory my boys have done the same, sorry not much help. Maybe give your H a shirt or cloth that smells of you/your bm for a while so that your DS can still smell you but is giving your H some cuddle time as well.

    hugs xoxo

  3. #3

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    Sounds like he has reached the age when he really knows who his mummy is! Both my boys have done this. I think it has to do with your smell too, he most likely smells your milk when he is with you and it calms him down. I would say it is definitely related to the arsenic hour.

    It's hard for your DH not to take it personally, I'm sure most dads feel the same way, but it is just a phase that will soon pass. Once he starts getting more animated and recognising his daddy he will be happier to go to him. It will happen soon, I promise!

  4. #4

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    Your little man has reached the stage where he realises you are two seperate people, and he's not happy!! He needs to be around you constantly. His little world is changing, and needs more comfort and security that only mummy can give.
    Trust me it will pass.
    You'll be writing soon enough how he pushes you away and only wants daddy again!!!

  5. #5

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    Ahhh- the joys of parenting huh?

    Thanks for your tips and reassurances... I will pass them on to my H and hopefully he'll be able to ride through this with a little less heart break. Patience- the ultimate parenting skill

  6. #6

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    Poor Daddy!
    I know some people object to this, and I've found it useful, with my DP acknowledging its merits, so here goes:
    for the first few months, at least, mummies are the life-sustainers in an evolutionary sense. Babies are hard-wired to rely on mummies, because daddies are not as reliable and they don't have milk (!). It's a fact of life and the sooner a daddy can come to terms with this, the better for his self-esteem.
    It's not a political statement, it's not personal, it's just that mummies are biologically equipped for the survival of baby - hormones that foster love and care, boobs with milk. This doesn't always happen, as we know, because there's always the exception to prove the rule!
    The trick is for daddies to realise that whilst baby doesn't need them for survival, and in those first few months they are not essential to that survival, babies absolutely absorb into their consciousness the role that daddy plays. What I'm saying is that whilst I do subscribe to the evolutionary perspective of mummies and babies in the first few months, I do NOT believe that it means daddies may as well not be there. Daddies must be there because babies will turn to that figure in good time - and they can't if they're not there! Daddies need to learn to bide their time...because it WILL come. From about 3 or 4 yo, mummies become a bit more sidelined and daddies are very important, to both girls and boys.
    In those first few months, for babies, no-one is as important as mummy. It's just the way it is. It's not a conscious choice, it's biology.
    I hope that makes sense!

  7. #7

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    It might also be that he's hitting the dreaded "6-week change", where they can become a little feral for a few weeks. I actually had the opposite problem, my DS gave DP heaps of smiles at this age, but seemed to save his grizzley-ness for me.

    I would say to your DH that he should still be giving him time, as it will definitely get better, and he's still a tiny little man, all is not lost for your DH. One of the things we did in the early days was the "turbo change" - I got the messy end, but DP got to entertain the not-messy end, and despite the mess, it was often a fun few minutes with all of us together. And almost exclusively, DH did the baths, still does. These days, when my DP gets home, DS charges to the door to greet him - super cute, so the effort you put in certainly pays off eventually, even if you feel like you've taken a backwards step at the moment.

  8. #8
    paradise lost Guest

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    Babies have a growth spurt at around 6 weeks, and the desire to eat becomes very strong. Thus he wants to be near the boobies. I have seen the same thing with FF kidlets, but they don't differentiate between mum and dad (unless one parent has been doing more of the feeding), they just want to be held all the time because they know that's when they'll get milk.

    Worry not, it soon passes.

  9. #9

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    Default me too!

    It's funny, DS is 4 months old, and is exactly the same! And I think on some level dp does take it a little personally, too.
    I've put it down to him being a boy though, because I don't ever remember dd going through the same thing; aside from the bfing, we've always been pretty much interchangable in the settling stakes up until now (dp's a student, so home quite a lot).
    Hoping it's a phase and will pass, cos I really don't like being the only one who can settle him.
    Good luck

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