I cant bond with my new daughter

Alistair - posted on 02/26/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My daughter was born at the start of febuary. I really can't seem to bond with her and I get extremely frustrated when she cries. When her mum takes her she stops immediately leaving me very upset and wondering what am I doing wrong. We also have a 7 year old daughter whom I have an outstanding and brilliant relationship with. So, I naturally assumed that I would be the same with Shannon. But I could not have been more wrong. Nothing I do helps, I cant even do night feeds my wife seems to be doing everything and when I offer to help she wont let me, because she knows that I get very easily frustrated. It really is affecting me a great deal making me feel useless and not a good dad, but I dont let on to my wife just how much its affecting me, as I know it will upset her. Im almost at my wits end.

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Alistair - posted on 02/26/2014

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I just dont understand why this has happened because I had practically zero issues with our first daughter Keira. I was very relaxed and calm with her, I was very good at calming her down when she was upset. I too am afraid of my temper so im finding that im taking myself out of the equation so to speak. But thats not fair in my wife, leaving her to do all the work.
I feel like im not making that connection or bonding with Shannon. I see the wife laughing and giggling with Shannon and when I hold her she cries within 5 mins. Then the wife takes her back and boom, Shannon stops crying.
So then that makes me retract away even more from Shannon.
Im considering wearing headphones and listening to music the next time i try to feed and hold Shannon. So ill not hear her cry, so logically ill not frustrated. But Im getting very upset and starting to believe that im not a good father.
I realky need advice and help.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/26/2014

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My hubby was much the same, except that he was afraid of his temper if left with baby too long.

Babies can sense your mood. She can sense that you're extremely frustrated. Actually, she is too, because you're not 'relaxing' with her!

So, the first thing to do is work on your frustration levels. I'll be totally honest here, for the first 3 months of my eldest's life, I went absolutely nuts trying to get my hubby to take baby for a 2 hour game of Bingo! But, also understood his side of the picture, as he had been severely abused as a child, and knew that he had some issues still stemming from that, so rather than put himself into a volatile situation, we compromised. I did all night feeds. He did all diapering and bathing when he was at home (didn't help that he was gone 14 hours a day, between his commute & work day). He would play with sonny each day, he would interact with him (actually, he was better with the feedings, but due to his work schedule...I had them). He had to physically learn how to make himself relax and present a relaxed attitude to sonny.

Bit by bit, and your wife needs to understand and help transition you into helping her care for the baby.

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