Why does my 10.5 month old son misbehave when Daddy is home?

Mandy - posted on 03/13/2012 ( 32 moms have responded )

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My son is 10 and a half months old. He behaves well when I am with him during the day, but when his Daddy comes home from work he is very whiney and misbehaves. He loves his Daddy and is all smiles when Daddy gets home and wants to play with him right away. But when Daddy is home, he does not eat well for Daddy if he feeds him his food, he whines a lot for what seems like no reason, he whines and throws his arms around, to tell him that he wants out of his highchair (won't whine for me that he wants out), whines when gets his diaper changed or gets dressed (again, doesn't with me). My husband has a hard time getting him to do day to day things... baby fights him and whines. On top of that, he only cuddles with me and will not cuddle with Daddy. He also needs me when he is upset or crying and has a hard time being soothed by Daddy.



Does anyone know why this is happening? I am just wondering if this is a phase? Has anyone else experienced this and have any suggestions? - It would be easier if my husband was able to get baby to do these things without whining and putting up a fight... and I would feel less guilty about asking for his help if baby was a little more cooperative for him.

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Pamela - posted on 03/14/2012

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Children dont misbehave at 10.5 months old. He is more comfortable becuase you are the primary caregiver. Maybe he senses your husband doesnt have the same touch as you. or he is tired or for gods sake a baby.

Kate CP - posted on 03/13/2012

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Dude, he's a baby. I would guess that by the time your partner gets home the baby is tired and cranky.

Katherine - posted on 03/13/2012

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It's because he's used to YOU. You are the primary caregiver. Daddy works all day, you are with your son all day.

Pamela - posted on 03/15/2012

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It could be any number of things, but my guess is that because you are the one who is there with the child and has set the boundaries you expect, he then follows your boundaries.



Your husband on the other hand may well feel GUILT as a result of not spending so much time with the baby and may well have a hard time setting any boundaries when with the child. A lot of our boundaries are non-verbal, but can easily be sensed by others. Since babies are still connected to Spirit until the soft spot on the head is closed......babies have a greater emotional sense than we do as adults. No doubt, your baby senses the energy of your husband and uses his emotional energy to manipulate, not negatively, but rather as babies do.....to have their needs met.



It can also be that you have set up in your subconscious or unconscious mind a belief that your husband CAN'T please baby, so all of you play out this scenario. The mind is a powerful thing that is built on our beliefs and thoughts. When hubby can't get baby to cooperate that makes your position as Mom stronger and makes you fel that you are needed even more. Consider that.



PLEASE remember that the two of you are LEARNING how to be parents and so it is an unknown, uncharted path that you must walk because each child is a unique being, even though we all experience a lot of the same things in life. Are you always in the room when hubby interacts with the baby? If so, go do something else in another part of the house and leave the two of them alone to work out their own relationship. It may bring frustration but just deep breathe and get past it. Tell hubby to deep breathe while he is interacting with the baby!!! Deep breathing takes us out of the immediate and into a space where coping mechanism kick in automatically. Use that technique everywhere in your life when you face challenges.

Katie - posted on 03/14/2012

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He's competing for the attention of the leading lady in the house...go get your nails done and tell them both that mommy needs her "me" time and let them establish their relationship sans you!

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Natasha - posted on 03/21/2012

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Yea it's all norm my three boys all did it and it use to bug my hubby cu he would feel bad like what am I doing so wrong I know it's sounds me but he just isn't mom that's all take a day away on a weekend I know it's nice to visit with the hubby as well but take a day and let them have a daddy son bonding day and you go have a me day I did it and still do it once a month and it helps a lot I was gone when baby got up in the am tell just befor he wnt to bed cuz I thought it was good he k ow that after I was gone for so long that I would come back good luck to you an you hubby and things will just come aroun will be aday prob around four yrs of age like my oldest boy where they don't want mommy they won't say all they way :) !!!

Kay - posted on 03/16/2012

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Have you considered the possibility that he might want Dad's attention? My youngest is a total daddy's boy and at 18 months, he still does similar behaviors if Daddy has been working different hours and such. He does similarly with me on the days that I work and Daddy is home with him. Usually we do something to give him our undivided attention for ten or fifteen minutes, and then he settles down.

IYAMU - posted on 03/16/2012

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you dont have to worry your self,he will come around.my son prefers his daddy to me,he clings to his daddy,and that makes me just jealous

Lori - posted on 03/16/2012

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My daughter has a husband who yells a lot. She was just the opposite. So her kids listened to her husband out of fear and would never listen to their mother. They did the whining and demanding and a lot of other things as the started getting older. My husband and I set rules and expected them to follow them.. We persisted too. To many parents will tell their child to stop or be punished but they never punish they just threaten. that is no good. A parent that is a pushover will never get anywhere either. If he lets the baby get away with everything without saying no that is his problem. This is the age that they start learning the difference in what they can and can not do.

Megan - posted on 03/16/2012

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Sarah James really hit the nail on the head. We need to step back and MAKE daddy do his part. It is the only way that he and baby form a bond and the only way we will EVER get a break!

Tracy - posted on 03/16/2012

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he'll grow out of it hes just a mummys boy. make the most of it whos to say what the teenage years will bring...

Ann - posted on 03/16/2012

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Hello there... if you tri to do things together like when feeding baby let dad do it but you sit and talk well he is being feed by dad it will take time' baby will see mom likes it when dad feeds him too. its sounds funny but working after 2 or 3 times baby wouldn't need you there well daddy feeds him......most important thing is lots smiles well dad feeds him tri it you;l see Ann

Sarah - posted on 03/16/2012

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Hi! My daughter did the same thing. When it is dinner time, I make sure daddy is the primary person to feed her. It not only gives me a break, but it is also daddy and daughter time. To begin with, it was a struggle for my hubby to feed, change, and soothe her, but with persistence (on daddy's part!) and partially me making him do these tasks, we now have no problem. I'm gonna say it... men need to do these things and not leave it ALL up to mummy!!!!!!! hope this helps :)

Chrissy - posted on 03/15/2012

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My daughter is exactly the same way. I only work part-time, so I'm home with her most of the time. When daddy comes home, she starts whining. She doesn't cuddle with him unless I'm at work or not in the room. As soon as she sees/hears me, she doesn't want anything to do with him. I'm pretty sure it's just a phase. Soon she won't want me at all LOL.

Markita - posted on 03/15/2012

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He's a boy and they love their mamas. Sounds like normal 10.5 month boy behavior to me. Don't feel guilty and tell your dh not to feel bad either. The relationship will change and evolve over and over.

Katie - posted on 03/15/2012

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Agree with Bonnie as well. That's exactly what happened with my son. Never wanted Daddy, til he hit 2 and now Daddy's the favorite and mommy just makes the food and cleans up the messes. :P

Bonnie - posted on 03/15/2012

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He is use to having just you all day and like it was mentioned earlier, he is probably tired once his daddy gets home.



Just wait though, chances are when your child reaches 2 or 3 years old, he will act up for you and then be an angel when his daddy gets home. That's just the way it is. I go through that with both my boys and they are 3 and 5.

Megan - posted on 03/15/2012

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This was happening with my 9.5 month son, too. My husband had never taken my son for more than 3 hours at a time and I think he was insecure about me not being around to help in case my son threw a fit, thinking that he wouldn't be able to soothe him. I am a working mom and my son goes to a babysitter during the day. So during my husband's recent week of vacation, I had to keep working, which gave my son some much needed father-son bonding time. My husband was left with Jameson for several hours each day and more than six hours one day. My husband learned that he needs to be more patient, but he also gained some needed confidence that he, too, can appease the little one. Since then, my son is now reaching more for daddy and dad is even picking him up from the babysitter.

Rose - posted on 03/14/2012

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Mine is the same age too but he does not behave this way all the same, i think he gets too exited seeing his daddy n maybe he wonders where he had been the whole day...he could be protesting he is it seeing him enough... just watch out how he behaves on weekends when both of u are around for long....now that baby cant ask questions it could be getting used to you most of the time in the absence of the daddy....for me we leave home early for work n come back at the same time from work... but my boy's attention in on me... it could be a stage that will come to pass, dont get worried.....have observed that my boy is always all over me unlike the daddy....

JENN - posted on 03/14/2012

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He's a momma's boy. My son does the same thing. He is literally attached to my hip & only wants me 97% of the time.

My son is nearly 2 now but he's still very attached to me. I have twins & my daughter is the complete opposite of him. So I think boys are harder in general.

Terrie - posted on 03/14/2012

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Basically your baby spends more time with you so you have the upper hand right now. Also a ten month old is smarter than most people think so you have to establish a bit of discipline. I am not talking about spanking or even time out, but it is time your little one learn what yes and no means. If baby is trying to get away while Daddy is changing him, then Daddy needs to gently hold him down and firmly say no. I am not talking about shouting. I am talking about a deep Daddy voice. My husband did this with my son when he was going through that phase which was about the same age. Now my husband and son are two peas in a pod. Also I support the idea of finding times to leave them to themselves and you going and doing your own thing so they can bond.

Judi - posted on 03/14/2012

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Payback. It's that simple. Kids from 9 months on have separation anxiety and so while he is good for you because you are always there, it s his way of saying I miss you Daddy and I'm hurt you aren't here all the time and I can't talk so i whine.

Or it,could be that because you are his primary carer,mthat some kids will only letnthemprimary carer do anything in the caring department.

When my boys were young, like months old. My Mum used to read to them. If I tried to read to,them, they would fuss, not listen, hide under the covers, turn away, pull the book out of my hands etc. when they got old enuf to verbalized....it was NO. They would take the book and give it to my,Mum. It became their thing with her. Only after she passed was I allowed to read to,them.

There could be many reasons, but at that age they can't tell you.

Heather - posted on 03/14/2012

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He is ONLY 10.5 months old. Wait till he's 2, 3, or 4! Then then whining, tantrums, and behavior increase, ten fold! Sounds like he should be taking 2 naps a day and he's tired when daddy gets home.

Mandy - posted on 03/14/2012

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Thank you for the comments everyone. I appreciate the advice. And yes, I know 10.5 month old babies do not misbehave.. that was the wrong word to use.. I was only trying to describe his actions (being whiney, fussy, and throwing his arms and body around when Daddy tries to change him, feed him etc). Daddy is home from 6 to 8 and spends 2 hours with baby before bed during the week and is home all day on weekends. I was trying to find a way to help my son be more cooperative for his dad, as my husband takes these things personally because he loves his baby so much. Thank you for your comments Nicole Stump. I too have noticed that when Daddy plays with baby more, he is less cranky and fussy. Baby used to not want to go to bed, until I convinced my husband that the times that he actually plays with baby for a while, are the times he goes to bed without a fuss. Since then, no fuss for bed time... but still a fuss for other things. My husband plays with him every evening, but there are a lot of days where he is tired, and his idea of playing with baby is to sit in the playroom with him and watch him play with his toys, instead of interacting with him and playing games with him. My husband does however give him his bath every night, since birth, he feels this is a way that him and baby can bond. Also, every night before bed we both make baby laugh and laugh by tickles, kisses, and peek-a-boos.

Deb - posted on 03/14/2012

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Ditto to everything in Nicole Stump's response! We have the same problem in our house and I've noticed the same stuff as noted by Nicole. We have a 2 1/2yr old and a 5mo old and the same stuff happens for us.

Katy - posted on 03/14/2012

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My oldest child adores Daddy and we never had any problems, however, with my second one (19 months) is very much a Mama's girl. She has no problem if I'm not home and is with Daddy, but if I am home she will come to me more often than not. That makes making dinner very difficult. :) It is very normal for the child to prefer one parent over the other.

Tania - posted on 03/14/2012

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A 10 month old baby is not misbehaving. He prefers you over Daddy, which is completely normal. He will come around the older he gets. Have daddy spend more time with him.

Elfrieda - posted on 03/14/2012

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Most babies and toddlers are crankier around 4-6 o'clock every evening, so it might just be bad luck that that's when he comes home.

Gillian - posted on 03/14/2012

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This is normal as far as I can tell. I have 3 kids 7,5, and 6 months. They were used to me and were more whiny with dad. Loved him and played with him but they were used to the way I did things and he worked all day so they were tired when he got home. As he gets older this will improve. My son started preferring to be with dad and mimic him at about 2 1/2 to 3 years and now loves doing "man" things with his dad. Not to say it will take this long for him not to be whiny with his dad. I think it will decrease as he becomes more active and dad will develop his way of doing things more and more :).



Also as they get older you may see they do well with other people and then get more whiny with you because you are mom. I have seen this happen as well. its like they are holding all their tiredness and discomfort for you the next time they see you and dad is all fun and games :).

Ossie - posted on 03/14/2012

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As Catherine replied, you are with him all day and when dad gets home he is probably ready to just calm down for the night. Don't take it personal as he gets older he will cling to his father as well. Just hang in there and don't take it serios.

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I have two boys, a 2.5 year old and a 14 month old, and they are the same way at times. They are pretty good for me most of the time unless they're tired. And when my husband is home there is a definite increase in misbehaving and whining. Does your husband work a lot? Is he as attentive to your son as you are when he is home? Does he tend to give in easily to whining? I ask because those are some of the strong correlations I see to my boys' misbehavior. All I can give you are my theories on it, and I have no idea if they are correct! Haha. But I do know how you feel, and it is definitely frustrating! 



In our case my husband works 60-65 hours a week, 7 days a week except for school breaks (he works at a university), gets home shortly before their bedtime and then usually sleeps in later than them and me. They idolize him, but his time with them is limited. So one of my guesses is they are seeking the ultimate degree of attention in just the most barbaric ways, and he's too tired to correct it so he just puts up with it...he gets mad with no actions to back it up. His anger further agitates them and the cycle is started. And it could also possibly have to do with the fact that most of their day (and routine) is with me as the sole authority so as much as they crave the time with him, it's out of their norm for him to do any routine stuff I normally do so perhaps they are somewhat confused or frustrated by that. He is also much more of a pushover than me, and I can clearly see that my boys sense that already. He gets frustrated with them and will just give them whatever they want to shut them up, which reinforces the whining. But the big correlation I see is that the more time he spends playing with and reading to them, the less they misbehave overall. The nights he comes home and wants to immediately crash in front of the tv, or mornings when he wakes up in a lazy mood, those are the times they are unbearable. Also, lately I have been encouraging my husband to get them ready for bed mostly by himself since that's a task he can do with them EVERYDAY, while I busy myself with other household tasks. I've noticed as he creates his own nightly routine with them it has become a smoother job for him. 



Another thing that has helped us a LOT is that I wrote out our daily routine, even the simple common sense stuff. I wrote it as I would if I were going to leave my boys with someone for a week, and detailed whatever that person would need to know to make my boys feel secure and comfortable in my absence. I hung it on our pinboard in the hallway and my husband looks it over just to refresh himself on the parts of their normal routine that he's not always here for so that he can keep as consistent as possible to what they're used to. Routine makes little ones feel safe and secure because they know what to expect. But for it to be effective both parents need to be on the same page. You and your husband don't have to do everything EXACTLY the same, but certain basic elements of the routine should be consistent. Sometimes the littlest things make a difference. Example- my husband could never get my younger son to sleep, then I realized he didn't know I turn on nature sounds for him every single night. Ever since he started doing it too, my son goes to bed fine for him. As I said, we still struggle with this problem but as we learn some of these triggers to their misbehavior and adjust these little things it does help. For us the bigger problem is just that my husband is sometimes too tired to follow through on their normal routine or with discipline. But you'll have that with some daddies. :)  I don't know what your schedule or your and your husband's parenting styles are like, so I don't know if any of this even helps you, but I hope it does a little!

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