How do I get my 4mo. (breastfeeding) momma's boy to like his dad?

Halie - posted on 07/30/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My son is 4 months old and he screams when his dad holds him. It doesn't seem to matter what my husband does he can't get him to stop crying. We have tried to just let him cry and have him feed him his baby food. nothing seems to be working. I know this bothers my husband. PLEASE HELP! :o)

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Carly - posted on 07/30/2009

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DO NOT stop breastfeeding. That is an absurd suggestion. How you are feeding your son is completely irrelevant when it comes to the relationship between him and his Dad. There are so many other activities they can share ... basically everything except feeding! Changing nappies, baths, reading (a real winner for my son and husband), going for walks in the garden, playing peekaboo ... the list is endless.

Start by doing things together, getting your son totally relaxed around both of you, then maybe you leaving the room for a minute. I agree with others that your son will pick up on any tension that your hubby feels over the situation, so tell him to relax too. It will come in time.

[deleted account]

Sometimes it's just because the baby will pick up on your husband's tenseness. It might help to just sit next to him in a really relaxed manner (both of you), even while you're feeding him, and have dad gently stroke the little guy's head& cheeks, talking to him softly. Dad will soon relax around baby and not feel left out. Perhaps just after baby's fed, you could then gently hand him over, and you keep stroking baby gently, both of you talking to him calmly and gently and reassuringly during the whole thing. Let me know if this works!! :)

Rebecca - posted on 07/30/2009

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I know this must be really hard, my little guy is also very attached to me the only suggestions I can offer take time as it won't happen overnight, perhaps have the 3 of your read together and sit him inbetween you then slowly start having him pick him up during the story, or have him play with him on the ground with you around. Have you tried not being in the room when this happens? Perhaps if he can't see you he won't freak out so much. Also does your husband have a beard or glasses I find both of those seem to terrify a lot of children, or wear a really strong scent? It could be actual discomfort. It won't last though, he'll soon be loving his Daddy and playing with him then you'll have to deal with him making strange with everyone else, lol, good luck!

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Kelly - posted on 08/15/2009

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I agree with the others; it just takes time. Your baby is still really young. It will come. Breastfeeding definitely adds to that attachment he has for you. My youngest was so attached to me, it wasn't that she didn't "like" anyone else, she just couldn't stand to be away from me. The one thing my husband found that he could do with her that they both loved was he would wrap her up good in a big blanket (she was born in December) and take her outside and swing with her on the porch swing. She loved that when she was fussy, it calmed her right down, and I made a point to never take her out there, so that it was a special "daddy" thing. She of course doesn't remember it, but he does! It did a lot of good for their bonding when she was tiny, and gave me a few precious moments of calm also! If your husband can just find that one thing to do with him that is special, it will help alot. But no matter what happens in the next few months, he eventually will become an active toddler and almost surely become daddy's boy!!

Candice - posted on 08/15/2009

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My youngest daughter wouldn't get close to her dad for almost a full year. I found the only thing that worked is for me to leave the room. I found that i was trying to correct him instead of letting his instincts kick in. Slowly at first then longer and longer. It took a long time but now they are the best of friends. Hang in there!

Leigh - posted on 07/31/2009

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Get your husband to shower/bath with your son. Skin on skin contact. Babies are bright, they pick up on the vibes around them, so make sure you hubby is feeling relaxed & positive. More nuturing from his dad. You boy will come around with time. I also agree, do not stop bf to solve this.

Allison - posted on 07/30/2009

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The same thing happened with my oldest and my husband took it really hard. Again like the others have said My husband was a bit nervous and our son picked up on it and he would be with me all day so he had a lot of time to bond with me. Our son is Now 16 months and he's a total Daddy's boy it was around 7 or 8 months he just took to his dad and decided he was way more fun to hang around with than mommy was. It will get better I promise you it just takes time. Were going through it right now with our second son he's 3 months.

Stina - posted on 07/30/2009

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They do this. I know it's gotta be hard for daddy... maybe have Dad drape a shirt that you've been wearing over him so he smells a bit like you. First babies are always a bit harder 'cause you both are learning the ropes. Encourage Dad to burp/hold/play with the baby whenever he is around and he'll bond with him over time. If you aren't already, give Dad a chance to take care of your son by himself while you go for a walk or to the store or something- 'cause sometimes we mom's can unintentionally make our hubby's a bit tense when it comes to how the do anything with the babies... and that tenseness is detected by the baby who in turn cries because they don't feel as secure. I know my husband says our 3m dd is pretty fussy with him sometimes (while she doesn't seem very fussy with me.) Eventually, your son will go through a phase of prefering Dad over you. I get it pretty often from my older two (2 1/2 and 4 1/2). Some days all one of them wants is Daddy. Other days, I'm the preferred parent.

Shannon - posted on 07/30/2009

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A 4-month old baby has the ability to bond with anyone who attempts to be close to him. All your husband needs to do is be persistent with his attempts. Have him give your son baths, and before he dresses him, have your husband hold your son against his chest skin-to-skin. Make sure he is holding him in a manner closely resembling the manner in which you hold your son. Play soft music and have your husband dance while holding your son. The music will give your husband a distraction from any dissatisfied sounds your son may make. Having your husband hum along or sing softly with the song is helpful, also, because eventually your son will be soothed by the sound of your husband's voice. The situation has nothing to do with your method of feeding. You just need to help your son see his father as yet another person who will soothe and comfort him. Remember, you had 9 months to bond with your child before his daddy even got to meet him. Your husband had to start from scratch when your son was born. Good luck with your little one.

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He's only four months old, give the little guy a break! The father/son relationship will develop. Sometimes it takes a little longer than you expect. Let your baby be a baby and when he is bigger he can be "Daddy's boy". For now, just get your husband involved with other aspects of baby care such as bath time, nappy changing, taking him for walks in the stroller etc.

Cindy - posted on 07/30/2009

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Stop breastfeeding. Bottle feed. Take turns. Our boys love us equally. They don't run to either one, just who ever is the closest at the time.

If you can't bear to stop breastfeeding then you need to leave the two of them together and go some where. Just like the others have suggested. Don't hover around the room. Try not to correct anything your hubby does wrong, it fills the air with negitive energy and BABY will sense it. Give them both a kiss and Mind your own Business, take a long bath, go shopping, what ever you need to do to relax and let them have fun together. Don't worry. Your Hubby will be fine, and Baby will relax and learn to like Daddy.



Good luck.

Kelly - posted on 07/30/2009

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Use a breast pump and pump you milk into a bottle with a nippe he is use to or one you want to try to get him use to. Take one of your night shirts or a shirt that you nurse in that has your smell on it and have him put that up against his chest and then the baby and then feed him. Sometimes it is about smell and texture. Just have him continue to try and don't do it when he is already to tired or crancky, make sure it is a relaxed happy time (don't try at night time right at first) so that they can get to know each other in a bonding way similar to the one you have with him. Have soft music playing in the background something soothing. Kind of set the stage for the whole thing at first.

Hope it help! I breast fed for 14 months and my daughter learned to enjoy milk in a bottle from my husband, siblings and grandparents but still had my milk to give her a good start in life. The Medela breast pump is a MUST have! It is wonderful!

Bridget - posted on 07/30/2009

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I breastfeed both of my children for a year. Both preferred me because of the close bonding from breastfeeding. My second child was strongly attached to me, she wouldn't even let her daddy hold her at all. My husband started being the diaper changer, bather & the one who rocked them to sleep at night. It helped a little but ultimately, only time will change him into a daddy's boy. Try to explain to your husband that it comes & goes in phases. I know it's hard for him, it was very difficult on my husband (especially with my second child).

Tamara - posted on 07/30/2009

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It comes in stages. My daughter was the same way for a long time. It'll happen in its time. You can't actually rush these things. Now that my DD is close to 2, Daddy is the only one she wants.

Tawnia - posted on 07/30/2009

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I agree with Cynthia. I breastfed my son for 10 months and we had the same problem. He and his dad often had their best bonding time when I would leave the room or even just run to the grocery store or something. My husband called me one morning when I was on my way to a meeting for work and he wouldn't stop crying. I talked him into laying him down somewhere safe and walking away for 5-10 minutes so they could both calm down. When he came back to him he was playing with the toys in his play place and laughing and they were great together after that. The baby was picking up on how tense his dad was. He often was also much better for his dad than me when I wasn't around. It also seemed to help when his dad would get down on the floor and really play with him or talk to him. If he takes a bottle at all, maybe try having Dad give your son a bottle of your breastmilk and again it is best if you leave the room. Good luck! It will get better.

Cynthya - posted on 07/30/2009

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have you tried leaving the room while your husband has him? i breast fed my daughter up until about two days ago and she's 14 months and i had the same problems when she was that age. but it was much worse when she could see me. if i left she would eventually get over it and behave much better for my husband than she ever did for me. try giving them some alone time when your husband is calm and relaxed. hope this helps because i know how you feel.

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