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Helping Dad be more involved

(50 Posts)
swaye Fri 22-Mar-13 09:16:57

My hubby is feeling left out and i dont know what to do to make him feel involved. Have you experienced the same or got any suggestions to help him feel more part of it? Im 14 weeks today.

fatandlumpy Fri 22-Mar-13 09:23:55

I let my OH decide whether or not we found out the gender (well - to be honest I actually didn't care what flavour it was, as long as it was healthy!). When the sonographer asked if we wanted to know I just nodded over to my OH and told her it was up to him.

I think he was a bit chuffed. He said he'd like to know and so she had a look for him and pointed things out to him (she was a clever woman and I think she twigged what it was all about). She answered all his questions and it was nice to see him fussed over like that smile

DH designed and painted the nursery, and assembled flat pack furniture whilst bump and I supervised.

Also, can you get him involved wit hthings like the pram, so he can pick the colour of the fabric - ours had an extendable handle because DH is so tall so we effectively fitted the travel system around him.

Also, are there things your DH remembers from his childhood that he'd like to recreate for his child, copy of a particular book, colour of paint in room, a spinning top etc?

vamosbebe Fri 22-Mar-13 09:30:53

I let DH hold my hair back while I puked grin
He took over the cooking and supported me by not eating the same things I could't eat, which was sweet. He was also in charge of buying the vitamins etc and keeping tabs on the midwife appointments as there were so bloody many and my brain shrank!
He was incredibly supportive of everything, I think that's enough.

owlface Fri 22-Mar-13 10:09:00

I tell my DH every tiny thing I notice, even the TMI stuff! I think it gets better when they can feel the baby move, and when they have to start doing things for you as the bump gets in your way, eg paint your toenails. My DH has also been to almost every midwife appointment, his employer has been brilliant about it as he works 2 hours away and all my appointments are on Friday afternoons! This has been important for us as he has the same information as me, plus he can remember it all when my brain is mushy. He also came to ante natal classes with me and shops with me. I think your DH will feel better about it in a few weeks when he can be of more practical help as well as emotionally supportive.

Dannilion Fri 22-Mar-13 10:23:44

I gave DP complete free reign over the nursery, he picked and painted absolutely everything (and what an amazing job he did I must say!). Then again he is way more arty than me so it wasn't a matter of being involved as much as it was a matter of practicality.

I've also relied on him for a hell of a lot. I got SPD quite early so he's had to take on more and more as I sit around eating ice lollies. If anything he's been way more proactive in this whole baby growing game than I have!

Msbluesky32 Fri 22-Mar-13 10:39:54

DP had final say on the colour of the nursery and painted it, put up black out blinds, chose clothes - I just tried to get him involved in absolutely everything I could. As soon as I started to feel movements I'd invite him to feel them. He wanted to know the sex - I wasn't really fussed as long as the baby was healthy - so we found out the sex. With names we talk about those together. He researched baby monitors and rockers and bought those. We had a mini but I was worried about how we would deal with the amount of stuff we'd have to fit into to it (both our parents are quite far away so journeys to them will be for at least a night) - he picked the new car. I didn't care what we got as long as it had four doors and a decent sized boot! There are lots and lots of things you can get him involved with. Are you doing any ante natal classes together? We also did an NCT and hypnobirthing course and DP found those really helpful and he feels very involved.

RuckAndRoll Fri 22-Mar-13 11:13:39

I'm watching with interest. I'm really concious that DH wants to be involved, but I know he gets bored if I tell him too much.

So far he's in charge of painting the nursery (he chose the short list of colour, we decided the final one together), fitting the car seat base and sorting anything required for the car, planning how we'll get to the hospital/parking/where we go etc.

He's got the antenatal classes in his calendar but his boss isn't very nice and has refused the annual leave as apparently it's not acceptable to get 4 Friday afternoons off in a row angry

Saundy Fri 22-Mar-13 11:16:58

I've always made a point of being very independent but have made sure DP knows that I really do need him now, which he seems to like. I've been a bit unwell too and instead of being all I'm fine & pushing him away I've let him take over and look after me a bit. He says he feels involved and we're both happy.

ButteryJam Fri 22-Mar-13 11:34:47

DH has made all the nursery furniture and will be making the rest. He also comes shopping with me when he gets a chance, and I always show him what I've bought or been given for the little one. If I'm making a major purchase I usually ask his opinion, even if its just over the colour of the item, and he never disagrees grin

I think once you and he can start feeling baby movements I think he may feel more involved. My DH tends to play with little one every morning before going to work, and baby responds very well to his touches, which he loves! smile

StuckOnARollercoaster Fri 22-Mar-13 11:37:48

Mine was a bit reluctant initially, think he wouldn't have bothered going to scans if I hadn't dragged him along, although I could see in his eyes that once he was there he was happy and fascinated by it.
I would talk to him about the weird things going on in my body, lists that I was putting together (!) without much response in first few months, although have to admit he was brilliant at practical stuff around the house like cooking and cleaning while I threw up or slept.
Gradually noticing a change now as the bump becomes more obvious, and he's coming and touching it of his own accord, and asking things himself, rather than because I'm pushing it. I guess some people just need time to adjust and figure out how to deal with it all.
I don't go on about everything to him (that's what mumsnet is for!) but equally I don't sugar coat and pretend everything's the same as before and I'm finding that he naturally is finding his own level of involvement.
He does understand that I need him there for the birth, and that I need him to be an involved father after the birth and its not just going to be me (and grandparents) dealing with the baby as it grows! But not being too prescriptive about that seems to be working!

swaye Fri 22-Mar-13 13:03:42

Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions they are all great!! Will stat implementing before he gets home. Especially the diary as Im crap at that and the midwife apps. that will def help xxx

LouiseD29 Fri 22-Mar-13 13:13:49

I ask my DH to stroke the bump and talk to it every night when we go to bed. It doesn't have to be much - just a few words ("goodnight baby, make sure you let your mummy get a good night's sleep tonight", etc). He felt very silly doing it at first but has totally got into now and started saying it in the morning as well before I go to work!

swaye Fri 22-Mar-13 21:44:10

I need a like button for that :-)

Jenjen85 Fri 22-Mar-13 21:54:23

My mum bought me a Doppler (I wouldn't have bought one personally as I was worried I'd become obsessed listening/worrying) and my DH likes to put it on my tummy when I'm in bed and listen to baby's heartbeat as he hadn't heard it before as he can't get time off for midwife appointments he was made up when he heard it and will ask if he can listen every so often, think it helps him connect with baby too. He also likes to put his hand on my bump when were in bed an feel baby kick. He has been very good throughout my pregnancy tho as I was rather poorly with MS at the start an was an absolute diamond helping an looking after me.

Sunnysummer Sat 23-Mar-13 12:03:47

Ooh, love the idea of getting him to research things like baby monitors, electronics are right up his street! Really helpful suggestions!

seeker Sat 23-Mar-13 12:08:47

Tell him to get over himself?

Sorry, unhelpful. But I hate it when women are expected to help men deal with perfectly normal life events. He's a grown up. Tell him to act like one. He's not a toddler who needs distraction or "involving". Be careful, or you'll end up with two children to look after.

<grumpy emoticon>

swaye Sat 23-Mar-13 23:21:58

Tell me about it. But i know if i do that it will make things worse.

SeriousStuff Sun 24-Mar-13 00:25:33

My DH is researching prams, I bought him the book 'What to expect when she's expecting' and when I get to 20 weeks (and the baby will be able to hear things), he's already said that he wants to read to my stomach.

It all helps!

fatandlumpy Sun 24-Mar-13 06:14:21

Oooooh and another thing! You can try getting them to do the 'Ebay' stuff. OH and I are determined to get as much as we can second hand so he's in charge of trawling through Ebay. It nicely deals with his competitive streak and hunting instincts in one!

Finallygotaroundtoit Sun 24-Mar-13 06:24:59

Love the suggestions that 'involve' him taking on a caring/ supportive role.

hmm to the ones that are about fussing over him so he doesn't feel left out of 'getting attention'

Msbluesky32 Sun 24-Mar-13 07:52:58

Hmmm I don't think its about making sure DPs feel like they are getting attention but that they are involved in some of the choices made about their child. Do you really think its about getting attention for some? For me its really important DP is involved. I want him to be a hands on dad and the best way for me to demonstrate that now is by not doing my usual 'take over everything' routine and letting him do it himself. I'm sure that is what other ladies want too...perhaps I'm wrong...

purrpurr Sun 24-Mar-13 08:08:37

I didn't put in extra effort to involve my DH because he's a grown-up and, hey, no one put in extra effort to involve me in the pregnancy. I just had to get on with it. And get on with it I did. He read quite a bit about labour but otherwise didn't involve himself in the gathering of baby paraphernalia, aside from to whinge about the 'astronomical' cost of the (mostly second-hand) stuff I got. I developed selective deafness where this was concerned.

When I hit 20 weeks, he suddenly became a lot more protective and caring - I started to get a lot bigger, then the waddling started, the groaning and creaking trying to get myself off the sofa, then the back ache, the terrible heartburn, the acid indigestion... As I became less able to keep my spirits up and take care of myself, he stepped up and took on that role. I'm now 34 weeks and I don't even have to put socks on anymore - he does it for me.

HavingALittleFaithBaby Sun 24-Mar-13 08:26:51

Mine found it much easier once you could feel the kicks externally.

Great advice above. Another thing he found helpful was a 'pregnancy for blokes' app and book - how the pregnancy progresses from a bloke's perspective.

But yes get him doing stuff - I gave him a list of things to do round the house to get ready for baby that he's worked his way through. Makes him feel useful wink

ZenNudist Sun 24-Mar-13 08:32:09

My friend's dh researched the best nursery in the area and signed their dc up at about 12wks!

This if you live in an area of shortage of places is a good idea! bit crazy but what the hell

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