To expect my husband to be able to look after our baby for an hour?(82 Posts)
I tutor online. An hour at a time. Today it was my husband who had to look after the baby. Recently it's been more often his mother. I had to stop my lesson after 40 minutes because he couldn't stop the baby from screaming. The second I took him off him he stopped. Was it the baby or my husband causing the issue here? I think it's my husband. The baby is fine with his mother. I'm.so pissed off but I don't know if I should be??
How old is your baby? - brand new or a few months old? - why didn't your husband stick him/her in the buggy and take them out?
Not sure - babies can be really unreasonable at times and nothing will console them but being with their mothers. On the other hand why didn’t he just take the baby for a walk or something though for 20 mins while you finished up?
How old is the baby? If your husband is anything like mine then yes it is his fault! Some (useless) men don’t even try to figure out what’s wrong/how to console a crying baby. They’re usually the type to instead get pissed off with the baby/you for putting them in the position.
If he’s generally a good dad/person, but just doesn’t get much one-on-one time with your child then maybe you could calmly give him some tips on what the baby likes in a non-patronizing way?
If this a newborn that needed a feed and your breastfeeding then I sort of get it. If not then he should be more than capable. Does he only look after the baby when your tutoring and his mother isn’t available? Because that’s probably the problem...
He isn't unreasonable for finding the baby hard to settle, as long as he was trying his best.
He should have taken the baby out for a walk or drive so your session wasn't disturbed though.
My 4 month old DD has been inconsolable until I've taken her off my DP, he tried and he gets upset if he can soother her because she just wants me. It's stressful and limiting for me but we are working on him spending as much time as he can with her to help with this.
Imagine if the boot was on the other foot.
Op, you'd never hear the end of it.
He should've taken baby out.
Was baby fed before you gave him to Dad? If not, have a feed ready in case next time. Express if necessary.
Some blokes need spoon feeding unfortunately. 🙄
Like PP it depends on whether he was trying or not. Some people are better with babies than others and done babies do prefer one parent over the other.
In the other hand if he wasn't trying to rock/feed/distract the baby and just held them while they were screaming then yes that would be annoying.
How old is the baby? Was baby already fed before handing over? Was there a feed available for him to feed to baby if needed- either a bottle of formula or expressed?
Not enough information.
I'll try and answer the questions sorry if I miss any. 9 weeks old, breast feeding but fed him literally 10 minutes before the lesson and he feeds max every 2 hours, hardly has any alone time with his dad because he hands him over every time he starts crying, didn't leave any expressed milk because I stupidly assumed he'd cope for an hour, baby van be a bit sicky but husband tends to move him about too much no matter how many times I suggest he doesn't. I've been told on multiple occasions that I need to be calm around the baby by said husband who then does the complete opposite when in charge.
You are working. He needs to deal, he is as much the babies parent as you. Do not let him slack off because you'll just take the baby each time.
He needs to take the baby out of the house and work it out.
Hmm at 9 weeks I'd say dad isn't what your baby wants to be honest. I know it's hard but I think when they are that little they are hard to distract from their mum (or her breasts!) if that's what they want. Good luck to both of you though, it's hard
He should have taken the baby out of the house. The baby can smell you and your milk.
hardly has any alone time with his dad because he hands him over every time he starts crying
That's the problem. He needs to look after baby for increasing periods of time (possibly while you leave the house?) so they can both get used to it.
I agree you need to let dh get on with things and find his own way to deal with the baby crying. His default to always hand the baby to you is causing this. It may be a lack of confidence, either way start stepping back more often, but be encouraging rather than critical.
I've got three kids and with the best will in the world the babies always stopped crying when they came to me.
My first two kids (slightly older) used to look at me like "what?! How does that work?!"
When all I had to do is pluck the baby off a person and he would stop crying.
It's the baby. And in my experience it's normal.
It doesn't help a jot that your husband gives the baby back every time they squawk though!
It gets easier, 9 weeks is tiny. Even in 3 weeks time it will be a lot easier.
My baby loves my husband now (13 weeks).
Very different at 9 weeks.
Maybe he could take him out for a long walk the next time
Did you feed baby when you took him/her? I do think I'd probably leave an expressed feed if possible next time, sometimes they randomly get hungry when they've had a load already.
Babies cluster feed and it’s very unpredictable. Maybe your husband could try wearing baby in sling for a nap so you can get a guaranteed hour of time.
My LO is 8 and a half weeks old, and my partner atm is having similar issues but his are all to do with confidence, he gets down and thinks baby will only bring up wind for me etc when of course it's not true, he just gives up as he's worried or he thinks he can't.
I'd have a heart to heart, hubby probably feels inadequate and unsure x
Ah a 9 week old, breastfed baby would make me somewhat more sympathetic to your husband I think. If it’s his first child and he has limited time with the baby then it can get overwhelming - my first DD was inconsolable a lot of the time at that age - didn’t matter if it was me or anyone else trying to console her.
He could have brought the baby out but it might not have entered his head to do so in the moment? It might have seen too big a task to get the baby bundled up, strapped in etc. while hysterically crying.
9 weeks is tricky. My baby would scream if i was in the house and she wanted me. Husband should probably have taken baby out for a walk but he needs to learn how to come up with his own way of parenting and it sounds a bit like you are over critical.
Baby's only nine weeks and dad isn't confident yet. That's all.
And I'm sure he's only too aware that the baby isn't as happy with him as with you or his mother. Which won't do anything for his confidence either.
It's early days.
Ok, thanks ladies. Seems like a combination of baby wanting onkynme and him being unconfident. I'll leave a feed and perhapsnask him to go for a walk next time. He does always sleep as soon as the pram gets going!
Why are so many husbands so fing useless!!! I just can’t cope with the number of pathetic men around
Terrible advice for him to take the baby out in a pram, unless you know this is a sure fire way to soothe him / her. Sure you won't be able to hear the baby cry but nine weeks old is far too young to be left to cry.
Soinds like the baby just isn't ready for you to be going back to work yet. Is it essential that you start work again so soon?
I also think a lot of you are being unnecessarily harsh on men for not being able to soothe a baby because they aren't it's mother. If you've chosen as a couple that he will go back to work I think it's a bit bloody rich to also expect him to have equally bonded with the baby and be as efficient at soothing it. Especially without boobs for and EBF baby.
My son at 9 weeks went thro a stage of cluster feeding. They are still so young at this age and if he is not used to your Dh of couse he will want the comfort of you. You could try leaving something that smells like you, eg a tshirt so tbe smell can comfort the baby. It will get easier as your baby gets older but right now it's completely natural for BF babies to just want their mother. Your Dh must be upset by your baby's reaction aswell.
@babydarling it’s 1 hr!!!!! One bloody hour!!! Anyone can do that. The dog could do that!!!
I had one child that would soothe for DH and one that would scream blue murder until I took him back until he was six months old. I think MN is unnecessarily harsh on men
Your husband needs to spend more 1:1 time with the baby, if he’s going to be doing this in future. I’d suggest getting a sling and to get baby used to being in it with dad after a feed. Then when you’re working it will feel familiar and comfortable for the baby. Not many tiny ones can resist settling on a walk in a sling.
@ihatehashtags what a stupid thing to say.
Yes I do need to work. It's 2 hours a week so realistically it shouldn't be a problem. His mum has no issues I think she's a lot calmer with him and my husband tends to panic as soon as the baby so much as squeaks. The pram always always calms him down. My husband works but does shifts so he works one day then has 2 days off so has plenty of time for bonding with his son.
Probably not his fault that baby wouldn't stop crying. Babies aren't reasonable and at 9 weeks probably just wondered hwere his mummy had gone. However what he did to try to stop the crying is important. He can still comfort, take outside, stick in the car for a drive and if it were me I'd have tried everything to not to have to disturb you.
Even though baby will just want you at times, it doesn't mean he should just be handing over any time he cries! Tell him to deal with it a bit more
Next time maybe encourage him to take baby for a walk and pop a tshirt you have been wearing in tne pram as a comfortable I hope things calm down.
He needs more practice. Sometimes babies do cry, if he doesn't have the option to hand him back then he will have to figure out ways to comfort him. If he never tries to comfort the baby he won't develop those skills.
I'm sure the baby cried for you when he was first born but you had to work out ways to calm him. Suggest he googles ways to calm a crying baby so he has some things to try out if he gets panicked in the moment?
Do you do everything for baby even when DH is home? After 9 weeks, DH shouldn’t be panicking if the baby makes a noise. He should be able to look after baby by now. Next time leave some milk in a bottle for them to use.
Sorry I agree with some of the others, a 9 week old just wants mum sometimes. Still very very little. Perhaps dh could take baby for a walk instead? Things will get easier
A 9 week old just wants the person they are attached to - not necessarily mum. It's a big problem, IME, if Dad is around but is reluctant to step into that role. At 9 weeks it doesn't feel like a big problem but by the time you get to 9 months it is exhausting to effectively be the only "real" parent. That is why it is important to nip it in the bud now and get dad to really focus on building that attachment so that he can also settle the baby. Doesn't mean they will never have mummy days but helps a lot.
I'm.definitely going to start encouraging him to spend more time with him even when I'm here. In fact I've only left him once so far with the baby and even then my mum was here! I have a masters thesis to write so he's going to have to at some point anyway! He's very much a man's man so has this thing where the baby wants only mum and when he's older he'll start being a daddy's boy. It's quite sad really because he's going to miss out on the little baby time which when he isn't screaming is really lovely!
I think a sling would be your friend here, the baby will probably sleep (hopefully!) and will be close to your husband which might help him get more used to being on someone other than you. Also it’s so snuggly for your husband to have him, it might help him he a bit more confident with soothing baby.
Oh no, definitely get him started now. When he’s home from work then he needs to be hands on and bonding with baby.
Get it sorted, I’m doing a master’s also and know you bloody need to get your head down when doing your work/thesis.
Start leaving the baby with DH while you go for a bath or something. He needs to build his confidence that he can soothe the baby.
9 weeks is very young and ime they do usually just want their mum but from what you’ve said DH sounds like he didn’t try very hard.
A sling is a good idea. When DD1 was a baby I literally couldn't settle her without breastfeeding her (I was crap in many ways) so DH did all the settling when he was home if she had already been fed. He was great at it. Also, I think taking them about for a walk and changing the scenery helps too. He is just going to have to work out what works for him. DD1 was strangely soothed by DHs gaming. Handing the baby to you every time is going to make the problem worse.
Don't let people guilt you into thinking you can't spend an hour away from your baby. The amount of emotional blackmail piled on new mothers is really quite something...
Yes babies need their mothers and yes breastfeeding takes a lot of time at 9 weeks especially, but this shouldn't stop your husband making an effort. At 9 weeks my DH regularly took both DCs out for an hour so I could grab a shower, a coffee and feel a bit more human before the next round of feeding began. Your DH should be able to do that for you, whether it's for work or to give you a regular break.
If the baby likes the pram then that's great, if not maybe he could try a sling.
As others have said, it gets a lot easier at 3 months but hang in there
Nine weeks is really early to leave an EBF baby in my opinion. Even with their dad. It sounds like you think he deliberately made the baby cry? I'm sure he was hating to hear it cry as much as you. People are acting like soothing a crying baby is then simplest thing the world, just Google how to do it! It's actually ridiculous. They're not a tamagotchi.
He sounds useless. Sorry OP but having a baby means you're both parents- yes, maybe it would have been a good idea to express a little extra before hand but my partner would just take the baby out for a walk/drive🤷🏻♀️
It was only 20 mins left anyway! Baby may have calmed down within ten and fallen asleep if he'd actually tried.
I remember my DH being a bit like this when DD was at the boob monster stage. It gets easier when they are more easily distracted and played with but I would second the advice to get a sling and get him to go for a walk with the baby.
He'd already managed 40mins, he could have just popped the baby in the pram and walked for 20mins, or put them in the car and driven for 20mins if it was raining. It might not have been pleasant for either of them. But it was doable.
Actually shocked by how many people think that just letting a nine week old cry is OK.
I don't think anyone is suggesting a 9 week old is left to cry. I think the suggestion is that a dad should be able to at least have a go at settling them...
To the poster that said I think he made the baby cry deliberately, are you illiterate?! When did I write that??
Unfortunately we can't use a sling because he is a very sicky baby and just vomits as soon as we put him in it. I was really hoping it would work because he also doesn't like being put down for longer than 20 minutes. We'll get there I suppose it will just take a bit of practise in the art of baby calming! Hopefully leaving milk next time will make a difference because feeding can take 20 minutes!!
Clearly OP's baby is not one that will only be comforted by mum because her mil can manage. Definitely practise and confidence. I agree with PP about having a bath so you aren't available, but also talking through some things that you have found work - "sometimes I..." rather than "you could...". For context, my DP takes our EBF 11 week old baby for at least an hour every day (so I can sleep usually) and has done since she was 2 weeks as she would only sleep on someone for a while.
Also your DH should bond with the baby as a baby if he wants him to be daddy's boy later - that doesn't come from nowhere.
I had to go back to full time work when DS1 was 8 weeks old. He was fully breastfed. DH had to learn cope with him from much younger, to work up to a 8-10hr day by 8 weeks. We started with me going out for 20-30min after one feed in the day and gradually built up from there (with expressed milk in the fridge). DH previously had been useless in terms of practical ability to function, but needs must. It can be done and in our case was a great way for DH to learn to be "hands on" Dad, just like I had to learn to be a Mum - we had equal parenting skills of zero when DS was born!
Actually shocked by how many people think that just letting a nine week old cry is OK.
Literally nobody is saying that...? A baby crying while being held and comforted isn't "crying it out"
OP if baby throws up when put in the sling it'll just be because a) the moving them about to get them in has joggled their stomach a bit or b) it's just a posset caused by a bubble of wind coming up. It's no reason not to use a sling. Nearly all babies puke a bit, it's harmless - and in fact if baby does have any degree of reflux a sling is the perfect thing, as it keeps them upright and gives a gentle tummy massage.
I think he should get a sling and start doing some nice long walks with baby - it works a charm and helps baby to be comforted and learn daddy's smell and touch much more so than a walk in the pram. DH did a lot of long sling walks with our second so I could sleep a bit and DS2 was noticeably better bonded to his dad as a baby than DS1.
Honestly, at that age I think the baby just wants its mum, especially if breast fed. My DH has always been a childcare superstar and one of our babies couldn’t have cared less which one of us was there, the other one sometimes just cried unless it was me. Just one of those things. No amount of doing what I did with the baby would work for him although it did work for my mum and sister. I figured it’s a different body type thing, they are squishy is the same places as me but he just isn’t as cuddly. If you have to work just get him to take the baby out of the house for that time so it isn’t a distraction. They will both survive.
It's not letting a baby cry for their dad to have a go at settling them. I don't advocate leaving babies to cry at all, I think it's cruel. OTOH all babies cry sometimes while their parents are still working out what settles them, it's not avoidable. It's a shame he didn't do it from the start, because it creates this situation where it does feel avoidable (and therefore cruel) since the mother has gone through the awkward oh help what to do stage and found things which work but he hasn't. But realistically the baby has two parents and it's not fair on the mum for her to be the only one who can settle the baby simply because the dad doesn't want to go through that awkward stage. It's also very restrictive for the mum, and potentially for the family if it's affecting her earning power. It doesn't take very long and in reality anyway the mum will need to go through it again lots more times because as children grow different kinds of things upset them and what used to settle them will stop working and so on. So it is no great cruelty for the dad to try, and in the long run it benefits everyone - mum has more freedom, dad gets a better relationship with child, child has twice the possibility for love and comfort meaning they feel more secure.
I didn't say you can "just google" how to soothe a crying baby - it was a way to get suggestions if he tends to freeze, as is easy to do when you're faced with a squirmy crying baby and you don't have much experience. The usual things to try are fairly simple after all - sing/talk, bounce, sway, pat, wind, change of environment/position, pram, toys etc - and sometimes they just are inconsolable/need boob at that age, but from what the OP writes, it sounds like his lack of experience is more the issue than a baby who is desperately distressed without mum. But it would probably be worth it for all three of them if he can do more practising and attachment-building at times when it is not desperately needed, as it would be less pressured.
IME especially with somebody who has these very clear gendered ideas of parenting it is quite important to get it clear that even if he feels he is better at certain parenting tasks he is still just as responsible for all of them. Otherwise you can end up lumped into roles and the mother's role is invariably and mysteriously much more drudgery than the "fun dad" role, and then it doesn't feel like you're a team.
I'm not illiterate, no. It was just this part: husband tends to move him about too much no matter how many times I suggest he doesn't. I've been told on multiple occasions that I need to be calm around the baby by said husband who then does the complete opposite when in charge
that implies you think he knows what to do to calm the baby and chooses not to do it.
Literally nobody is saying that...? A baby crying while being held and comforted isn't "crying it out"
Except the baby stopped crying as soon as passed to mum... Implication being it was crying for its mum. Knowing the person that the baby is crying for is in the house sort of is cry it out. I know sometimes it's unavoidable, my point is just that people are being way too harsh on the dad in this scenario. Sounds like he just wasn't what the baby wanted. Yes there are things he can try long term to get the baby used to him more but in that moment he couldn't soothe it. Not really his fault IMO.
He sounds like he's not confident and babies are strange creatures who can sense this. I'd get him to spend more time with LO. My husband would take ours out for a walk in the early days as he wasn't really sure what to do with him and the pram seemed the obvious answer! If you've both agreed you're doing this work, he needs to step up and support.
So if baby just wants mum, how do you explain MIL managing ok for the hour?!
I wouldn't let reflux stop you. I used to wedge a muslin under my chin when putting DD in the sling as there was always a bit of spit up
He needs to take care of his child, why does his mum usually do it?
Suggest he takes more opportunities to be on his own with his child so they bond and get used to each other.
Absent any further evidence that he's crap, I would give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he lacks confidence rather than interest. DH and I both used to panic when our first cried. He was EBF and it used to DRIVE ME TO DISTRACTION when DH would hand him back saying "I think he's hungry" whenever he started crying. I think he was intimidated by how much of an advantage having boobs gave me and thought that it somehow went along with having more intrinsic knowledge about babycare. We persevered, I told him to pull his socks up, he started doing great and he was 100% brilliant with our second as a newborn because he had the confidence. Incidentally, I noticed that my MIL was great at settling my first DS too, largely because she was calm and confident and we weren't!
So if baby just wants mum, how do you explain MIL managing ok for the hour?!
This from OP:
The second I took him off him he stopped.
Babyface, are you actually unable to read and understand what people are saying or are you determined to say the opposite?
Your post does not even address what I asked.
*So if baby just wants mum, how do you explain MIL managing ok for the hour?!
This from OP:
The second I took him off him he stopped.*
Still doesn’t explain why the mother in law looks after baby with no problems.
He needs practice definitely.
A sling should be really good for reflux if you pop them in sorta vertically (not used a sling with a newborn myself though). Also make sure you put a little folded towel under their mattress so it's slightly elevated.
Also, if it doesn't get better, medication can work wonders
@sohot you've basically described us! My husband constantly says 'I think he's hungry'when he's crying incessantly. Sometimes he is but sometimes he isn't! I agree with MIL calming him because she's calm
She's had 2 kids and has another grandchild living with her at the moment so she knows what she's doing unlike us!
Definitely need to do something about the constant vomiting I use about 20 muslin cloths a day. Doctor doesn't seem concerned because he's gaining a lot of weight.
I know the vomiting is no fun, but if baby is gaining weight and doesn't appear to be in pain from refluxing, it is a laundry problem rather than a medical problem. If the baby is in pain then you can look into medication, but in the absence of pain the drugs do have side effects and are unlikely to do much/be worth it. But definitely a sling, it's usually great for sicky babies.
I realised from watching my MIL that when DC1 cried DH and I would be all 'oh no, the baby's crying, why is he crying, I don't know why he's crying, how can I make him stop, I don't know how to make him stop, we're terrible parents, OH FUCK'. Whereas MIL would be 'Oh, the baby is crying. I dont know why, but I'll try a few things and I'll figure it out'. She was just calm and trusted in herself plus had enough exposure to babies crying that she knew it would stop eventually. It might be worth talking about it with him and empathising with his panic/lack of confidence rather than framing it as 'you're doing it wrong ', but also being clear that he needs exposure and practice to build up his confidence.
Then just hand him the baby and either make him go out or go out yourself
Gaaaaaaa I'm about to do another lesson and already the baby has been handed off to me!!! MIL was here yesterday and he was fine so I'm pretty sure my husband is just panicking and the baby picks up on it. I've left plenty of milk and I'm feeding him now so I hope that at 11am he will be able to cope for just 60 minutes!! I will report back because this is starting to drive me a bit potty 🤪🤪
Take your laptop and do your lesson from elsewhere or make him go out for an hour. Being in the same house is not going to work.
Sickly babies are fine in slings, you just need to find the right one. Look up your nearest sling library or find out which of your friends has a sling obsession!
It’s not your baby, it’s your DH and he needs to sort himself out.
This would drive me bonkers! DD is seven weeks old and DP has her on his own multiple times a week, sometimes for 3+ hours if I've left expressed milk while I catch up on sleep. He's learned ways to soothe and entertain her because he's just had to! She's his daughter too. Of course, typically he is the one getting all the big smiles now she's started social smiling
Kick him out at 11 and tell him he goes for a walk.
He managed but said to me after it was a hard hour!!!!! I do it almost 24/7!! I did suggest he take him out in the pushchair if he wouldn't stop crying. To be fair the baby will only be Held in a sitting upright position when awake and he seems to have forgotten how to sleep in the day 😑
The more he does it, the easier it will get. Book in some more tutoring asap.
It's just a confidence thing When he tells you he found it hard he's not suggesting that he has it worse than you do - he's just looking for a bit of reassurance that he's doing alright. It is hard to look after a baby so I don't think it's wrong to acknowledge that. He will defo find it easier the more he does it.
A hard hour!!!! Well I hope he appreciates how amazing you are then!! He needs to grow a pair.
"hardly has any alone time with his dad because he hands him over every time he starts crying"
Agree with previous poster that this is the problem.
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