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Baby wont settle for Daddy

(17 Posts)
TheGirlAtTheRockShow Thu 06-Nov-14 08:36:32

DD is 4 months old, DH has always been a very hands on Dad. He doesn't do many feeds as DD is EBF, but has done occasional bottle feed of expressed milk. He does everything else though.
Trouble is, since he went away for 2 weeks (work - he's military) she now wont settle with him (he got back 2 weeks ago) Its a vicious circle as when she doesn't settle straight away, he gets stressed and tense making DD tense. I try to leave them to it as long as I can as I feel they need to get used to each other again, but equally him getting stressed makes it worse so he hands her back. She either settles immediately or is so worked up it takes me a while to settle her.
Mornings she normally has nappy change, playtime, feed then back to bed. DH had later start so went to get her up when she woke. I left them to it but she screamed the whole time! She was then too worked up to feed for a while. Only just got her settled half an hour after DH left.
How can I help them get used to each other again, so he can settle her when shes tired/bored/upset?

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Thu 06-Nov-14 09:00:49

Four months is a tricky time anyway, they become so much more aware of their surroundings and things going on. So I think this is probably entirely normal. Doesn't help your poor dh though!

My Dd went through phases of mummy-only and we just dealt with it by DH doing as much as possible. It was a bit easier as she was formula fed so he could do feeds as well but I think you're doing the right thing. Just persevere.

for what it's worth, she's nearly three now and still has mummy-only and daddy-only phases. It hurts the excluded parent but we try and just ignore it and move on. She's not allowed to choose who puts her to bed etc I think that sets you up for trouble!

kiki0202 Thu 06-Nov-14 09:36:44

Go out a walk or something and leave them alone DP always said he felt more stressed when I was in the house and DS wasn't settling he said it's like when your in a café and your babys screaming and everyone is looking at your he knew I was down stairs listening and ready to jump in to sort it all. Sink or swim works for us.

tywysogesgymraeg Thu 06-Nov-14 09:39:47

Go away for the weekend. Or at the least, go out at bed time as kiki suggests. DH will need to learn his own coping and settling techniques. These may be different to yours and DD will need to get used to them. Having you hovering around, albeit downstairs, isn't doing either of them any favours, nor you for that matter.

What you can't see/hear won't stress you out either!

Chipandspuds Thu 06-Nov-14 09:42:59

I agree with the other posters, sink or swim! I found it best to get DH to take DS out for a walk or a drive in the car whilst I could have a nap. That way if there was any screaming/crying I'd be oblivious and DH could get on and figure it out without me listening. Plus I always found DS was less likely to cry if out and about!

TheGirlAtTheRockShow Thu 06-Nov-14 09:58:47

We've done that, I went out all afternoon and they were fine ( or at least DH told me they were fine, DD was asleep when I got home). I can't just move out though! We need DH to be able to settle her when I am home.

WiggleGinger Thu 06-Nov-14 10:14:52

Maybe set up some daddy daughter time with you helping only a little and gradually retreating .

Perhaps make sure he gets her at fun times as well as not so fun times and its just the two if them.

Maybe they could bath together? I know they often suggest that for mums who need extra bonding time with babies.

Then maybe he could learn baby massage? Even if you know how to do it let him learn through reading it for himself so you aren't 'telling him what to do'

Hope this helps.

TheGirlAtTheRockShow Thu 06-Nov-14 10:37:48

He has plenty of fun time with her when he's home - like I said, he's a very hands on dad. He doesn't want to bath with her. He tried baby massage once but said it didn't settle her like when I do it so hasn't done it since.
He's out till late tonight at a work do. Maybe I'll suggest he does full bedtime tomorrow.

tywysogesgymraeg Thu 06-Nov-14 11:44:15

You being out one afternoon really isn't much OP. But it seems to have worked - baby was sleeping when you got back.

As inconvenient as it sounds, I'd try to either be out every evening at bed time for a week, or go away for a whole weekend and leave the two of them together for some proper bonding without you around.

They'll both be fine. He'll find his own way. May be different to yours, but bringing up an adaptable, easy going baby isn't a bad thing.

TheGirlAtTheRockShow Thu 06-Nov-14 12:26:12

I cant go away all weekend - she is exclusively breastfed. She does take the occasional bottle of expressed milk, but I cannot leave her for an entire weekend.

TheGirlAtTheRockShow Thu 06-Nov-14 12:31:08

As I said, she can settle for him when I am not here, she needs to settle for him when I am home. I don't jump in and take her off of him. I leave them to it, and he hands her back when he's given up. It's his choice.

tywysogesgymraeg Thu 06-Nov-14 15:53:02

Well, you asked for advice. Lots of us seem to be saying the same thing confused

TheGirlAtTheRockShow Thu 06-Nov-14 16:50:10

I asked for advice of how to get baby to settle with dad, you all told me I have to leave. I explained she does when I leave, so need to get her to settle when I am home and still being told to leave. So excuse me if I don't feel the advice is appropriate to my situation.

Chipandspuds Thu 06-Nov-14 17:27:42

I think we're all trying to say that in our experience it helped to leave the dad and baby to it on their own and the dad can build his confidence at looking after the baby independently of you and then he should be more confident when you're all together as a family as he knows he can deal with x/y/z situation as he's been there and done it already instead of turning to you straight away.

tywysogesgymraeg Thu 06-Nov-14 17:57:33

I think you need to leave them for more than just the odd afternoon or evening, so they can develop their own routine.

WhyOWhyWouldYou Thu 06-Nov-14 19:15:11

You've said you've left them alone but as one off's not as a regular thing which is what people are saying. The more dad and DC are left alone the more confident dad will be, which in turn will make DC happier with him, which in turn means he won't need to pass DC back.

Littlef00t Sat 08-Nov-14 15:25:39

If baby won't settle while you're around, could you leave the house when baby sees, and come back in but stay downstairs, and make it clear to DH he has to persevere as if you're not there?

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