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How dads feel....?(12 Posts)
Is it normal for a new dad to not feel any connection with their new baby ( likened it to a new puppy) and think 'oh god what have we done' on numerous occasions during the first 6 months? Just starting to bond a bit now (6 months old) .......how can I help? The bond and overwhelming love I feel for our baby is so strong- and I was devistated to hear how he felt 😞
Not sure about dads, but it was definitely how I felt as a mum
Definitely normal in this house! Neither DH nor I felt the bond immediately, although I developed it sooner, within a few months. For DH it took a lot longer though - probably at about 6 months and now she is almost 10 months old he absolutely dotes on her.
Yes - it was how I felt as a mum too, even though we'd been trying for years to become parents. She's 2.5 now and I am totally head over heels in love with her...it just took me a while to get there. I've only just really been able to admit it to my DH. I think it's more common than you'd think and unless you have any other concerns, I'd try not to worry about it too much but do make sure your DH gets some quality alone time with baby.
I definitely said the puppy thing on more than one occasion.
I really like puppies, and I liked my child. I just wasn't in love, like the way you don't really fall in love with a puppy. You think puppies are cute and you definitely recognise your responsibility towards the puppy......but you can live without the puppy.
Took a long time to deepen. But it did, very gradually.
I wasn't bonded to my baby at 6m and think that "fake it till you make it" is more common than Hollywood and TV ads suggest.
This was simply not the case for my DH and me. He was very worried during pregnancy that he would not bond with the baby, because he didn't feel any of the intense connection I was feeling. About 10 seconds after DS was born (via emergency c-section after a 55 hour labor and sudden late-labor breech turn), he grabbed DH's thumb and looked him straight in the eye -- I've never seen a man fall in love so fast. It was a bit awe-inspiring! I am getting teary even thinking about it. I'd had losses and loved the baby from the moment I saw a second pink line -- seeing him in person cemented it, but I never doubted it'd happen.
I know not everyone attaches right away, but even as a very radical feminist, I do not believe this division falls along sexed lines. A very good friend who has a baby 3 months older than mine feels fairly distantly bonded to her son, and her husband feels very close to the baby and is very loving and bonded. More than male/female, I think a lot depends on whether you find the idea of nurturing/care labor to be nourishing/sustaining/pleasant or a drain/unpleasant/annoying. If you enjoy the hard work of caring for others, a bond is easily established. If you prefer other types of hard work, and care work gives you hives, it may be more difficult to bond.
I get the impression that's completely normal. As a mum I didn't get that rush of love the instant she was born. I KNEW I loved her more than anything else and that I'd die rather than let anything bad happen to her, but I never openly felt it. Then at about 4 months I looked at her one day and just started crying at the overwhelming rush of love I felt for her. 4 months for a mum who spends 24/7 with her, so it's completely normal for a dad who spends less time to take longer. It's generally common knowledge that dad's start to bond more once their baby can interact with them and show open affection for them.
I'm EBF and do all the nighttime care for our DD. Its hard going but the way we've made it work for us is that when she wakes up between 5-6am I do a last feed and my DH takes her so I can have some more sleep. They hang out together alone every day, without fail, for 2-3 hours, and apart from helping me keep my sanity in check it's done wonders for their relationship and his confidence.
In the early days I got very PFB about her and hovered/micromanaged (not good, but it was a learning curve) and i think it took him a while to work out how to respond to her, what to do with her etc. Anyway if you could manage it, time alone together every day is my best advice. Plus you get some breathing space.
It's how I felt as a mum with both mine. DH definitely bonded better. Now at 2.5 and 1 we have a very intense bond. I don't think there's any reason to be devastated, it doesn't mean he doesn't love your baby. It can take time.
It is a common (if not the only) way for a parent of either sex to feel. It is nothing to be ashamed of, it is not a sign of failure but equally it is no excuse for giving up. Once the baby is born you are a parent and you can't sit down and wait until you feel like one, you just have to get on with the job. Love is action, not feeling.
Your job is not to help him to feel a certain way, but to reassure him that as long as he does the work of caring, he is a good enough father, and the bonding will come. There is never going to be a more appropriate place for "fake it till you make it".
fwiw I bonded with our first instantly, but after a few weeks of failing breastfeeding and baby failing to thrive and general exhaustion I began to feel rejected by her and was beginning to have dreams where I was walking in the woods and found another baby, one that wanted me. Horrible and very guilt-inducing, but it has done absolutely no harm to our longterm relationship: I persevered and the bond grew back.
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