This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Leaving baby with Daddy, argh!(6 Posts)
3 month old DS is currently going through a phase of being particularly attached to me. He's often cranky in the evenings as he gets tired.
DP is lovely and adores DS, but isn't the most confident with him and has taken to deciding every time he cries that he wants me. He also struggles to read him, for example if DS is tired and doesn't fall asleep straight away DP will play with him instead which will distract him for a little while but then make him much harder to settle and result in an overtired, crying boy.
I want to return to a fitness class two evenings a week at the end of this month but I'm scared of leaving them together. I know that DS will be safe, I know that DP needs to grasp the mettle and spend more time with him to get to know him better and feel more confident. I also know that DP will give up trying to console him quickly and just sit with him on his lap crying "because he just wants you anyway" and I'll likely come back to a distressed DS and grumpy DP.
What do I do? How do I let go and let them just get on with it? I don't want to be the only one capable of looking after him but equally the thought of him crying and DP not being able to console him makes me cry. Should I just suck it up and not go until the mummy phase has passed a bit?
Leave him to it. He’s a parent and will sort out his own routine and ways of doing things. If you’re out for the evening, he will have to.
I had this thought. I also have a 3 (nearky 4 month) old. Around 2 months I wasnt confident about leaving my son with my husband at all, but I decided that I couldnt carry on like that because it would mean id never get out to do anything. In the end I just left him to it to figure it out, just like I had to do in the early days. It worked, but it was hard not to intervene when I could tell my husband was struggling/getting it wrong. Im glad I did it though, im happy to leave them together now.
This needs nipping in the bud now while DS is still small and can develop a strong bond with his dad. Absolutely go to your classes, and start leaving them to it. He’ll never learn how to parent or read DS otherwise.
You could spend a day where you’re together all the time and you talk DP through everything you’re doing and how you read DS so he can learn. It’s not all pure instinct! DH did this with me when DS was a newborn as he was much better at reading him than I was, for example he’d point out that fast shallow breathing meant he wasn’t yet calm enough to fall asleep.
Spend a day talking him through all aspects of care for DS. Be explicit: ‘see how he’s looking away and avoiding eye contact? That means he’s tired and ready to sleep. If he doesn’t fall asleep right away try giving it half an hour of rocking in a dark room until you hear his breathing slow down and then try and put him down. If he stirs, maybe try a dummy or a hand on his tummy before picking up again. If he’s been awake longer than n hours then he does need to go to sleep so don’t play with him’
Show him the routine of sleep, nappy, feed, play, sleep or whatever you do.
Once he’s learned how to read DS better and what actions to take to meet his needs you can take a step back for half a day and kinda leave them to it while you’re around. You’ll have to be firm and put up with some crying from DS if he’s used to only being soothed by mummy while he re learns that daddy is just as good, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
DH and I taught each other loads about DS’ care, just whoever picked something up first would share sign the other, every single skill from nappies to bath time to making a bottle to washing the breast pump to putting the pram together one would learn and then show the other. You need team work with kids. It’s too much to do alone if you don’t have to. As a result from day one DS has been 100% comfortable and happy and soothed with either of us and it makes life so much easier. You can get there too.
To be honest if you could still be in this phase when he’s a toddler. I think sometimes dads will just pass a baby over because you’re there but if you go out then he’ll have to find a way to settle him; it may not be the same way as you do but if it works then that’s fine.
You have to leave him to get on with it. You also have to accept that your DH is not you and he will do things differently to how you do them and that is OK as well. (Actually the best piece of parenting advice I was ever given). They will never get used to one another if you always come swooping in to save the day.
Go out to your class. Take a bit longer afterwards, so you have time to shower and change and maybe even have a cuppa in peace. So you're not stuck with a screaming baby in your sweaty gym kit the second you get home.
Please login first.