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Husband getting very frustrated with newborn

(233 Posts)
bluemoon2468 Fri 23-Oct-20 09:50:23

We're FTP to a 17 day old baby boy. My husband is a very involved, hands-on dad and he bonded well with the baby initially. He's still off work as he took a month's parental leave, so we're trying to parent 50/50ish at the moment, although I'm exclusively breastfeeding so feeds are pretty much down to me.

In general my husband is quite a calm, even-tempered person, but over the last week or so as the baby has got less and less sleepy and more and more demanding he's started to get so frustrated with the baby. This is particularly true when the baby won't settle at night, or when he appears to be crying for 'no reason'. The language he has started to use about the baby has become really negative e.g. referring to the baby 'faking' or 'lying' about being hungry, raising his voice and saying 'oh FFS' really loudly at the baby when he weed on his outfit etc. We didn't have a great night last night and when I said the baby looked really cute this morning he said 'I don't even want to look at him right now I'm so angry with him'. He takes it personally that the baby seems to prefer me (I've tried to explain that this is because I have the boobs, not some sort of slight on him personally) and he'll settle easier for me than him. They are still having nice times together when the baby is being 'good', but it's like my husband expects a certain standard of behaviour from him and doesn't realise that he's a 2 week old baby who's acting completely appropriately for his age and can't help it.

I'm finding this really hard to understand. Maybe it's the hormones but even with the sleep deprivation and crying I just don't feel angry or frustrated with the baby at all. I feel sorry for the baby when he cries. It's making me feel so angry with my husband for the way he's speaking to and about the baby, which means I struggle to have a constructive conversation with him about it which might actually change his mindset. All I feel like saying is, get a grip you're an adult he's a newborn baby, but that's not very helpful. Has anyone else experienced similar? Is there anything I can do to help?

OP’s posts: |
BeBraveAndBeKind Fri 23-Oct-20 09:59:28

I would be going with the get a grip line actually. I never had this with my DH but his father behaved like you describe and worse to him for his entire childhood and its caused huge damage to him.

Has he read any baby books so he knows what to expect? Does he have any friends with babies who he could speak with or maybe a group for new dads could support?

bluemoon2468 Fri 23-Oct-20 10:13:45

Yeah the problem is I've tried going down the get a grip angle and it's not really very helpful, it's just making him pissed off at me too. None of his friends are parents yet which I think doesn't help. We're not even particularly young, just most people we know probably won't be having babies until their mid-late 30s so a good few years away. I think an online support group of dads would be really helpful but I have no idea where to find one of those!

OP’s posts: |
Disappointedkoala Fri 23-Oct-20 10:14:06

I think being that angry with a 17 day old baby is concerning. Can you speak to your HV? Baby still thinks he's part of you at this stage - we FF but DD still preferred me for settling because she knew me.

Sleep deprivation is hard but you've got months, if not years ahead of that to come. There's going to be wee and poo on outfits, wait for potty training! I'm no Saint and I've certainly been cross with my DD (nearly 3yo) at some points over sleep and her behaviour but as adults and parents it's our job to manage our reaction to that.

Icloud54 Fri 23-Oct-20 10:19:54

I think in terms of having a newborn, tough times are still yet to come. I've got a 6 week old baby and weeks 2/3/4 were really tough. He is still quite difficult to settle at times now and will continue to be unsettled when he's having growth spurts etc.

I think you need to tackle this soon and have firm words with your husband because it won't be any good for your mental health either, there's no point beating around the bush about speaking to him.. if he gets cross with you too then he sounds like a prick to be honest.

Beamur Fri 23-Oct-20 10:20:33

Reacting with anger to a newborn is very concerning.
Nothing your baby does now is fake or lying.
Frankly your husband is an idiot for thinking like this.
Some men do find the transition to being a father much harder than they thought it would be.
Definitely speak with your HV to see if there are any groups locally. He needs to understand his feelings here and quickly get a grip on his anger. It's not on.

JimandPam Fri 23-Oct-20 10:23:21

I don't really have any concrete advice but we have a now 10 month old and are also FTP.

My DH also used to take things quite personally. He'd get upset if the baby didn't smile at him or say the baby was doing things on purpose.

Despite having done NCT and reading books, he just wasn't quite prepared for it to be so intense and for the baby to be doing things 'without reason'.

He also started using language about him faking it or being a little git. And we had stern words about it.

I can't pin point exactly when it happened but he did seem to come to the realisation himself that the baby was just being a baby and it wasn't personal or faking etc.

They now have a fantastic bond and the baby will often only cheer up with a daddy cuddle. He is patient and understanding and never gets cross when the baby cries as he understands it's because he doesn't want his nappy changed/is over tired or whatever.

I do think as FTP it's a massive shock to the system for both of you but I've seen a lot of men (including my DH) have unrealistic expectations and get upset over small things.

MJMG2015 Fri 23-Oct-20 10:23:46

This is bad. Your baby is 17 days old and DH is talking about faking/lying & he doesn't want to look at him because he's so angry with him - that's just madness.

Personally I'd be packing his bags & telling him to fuck off - you don't need him making things harder for you!

Newborn babies cry for a reason. It's the parents job to find out what that reason is. It's their only firm if communication. They can't say 'Daddy dearest, I fear I have a gastric upset' or 'Oi ya git, you've got the room at 25 degrees & I'm bloody melting in all this clobber!

He's 17 days out of a very soft, temperature controlled, environment. Everything is new & potentially uncomfortable/difficult/hot/cold/loud

17 days.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Fri 23-Oct-20 10:24:11

He doesn’t know enough about babies, certainly not newborns. This is what is like- and he needs to fix up or get the hell away from the child. Don’t get me wrong I would wake in the night and say “dear god why again” but never at my child, never aggressive. He should read about the 4th trimester and cluster feeding and perhaps take himself off for a walk or a nap to calm down

WhereverIGoddamnLike Fri 23-Oct-20 10:26:58

Is your health visitor coming to your home? Or is it just phone calls.

I think you should tell the health visitor what you've said here, particular the language he uses to describe the mindset of a baby with very very limited mental range at the moment, like faking and lying. And ask what they can suggest for him, preferably with him in the room.

I'm completely bemused that a grown man is trying to put his newborn baby into the category of faking for attention. The only method of communication that baby has is crying. He cant do anything else, and everything is so new. The wee guy is just trying to get used to everything around him. It's really concerning that your husband is already calling the baby a liar and refusing to even look at him after a light of crying. What will he treat your son like when he is a toddler with the ability to think a little bit more; your what will your husband do when he can turn around and say the child actually could be faking or lying and when he says he cant even look at him, infront of a growing child who can understand that.

Oh OP, he needs to get some help.

AnneLovesGilbert Fri 23-Oct-20 10:35:06

His behaviour is really concerning. I’d have been fucking livid if DH had spoken to our DD like that. If you’ve told him to grow up a bit and remember he’s an adult and the baby is barely out of the womb I don’t know what to suggest. He’s lacking in kindness and compassion. He has no right to get angry with you for pointing out his failings. Have either of you read up about the fourth trimester?

The problem is if he’s feeling emotionally detached from his child at this point - and he must be to think never mind express our loud that the baby is lying hmm - you’re going to get left with more and more of the drudge work while he decides you’re just better at parenting than he is and you get to do the bulk of it. You’re the one breastfeeding, why is he getting annoyed when the baby is hungry? Does he know anything about breastfeeding? It’s not 3 meals a day, it’s every speck of food, drink, snacks and the primary source of comfort. If you’ve told him to stop it when he’s bitching at the baby and it’s making him even angrier then all you can do is tell him the baby is here to stay, life won’t return to what it was before for a very long time if ever and he needs to learn enough about normal infant behaviour - because your baby sounds perfect and so completely normal - and get himself clued up enough to become the parent your child deserves and the husband you deserve.

NC866 Fri 23-Oct-20 10:44:47

It’s normal to feel frustrated when your baby cries a lot but the things your husband is saying are quite worrying. One of my babies had colic and would scream for hours most evenings, it was very hard and me and my dh would both end up getting frustrated and have to put him down and walk away for 5 minutes but we supported each other through it and however annoyed one of us felt for a moment we got over it within minutes and never blamed our baby. I would be having a serious chat about it and getting him to do some reading about the fourth trimester and normal baby behaviour. I also wouldn’t trust him alone with the baby whilst he feels like this if the baby is at all unsettled or crying - it may sound extreme but this is how babies end up being shaken, when their parent can’t control their frustration.

Onadifferentuniverse Fri 23-Oct-20 10:50:54

This is a huge red flag in all honesty if he’s doing this now it doesn’t bode well for the future when you’re dealing with a toddler.

you need to make it clear it won’t be tolerated and it isn’t appropriate or acceptable

Anurulz Fri 23-Oct-20 10:54:06

I can understand getting frustrated and upset but I can't get my head around him thinking the 17 days old baby is 'faking' it.. this is honestly concerning and I would speak to the HV about help or support for new fathers. I am sorry I don't have any experience with this from DH but all the best and do reach out for support for yourself and your family. It's difficult in any case and if your partner is so oblivious to how babies are, it doesn't bode very well for the future unless he understands what parenting is about..

GreenOlivesinGin Fri 23-Oct-20 10:56:06

It sounds like he is struggling and is not his usual self. You say that he is normally calm and even-tempered, so this sounds out of character. I wonder if he is struggling emotionally (maybe has PND?) or he is feeling inadequate and this is how it comes out. Parenting a newborn is a completely different experience, the usual tools and coping mechanisms don't work: you can't approach it the way you would approach a problem at work, you can't reason with it either. We often overlook how tough and challenging the adjustment is for fathers and focus on the mothers instead, but it can be just as difficult. All this is to say that if he is struggling then maybe stern words wont help and he needs more support and understanding until he adjusts. It sounds ridiculous that you may need to look after both a newborn and a grown man..( but hey, they are the weaker sex, right? wink)

bluemoon2468 Fri 23-Oct-20 10:56:22

Thanks so much to those of you who have given useful advice. I've just walked into the living room and my husband and the baby are having the sweetest cuddle together with my husband beaming down at him. Just want to clarify that he's not a monster, I think he's just struggling with the reality of being a parent to a newborn. I think a lot of it comes down to him feeling really inadequate when he can't stop the baby from crying, and he feels bad when I have to be the one to calm him down and he can't help. I want to help and support him, not vilify him and make him feel even more crap. I'm not sure making him feel like a really terrible father is the answer here 🙈 And yeah 'packing my bags and telling him to fuck off' certainly isn't.

Going to have a chat with him today once things from the night have calmed down and see what we can do to help the situation.

OP’s posts: |
bluemoon2468 Fri 23-Oct-20 10:57:46

@GreenOlivesinGin thanks, I think you've hit the nail on the head. I'm going to try and approach him with some compassion and see how I can help him feel better.

OP’s posts: |
TummyTurtle Fri 23-Oct-20 11:00:21

Have you considered that it could be post natal depression? Increased anger and irritability is a common symptom of PND for fathers.

Be kind to him, although I appreciate how easy it is to get cross in the moment. Having a baby is a huge change and exhaustion causes us to be completely different people to how we are normally.

Sending you an un-mumsnetty hug flowers

Anurulz Fri 23-Oct-20 11:03:30


Thanks so much to those of you who have given useful advice. I've just walked into the living room and my husband and the baby are having the sweetest cuddle together with my husband beaming down at him. Just want to clarify that he's not a monster, I think he's just struggling with the reality of being a parent to a newborn. I think a lot of it comes down to him feeling really inadequate when he can't stop the baby from crying, and he feels bad when I have to be the one to calm him down and he can't help. I want to help and support him, not vilify him and make him feel even more crap. I'm not sure making him feel like a really terrible father is the answer here 🙈 And yeah 'packing my bags and telling him to fuck off' certainly isn't.

Going to have a chat with him today once things from the night have calmed down and see what we can do to help the situation.

Aww OP I personally don't think he is a monster, but I do think he needs support, possibly talking to other new fathers might help him accept that every single newborn cries, and cries a lot. It's tough, especially now during the pandemic and any support you can get as a family, please take it..

LilacCandle Fri 23-Oct-20 11:08:42

It's very worrying that your dh sees a helpless baby as manipulative, sorry. I'd tell the HV and keep an eye he doesn't get any worse.

Bluntness100 Fri 23-Oct-20 11:10:04

This would worry me a lot. Because your child isn’t going to get easier, and he can’t expect a child who always does as they are told. To achieve that the child needs to be terrified into submission, and if he behaves like this for the next year or so, then that’s what’s going to happen,

I’d sit down and have thr talk but if this doesn’t improve over th next six months then for me I’d have to leave with my child.

Runmybathforme Fri 23-Oct-20 11:11:13

Your DH doesn’t sound like a monster, and although his attitude is sometimes ridiculous, I think he’s probably just out of his depth at times. I had no experience of babies when my first was born, and I had no clue, just didn’t understand why he cried ‘ for no reason ‘. If only I’d just relaxed and accepted that this is what babies do the whole thing would have been so much easier. You sound lovely, and I’m sure things will settle down. He’s just been sideswiped by the reality of it all.

Frazzled13 Fri 23-Oct-20 11:14:05

I was like that - not saying that DD was faking, but there were times I couldn’t look at her. I had really serious PND. I’m not saying that’s the issue here, but the responses saying you should pack his bags are ridiculous. No one would have ever suggested to my DH that he kick me out for how I was at times.
However, what my DH did do was very kindly, but also pretty firmly, insist that I got support.

Bluntness100 Fri 23-Oct-20 11:14:26

The issue isn’t he can’t understand why thr baby cries, I’m surprised at rhe minimising.

The issue is he is accusing the baby of lying, faking, and he’s getting angry to the extent he won’t even look at the baby and is raising his voice at the infant.

That’s a huge red flag and is really concerning

GreenLeafTurnip Fri 23-Oct-20 11:14:52

My husband (we're now separated) was like this then and still is now and our son is 21 months. I hope it gets better for you.

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