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How to get my DH involved.(8 Posts)
My DH and I are expecting our first baby in January.
We're going to be in the very traditional situation of my being a SAHM and him being the bread-winner.
Does anyone have any tips or advice for ways in which DH can still feel really involved with our daughter, despite the fact that he's not going to be around much during the day etc?
I'm worried that we'll end up with a situation where I'm mummy, and he's a distant male figure. This would break both our hearts, especially as he is sooooo excited about this baby.
We've already thought that maybe he could do bathtime/bedtime when he comes in from work. Does anyone have any other ideas or things that they do?
there's no way he'll be distant if he's so excited! there's evenings, mornings, nighttimes, weekends, holidays.... you'll be amazed. don't worry for a second.
My DH got involved with bath / bedtime from a very early age in order to help get that bond....it can be difficult so they don't feel left out - especially if you are BF. He bathed DD every night whilst I prepared dinner and it worked really well. If he wanted a bath, I would pop DD in with him and they would play for ages.
But believe me, he won't be distant....you'll be very glad to hand over when he gets home from work and be grateful for the help at the weekends.
When my DD was about 4 months old, he took a week off work and we went away for a week - just the 3 of us - and it was fab. Although he was at home for the first two weeks, they are a bit manic and that week away was very special.
I handed dd over when he got home and he does bath & jammies but I nursed now read dd down. Also, he gets up with dd in the morning and they have breakfast and play a bit before he goes to work.
This started when she was a baby - I was on night duty until 6 am and after that dh would get up so I could sleep a bit before he went to work. (Dd was up at 5 am until she was 1 ) He still gets up with dd (now 4) 7-7.30 now so he has time with her before going work about 8.30 (and I get to shower in peace!).
Sat mornings he takes her out on his own swimming/library/park maybe lunch too.
A major factor has been arranging his work hours to be home in good time rather than working late - that does mean often working at home after her bedtime.
Co-sleeping is what my dh thinks made the biggest difference in terms of bonding with our dds. All that extra fathering time, even if baby is asleep.
get him to wear baby in a sling a lot.
There will always be enough dirty nappies to go around and the changing table is a great place to be bonding.
One thing I think every new mother does well to remember is that dads are like mums: they need to learn from their own mistakes. It's so easy when you see your partner fumbling over something to take it from him and forget that actually, I didn't know that either a fortnight ago: if the baby was safe with my incompetence, then it will probably be safe with his incompetence too. SO trust your dh.
My dh has always been very hand-on. In fact when ds was born a prem baby I was too knackered to do much the first days and he did most of the caring: came as a real shock to me when the first time I undid ds's nappy and saw those tiny little limbs, but dh was already quite blase by then.
Yes let him have bathtime as "his" thing to do, I think that's a really good way of evening things out especially if you bf so they can't share feeding. Bathtime tends to be in the evening as well so it fits in with working FT. DS still has all his baths with DP and he is 11 months now. I have bathed him a few times in the sink but that is it. DP is in charge of buying/choosing bath toys as well, he secretly loves it
Thanks for the reassurance and advice everyone!
I can't see him ever being a morning person, but I will let him do his thing with the baby at the weekends
Cory, I think your advice has hit home - I am definitely the type to over-criticize when I see him doing something 'wrong'. I'll learn to bite my tongue and let him make his own mistakes. That's probably going to be the hardest thing for me!
FlamingoBingo - we are planning to co-sleep with the baby in a 'side-car crib'. We also ordered a sling a few days ago, so good advice on letting him use it often!
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