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Help me help DP cope with baby crying.

(38 Posts)
StarSpangledBanana Fri 15-Jul-11 10:42:32

Name changed for this.

Have a 1 year old DD. From the very beginning DP has really struggled with her crying. It's not that he feels helpless she's upset or anything like that, it's the noise itself. It's like nails down a blackboard to him, it makes him incredibly stressed and of course that makes him bad tempered.

I don't know what to do. It really upsets me when he says things like "I can't stand that fucking noise". I can't really explain why it upsets me, apart from I hate arguing and tension, also I think I feel hurt on DD's behalf, IYSWIM. It stupidly also makes me feel guilty, which is bonkers.

I should say that if ever she has hurt herself or is ill or teething etc he is extremely sympathetic and quite rightly very kind and comforting to her. It's the whiny tantrummy type of crying he absolutely can't stick.

Any ideas?

Reality Fri 15-Jul-11 10:57:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thisisyesterday Fri 15-Jul-11 11:01:07

hmm I can kind of understand it, but then that noise is designed to do that to you so that you respond to it!

I got cross with DP when ds2 was little because he cried ALLLLLLLL the time and DP would get angry with him, but then I've done the same myself on occasion when it's just been too much. My trigger is crying in the car... I don't know why but it flips a switch in me and makes me incredibly nervous, scared, angry... I've had to pull over before now and make DP soothe the baby while I go and calm down.

That said, he needs to realise that his response and the words he uses to describe it are upsetting to you and also to his daughter if she is picking up on his anger.
I would have a talk to him about how yes, whining/tantrumming IS annoyng, but swearing and getting angry won't help. and how about if he can't stand it he just goes somewhere else for a few minutes to calm down. Of course there are times when that isn't possible and he is going to HAVE to just learn to deal with it

NanettaStocker Fri 15-Jul-11 11:24:25

Does your DH have any autistic traits? Is he on the spectrum?

CJ2010 Fri 15-Jul-11 11:48:05

You can't change your DD and her crying, she is a baby, it's what they do! However, I think your DP and you, should both have some 'time out' from your crying baby. I would imagine your DP, like you, is just completely frazzled and just needs a break. I speak as the mum of an 18 mth old, with another on the way. High pitched screaming / crying does go right through you, but you have to find a way to zone out and chill. Take it in turns each evening to care for your DD.

Don't let his reactions stress you out. When baby is quiet, have a good chat and explain that him getting all agitated and ratty will not stop baby crying and tat it us making u nervous. He needs to remain calm.

jjgirl Fri 15-Jul-11 11:59:51

as an adult he should have the ability to be in control of his emotions. your DD is not old enough to control hers.

StarSpangledBanana Fri 15-Jul-11 12:32:30

Interesting that you ask about autism. I don't think so, but he is very self sufficient emotionally.

He doesn't display his anger in front of her. Obviously there is tension there but he doesn't shout and, as we both know it's a problem we try to diffuse it as soon as possible.

I totally agree that he shouldn't rise to the pressure and get stressed. He knows that, and is embarrassed about it too, but doesn't seem to be able to zone the noise out like I can (most of the time).

Anyone else's OH had this?

Are either of you sleep deprived? That can make you so much more insensitive and snappy in response to your baby crying. Both I and DH have felt this, and the huge guilt that accompanies it.

Having a colicy baby who cried a lot, followed by not sleeping through for a long time, and even now prone to cry easily and take hours to go to sleep at night, we're been there. We both try never to show our frustration to her (although it comes out sometimes, more from me who is at home with her all day), but DH sometimes handles crying (ie the refusing to go to sleep variety when you're up and down the stairs a hundred times in an evening) by going on his laptop and just 'closing his ears' and being stern. I sometimes cope with it by going outside and watering the plans or something for 5 minutes. We never leave her to cry longer than 10 mins though.

I wouldn't accept swearing in context of talking about our child's behaviour though, ie 'would she fucking shut up', which does seem aggressive, which is different to frustrated or being worn out.

I think if your DH is feeling frustrated and angry with crying, the most accessible way to deal with it is to step outside for 5 minutes. Stand on the balcony, front step, in the garden... walk to the end of the road and back. Makes you feel calmer than anything else, and the fresh air may help perspective to return. He'll get used to it in the end, especially if you decide to have a second baby!

cestlavielife Fri 15-Jul-11 13:00:54

get him noise defender ear thingies

BalloonSlayer Fri 15-Jul-11 16:04:56

One of the best, most hands-on, devoted Dads I know recently mentioned that he used to use ear defenders when his DCs were tiny babies. I was quite shocked, but I know what a fabulous Dad he is, so I had to conclude that course of action must work ok for some families.

If it had been someone I didn't know I would have had my judgy pants pulled up to my eyebrows, but as I say I know him quite well and now feel that being unable to bear the crying doesn't necessarily mean you are a bad parent.

AnyFucker Fri 15-Jul-11 16:13:38

he sounds like a nasty bastard, tbh

on what planet should you have to "help" your DP to "cope" with something that all kids do, on a regular basis

tell him to get a fucking grip, and you need to not jump to to get the child to quiet down, just so he doesn't get "stressed and bad tempered"

you make it sound like you have two children to look after

eurochick Fri 15-Jul-11 17:33:00

I thought that was exactly the effect a baby's crying is supposed to have... It's supposed to be impossible to ignore so you go and help the helpless tiny person. Maybe he just needs to have that pointed out to him and that no one likes it...

There was a crying baby on my commuter train this morning and when it started up you could see people getting visibly uncomfortable. I was close to the baby and "nails down a blackboard" was exactly what it sounded like to me. I think how he hears the sound is normal. He just needs to consider how he reacts to the sound.

Beamur Fri 15-Jul-11 17:36:52

My DP also couldn't cope with the noise of DD crying, he said it really hurt his eyes and made it feel like they were vibrating inside. Duh.
I think he was just being a bit of a fuckwit.
He was generally a bit rubbish with DD as a baby but is on the whole a good Dad in so many other ways so I have learnt to overlook his crapness on this point. But he was crap about crying.

Beamur Fri 15-Jul-11 17:37:20

I meant it hurt his ears, not his eyes. Oh dear.

Flowerface Fri 15-Jul-11 17:47:55

Blimey, people are being a bit harsh to the OP's DH, aren't they?! Aggression and swearing is not on, but no one likes crying, do they, and I don't think it should be a crime to say so. If he isn't the primary carer, maybe because it makes him feel a bit helpless? Esp if he is good at comforting her if she's ill or hurt. Maybe you could just teach him some distraction strategies and things to cheer her up? Parenting classes might be of use.

My Grandad used to hide in the shed when my Mum and Aunt cried and he was the best, funniest and most devoted father ever.

auburnlizzy78 Fri 15-Jul-11 18:00:24

Could he have undiagnosed depression? It's not just a female preserve.

And, flame me if you will, but my DS's crying has the same effect on me (yes! a woman!) The noise really really gets to me and sometimes makes me angry.

Even though I suppose it's not that bad now, it stirs up memories of the early days when some days I would be on my own in the house and DS would cry for four, maybe five hours, and nothing I did would work, and it's almost become a phobia in me now, just hearing that noise. I get panicky, tense and liable to swearing. Unless I know what the issue is and can fix it (hungry, caught up in cot, bored, not wanting face wiped). And yes, I have full blown PND. Sorry for those who find babies crying water off a ducks back and no big deal. But we are all different and cannot necessarily respond rationally, especially when chronically sleep deprived over MONTHS.

WhenCanIWine Fri 15-Jul-11 18:05:26

reality and anyfucker, what ridiculous posts

he is a crap dad becaue crying sets him on edge?

perhaps he was left to cry as a baby and it now makes him uncomfortable

who knows

oh yes. sorry. you 2 do.

TotalChaos Fri 15-Jul-11 18:15:04

It's his problem, and as a grown adult he should be manning up - whether it's giving himself a good talking to, getting ear defenders, possibly going to doctor's if he thinks he might be depressed. definitely should avoid swearing to you about it, that's going to get you down.

Fairenuff Fri 15-Jul-11 18:16:19

Sometimes you can't stop a baby crying. But you can be there to comfort them and keep them safe.

My DH used to get frustrated that he couldn't 'fix' the problem for our babies.

I was calmer about the whole thing because 'babies cry'.

However, I thought it was important that he learn to cope the same way I did - you cope because you have to - all part of being a parent.

I would quite happily leave the baby with him for a couple of hours because I think that's the best way for dads to learn how to cope, whatever happens, they are the only adult there to deal with it.

As long as you are sure the baby is safe with him, let him get on with it.

And also, let him have a couple of hours to himself/with friends for some relaxation time too.

SuchProspects Fri 15-Jul-11 18:21:16

When my kids cry I hate it too and I have been known on occasion to tell my DH (out of my kids' hearing). I probably swore when I did so.

I don't know why people are dismissing the OP's DH as childish.

In my case I don't think it's PND related, though I don't sleep great so tiredness could definitely be a factor. If someone does know some good techniques for not letting it get to you I would also be interested in hearing them. Could be useful as we head on through the terrible twos.

mrjellykeepskidsquiet Fri 15-Jul-11 18:22:01

It feels like a cop out from your DH, he is an equal parent and you shouldn't be the one that comforts your DD all the time. He will have to learn to get over it basically.

Mouseface Fri 15-Jul-11 18:24:29

I have to say that my DS (2.2yrs) has a certain 'pitch' in a noise that he makes, he has SN/LD and is non verbal, which has me screwing my face up! grin

I grates on me and I have to compose myself for a few seconds, before I can deal with his request. It's usually when he's really excited so I know that it will end.

If he really can't handle his DD crying, then HE needs to get help to sort it out HIMSELF.

I think you've got enough to deal with without the added pressure of this, don't you? His resentment, because that what this will turn into, will be picked up by your poor DD in no time at all.

He should not be swearing at you about it all either. You are both tired, what gives him the right to kick off about stuff that upsets him?

He needs to deal with this, and soon.

Mouseface Fri 15-Jul-11 18:28:07

*it grates on me.......

NanettaStocker Fri 15-Jul-11 18:30:00

Sorry - didn't mean to post and run. Some people with autism can be very sensitive to high frequency noise. Not necessarily loud, but the frequency. I left my DP sitting in Burger King very bemused because I suddenly disappeared for 5 minutes. There were Native American music people playing pan pipe crap outside, and the effect on me was so bad I had to just leave. I couldn't get my thoughts together to explain. I hide under desks at work when the fire alarm goes off. Yet I'm fine at concerts, nightclubs, etc (as long as there aren't too many people!). So it could be that, just a thought.

schroedingersdodo Fri 15-Jul-11 20:20:21

tell him to grow up. Its fine he's annoyed by the noise. (as people said, it's designed for that) but he only reacts this way because he can get away with that.

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