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AIBU?

Husband not coping well

39 replies

misspiggy42 · 04/09/2022 06:48

We have a nearly 6 month old baby. From day one she's always been quite...spirited Grin very lovely but also quite high maintenance - likes to be held and screams a LOT. She is clingy to me which is understandable as I've been the primary carer but it's getting to the point where I'm struggling to leave her at all.

I went out yesterday for a few hours and when I came back she was screaming (and apparently had been for 2 hours non stop), the house was a mess and dh was totally stressed and upset. He can't settle her and he feels like he is failing her. He passes her to me and she settles instantly. I can tell it's making him really unhappy.

I do try not to leave her often but I feel like this may only get worse if she doesn't have some one on one time with her dad. I feel like I have to pander to him to bring him out of his funk as well as soothe her because he gets so miserable by it all. Fatherhood apparently isn't what 'he expected' (he's a first time dad) so I always end up feeling like he somehow feels his life is ruined by her.

What do I do? Do I just never leave her until she's a bit bigger? Do I throw them both in at the deep end even though they both end up upset?

OP posts:
Andromachehadabadday · 04/09/2022 06:52

I don’t think either of your options are workable.

You can just Slowly work up to him doing more for and with her.

I get that it must be a bit upsetting for him. But he needs to work with you to improve, not sulk. She is a baby. She isn’t doing it purpose. He is the adult. It’s his job, with your support to try and improve it.

vodkaredbullgirl · 04/09/2022 06:55

They have to get on, or neither will learn.

rwalker · 04/09/2022 06:57

You need to get her used to other people and not being picked up all the time
if you just pick her up all the time she will only want you
this must be draining for you and totally miserable for him he will get zero joy from her
his heart must sink when you go out he’ll know he’s just in for hours off screaming
how do she be if he took her out in pram

misspiggy42 · 04/09/2022 07:00

I haven't had any choice but to have her with me. We don't have family who will take her. Dh is out at work all day. She just seems to be a particularly sensitive baby who only wants me.

I sympathise completely with how he must feel and in his defence it's not like he tells me not to go out and leave her with him, he's always willing to do it. But I just end up feeling anxious and wanting to get back in case they are both struggling.

I want him to have a good relationship with her. It's really hard.

OP posts:
oneproudmumma · 04/09/2022 07:01

He's still struggling at 6 months? I can understand the first 4 months as they are brutal but generally things improve a lot

What about you struggling? Does that not matter to him.

Andromachehadabadday · 04/09/2022 07:02

I get that he works but he has to be around at some point during the day and has days off. That’s when he starts taking over a bit more, then a bit more and a bit more until she is used to being cared for by both of you

Popaholic · 04/09/2022 07:08

That's distressing OP, I feel sorry for you and your DH. If your DH feels upset by it tell him not to be, with babies everything is a phase and fixable.

What is the baby like in a car or pram or sling?

One idea is when you go out, DH takes baby out at the same time - that way baby is distracted looking at the world around her and not wondering where you have gone.

I also agree with building up slowly, at home at first. If baby likes baths, get dad to take over bath time completely so baby associates fun bath time with dad. Then when you go out, dad can put baby in the bath - regardless if it is 11am - and baby will know there is a happy fun time coming up and will be more relaxed about knowing what's happening now. Also you could get DH to have a certain soundtrack playing on his phone. Babies like routines and repetitive things as it helps them predict what is happening, and soothes them.

Start with you in the same room while he does stuff, then if that goes fine you leave the room and keep popping back, then you leave the room but keep up a conversation so baby hears you but you arent there, then practise leaving and no conversation and build up the amount of time away.

Another idea: stop your DH from wearing fragranced deodorant/shower products. Buy yourself a huge Tshirt and you wear that for a day so it smells of you, then when you leave baby with dad, swap him into the Tshirt.

My DC really hated my dmil holding them and I'm sure it was her perfume and scratchy jumper that annoyed them.

ittakes2 · 04/09/2022 07:12

take her to a cranial oestopath specialising in babies - sounds like she is uncomfortable the birth process can be stressful on a baby's body. was she a c section or difficult birth?

MushMonster · 04/09/2022 07:12

Follow PP's advice.
Be there while Dad takes over caring for her, cuddling her and progressively retreat.
And keep your smell around her.
She will get better with time.

Fishpawsandchips · 04/09/2022 07:15

Could he take her to some sort of parent and baby class? Maybe involving music or calming sensory massage or similar?

Take her to the swimming pool?

Or take her out in a back pack?

Or in a pram?

He needs to be taking the initiative here, change the surroundings in which he is looking after her, get some support from a pyschologist or parenting class if he needs it but frankly (sorry) he needs to grow up, put some effort in, stop being a passive bystander, stop thinking about his own "feelingz" and start getting on with it and giving you some support. Some people are more naturall gifted than others with babies and small DC but the only way to get better is like anything else, you get in there and practice.

Endofdaysarehere · 04/09/2022 07:23

You need to get her used to other people and not being picked up all the time

This is terrible advice.
Cold and heartbreaking.

This is a baby FFS.

KangarooKenny · 04/09/2022 07:25

He needs to spend time with her when she is settled and happy, start playing with her.
At 6 months she shouldn’t need to be held all the time.

WhatNoRaisins · 04/09/2022 07:26

The baby is going to grow up, become mobile, start solids, etc. The situation as it is now won't be forever so I wouldn't feel you have to get the baby used to anything as they are going to change on their own anyway and odds are this will improve.

honkeytonkwoman38 · 04/09/2022 07:27

My youngest was like this. She has anxiety diagnosed at 15 but the child psychiatrist said it was probably there from birth.

BadNomad · 04/09/2022 07:33

She won't be a baby forever. He just needs to remember that this horrible time will pass.

rwalker · 04/09/2022 07:34

Endofdaysarehere · 04/09/2022 07:23

You need to get her used to other people and not being picked up all the time

This is terrible advice.
Cold and heartbreaking.

This is a baby FFS.

Unless you can be there 100% of time it’s not heart breaking and cold
she needs to get used to other people
Plenty of kids survive not been constantly held or picked up at the first cry they give

JasmineIndigo · 04/09/2022 07:38

Does he use a sling like an ergobaby one - my DC was like this with my DH around the same age, but the sling was a game changer for them both.

Joshanddonna · 04/09/2022 07:40

Why did he stay at home with her? Couldn’t he have put her in the pram and gone out? Maybe pushed her in the swing.
What happens when you go out as a family? She doesn’t want him to do the things you do with her so he needs to do different things. Does he bath her? Does she like that?

Mindymomo · 04/09/2022 07:43

Walking baby in pram was a helpful for my DH and baby to have alone time, just short 30 minute walks to start, yes at first he cried for 10 minutes, but he was not in any harm. In fact my baby must have been the most walked baby in our village. It was the only time he seemed happy, just lying in pram looking up at trees. A trip to the local park with baby swings also became a favourite thing for my DH and baby.

Outwiththenorm · 04/09/2022 07:44

My 6 month old was exactly like this, and his dad was very hands on. I went back to work when he was 9 months so we just had to practise. I think it was an age/stage thing, plus being exclusively breastfed (wouldn’t drink anything with dad when I first started leaving him) but he definitely grew out of it and is a happy, confident wee boy now.

Flopisfatteningbingforchristmas · 04/09/2022 07:48

You needs to start increasing their bond. Take her for a short walk in the sling, play with her, do bath time, spend 5/10 minutes at a time with him giving her his total attention while you are not in the room.

awwbiscuits · 04/09/2022 07:48

He needs to find his own 'way' of doing things instead of spiralling when things don't go well first time. If she's screaming indoors, bounce her around, sing, put music on, take her for a walk/drive, let her see new surroundings, visit people. Or just he just sit there and say I can't do it as well as op?

Badger1970 · 04/09/2022 07:52

If she's screaming all the time OP that isn't right. Have you seen your GP to rule out reflux or any sort of allergy?

RedHelenB · 04/09/2022 07:57

Endofdaysarehere · 04/09/2022 07:23

You need to get her used to other people and not being picked up all the time

This is terrible advice.
Cold and heartbreaking.

This is a baby FFS.

Not really. It is OK for babies nor to be picked up the minute they cry. And the solution is for dad to spend more time alone with baby. Of you trust him to care fir her OP , then let him get on with it He'll work it out the more he has to do it. My ex had had nothing to do with babies in his life but he s9on learned. I learned to stop putting my oar in too much too, he found ways to settle them.

J0rd0 · 04/09/2022 08:26

Fishpawsandchips · 04/09/2022 07:15

Could he take her to some sort of parent and baby class? Maybe involving music or calming sensory massage or similar?

Take her to the swimming pool?

Or take her out in a back pack?

Or in a pram?

He needs to be taking the initiative here, change the surroundings in which he is looking after her, get some support from a pyschologist or parenting class if he needs it but frankly (sorry) he needs to grow up, put some effort in, stop being a passive bystander, stop thinking about his own "feelingz" and start getting on with it and giving you some support. Some people are more naturall gifted than others with babies and small DC but the only way to get better is like anything else, you get in there and practice.

“feelingz”? That’s a bit heartless and frankly smacks of a 1950s mindset. Unlike a lot of posts on here with feckless partners he seems to genuinely be trying to form a bond with his child (he’s upset that he feels he’s failing her).

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