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Old 05-14-2007, 02:57 PM   #1
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Question I'm a New Dad But

Hi there:
I hope someone can help me or give me there opinion on this.
Three months ago I became a dad for the first time I'm over the moon, but since then my partner won't let me help in any way with baby ("she is the most beautiful baby in the world"). I have only fed her Twice, only allowed put her to sleep in my arms once, and have not yet changed her nappy. I tried expressing my feeling about this to my partner but to no avail.
The whole issue is putting great strain on our relationship, I feel i need to bond more with our baby.
I would welcome any opinions or advice that you may have.
Thanking you in advance Aido35

 
Old 05-14-2007, 03:13 PM   #2
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

I'm a mom and I can't understand why any momma wouldn't relish in the opportunity to let the dad help out. This is your baby too and you have parental rights to enjoy parenting just as much as the mother does. My husband has so many wonderful memories of spending time with out infants. I could not imagine not allowing him to have those moments. Maybe there is something from her childhood that keeps her from allowing you to help? Maybe she feels that she HAS to be able to do it all and won't allow herself to NEED anyone else? Just guessing.....
If she won't listen to you talking, maybe she would listen if you write her a letter or email. Not sure what else to suggest. Good luck to you and congratulations on the new baby.

 
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:15 PM   #3
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

First of all, congratulations!!!!!

Now to your question. Is there something that your partner really enjoys doing or having done that they have been neglecting for a while (for example a manicure or pedicure or some sort of hobby)? I would suggest scheduling something like this for him/her (sorry, where you said "partner" I wasn't sure) for a day you are home and a time when the baby is usually at her best. Tell him/her that you have it all under control and to take time for themselves. He/She may protest at first, and if that happens let them know that you need this one-on-one time with the baby just as much as they need time for themselves.

You are both fairly new parents and with any luck this will fade over time. Just keep being persistant and keep reminding him/her that the only way you will learn how to diaper or feed is by doing it. I didn't let my husband do that much at first either, but he kept on me and now I am more than happy for all the help he gives me.

Best of luck to you!

 
Old 05-15-2007, 11:23 AM   #4
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

Aido, have you discussed this with her? She might not be realizing that she is doing this.

 
Old 05-15-2007, 02:41 PM   #5
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

Hi Bleigh
Thank you for taking the time and interest in my post. I think you might be on to something with her having to NOT NEED anybody to help, I think this can be related to her last relationship . Nothing i do is right ,I'm hoping it is some form of postnatel depression and she will come out of it soon. txt messeges have had very little impact , but they do cut down on arguements.

 
Old 05-15-2007, 02:52 PM   #6
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

Sannah
We have discussed this, well I discussed it then I was told I was all wrong so it turned into an arguement every time. I hated sounding agressive or angry around the baby. She told me that I had a problem, so I tried to use this as an excuse for her to come with me for councilling.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 03:06 AM   #7
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aido35 View Post
Sannah
We have discussed this, well I discussed it then I was told I was all wrong so it turned into an arguement every time. I hated sounding agressive or angry around the baby. She told me that I had a problem, so I tried to use this as an excuse for her to come with me for councilling.
Her behaviour is somewhat strange, not totally, however. It is very usual for young mothers to be thankful for any help or support they can get from their partners and husbands. But since this is her first baby, she might be too zealous for her, which is quite natural at this point of time. That is what you ordinarily call maternal protection, but in this case it looks like overprotection. To a certain extent, women don't think men can handle babies. I myself was afraid I might drop mine, so it took me a long while before I felt safe and ok holding them.

In my opinion, this will pass with time. She will gradually let it go. Don't be too harsh on her. Be grateful for any chance she gives you, but don't ask for much more if this stresses the relationship. I know you are in pain, but usually the bond the father makes with his baby comes at a later stage, as when the baby starts to walk and enters social life.

Your strategy: ask what you can do for your partner rather than for your baby.

I don't think it is a case for counselling right now. However, if she persists in overprotecting the baby and not allowing you to have a role, then you might want to look further into this.

Good luck. I really feel for you.

Last edited by pendulum; 05-16-2007 at 03:22 AM.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 03:34 AM   #8
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

I remember being a bit like this with my first..poor Daddy never could do a diaper change to my satisfaction. Don't worry so much about doing things at this time, but express your total love for the baby, croon at her, tell Mom continuously how wonderful the baby is, and how grateful you are that she is the mother. Learn something like baby massage, and make it your speciality, even if it is only for a little session at first. I think she will loosen up sooner or later, and it is true what the PP said, your bonding turn will come later. Just be there for now, offer your help and support, but don't push it too much. She has a touch of the "feral Mom syndrome", approach at your peril!

 
Old 05-16-2007, 08:07 AM   #9
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

I'm sorry you seem to be going through this. I was always critical of how my husband "handles" things with the kids, but have learned to keep my mouth shut. He may accidentally put 12 month pants on my 3 year old or give them cookies for breakfast, but it's his time with them. My husband loves nothing more than holding them while they are sleeping. I try and do the other things, like getting up at night or making them dinner, but I always welcome his help. I have a hard time understanding someone who won't allow help, I always welcomed it. Your in a tough spot, but as her dad, you have a right to do your part. I do agree that more bonding will come later when she's a bit older, but I would put my foot down now so you don't miss all those little baby things. It always makes me sad as they get older and aren't so little anymore. Try not to miss that if you can. You have just as much right! Good luck.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 08:33 AM   #10
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

Aido, I am assuming that her need to control things goes beyond the baby? Maybe just telling her what you need? She certainly cannot tell you that you are wrong in deciding what you need. And stay calm. Keep us posted.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 10:07 AM   #11
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

Please don't take this the wrong way...those of you who suggested daddy bonding time comes later. I breastfed my babies and naturally that had me being the only one allowed to feed them. I really felt that my breasts were the only thing they bonded with the first couple of months....never mind I had a whole body devoted to them. Understanding bonding in relation to the mother is important, but making statements that babies don't bond to their fathers until they are older is just not sensible. This man wants to hold HIS child and he should be allowed to do this. As early infants my babies calmed immediately to their father's touch and fell asleep much quicker with him than with me. Our first was on life support at 2 weeks of age due to RSV and her vital signs were transformed when her daddy would talk to her and rub her head. Most babies don't like to be touched when they are in a coma but that was how we put her to sleep so the docs told us to do this for her. The point is, she knew him and he comforted her that early in her life....at time her body was most stressed. So, to say that babies don't bond with their daddy is not entirely true.

Someone suggested learning baby massage....that's a GREAT idea. Maybe you can also massage momma if she likes being rubbed. You may have to be really creative to get your time with the baby and it may include doing it with momma holding her. Family cuddle time would be a great way for you to hold the baby's hand and talk to her. She'll learn your voice quickly. Just really try not to push mommy too hard...just be loving and considerate of her and eventually she'll let go a little. AND, try very hard not to get argumentative with her especially around the baby. They may not understand words, but tone and volume effect their well being.

ALSO, read and learn from the others here. What many of our husbands do, you don't have to do....like put the wrong size clothes on your little one.

I'll pray that you have lots of success with this situation and that you will soon have more time with your baby than you could have ever imagined.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 02:20 PM   #12
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

Quote:
Originally Posted by bleigh View Post
Please don't take this the wrong way...those of you who suggested daddy bonding time comes later. I breastfed my babies and naturally that had me being the only one allowed to feed them. I really felt that my breasts were the only thing they bonded with the first couple of months....never mind I had a whole body devoted to them. Understanding bonding in relation to the mother is important, but making statements that babies don't bond to their fathers until they are older is just not sensible. This man wants to hold HIS child and he should be allowed to do this. As early infants my babies calmed immediately to their father's touch and fell asleep much quicker with him than with me. Our first was on life support at 2 weeks of age due to RSV and her vital signs were transformed when her daddy would talk to her and rub her head. Most babies don't like to be touched when they are in a coma but that was how we put her to sleep so the docs told us to do this for her. The point is, she knew him and he comforted her that early in her life....at time her body was most stressed. So, to say that babies don't bond with their daddy is not entirely true. ...
Ok, you are right. Bonding with dad need not come at a later stage - I was not asserting so - I was saying that usually it comes later, moreover because this baby is only three months old. Actually what I was saying is for our dad to be a little more patient, if he can, so as not to stress the relationship. Personally, I don't agree with the mother in this case: she is being too possessive about the baby and is hurting dad when she says all he does is wrong. This looks rather insensitive of her.

In any case, I suppose there is a lot of things going on here that we don't know about. I would approach this mother with a lot of care and diplomacy, if you see what I mean. Not all mothers are the same. Some may think they are the only ones who are entitled to look after their babies... Maybe our friend needs the help from an older woman who can talk to her - his mother-in-law, if he has one, or maybe a sister-in-law. Unless I am wrong, this is basically a women's theme.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 03:13 PM   #13
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

Hi All
I must admit I'm supprised at the number of replies, I'm thankful for each and every one of them. I have learned a lot so far , you have all given me something to think about, some of your replies have reinforced my own thoughts.
I would tend to agree with Bleigh on the bonding issue, the reason for this goes back to the actual birth when K (I'll call her K) squeezed my baby finger, this was our first touch; I'll never forget it. Last week when i did get a chance to hold her she was looking everywhere but at me "typical woman do anything but what you want her to do, would you agree lads?" anyway, I held her hand the same way again and she turned and looked straight at me and even cuddled in to me, I just melted.it was as if she remembered our touch and missed it. So sometimes I think the child needs to bond with me as much as I do her .
As for the guy who dressed the child in the wrong size cloths, I have to say fair play to him for trying and how lucky he is to have the chance to make a mess of it all. But I can't help laughing when I picture the mom looking at the child with his/her head bursting red after been squeezed into the wrong size pants, and then the mom looks at Dad who prob said what did i do wrong now , being totally oblivious to what he has done.
i've never heard of baby massage I'll check it out and let you know how it goes .

 
Old 05-16-2007, 03:22 PM   #14
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

Quote:
Originally Posted by pendulum View Post
Ok, you are right. Bonding with dad need not come at a later stage - I was not asserting so - I was saying that usually it comes later, moreover because this baby is only three months old. Actually what I was saying is for our dad to be a little more patient, if he can, so as not to stress the relationship. Personally, I don't agree with the mother in this case: she is being too possessive about the baby and is hurting dad when she says all he does is wrong. This looks rather insensitive of her.

In any case, I suppose there is a lot of things going on here that we don't know about. I would approach this mother with a lot of care and diplomacy, if you see what I mean. Not all mothers are the same. Some may think they are the only ones who are entitled to look after their babies... Maybe our friend needs the help from an older woman who can talk to her - his mother-in-law, if he has one, or maybe a sister-in-law. Unless I am wrong, this is basically a women's theme.

 
Old 05-17-2007, 07:50 AM   #15
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Re: I'm a New Dad But

Aido, I felt so bad when I read your post! I think that's AWFUL that in three months you've never changed a diaper, fed her only twice, have barely held her! That is so sad, and too bad of your wife!

You need to explain to her calmly that it is your child too and too bad if she thinks you're not doing something correctly. You have the right! Ask her how she would feel if YOU didn't let HER do anything for the child? Put her in your shoes. This child will not even KNOW you if you don't start getting the chance to be a part of his life.

The only other suggestion I have is to divorce her and get joint custody - which is obviously a VERY last resort!

 
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