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Old Nov 29th, 2012, 19:00 PM   1
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How helpful is your DH with your new baby?

LO is almost 5 months old and from the beginning I feel like I have been doing most of the caring for her.

I'm breastfeeding and LO is pretty attached to me. Most times when DH takes her she cries so he seems to avoid it now. I told him the only way she's going to get better at going with him and not crying is if he makes an effort to spend more time with her, but he always says he's tired from work.

I do all the feedings (he even grumbles about having to do the odd bottle feeding of EBM when I ask him), 99% of the diaper changes (we do cloth diapers and he didn't want to so when I ordered them he said he was never changing a diaper again if he had to use cloth, and he pretty much hasn't - when he does he usually puts a disposable on her), I give her any meds she needs, bath her, pick out her clothes and pj's (he "doesn't know what fits her" or what matches)..... I basically do it all.

A couple of times during the day (on his days off) he will watch her and play with her while I shower, etc. but since she cries so much with him it's never long until she's back with me.

I'm getting exhausted. DH keeps bringing up the fact that he's tired from work. Well... I'm tired too! He is able to pick up and leave whenever he wants... how nice it would be if I could just head out to the store or to my parents house for a couple of hours... I haven't had a break since she was born because she is so high needs. At the moment he is visiting his parents (for the past 2.5 hours... was supposed to be home at 1.5 hours). I'm exhausted and needing more help.

Just curious how "involved" your DH's are (especially those that have very clingy babies.... even if your babies cry with Daddy, does he still try to help out as much as he can?)

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Old Nov 29th, 2012, 20:08 PM   2
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Please don't hate me but my husband is very involved. We both work but since he is a firefighter, he works 24 hrs on /24 hrs off. On the days he is off and I work, he keeps little man at home. He has done this since 12 weeks old. He keeps him 2-3 days a week while I am at work. Little man goes to daycare the other 2-3 days a week and I often have the baby alone evenings and nights when my husband is at work.

I think that them having the chance to bond without me in the way (taking the baby away when he cries, telling DH he is doing things wrong, etc) has made all the difference. DH has had to figure his own ways of soothing our baby. They are different than how I do it, but they both work. He has special ways to get him down for naps and they often have Pajama days. It's a daddy thing I guess.

Now I do all the night feeds because I am breastfeeding. I don 't and never have woken DH up at night. I figure I have to be up anyway so there is no sense in both of us being up. I also do most of the Dr appointments, take the baby to daycare, handle most of the decisions (when to start solids, etc) .

My advice is get out and let your DH watch the baby alone. If you are there, it will be too tempting for you to take the baby when it cries or for DH to hand the baby to you instead of figuring it out.

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Old Nov 29th, 2012, 20:15 PM   3
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I do a lot. Im a sahm so I know what the little guy needs. That being say oh does help quite a bit. When he gets home from work they usually play for a while. He helps with diape changes. At bath time (baby and I bath together) oh washes him while I hold him and then takes him dries him, lotions him, and puts pjs on him. Oh will take care of him if I want to run to the store or something. I do all the night time stuff. I did have a bad habiy of taking lo off oh if he started crying but once I realized what I was doing like pp said I stopped and let oh learn what works for him, how he can settle the baby and what not.

This is most of the time. We do have days where oh is not helpful at all.

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Old Nov 29th, 2012, 20:39 PM   4
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Me and DH are almost exactly like Jslyn9996 and her OH. There are days when he helps a ton and days when he doesn't do much.

When LO was first born, DH hardly did anything. He would basically hold him on the couch while I did other things, give him back in 30 mins, and if he needed anything at all- burp cloth, etc. He expected me to deliver it to him while he sat holding the baby.

So I started making him do things. I decided that we will take turns with bath/bedtime routine. So tonight is DH's turn to bathe LO, lotion, PJs, and rock him to sleep. There are times when I'll pick out a pair of PJs for him or something, but it's all him tonight. This has helped a TON. Being solely responsible for bath and bed every other night has helped DH feel more comfortable with LO and bond with him. It helps that LO loves his bath, no matter how fussy he is. Every once in a while, DH will get in the habit of not helping much else other than his bedtime night and I have to tell him he's being a jerk, and he will step it up again.

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Old Nov 29th, 2012, 20:56 PM   5
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Originally Posted by Aimee1003 View Post
My advice is get out and let your DH watch the baby alone. If you are there, it will be too tempting for you to take the baby when it cries or for DH to hand the baby to you instead of figuring it out.
I agree with this.

It's 50/50 around here and OH does a lot of the 'walking' at nap and night times as LO needs hours of bouncing/walking every day and she's SO heavy! She also didn't like being put down for a long time and didn't like it if you sat down while you held her. I still wouldn't say she's particularly high needs though.

He was a natural with LO, whereas I sort of needed to learn how to do everything with her and so he showed me. He chose for her to wear cloth nappies and I was a bit like your DH Thought they were inferior and often put her in a sposie, I like them now though

I'd say if you can just tell your DH it's break time and let him look after her for an hour while you just go out. He'll figure it out

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Old Nov 29th, 2012, 21:11 PM   6
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It's also 50/50 with me and my OH. Some days he spends a little too much time with her and I feel guilty but this is only usually if I'm doing the cleaning or cooking a nice meal. But then you could argue the point that I look after her all day 5 days a week while he works so its okay to have a break now and then. He was unbelievably involved with her straight away, he's a very attentive guy to me and our LO. But all guys are different, with some men it takes longer to bond.

Your DH is being put off by looking after her because she cries on him and that's gotta make him feel inadequate and distant to her because he feels like she just wants her mommy. and then because of thatthey aren't getting chance to bond. I say make him spend a couple of hours with you and baby every night and between feeds let him take over with her. He's got to learn how to settle her in his own way. Holding her near his chest may help, apparently skin to skin contact works just as well with father and baby as it does with mother and baby. He's gotta try, she's his baby too and you need a break now and then!

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Old Nov 29th, 2012, 22:03 PM   7
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I wouldn't say my OH and I are 50/50, but we are a team and he is very involved. The biggest reason I say we aren't 50/50 is right now I am home on maternity leave and breastfeeding and he's working and doesn't have boobs! so I've been doing more. But OH is great at seeing when it's been a rough day with LO and taking over dinner and things like that. I go back to work on Monday (yikes!) and roles will change. My OH works nights and LO will be with him 3 days a week. The other two days she will be with my parents because I have meetings and so he can take overtime.

I think it is okay not to be 50/50, but parenting should be a joint effort and that effort should be discussed. We both know next week is going to be very stressful, so we've already had the discussion of what we can both do to help it go easier. I also can't do everything I've been doing the last six months (12 weeks maternity and summer vacation before that!) so he's going to have to help with some of the house work that I've been doing because I was home all day. He took Monday off so I only have to worry about getting myself out of the house! Cooking dinner is my thing (he washes the dishes!), but if I leave out or let him know what I'm making for dinner he'll get it started. I probably won't take him up on this just because he's only going to have gotten sleep if LO naps (he works nights and LO is doesn't always take long naps!) so he'll be ready to crash when I get home, but it's nice to know it's an option. It's important to have these types of conversations ahead of time when you can because then your not stress or mad at each other.

I agree with the PP that it's important to give LO and Daddy their own time to bond. When we introduced the bottle OH did it. He now gives her one every morning when he gets home. I drink my coffee, relax and pump. I've never given LO a bottle. It's their thing. They have their own routine and silly games while they do it. The first time we left LO with my parents and they had a question about giving the bottle I was clueless and my OH gave them all the tips. It's a place where he's the expert. I think a lot of dad's don't feel that they are as good as moms, are intimidated and don't know what to do. If you leave your LO with him (leave the house even if it's just for a little while so he has to deal) He'll figure out how to sooth her. It'll probably be different than you do it, but that's okay.

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Old Nov 29th, 2012, 22:46 PM   8
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I do about 90 percent of her care. He changes her diaper a couple times, and feeds her maybe once or twice a day. He'll take her and hold her too but he doesn't dress her, or bathe her, and i'm the one who does night feeds so he can sleep for work.

It's not that big a deal....I do purposely go out on Sundays for a few hours by myself, shopping or whatever.I figured it would be like this when we decided to ttc.

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Old Nov 29th, 2012, 23:17 PM   9
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I breastfeed so I'm the one to get up at night. I change 75% of the diapers because I change them all night and during the day when he's at work, but he's great about changing the majority of the diapers when he is home and awake to give me a break. He plays with him basically all night when he gets home from work unless I'm breastfeeding. He gets up early on the weekends and lets me sleep in and I usually run the household errands when my OH gets home from work or on the weekends so I can get away for an hour or so.

I pick out clothes and dress him because my OH is hopeless at picking out outfits. He would leave him in a diaper and nothing else all day every day if it were up to him. I handle doctors appointments and giving him his medicine.

He's been a hands on dad from the beginning. The nurses at the hospital even commented on it. My only complaint is I feel like the housework isn't divided equally, but at least my OH plays with the little one and gives me plenty of time to clean. We both enjoy cooking and cook together when we get a chance but usually he does the majority of the cooking because I'm usually busy breastfeeding or cleaning.

I guess I'm lucky but I'm also bossy lol and wouldn't let him get away with being hands off. I agree with the others, schedule some time for yourself and give him some daddy time to get more comfortable.

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Old Nov 29th, 2012, 23:23 PM   10
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Half and half here, when he's home from work, evenings and weekends, I do all week days and then half care at those times.
So we share nappies and feeding, holding and do one night feed each, me the 2am.and him the 6 am.
I've been out twice for a few hours in the eve while he has him, and I've had him while I've sent dh to the pub for a catch up beer on the weekend.
He's such a proud Daddy I don't think I could stop him, though i'm sure he's be ok if I took over all pooey nappies!

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