As a mom, you probably love having a baby who snuggles and wants to be close to you. But like every mother, you also need a break, whether to take shower or run errands. And what do you do when your little munchkin cries anytime her dad holds her?
It’s not uncommon for babies to prefer staying with their moms instead of their aunts, grandparents, uncles, or even dads. If your child cries anytime her father holds her, it’s likely a temporary problem. To help fix this solution, the dad needs to bond with the child and focus more on physical contact.
Stay tuned to learn more about why babies tend to prefer their mothers over anyone else, and how to get your kid to stop crying when dad holds her.
Why Does Baby Cry When Dad Holds Her ?
First, you need to know that your baby doesn’t typically cry because she doesn’t want dad – it’s that she wants to stay close to mom.
Babies cry because they want what’s most comfortable and familiar, which is often the mom. Some scientific studies point out that babies prefer moms over dads or other caregivers because of the early bonding established in utero, pheromones, and lack of object permanence. So, it’s perfectly normal for babies, especially newborns to prefer moms over dads.
Babies who cry when held by their dads are also more likely to do the same with grandparents, siblings, or other caregivers. Here, it’s essential for the dad not to take the baby’s reluctance personally, as it’s nature’s way of helping babies feel and be safe.
What To Do When Baby Cries When Dad Holds Her
It can be frustrating when your little one only wants you. It can also be upsetting to the dad when the baby cries whenever he holds her.
Here are ways you can help your baby bond with her dad so they enjoy time together and you take a break.
Eye Contact And Smiles
Let the dad start by making lots of eye contact and playing smiley games like blowing raspberries while in your arms. Why is this crucial?
Dads can be somehow scary, with rougher movements, big deep voices, different smells, etc. This can help your little one gain more confidence with him.
Safe co-sleeping, sleeping where the baby is between the two of you, is also a good way for the baby and dad to be closer. The more they spend the night together, the more your baby will get used to her dad’s smell, voice, movements, etc.
Let Baby Spend Time Alone With Dad
Have you tried going away for some time and leaving your spouse with the baby to each other? This is among the most effective ways of speeding up the bonding process between the two of them.
Note that this approach may not be appropriate at first, but once your baby and dad have bonded for a while, you can practice it. Start by taking a shower or bath with the door shut and the baby awake with her dad. After some time, you can proceed to go shopping, going to the hairdresser, among other places.
Pick a time when your little one is likely to be alert and content, and walk out of the house. Agree with your spouse about how long you’ll be gone and ensure you enjoy relying on him to take care of the baby. This will give the baby, dad, and you time alone, even if it’s thirty minutes.
Let Dad Help With Diaper And Swaddling
Many moms tend to “auto-respond” to their babies anytime they need them, even when the dad is right there and can help. It’s easy to get in the habit of doing everything for your little one, either because you think it will be easier or you’re used to it.
However, by letting the dad help, you let your baby learn that your partner is also a trusted caregiver who can take care of their needs.
Yes, this will be rough at first, your kid will likely freak out, and you may think it won’t work. But like everything, it takes time and soon your baby will get used to it.
Don’t Shoot Down Dad’s Opinions On Caring The Baby
If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you have lots of experience regarding taking care of the baby, and you may have tried whatever he’s saying. If your partner works outside the home, he may feel like he’s missing out on a lot of decisions about raising the kid. This may be a big bumper.
Thus, it’s crucial to include your spouse in all decision-making so that he feels connected to the baby. Small things like what the baby should eat, activities, and bathing routines may have a great impact.
So, next time your partner suggests anything, don’t sigh to yourself or roll your eyes. Take him seriously as he too wants to be involved and is trying his best to do so.
Involve Dad in Feeding The Baby
Using a bottle is great since the dad can feed the baby, showing her that he also provides comfort and nourishment. If you are breastfeeding try to pump so that your partner can participate in feeding the baby.
If you cannot use a bottle for some reason, have the dad in a place where the baby can see him. This can also help.
Have Dad Babywear
Although baby-wearing is convenient for you, it can help your baby relax and calm down. As soon as your baby is born, have your spouse carry her in a carrier so that she can get used to his smell and feeling around dad.
Doing so is crucial to letting your little one recognize her dad’s smell. It will also fasten bonding between the two.
Having your baby cry when the dad holds her can be stressful. In most cases, babies cry because they’re not used to their dads and thus, don’t feel comfortable or safe around them. Here, you’ll have to help your baby get used to her dad and be comfortable around them. And the best way to do this is through bonding.
Let your dad spend time with the baby for them to get close. Allow him to spend time alone with the baby, wear the baby, change her diapers, swaddle and feed her. This way, the baby will get to know dad and be secure with him.