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How to help hubby get comfortable with little one?

My husband has not been very affectionate with our son from birth. This bothered and worried me a little at first because he did not grow up in a close family that was actually abusive and neglectful. I feared that he just did not know how to display this love. So I talked to him about it. He confessed it was because he was afraid to hurt him. He is a mechanic and was in the military and this left his hands very desensitized. How can I help him to get comfortable with the baby so he doesnt miss out on this wonderful bonding time?

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mandapanda942

Asked by mandapanda942 at 7:07 PM on Oct. 4, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 11 (505 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Real cuddling. Have him hold him in his arms close to his chest so his face is "reachable". I have also seen it suggested on here for him to have the baby on his chest skin to skin with a blanket over baby. It would be great for him to just talk to the baby too. The three of you should cuddle together and just talk or simple silence is peaceful too. Best wishes!
    elizabr

    Answer by elizabr at 7:11 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • If you arent breastfeeding, bottle time is bonding.
    But the most important thing is, dont be a "backseat driver". Let your hubby do his thing. Dont hover over him while he does everything, it will make himi more insecure about it.
    Good luck!
    Mme.Langley

    Answer by Mme.Langley at 7:22 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • Babies are amazingly durable. As long as he remembers to support the head it isn't too difficult to hold a baby. I think experience is the only thing to build confidence in a situation like this. Depending on the type of personality your DH has I would either just force him to jump in feet first, or be there aside to reassure him. If you don't think he will freak out then just hand off the baby and say "I'm going to shower" and then take your time in the bathroom and let him fend for himself for 30 minutes so he sees that he can do it. Or even start off smaller with 5 minutes and increasing the time from there. Or sit with him and the baby if you think he would rather you were there to make sure all is well, just be very, very careful not to criticize but to encourage. Teach him to change and bathe baby and unless baby is falling off the table don't intervene- let him come up with his own ways as long as they're safe. GL!
    MaryMW

    Answer by MaryMW at 7:38 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • my df was brought up in a home like your husband's. at first he was afraid to hold our son too. he was worried he'd drop him or hurt him. so i would say can you watch him for a minute while i pee? or something like that. i tried that a few times and he started being more confident in his ability to be a father. i didn't criticized him or hover over him when he was holding our son. now our little man is a daddy's boy. you can try this or maybe building his confidence but not hover over him when he hold your baby.
    xavierlogan09

    Answer by xavierlogan09 at 9:33 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • My DH is the same way and they bonded JUST FINE once the boys were older. There's absolutely no reason for an infant to bond with more than one caregiver. The "bond" develops with the others as they get older... it really only ever intensifies. Men aren't programmed with the same hormones we are and usually see babies as the stinky, needy, puky brats they really are (said in the most loving way possible!). They love them because they know they are their offspring... but the "bond" doesn't always develop until dad can connect with them on his level... which is typically through play. My husband doesn't really like babies at all. He enjoys the toddler years, but doesn't get truly comfortable until they can communicate... so, 3-4ish. Totally normal, don't push him.
    LeanneC

    Answer by LeanneC at 1:08 AM on Oct. 5, 2010

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