Help for Dad

  • Hi,

    My daughter is six months old and to date a mama's girl. Anytime dad tries to put her to bed all she will do for him is scream and scream. When I am putting her to sleep she doesn't have that problem. So guess who always gets bedtime duty! I would like for my husband to be more involved and be able to help me without feeling like I have to step in for everyone's sanity. I can't just let her cry. I know it is not his fault, but I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place, if I want a break, him and the baby suffer.

    Any help??

  • I know how you feel! When our son was born, my husband could never quite seem to pacify my son the same way I could. But when he was 3 months old, I had no choice but to go back to work as a nurse from 3-midnight. My husband had to learn how to put him to bed and my son had to learn to be soothed by his father. Surprisingly, they both did fine after a week. My husband had a different way of putting him to bed, holding him and feeding him and it took my son a week or so to realize that it was okay that daddy was different from mommy. This certainly took a load off of my shoulders. It is hard to feel like you have to do everything.

    That being said. Encourage your husband to continue putting your child to bed and being involved in feedings and bathtime. Try not to step in so quickly and let the two of them work it out (as long as you can). You might be surprised that after a few minutes of crying, your baby settles down and accepts daddy as the one who will be putting her to bed. Within a few days, she may even begin to prefer it.

    If she is simply inconsolable, you may end up being the "bedtime" parent, but your husband can still find his niche as the one who feeds her dinner or gives her a bath. This time together will not only give them a bonding moment, but it will also give you some much needed downtime. Even if you are the one putting her to bed, your husband can still read her a story, help tuck her in and be a part of the process.

  • I agree with MommyRN. Babies like to stick with the status quo and are not happy campers when you mix things up. The best way to overcome this is to simply let dad take the reins and find a bedtime routine that your baby can connect with. Trust me, your baby is not suffering during this time. She needs to learn to rely on someone other than you and the only way for that to happen is to show her that other people can make her feel secure.

  • Not much to add to the previous two posts, except to say that maybe you could begin doing it together and then gradually stay for less and less time as your husband steps in. That being said, I agree that the best way will be for them to just work it out without you interfering if you can stand the difficult first few tries. Hope this helps!