Question # 1 –TOP 3 FAQ’S OF NEW PARENTS
Dear: Parenting 911
My wife and I recently had our first baby, Alivia is already 2 months old and incredibly smart — at least I think so. She is very aware of my wifes presence, and seems to fuss the moment she is out of sight. I however do not get the same grievance when I leave or enter a room, where Alivia is learning all about her surroundings. I work long hours, BUT; I took off a whole month so as to help my wife care for our daughter. My wife Jennilynne had a very difficult pregnancy, and even harder delivery — resulting in a C-section. I woke with Alivia attempted to feed, change, and even bath her. Though I can truly say as I tried to bond with her — SHE ALWAYS WANTED MY WIFE!!!!! It didn’t matter how much I rocked, cuddled, swaddled, or waddled she was NOT interested in daddy…. PERIOD!!! My wife needs to have a follow up surgery requiring a 3-5 day stay in the hospital — and I will be home to care for Alivia as my wife will need recuperation, and rest.I don’t see this as going well for me. I don’t believe I can soothe her. As a man, and first time father of a girl no less, I am taking this very hard. It is clear she loves and finds comfort in my wife. Parenting 911 I feel like I am not bonding with my baby — she hates me, how can I fix it? Or should I just cave now and expect a lifetime wrapped around the tiny finger of the best thing I’ve ever done? Please help….
Sincerely: Daddy’s bottle sucks, where’s moms bar?
Dear: Daddy the bar back
Though your baby is only a few months, you are not a deliriously impartial father with the comment about how smart your daughter is. Truth is she is learning and developing leaps and bounds every day — you witness this in every directly purposeful action she makes. Whether it be a deliberate cry when mommy is out of sight — or a grumpy whine to catch the attention of the nearest bottle bearing bar back — she is knowingly making connections in her brain, then acting accordingly to reach a desired result. This is a process and learned set of behaviors she will continue implementing and building on her entire life.
You are however correct in saying that your wife needs you and your soon to be acquired daddy soothing skills. I do not believe in any way shape or form that your daughter does in fact “actually hate you”. She is however only two months old, and mommy has been the one constant. NOW WE PREPARE!!!!!
- As your wife begins her prepping for the up coming surgery — as a couple, “parents”, and caregivers — you MUST also begin to prepare baby for mommy’s mini-hiatus from New-Mom-Land. Preparation is always a huge part of raising kids. From newborns to teenagers, knowing what, when, where, and how becomes necessity not an privilege. So begin prepping……….
- If you are co-bedding, (sleeping with baby in the same bed as you and your wife) — try having JenniLynne come to bed a bit later, or perhaps soothe and cuddle and put baby to sleep together!!! Having shared moments of this time where your wife can be in the baby’s sight but detached enough to allow you the chance to “meet Alivia’s needs”. DO NOT CAVE — it may be easier to give her mommy, when said crying games ensue. BUT DO NOT ENGAGE — I repeat DO NOT ENGAGE… You MUST show her that daddy is just as comfortable, reliable, and CAPABLE.
- Begin taking more of a hands on roll and do it MORE OFTEN, instead of letting the big eyed baby beauty battle go to the infant. REFUSE TO LOSE.. When mommy is holding, rocking, soothing, feeding, changing baby — PAY ATTENTION!!! There may be something in the way she does it, perhaps a soothing tone, or a quietly sung lullaby you may not have noticed before is the key. Maybe when she is rocked by mommy there is a specific rub to the back or bounce in the way she holds her. They seem little, but may make all the difference come game time.
- Once mommy is gone they will actually need each other not an overindulgence of mommy/baby time but before and after surgery — your wife will want to see and even love on your daughter. And even as infants babies have great senses, Alivia may feel your anxiety or even that of your wife. Help ease that with some precious moments spent together before and after. I would however make sure there is someone to assist in caring for baby during your wife’s surgery — as I said before you are likely to have an increased heart rate, and uneasiness that will likely radiate to your little one. Which leads to the next “planned part of this being a success”.
- RECRUIT HELP!! 3-5 days is a pretty big stretch for a daddy with a self inflicted scare scale. Try to have at least one female relative, neighbor,or friend assist even if just for a few hours in between daddy-baby time and visits with mommy times. These few hours will help you to multitask — allowing time to shower, catch up on phone-calls, or even just decompress. Trust me it’s win win for all involved.
- Lastly as a few security measures, I would try to introduce a secondary soothing tactic be it a pacifier or special sound machine that simulates things baby might associate with mommy.Keep a picture of mommy nearby as well. I would have your wife wear a specific shirt or robe for several nights — as her familiar scent will remain in the fabric, swaddling baby in that garment will likely ease her enough to let daddy do the rest. If that is still a no-go, try having your wife pre-record a few things such as her voice, either singing, humming or just baby-babble — the sound of her voice may just be the one bit of respite you need to get through this hectic time.Here at Coffee or Vodka we wish your wife a successful smooth surgery and a rapid recovery, the best of luck to you and your family. You WILL BE FINE and in the end you’re sure to end up with a “DADDY’S GIRL”….. Good Luck.
Sincerely: Heather C of Parenting 911