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Thread: Feeling guilty

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    159

    Default Feeling guilty

    So, to add to my stress this week...

    My DD has been having serious separation anxiety with me. This morning, I was getting ready for work and the baby woke up. I was still in the bathroom and my DH got her, she was crying all the time. As soon as I got out, I went and took her from him and she instantly quit crying.

    My DH kept telling her that she hurt his feelings and told me she is being that way because I'm breastfeeding and she's too attached to me (and then he said that's what his mom told him...) and that she'll quit doing that when I don't nurse her anymore. This made me feel terrible.

    I want my DD to hang out with her daddy as much as she does with me... He's been always supportive about breastfeeding at least thru the year, but I think he really has his feelings hurt for our baby not wanting to be with him much and cry for me all the time.

    Has anyone else been thru a similar situation? I am not sure how to manage it. I just told him to try to play more with her... I know separation anxiety is normal for this age (~9mo) but I don't know if it is worse with the mother when nursing, is it?

    Thanks to all of you who have replied to my posts and for your encouragement and support! I love this forum!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Utah
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    Default Re: Feeling guilty

    It's hard to say for a non-nursing perspective, but many times we are in the same situation with my 10.5 month old. He seems to prefer me, maybe because I've got milkies, or maybe because I'm mom.

    Does your daughter have much alone time with dad?

    I notice that on days that my husband is the sole care taker, my son just adores daddy even when I am around that evening. I don't know about your DH, but mine can be quick to hand me our son if he needs a diaper change, or needs to be put down for a nap or needs to get ready for bed or a bath, or dinner. If your husband is anything like that, maybe suggest he change more diapers, give more meals, and do the bedtime routine more often =)

    No, he can't nurse, but there is a lot of care-taking that he CAN do, and I think both your daughter and your husband would benefit from it. No one likes changing a diaper, but I really think every little thing attributes to the bonding between a parent and a child.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Ontario
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    619

    Default Re: Feeling guilty

    I think it's perfectly normal for babies to have mommy-preference, and I'm not sure that it would change if you weaned her. Maybe he could try to set aside a time of day when he does something special with her, like maybe a toy that only comes out when it's daddy play time? I doubt your 9 month old is too attached to you -she's still a baby, for Pete's sake! Are your husband and MIL (not that she should really have a say anyway...) willing to trade in the health benefits for you and your LO to continue nursing, just so they can get some more baby time? If there were issues with development of babies' relationships with other people, I doubt the AAP would recommend at least 1 year of bfding, and the WHO at least 2 years. Perhaps you could remind your husband of these things -this is probably a phase that will pass with time, and to just continue spending time with her
    That's my take on it anyway!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    rockford,il
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    588

    Default Re: Feeling guilty

    Oi, it really bothers me to hear this. I'm so sorry you're dealing with it. Dh needs to get over it as taking advice from his MOMMY says a lot about his attachment level. There are always going to be situations when babies NEED their moms and no one else will do. You were right. Dh should spend time alone with her when she's well-fed, happy and rested. And he should give it time. Maybe make him read a good book on infant development, no nine mo is going to understand (and have any guilt) about hurting his feelings. There are plenty of ways for them to bond without giving substandard nutrition!

    My son is 19 mo and is just recently going to dh for comfort. He too was hurt a bit by this but was adult enough to understand that ds wasn't doing it out of spite. Dh started taking ds on special trips to the store or the playground and has been really pleased with the progress of their relationship.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,858

    Default Re: Feeling guilty

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*leemami View Post
    My DH kept telling her that she hurt his feelings and told me she is being that way because I'm breastfeeding and she's too attached to me (and then he said that's what his mom told him...) and that she'll quit doing that when I don't nurse her anymore. This made me feel terrible.
    I'm sorry, but this has me all at your DH. He's a grown man, and yet he's acting like a bigger baby than your actual baby. Seriously, the BABY hurt his feelings? Well, time to man up, bub! Don't go crying to your wife about your sad and making your wife feel like it's her fault that her husband's panties are in a wad.

    Look, I get it that is can be hard when a kid only wants one parent or the other- and it will change, because these preferences are fickle and fleeting. Mommy's girl becomes Daddy's girl and back and forth, over and over, depending on the day and the child. But don't let anyone pressure you to change the way you're doing things.

    At 9 months, my kids would scream if I left them for more than a few moments. So I took them with me when I went to the bathroom. They outgrew it.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: Feeling guilty

    I agree! My baby (now 11 mo) is very attached to me at the moment. My toddler (2 3/4) is very attached to her daddy, although she was attached to me as a baby. My son (almost 6) is pretty equal in his affections but has definitely preferred one or the other of us at various points (notably, he too was very attached to me as a baby). A baby cannot be "too attached" to her mother. Babies NEED to be attached to an adult human being because they are incapable of caring for themselves. It's a GOOD THING that nursing fosters attachment - it means that baby feels safe, secure and cared for! Why would you want baby not to feel that way? And the idea of weaning because your DH has hurt feelings is really ridiculous. I agree, I think if your husband wants to foster a closer connection with your daughter he should spend time caring for her - as previous posters point out, there are plenty of ways to do that without feeding the baby.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
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    Default Re: Feeling guilty

    Agree with what others have said re: your husband being silly and needing to grow up. The baby isn't trying to hurt his feelings. The baby has no idea that anybody else even HAS feelings. That will come with time. That said, I think it's entirely normal for babies to prefer their mommies even if the mommy isn't breastfeeding. I have a number of friends or acquaintances who stopped BF'ing around 6 months and all those babies still prefer their mommies, except in one case where the dad is a stay at home dad. Babies tend to prefer whoever the primary caregiver is, and they also know instinctively that Mommy (or women in general) are the food source. That goes way back evolutionarily to a time when there was no formula and to survive, a baby had to stick close to his Mommy or another lactating woman. All the older women I know, many of whom did not breastfeed, take it for granted that there are times a baby just needs his Mommy and no one else will do. It's a natural preference. It also won't last forever. I know it's hard on the Daddy while it does last, but really, your husband needs to be mature enough to understand that this is temporary and keep working on his own relationship with your baby without interferring with your nursing relationship. I know my husband has occasionally had hurt feelings when he couldn't comfort DS and DS only wanted me, but for the most part they have a terrific relationship and always have because my DH is very active in caregiving and has been since the moment DS was born. DS is probably slightly more attached to me if I'm perfectly honest, but he's also very attached to Daddy.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Diego
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    259

    Default Re: Feeling guilty

    My DD was supplemented and weaned early and still had a mommy preference. She still does, in fact. If she's alone with DH, she'll be fine with him, but if I'm in the shower or something she'll cry until we're reunited again. From my experience this is a mommy thing, not a nursing thing, and I think even if you weaned she will behave similarly. It may be easy to 'blame' breastfeeding, but I highly doubt that that's the culprit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Feeling guilty

    If it is any consolation at all. My daughter waited till she was TWO before she wanted anything to do with him. He was absent a lot of the time due to deployments but she would get so upset around him I was really starting to get stressed out. It does pass hopefully sooner for you than me lol. What I found helped was encouraging him to play with her when she would tolerate it and to not push it when she had enough. Otherwose it just turned into a mess of sobbing and screaming and a very hurt husband.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Feeling guilty

    Thanks y'all for the replies. I really never thought about weaning because of my DH comment, it just made me sad and wish he would not blame nursing for DD wanting to be with me.
    I'll keep encouraging him to spend more time with her, but like @kevins-mom mentioned, she hands me the baby every time she needs a diaper change, gets fussy, nap time, etc. etc... So he only plays with her for a little while every day after he comes back from work.
    Hopefully he'll get it sometime
    And MIL-- she's great, I love her and we have a great relationship, but she was one of the people that I listened at the beginning and we started giving formula to the baby, and that messed up my supply. She never bf'ed so... That was my bad! I tend to not paying too much attention to her advice after that LOL.
    It was really hard to keep bfing for me, I had nobody around who did it before. Seeing a LLLI Dr was the best decision I made!

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