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Thread: Breastfeeding fathers

  1. #1
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    Nov 2013
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    Columbus, OH
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    Default Breastfeeding fathers

    My 7 week baby is usually breastfeeding or crying. This is okay-ish because at least we have breastfeeding! Unfortunately this means my husband doesn't really get any "quality time" with her. He's in charge of diaper changes and she especially hates this -she screams her head off once the diaper comes off.
    Obviously we have years and years for him to be an awesome father, but it makes me sad to see him so frustrated now. He calls himself " the inquisitor" because he always seems to be torturing her with those non-nursing moments. She also hates baths right now. I just wish he could experience some of this sweetness first hand.
    I've read the father stuff in WABF and on this website, but it mostly about his role in supporting me. Anyone have ideas for how he can spend quality time w an infant who only wants to bfeed?

  2. #2
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding fathers

    At 5 weeks I started pumping one AM bottle a day. And every day after dinner I would get a 2hour break. It was a break I could look forward to and it allowed them to bond and for DH to be able to feed DS. One he got fairly comfortable with this, I would take LONGER out of the house breaks on the weekend. Like 3-4hours. All of this help made it much easier on all counts. Breaks I could look forward to and they are and always have been very close.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding fathers

    How about having dad wear baby in a sling during a walk? Or have him sit behind you while you're nursing, so that he can put his arms around both you and baby?

    Honestly, 7 week old babies are designed to spend most of their time nursing. They aren't interested in much else, and they're also at their peak of fussiness. Just be patient- this will pass and your baby will learn how to express her love for her daddy! She does love him- she just has no idea how to express that.
    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!"

  4. #4
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    Aug 2013
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding fathers

    hi Jessica, i can relate you on this. hubby felt bad when a new member of our family arrived. it seems that he was not part of it since new born only wants milk and sleep. whenever DD is awake, she immediately wants BF. as a new and first time dad, he felt neglected and at the back of his mind he wished to have BM like me so he can have bonding with our first born. i feel pity for him, so what i did i have to express milk so that at the end of the day when i am exhausted he can feed her. starting @ 3 mos DD loves her dad's cuddle that could really make her sleep. she will wait til 12am for dad to come home, have time for playing and conversation. now they are both happy with playing, father-daughter talk and cuddle. just be patient

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding fathers

    What about when she is sleeping? Can you nurse her to sleep then hand her over? DH used to enjoy laying on the couch reading or watching TV while DS slept on his chest and I did some other stuff, like take a shower I know this wouldn't be interactive, but it is still sweet moments.

    I have also heard that the sound of a man humming is very soothing for some babies, more so than a woman's voice due to the lower register. Something to try?
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding fathers

    We opted to have dad snuggle up to the both of us while nursing. Sometimes when she wasn't hungry, she was very happy to do skin to skin time with daddy at that age. My daughter also truly hated diaper changes when she was a newborn, and she would just bonechillingly scream through it, so I never did make that a "dad-exclusive" task. I know that often works out nicely in the early weeks for some families, but in our family, it really did not. It made dad feel bad to always be the one doing the awful task, and it made me feel bad that I wasn't helping when my baby was so, so, so distressed.

    I agree with previous posters, though--7 weeks is really little, nursing is naturally going to be the thing they want to be doing above all else! Very soon, this will change.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sassypants View Post
    What about when she is sleeping? Can you nurse her to sleep then hand her over?
    Oh how I wish I could nurse her to sleep!

    Seriously at this point it's mostly nursing or screaming. Baby wearing is also a good idea, but inside she screams & outside is -10 right now. Can't wait for higher temps! But it's good to hear about seven weeks is a tough spot. DH is convinced there's something wrong with her but I'm convinced she just knows what she likes & what she likes is nursing! Part of this is that DH isn't great at noticing the small bright spots -- those little moments when she's calm & happy & with him. They took a really sweet shower together the other day and she loved it.

    This morning I got a little smile and it was like a gift. Maybe from here on out we'll get a little more interaction.

    A related question I have is about swaddling. When baby is swaddled she's generally very happy. It's a shocker! But I'm distrustful of the swaddle. I feel like it subdues her normal urges , in other words urge to eat. She started off life not gaining weight well, but now she's gaining weight fine, so maybe I need to relax about the swaddle? DH is always quick to swaddle her (probably because it's something he can do for her that makes her happy) but I usually pooh-pooh the swaddle. But maybe it's okay?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding fathers

    As long as your baby is now gaining weight well, there's nothing wrong with swaddling, particularly if you're alert to its effects on feeding. If swaddling means baby isn't nursing enough, you simply need to be proactive about unwrapping her and nursing her on a frequent basis.

    Something that might reassure your husband about the normalcy of your baby's behavior is the concept of the fourth trimester. Human babies are born very underdeveloped compared to the infants of all other placental mammals. Think about other animal babies. A foal or a calf can stand up, nurse, and run within a few hours of birth. Within a few weeks of birth, puppies are exploring their environment and eating solid food. A baby chimpanzee can cling to its mother's back and ride around on her by the time it's 2 months old. But a baby human... Not so much!!! If humans were physically capable of a >10 month gestation, human babies would probably gestate for another 3 months or so, putting the finishing touches on their development. They'd be born stronger, fatter, easier to care for, and more interactive. A 7 week old baby is basically just a fetus who is very surprised and confused to find herself outside the womb. It's no wonder they don't do much except seek mom's breast, warmth, and care.
    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!"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Breastfeeding fathers

    During difficult times with super fussy baby, here is how we split the joy- I nursed. My husband comforted. We both changed diapers (until we switched to cloth, which he still can not quite get the hang of )

    The 'quality time' is supposed to be for the baby. A baby who is being held and loved while crying is having quality bonding time.

    These tips may be helpful-

    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf
    and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ybabyideas.pdf

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    A baby who is being held and loved while crying is having quality bonding time.
    I'm going to blame it on the lack of sleep that this got me all misty eyed. You're totally right and I need to keep this in mind! We both do.

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