Chief Troubles

Poor Chief. He’s having a hard daddy time right now.

I started noticing in the last week or so that when Chief would come home from work and scoop up baby girl she would start to fuss after not fussing all day. It wasn’t really an issue out and about so much as at home, but it’s gotten worse over the last few days. Baby girl is expressing a clear preference for momma, even though she’s got this super great dad!

Tonight at dinner the Captain and I talked about it while Chief was walking around with the baby and we decided that Chief should take over bedtime for a while, even give her a bottle. I pump after shes in bed anyway so this wouldn’t mess me up any and it would give them some bonding time. Chief and I decided to try it tonight.

Whoa. That was awful. As soon as he pulled her out of the tub she was screaming and wailing hysterically. He got her to splutteringly take half an ounce from the bottle after about thirty minutes of crying and then the crying started up again, so we gave in and I nursed her. But then I handed her right back to him for snuggles and getting ready for bed. After another thirty minutes of crying I nursed her some more, then handed her right back. It took him almost an hour after this, but he finally got her asleep. I know it was hard on him. I know it hurts his feelings even though I also know it’s normal. I’m glad we’re addressing it now before it gets any worse. But it was awful sitting out in the living room listening to her cry even though I knew she was okay. I so wanted to run back there and reassure her that it’s okay, momma is still here, but I also knew that would just make it worse.

So we’re going to try again tomorrow night and the night after that and so on until it’s not so traumatic. Then we’re going to take turns with bed time just like we do with bath time. I love having that special bond with her that only momma’s and babies have, but I know that letting Chief have a special bond with her isn’t going to take away our bond. My friend M is coming to town to see her tomorrow and we’re going out to lunch. If she wasn’t coming just for the purpose of seeing her I would leave her home with Chief so they could get some daddy daughter time with momma out of the house. Then I wouldn’t have to hear those cries that make me feel like someone is twisting my heart!

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23 thoughts on “Chief Troubles

  1. i know how you feel. i’ve blamed the fussiness when daddy comes home on the lateness of the hour, but she’s definitely struggling to take a bottle and i go back to work next week! daddy will actually be home with her for 3 weeks, so i’m pretty sure as attached as she is to me right now, things will be more balanced in a month! good luck to you!

    • The thing is that she’s taken a bottle when we go out places I don’t want to deal with nursing. I just think that she knows that bedtime is NOT when she has to take a bottle. No way, no how. Hopefully we can get there. Good luck going back to work! I’m going to be leaving her one day a week in two weeks. Is it wrong to say I’m looking forward to it as much as I’m dreading it? I know I’ll miss her so much, but it’ll be nice to have one grown up “real world” day of work!

  2. Oh poor chief! DW has that same struggle, on/off over the 3 years, even more so lately since DD has been so clingy to me. It’s very hard on her to feel rejected when all she does is love her. Maybe this weekend will be a better time for chief to try out some bonding time, early in the day when she’s ordinarily less fussy. Good luck!

  3. She’d probably cry less with you not there too! They just sense their mommas being around, little bubbas. You are being such a wonderful wife and mother to help Chief and Charlie with this. Not all mothers could do it or would even see it. I think it is so beautiful that you are there to help them through this so they can have an amazing bond too. xx

  4. Aww. That’s rough. I’ve read somewhere that talking about daddy all day and be anticipatory of his arrival home helps…at least with older children. She’s clever so I feel like it’s worth a shot I’m addition to the bedtime. What do you think?

  5. We’ve ran into similar issues. Now that she’s 8.5 months she is just as content around daddy. My husband is the one who gets her to sleep at night right now, not be. Keep working at it. We alternate things at night and it works well. We have a mutual agreement that if one of is doesn’t get her to sleep a half hour after her last bottle the other one comes in and tries.

  6. Poor Chief, but it sounds like you are doing all the right things, it must be so hard for you to hear her cry like that, but it’s all for good in the end. You are doing a wonderful thing, it’s not easy, but wonderful šŸ™‚

  7. Poor chief. That must be so hard on him. It’s my biggest worry for Catch, too. The other night our Charlotte flat out refused a bottle from catch for the first time. The only thing that would calm her was a boob. Catch was so disappointed. I hope Charlie comes around for Chief’s sake!

  8. We found that Bub did MUCH better with Hubby if they left the house together. This got him away from me (babies know if you are in the other room) and also my “realm” (he spends all day with me in the house so he associates it with me). Once they were out, they were great. Chief could maybe put her in the carrier and go for a walk with her?

  9. RainbowCatcher has a good idea. Something special that is not about food and sleep. Which is hard to do at Charlie’s age. HOWEVER, in just a few months she will be SO MUCH MORE about him … and ignore you … and then play the ‘whomever I haven’t just been with’ game trading back and forth for favorites. It is best to keep it clean between the parents and TALK ABOUT IT. Because the “favorite one’ changes!!!! You too will be the snubeed parent.

  10. I’m sorry that you’re all in a tough place right now, and I hope that it gets easier very soon. It’s great that you’re trying to help the situation though, and not just giving in and keeping her all to yourself. Hang in there, all of you!

  11. Way to go both you and Chief for giving this a concerted effort. I know so many daddies who just cannot handle dealing with this particular issue and just kind of wait around for baby to “come around,” which leaves a lot of my mommy friends feeling like they are doing everything alone. Good luck to you both!

  12. Pingback: I need to tap into the hive | The Barren Librarian

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