As my husband's first Father's Day approaches my heart aches for him. Our 10 month old daughter STILL wont warm up to him. She cries whenever I hand her to him or even step away. Of course this isnt all the time but probably 90% of the time. Even when we are on walks and he tries to carry her in the backpack--where she can see me and I even hold her hand, she still cries until I take her back. I am a SAHM, breastfeeding and have practiced attachment parenting. She will go to her 1 X weekly babysitter with no problem and will play with other children. My husband tries hard--he wakes up with us in bed every day, comes home and plays with her for about an hour every night and spends extra time here and there as well. We just spent 4 days together (visiting family) and I thought that would help their relationship but it didnt. She clung to me 90% of the time. I want to continue breastfeeding but my husband thinks that this is part of the problem.
Please any advice or support you can give--is this normal?
All Daddy wants for Father's Day is a hug from his daughter!

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Kids can sometimes be finicky - especially when they are particularly attached to one parent. She will likely grow out of it, but if you want to do something about it I suggest just letting her cry a little bit with her dad each day. Maybe start at 5 minutes at a time and slowly increase the amount of time that you let her cry before taking her back. I would bet that after the first few times she will be fine.

Have you also thought about letting them have some one-on-one time when you are not around? Of course when you are there she will prefer you since she is so very close to you. If you leave, she will have no choice but to be with her dad and I bet after the first few times she will love it. Perhaps they can go to the park for 15-20 minutes each day and play on the swing? I'm sure it will be rocky at first, but then it will get better!

Plus, then you could have a few minutes to yourself to relax :-)
It is TOTALLY normal. Things were similiar in our house--babies seem to develop a strong preference for 1 parent around this age and as a SAHM and nursing, of course it's you. I think the key to helping them establish a relationship is for you to get out of the picture :). Try brief times with just the two of them, while you run to the store, take a walk, etc. making sure she is not hungry or tired. As long as you are an "option" I imagine she will always choose you, at this age. Later on, your presence won't always be a trigger. Do you have anxiety about your husband caring for her? I know I did-as the primary parent it's hard to relinquish control. If you feel tense about that, she will pick up on it. Also, age changes alot of things. My daughter is 18 months now, and OBSESSED with her father. Now, whenever he is home from work she frequently wants to be with him instead of me, but it wasn't always that way. They have a few "routines" they always do together, like feeding and walking the dogs, which seems to be a fun way to connect for them. Assure your husband that in the next 6 months or so he will see big changes. Good luck. ( I am still nursing my baby, by the way.)
Hi Tammy

This happens when fathers feel helpless, and babies are still reading dad's mirror neurons.
He's fearful, so baby picks it up fuses and dads often then interpret it as my child is rejecting me.
Not true, the child doesn't really know how to do that.

The best thing you can do as the mom is leave the go to it...that means stop rescuing dad from his discomfort and let them work it out.

When they do, and they will, that baby is 50% his father, then just support that.
Some lovely advice already from the ladies here.

If what they suggested doesn't work, sometimes it's just time. A lot of Dads find it easier to bond with children as they get older and less dependent on their mothers. My son was very much attached to me for the first year or so. When he was around 1.5ish I think he really started to lean towards his dad and it's only gotten stronger as he's gotten older, started walking, talking and they started really being able to communicate and do things together. Stay strong, it will happen eventually!
Thank you all for your support . I really appreciate you taking time to respond to my discussion.



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