Dad not bonding with baby
I may be in the wrong spot but I'm really desperate for advice. My husband has not bonded with our 5 month old son. Our son constantly cries, sometimes even purple cries, whenever my husband holds him, or touches him, sometimes even if he just looks at him. It's very upsetting for my husband. From day one though, my husband has been distant with him even though during the whole pregnancy he seemed very excited. The pregnancy was planned and I thought fatherhood is what he wanted. We did not find out the gender ahead of time and he always said it didn't matter to him what we were having. He has recently told me, however, that he had wanted a girl. He says "I thought I was getting daddy's little princess, not a son who hates me." I thought he just needed time to adjust to being a dad so I've taken on the burden of doing everything. I do diapers, feedings, bathtime, playtime, everything. My husband doesn't even care to read him stories because he's fearful our son will just "scream in his face." He works 16-18 hours a day & sleeps the rest. He's hardly ever around so I think our son views him as a stranger but my husband just dismisses this notion. He refuses to change, he thinks our son should be the one to change his behavior (he's 5 months old).
I've never seen my husband like this before, he's so angry and frustrated & his reaction & attitude toward our son is making me resentful & honestly, I'm finding myself falling out of love with him. I thought maybe my husband has postpartum depression but he already takes medication for depression & anxiety & even upped the dosage a couple months ago but I haven't seen any improvement. He says our baby is "ruining our lives", he wishes we never had him & he thinks his son "hates" him. This is breaking my heart. My husband is a good man and has previously been a caring & loving husband but the man he is being now is someone I don't recognize. I don't know what to do. I'm really hoping some dads out there understand & can offer some advice? This situation is ruining our marriage. TIA
I'd like to add that we've tried skin to skin, leaving them alone together, walks, me holding him while he talks to him, I've even tried holding him while I wear my husbands shirt to get him used to his scent, etc. Nothing seems to be working, baby still cries.
Hi, sorry to hear this. I am not sure what to suggest, but I know young children can pick up on peoples stress so this could be a problem. It must be difficult for your partner working long hours, is there an option he could take some time off work as annual leave so he can spend more time with your son and get a connection? Maybe that will help things? Maybe show him lots of affection yourself so your son can see that and hopefully he will see that he is ok? Take baths together or walks together.
I understand it can bring strain on any relationship, but I hope it works itself out soon for you.
Babies do cry when they are away from mum and the less he does, the more difficult it might be. Perhaps you could do bath-time with him so your son gets used to him being around with you.