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Author Topic: Getting baby used to dad - Need help!  (Read 22579 times)

Kitty C.

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Ever heard of 'separation anxiety'?...............
« Reply #10 on: Sep 20, 2004, 09:37:35 AM »
I agree with TGB, Dad needs to spend MORE time, not less.

When DS was 4 years old, his father took off with him and went back to CA, 1800 miles away.  It was our second separation, the only other time I had been away from him was when my father took ill and passed away, with me being gone for 2 weeks.  This time, we were separated for 6 weeks, and only ONE night in between when he was with me.  It took 6 weeks, 3 trips to CA, 2 court appearances, and 1 emerg. mediation to get him back.

After that, for WEEKS, that poor child would stand at the door and SCREAM 'Mommy, don't go, don't go!' every time I left for work.  We were staying with my mom at the time and it would rip my heart out every DAY.  But I understood why it was happening, tho it did nothing for the rip in my heart.  I also understood that if he were to get thru this, I had to go thru the motions of every day life.  If I would go back and try to comfort him, it only made matters worse, because he could see and feel my insecurities as well, and that just compounded his own.  I learned the hard way: no matter how much it hurt to see my child in so much pain, I HAD to make him go thru it, or he'd never get over it.  There was just no other way.

He did eventually get thru it.  He also would not sleep in his own bed for almost a year and a half.  But he got thru it.  The 2 MOST IMPORTANT lessons I learned out of this was this:  one, I CANNOT shield my child from all of life's pain..........he MUST endure some pain if he is ever to survive in this world, he MUST learn coping skills because if he doesn't while in my care, where else will he learn it?  And two, I've learned to plaster on a smile and/or a poker face.  When I am tense or anxious about a situation that my child is going thru, I CANNOT allow him to see my stress in any way, shape, or form.  Children may not be able to voice it, but they DAMN WELL DO know when their parents are upset or anxious.

It's obvious that your daughter senses your anxiety with the situation and is feeding off of it.  The ONLY way you will be able get her and you thru this is to BACK OFF.  I can promise you this.  No matter how you try to smooth the way, if you ever have to leave her anywhere in an emergency, she will pitch a fit of mega proportions, because she's learned that it causes you stress and that you will take her out of it immediately.  THAT's what you've taught her.  You're teaching her to be totally dependant on YOU.  Is that the lesson you want to teach?

And if you can take her to a day care, then there is NO reason why she cannot spend time with her father, especially away from you.  There is NOdifference between the two.  BOTH were strangers to her initially, but one your treated differently than the other.   WHY?  Another opinion:  if you're 'easing' her in to day care, what are you going to do when she starts school, what are you going to do (or better, how is SHE going to cope) when you don't have the luxury of doing that?

You say that you are studying child psychology, but that does NOT teach you to be a parent.  You are not raising a child, you are raising an ADULT.  What you teach now will have effects on her for her ENTIRE life.  So if you want her to have no coping skills and be dependant on others for the rest of her life, just keep doing what you're doing.  And an infant is NOT too young.  If you can't find a reputable day care, interview thoroughly, do your own checks, and visit once or twice with your child before starting, then there is no reason that you would need to stick around even on the first day.  Cuz I can guarantee you that you both will get a rude shock on the first day of school.  Many teachers INSIST that parents drop off their kids, say their goodbyes, and LEAVE.  If you're not capable of doing it now, you better learn, for the sake of your child.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


RainGirl

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RE: Getting baby used to dad - Need help!
« Reply #11 on: Sep 20, 2004, 03:47:47 PM »
I've tried to find nice ways and good moments for him to be able to share.  She's breastfed but I pump milk and let him feed her that way.  We've avoided the diaper changing scene as she doesn't like to sit still that long so it tends to be a struggle and by the end of it, she's usually pretty ticked at me.  I didn't want him associated with that kind of thing, especially since he's still really new to the diaper thing himself and hitting a moving target proved to be frustrating for him as well.  She's used to me so being ticked wih me isn't a huge deal, but with her impressions of him being so limited, I'd rather keep thenegative ones to a minimum.  I kind of figured one battle at a time and that one can wait for later once they are both more comfortable with each other.  When she falls asleep (usually nursing) I hand her off to him so she can sleep on him.  I don't know for certain that it helps, but figure somehow, somewhere, she will gain a familiarity with his scent and if she stirs, sees him, and goes back to sleep, it's good for them as well.  Associating a relaxed, comfortable time with the face and scent.  I've even considered putting some of his cologne on her blankets and things around the house.  She loves music and I copied some of her favorite tapes so that when he does eventually take her, that part of her environment will carry over and help her feel a bit more at home.  I've never tried the video thing since I thought she as still pretty young for that, but that may be another thing to try.  Do you know of good videos for infants?  Thank you so much for all the helpful hints!  

RainGirl

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RE: Getting baby used to dad - Need help!
« Reply #12 on: Sep 20, 2004, 03:59:25 PM »
I will look into classes, maybe her pediatritian would be a good person to ask about those kinds of things since I don't even know where to start looking.  I have tons of text books from school on infant development and infant psychology and things of that nature, but it's a lot of reading considering what it is needed for.  Getting literature from her doctor is a great idea I didn't think about.  I'm sure they would have something far more scaled down and managable as texts can be more detailed and overwhelming than needed at times.  Thanks!

When I had picked DD up from school that day, her teachers said they were going to have to talk to him about how he interacted with her, giving her some space and time to adjust to him instead of rushing over and picking her up.  At the time, I told them I would do it, as I knew that would be a blow to his ego (he hates to look "bad" and the fact that she preferred her teachers over him would be insult enough without teachers having to rub it in by talking to him about it).  They are wonderful people and wouldn't ever intend for it to be insulting, but he's got a hellish case of male pride and I can pretty much guarantee that day it took a beating.  I knew it would come easier from me (much like having a family member pull you aside and tell you your fly is down instead of your client), but maybe if it came from another source, it would stick better.  I think I will wait and see how this week goes.  I talked to him this weekend about approaching her, but if it continues, I think I'll let them talk to him as well.

Hawkeye

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RE: Ever heard of 'separation anxiety'?...............
« Reply #13 on: Sep 20, 2004, 07:03:04 PM »
Kitty C. is onto something here...  ;^) and quite honestly I haven't read *all* the comments on this thread, but from what I have, it seems that *everyone* is a bit anxious... Mom wants to be Mom, Dad wants to be Dad and maybe, Baby just wants to be baby rather than caught in a potential tug-o-war.

Is Mom not fully comfortable with letting Dad be Dad? Is Mom a bit unsure of what is really best for baby? Is Dad excited about being Dad but could handle a little fine tuning into "babycare"? Is baby just confused as to just what is going on with all these new faces, places, and so called adults?

Forgive me if I missed something here, but maybe, just maybe if the two parents can take a parenting class together (or seperately) and not only discuss what is best for them, but fundamentally what is best for baby, and suck in their own adult egos, they might just make some discoveries.

Granted, I'm a guy, but I have seen sooo many guys that are just as, if not more nurturing than bio-moms. Lots of them hang out on slowlane.com and share their stories, others are busy just trying to fulfill their responsibility as sensitively as they can.

I'll try to go back to the beginning of this thread and re-read all the posts in case I'm missing something. For now, take it one day at a time, you've only just begun, raising, enlightening a little newbie! Congrats!   :+

maxwell

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RE: Getting baby used to dad - Need help! (Videos)
« Reply #14 on: Sep 21, 2004, 06:42:46 AM »
I found the Einstein videos awesome. I bought a few -- Beethoven. Mozart, the water ones, etc. My sons leans toward Beethoven. They are short (~35 mins) but he used to sit in front on replay for an hour or more.  While the visual themes seem somewhat similiar -- i think its the music that attracts him the most. (started this ~5 months old). He is now 19 months and every night before bed its a few minutes of "Nemo" ;)   Try amazon.com -- you can get them cheaper :)


Kitty C.

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RE: Getting baby used to dad - Need help!
« Reply #15 on: Sep 21, 2004, 08:32:15 AM »
I'm sorry, but the diaper thing is just plain lame.  I've not only changed the diapers on my own son, but millions of others while babysitting and working in a hospital.  ALL babies will move and wiggle on you, you just have to be the adult and take charge of it.  And how is Dad supposed to learn that if you don't let him?  Of COURSE it's frustrating at first, you just said it was for you.  So why won't you let Dad experience the same things you have?

If you have a changing table, there should be a strap that you put around the baby so you can secure her, or if you put the pad on the floor (I've worn out the knees on more jeans than I care to think about!), just keep one hand on her at ALL times and make sure that you have everything ready and available within reach when you go to change her.  This isn't rocket science and ANYONE is capable of it.  My 15 y.o. son can change the diaper on a swift-moving 1 y.o. now, but he didn't get to that point with one experience.

To tell you the truth, as long as you insist Dad stay in YOUR home while he sees his daughter, the least you could do is go to another part of the house and leave them alone.  Pump milk and give him a bottle to feed her and walk away.  He will never learn how to feed her, comfort her, change her, or put her to sleep with you hanging all over both of them constantly.  As long as you're at his side and jumping in every time she squeaks, he's never going to learn a thing.

BACK OFF.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

joni

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I agree
« Reply #16 on: Sep 21, 2004, 09:06:08 AM »
I'm beside myself on this whole scenario.  Just tons of lame excuses to disrespect that father's role in the child's life.    She's very patronizing of his role in the child's life.

Ref

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Little comment
« Reply #17 on: Sep 21, 2004, 10:14:33 AM »

In your original post you seem to be upset by your ex taking his girlfriend to see your daughter. Why is this a problem? What does that have to do with anything besides your own issues?

I think that comment speaks volumes about your attitude towards him.

MYSONSDAD

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RE: Getting baby used to dad - Need help! (Videos)
« Reply #18 on: Sep 21, 2004, 11:30:05 AM »
Those videos are great. I did the same thing...

I also sing to my son, but don't tell anyone

hagatha

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My thoughts . . .
« Reply #19 on: Sep 22, 2004, 06:32:49 AM »
Rain,

Yiu sure have come a long way!! Congrats!

I would say my thoughts will not be popular but they will get you where you want to be.

I think your problem is consistancy and the lack thereof. If he would show up more she would be more secure. While your approach takes time and is very good, it is being wasted because I think he resents the concept.

Next time he shows up, hand him the baby and her diaper bag and tell him to have her back in a couple hours.  Now either he will be back in a very short time, he will call from wherever he is and ask how to calm her, or he will learn how to handle her all on his own.

She might return upset and scared, or she might be fine. You don't know what will happen because you haven't tried this yet.

Trust me, this won't kill her. She doen't need you as a security blanket. She needs to figure him out and he needs a chance to figure it all out too.

I know you will think I am crazy, but if you try what I suggest a couple times you might be suprised

The Witch
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