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Trusting your husband with baby

Dr. Noelle Nelson is a relationship expert and an internationally respected psychologist, author and seminar leader. She has given life-changing guidance to couples for more than 20 years.

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Baby, diapers & the new dad

You're puzzled. Your husband is this great guy who cares about people, likes animals and comes through in an emergency. However, when faced with ten squirming pounds of baby, he suddenly becomes rigid, incapable, and as far as you can see, uncaring! What is up with that? You really could use the help. Come on, what's so difficult about a bottle?

Baby, diapers & the new dad

What's difficult about a bottle could be you: the new mom. New moms can often be so afraid our mates will do it wrong that we criticize, harp, fuss and can inadvertently make it difficult for the man in our lives to do anything right around baby. It's no surprise that our guys throw their hands up and walk away. No one likes to be told they're doing it wrong.

But not only are new moms scared dad will do it wrong, Dad is scared he'll do it wrong too! Here's this itty bitty wiggly thing that cries for no apparent reason... and this is something with which Dad has very little experience.

Mom has had the whole nine months (especially the last three) to get used to the idea and to bond with the life growing within her. But for dad, it's totally different. One day he has a wife with a very large belly and the next day he has a son or daughter -- no transition. So don't look at your husband with disgust when he cringes at the idea of "the bottle." Help him ease into helping you with the new baby.

How to ease Dad into being A Daddy

  • Read baby books together and take notes on some of the best how-tos. Let it be known those lists are for the both of you (you're a new mom and you don't know everything yet).
  • Give Dad some time alone with baby -- completely Mommy-free.
  • Ask Dad to change the diaper or feed the baby and don't criticize -- better yet, don't even be in the room. This will demonstrate the trust you have in his abilities.

If you give him some time and responsibilities, he'll get more comfortable with all the new baby-related tasks. And as an added plus, (a BIG plus) he'll be bonding with the child through care-taking. And that's priceless.

When mom and baby are bonding, does dad feel left out?
Find out what one dad says

Tell us:

What is your most embarrassing new parent mistake? Share it with us in the comments section below!

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