My son cries when his dad holds him: What should we do?

I am a mom to a baby boy, and I am curious if any other couples where one partner is a stay at home parent is experiencing this or has experienced this… my husband is a teacher as well as a football, basketball, and baseball coach. He is currently in football and basketball season, so those coupled with teaching he is super busy. Anyways our son is used to being with me all day to the point where he gets so worked up when my husband holds him and won’t calm down until I have him. I know the reality is he’s more comfortable with me because dad isn’t around as much as I am, but I still feel awful because I know it really hurts dad’s feelings. Has anyone else experienced this? Did you just let a baby cry it out being held so they could get used to it? I include dad when he is home letting him to feeding, diapers changes, etc. Is this just a phase, maybe??


dad has to be comfortable holding him… yes… babies get attached to people who are around them the most… it will get easier… keep going

My daughter preferred me the first 6 months, now at 1 I don’t exist when her dads home :rofl::woman_shrugging:t2: they’re still figuring it out. There will be a balance as they age. Hang in there.

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Babies feel someone who is nervous. Lol. It’s probably just a phase my daughter was like this with my mom because as a single mom, I had to work a lot so my mom kept her. She out grew it.

My daughter does the same thing.

It will all work out. The older baby gets the more they will want dad. And when hes home include dad in things baby really enjoys like bath time or play time or something else

Maybe have gum leave a used shirt at home for baby while dad is gone. Help baby get comfortable with his scent. Also did father do skin to skin? Helps with bonding!


My husband felt our son hated him because he would fuss with him. I told him it was because he was new and mommy is who he wanted. Now our son is 16 months old and adores his daddy.

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Totally normal!! He will grow out of it and have so much fun with dad when he’s a little older. Just tell dad he loves you so much and soon he will be having so much fun together.

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With babies, everything is a phase. This is super common and at some point he will be the favorite parent even though you are home all day with him and that’s frustrating too. :laughing: but it sways back and forth.


Kind of a phase, but I’d encourage their bonding a little more. Maybe the three of you cuddle more often or do the diaper changes and feeding together so it’s not such a big absence when your not close by. You’re baby’s everything: comfort, problem solver and meal ticket, so you not being close by might make baby panic. Help him associate dad as his comfort too.

Just hold him more and more talk to him with a calm voice kids feel tension and they also fill comfort keep going dad it will happen :call_me_hand:

Maybe meet up for lunch dates and to watch him coach.

when dad comes home let them do an activity or take a walk without you!

Make it a routine for him to have Daddy time

My youngest wouldn’t even go to my husband until after she was one. She is now 10 and and she is all about her daddy now. I think it’s a phase most kids go though

When my daughter was a baby she hated men in general. My husband couldnt hold her without her crying until she got older. I now have plenty of snuggling pictures of them :slightly_smiling_face:

My son is 9 months and some days it’s mommy and some daddy and some sissy. We let him choose we have a very happy baby who hardly crys

I am a stay-at-home mom my son prefers hugs by me and is like ok dad ok when my husband hugs him my son is just a momma’s boy he doesn’t really care for hugs from his sis either and that’s ok

Go eat lunch with dad, go meet dad after school before practice and before games, during dads planning period etc…

My daughter did the same thing but once they start recognizing different faces they’ll get better at it. My husband would get hurt too, but he was patient and spent time with her while I wasn’t around and she came around. :heart: Just don’t give up! Babies will get the idea who loves them most in time.

It’s just a phase, he’ll grow out of it! Luckily my husband is a stay at home dad, and I’m a stay at home mom so this never happened to US, but it definitely happens with anyone who ISNT us. Totally normal!

I could’ve written this post myself. I stay at home with my 16 month old boy. My husband works crazy hours and usually gets home right before bedtime throughout the week and works alot of weekends too. When he gets home my son will say hi and sit with him then he’s right back to me. If my husband tries to pick him up he literally SCREAMS and squeals at the top of his lungs. I’m surprised my neighbors haven’t called the cops lol. It does hurt my husbands feelings alot. Idk how to help because I want my baby to be comfortable and not cry but I want him happy to sit with Daddy too.

For the first year babies prefer mum. Can’t take it personally.

As a toddler my son used to say to his dad "no, only mommy do it ". It’s tough on them but vjust need to not take personally it gets better

Always happens. I have 6 and each one, as a baby, preferred momma. Now though my 4 yr old prefers her daddy. And my 8 yr old will cry for hos Daddy when hes sick… They do grow out of it. My 1 yr old will let daddy hold him Only if i cant.

Just a phase dear! Both my babies was like that with their dad. But now that they are older they are all about him!! :heart: keep including him when he gets home , things will get better.

My second son was exactly the same way. I had to start leaving them alone and let them figure it out. I started by leaving the house for an hour here and there. Then a couple of hours here and there. Before long, they figured it out. Sometimes you just have to give it a little push. I’m not going to tell you the first couple of times was easy for them, but it worked and it worked really well.


I’m sorry you are all experiencing this! :cupid: My Love works long hours too but we have never had this happen even when she was a newborn she loved being held by him a lot when he was home. Now the moment he’s in the door she runs to him & wants to sit & cuddle with him for over an hour.:revolving_hearts:

I think this is probably normal. I would just encourage dad to do more when he’s home (if he’s not) - like feeding your son, changing him, responding to his cries, etc - he may start to associate daddy with comfort too… But if that doesn’t work, your hubby shouldn’t take it personal.

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Out of my 4 children, they all went thru this. As they each got a little older they developed their own bond with him. In fact, it still irritates me 30 years later because i remember that with each one they actually got to the point where they preferred their dad to me! I still remember feeling betrayed because he would come home and they wanted to sit on HIS lap, have HIM take them to the park…etc. Believe me when i say this; in the near future you will be asking why they cry when he leaves, and wonder what you did wrong. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: This is how it goes, generation after generTion.

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It happens. If you’ve tried inclusion then just leave. Baby will get over it and get the picture.

Hes having a case of mommyities he will outgrow it

It’s a phase ,and many children do it regardless -strong preference for Mama ,even if dad’s home alot.this too shall pass…

My husband is terrified of this happening, he works quite a bit and I stay home with our son so we both expected it to come along sometime. As soon as he walks through the door he grabs baby first thing, does almost all the feeding changing ect. Bath time, everything while he is home to ge the most bonding in he can. Same thing on his days off. I think it helps a lot to take advantage of whatever time he does have at home but we both keep in mind baby and mama bond is a whole different world. I reassure him that before long he’ll be a wild toddler and dad will become the fun play parent and get more attention lol

Wear a shirt that smells like your hubby. So he gets use to his smell. It should help. My son did this to me. Good luck

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Did everyone know that it’s in our DNA/instinct to not want to be around males as an infant? Literally from the dawn of time babies have had the instinct that women’s softer voices and smaller bodies are safer than the men’s harsher voices and hairy large bodies. Also pheromones


He will grow out of it. I always talk up my so n Like get really excited n say daddy wants to see u go to daddy. That n hangout next to him with the baby while he talks to her. He is around maybe 2 hours a day with 1 day off

My husband is in the navy so he’s gone most of the time and for us it’s normal. My son is 2 now and looooves his daddy and goes through a sad daze when he’s gone. But when he was a baby he would freak out if he wasn’t with me and my husband understood that he’s a baby and just can’t remember him when he got home from deployments and it took a while of him hanging out with him every time before he was super comfortable with his dad. We never pushed it though. We didn’t want to make him uncomfortable with his dad or anyone else so we would just ease into it with playing on the floor and feeding him bottles when he was tired and watching movies with him next to me and his dad together.

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Get a shirt you wore and have him keep it by baby while he’s holding him

I think it’s a phase. My daughter was like that and grew out of it. I mean now she even gives her daddy kisses at night and I’m basically chopped liver. Lol I’m home with her all day as well and he’s always at work or hunting so she sees him solely at bedtime now but before he was working 12hr days 6 days a week when she was small. It’ll be fine.

My son only wanted my husband, my daughter only wants me. He was around more with our son and I didnt bond well with him. With our daughter he works midnights and hasnt bonded with her like he did our son. They eventually get over it and love the other parent.

Normal. It will get better just have dad keep being dad.

I’m not sure. I’m a stay-at-home mom and my husband has always worked a lot. My kids as babies were always excited to see him.

Yes its normal. My son is pretty clingy with me and less with dad but he has his days where he wants dad more. Just have dad help where he can as much as he can and babe will come around.

Unfortunately dad just needs more 1 in 1 with him. Maybe go out for a couple hours 1 day when dads home. If your not there for comfort baby might calm down better.

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Maybe go to grocery store so dad is left with baby . He should settle down.

Happened till about 10 months n now daddy is everything! Tell him not to take it too personally.

Wear one of dads shirt and have dad wear it while holding baby

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My baby is almost 4 months and is this way with anyone outa the house. She typically wants nothing to do with other people.

It’s normal for babies to have a preference for one caregiver over another. It’s not at all personal. Their brains aren’t developed enough to have the kind of significance to it that we do. Remember the preference can swap back and forth so one day it might become all “ daddy daddy daddy!” In the meanwhile, doing care like diapering etc helps, but I wouldn’t push the holding if your son is really worked up. Maybe sit close with your husband while you hold your son so he has the security of mom while learning dad is a part of it too.

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It’ll take time. Daddy needs to hold him more so the baby gets use to him.

He will grow out of it. It’s hard cause you are around all the time and Dad is not.
I am a working mom. Step Dad stays home to watch the LO. He hasn’t been around long, but my daughter will only go to bed for him without much fuss. When she is getting cranky just before nap or bed she goes to him just because that is their routine. He enjoys putting her down for a nap while I help around the house or just flat out relax

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take a shirt he worn or a pillowcase & when you hold your son have this on your shoulder or where ever the baby is

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You need to let him bond with his Daddy ur doing a great job on having his Dad help you with him, you just need ur baby cry before long he "ll be used to his Daddy it’s called separation anxiety give him time to adjust to his Daddy and before you know it he will be following Daddy around it will pass this is normal my daugther cried lot’s with her daddy too only because he worked night’s,and when he’d come to hold her she cried, refused to be with him would hold on tight to me but when he started working morning’s and she saw him more she Loved him to hold her,then she went to becomming,a Daddy’s Little girl

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My daughter did this with my husband. I breast feed so I think that we bounded quicker. Our 2 older ones took to him right away. He will come around!

Yup, put one of dad’s unwashed shirts in his crib & you wear a dad-sized T shirt around for a couple of days & have him wear it to hold your little one.

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It’s fine, next thing you know his first word will be dada, and dad will be his favorite person even though your the one home with them allllll day. In my own experience any way 🤷


How old is your son? As a small baby my youngest did this Everytime his daddy held him. Until he hit 1. Now daddy can hold n love on him. But my husband never gave up he held him everyday for a couple of seconds or minutes.

Yep all 3 of of our kids went through this. It ain’t fun.
Try even going for a walk or to the store by yourself. It doesn’t have to be every day. But even on the weekends if you can manage. It WILL get better. Or try the shirt thing that others are recommending. I never tried it but who knows :woman_shrugging:

My 2nd bubby was like this even with daddy home a goid amount of time. Bubby’s world is just about you at the moment. Try getting hubby to cuddle and touch him while you feed and get him to take him for walks or you go out for that one on one time. Mine would cry for a bit when I left but would be great great and have fun after she got over it. Now she is fine when I go away from her.

My kid is 8 now so it’s been awhile since I delt with this. To be honest I made my kid cry it out whether i was just needing a break or leaving the house. They literly cry for less than 5 minutes, I worked at a daycare and so many parents felt guilty when they left until I started sending them videos of their kids literally turning their tears off as soon as the vehicle was out of sight. If you continue to draw out the separation or go back to them you are telling the child they are not safe with anyone but you and will make it so much harder on them to adjust.

Nah they get used to their one person or people who are always there. Just tell him play with him and talk to him while u hold him or floor time. Eventually he will get used to him the more he does it.

My now 4 year old daughter, didn’t want anything to do with her dad till she was 6 months old. I’m a stay at home mom, she was breastfed and her dad worked long hours due to being military. He took it personal for a while but has gotten over most of it. She is now a total dadda’s girl and loves him to pieces. So I wouldn’t worry about it, keep up the good work momma

How old is bub? My 3 where like this from 4 months till 18 months then all of a sudden it was all about daddy

I’d personally say it is normal. Try going out side while he is with dad, and see how it goes. . But don’t let baby see you.

We went through this recently with my daughter (2 yrs old). I talked to my therapist about it who reinforced my idea to leave the house so they could get some time together. Whether I’m just going to the store, or if he takes her to the store with him. Giving her time where it’s just them one on one had really made a difference. The therapist said often times kids have a defense mechanism built in where they reject a parent for leaving because it hurts when they leave, so they reject them so they don’t get attached and therefore they don’t get hurt.

Was a stay at mom for awhile and we had the same issue with my son he is now 3 and now adores his dad more than me. Kys normal babies don’t tend to bond with the little ones until after 2 and then you have to fight for their attention coz it’s all a out daddy

My 9month old started to do this a month or so ago, then I started to leave home a lot more, and dad started spending a lot more time with him when I wasn’t around, he still comes to me when he’s tired but loves playing with dad and snuggling with him after naps! Definitely leave him a lot more!

I know your husband is busy but he may need to make some extra time for his son. Maybe cut back on coaching. I know it won’t be easy but family is more important. I wouldn’t say let him hold him while he is screaming and crying. Soothe him get down with your husband and child and play with them both. Let him know it’s ok to have a good time with daddy too.

It’s normal. Depending on how old LO is. He is with you constantly plus if he is very young your body is all he knows. He will come around to dad soon.

Hold daddy’s shirt between you and baby when you cuddle. Let him recognize that smell with comfort. It will be much easier to pass him off to dad.

I think this is normal. I’m a SAHM too and my son (1 year old) cries when dad takes him out of my arms when he gets home from work. He eventually will calm down but we make sure dad has time alone with him. For example, he’ll go in another room and play with him one on one or on the weekends, I’ll go to the store and keep baby home with dad. It definitely helps having baby spend alone time with dad too since he’s alone with you all day. Plus boys are almost always mama boys so he’s probably going to always be a bit more attached to you but he’ll come around and just reassure dad that baby is used to being with you all day not to mention you carried him in your body for 9 months. It’s totally normal. :blush:

Just a phase and as baby gets older will calm down around dad. Your are who he is connected to right now but as baby gets older they will calm down and start to realize that dad can be trusted too and if you need a break then baby will die but be ok till you get back. My timesheet was like this for a bit but now he is his Daddy’s mini me

My son is almost 5 months. He was like this up until about the last month or so. Especially the entire time I was on maternity leave, he really only wanted to be by me. It took a while after going back to work that my son finally got used to being with my hubby. It’s pretty normal and common from what I’ve heard.

Set beside your husband while you are holding the baby. Show affection to each other and joke around. When the baby sees your engagement to your husband he might relax a little. Good luck!!


All 3 of my kids went through this phase… I purposely left each child with daddy for a couple hours. And soon enough, they were fine. It became to the point of, when they wanted to play, they wanted daddy. When they were hungry, tired or sick, they looked for mommy… so :woman_shrugging:t2:

Babies can get separation anxiety really early. Especially if there’s a small amount of people that are providing needs. It’s a phase that can cause more problems down the road. Baby needs to spend alone time with daddy during those times you should go out and do something for you.

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Give him the baby go enjoy your day. Even the sound of your voice will continue the crying. Dad will be just fine they will grow closer and you will have some much needed time out of the house

My middle child was like this, of he’s old enough to play, daddy needs to get down on the floor at his level and play with him. Sit with him on the couch and talk to him, even though your son can’t respond with conversation, talk to him as if he can answer, it is never to early to read a book. Your husband needs to interact with your son, as much as possible when he is home. And you should leave the room so he can’t see you. The more he interacts with his son on a personal level the better their relationship will be.


That happen with my husband when he was gone working and then gone for 4 months solid he was gone for work out of town. My son would scream because he didn’t get the chance to know his dad but when he got older he understood more that this man that comes and goes is actually dad and it’s ok to be with dad

It’s a phase! Hand the baby to Dad and leave… Or leave the room. They need time alone (at least where he can’t see Mom) so he will get used to being with Dad


Yes my kids dad was a chef so was barely home. My boys didn’t want much to do with him. However, I made sure they knew who he was. We would spend time playing together, sitting together, i had dad sit next to me while feeding, had him change diapers, etc. I eventually was able to leave the room without them crying. My boys are 4 years apart and both of my boys went through this. What i mentioned worked for both. My kids are now 12 and 7, me and the dad are no longer together, my 12 yr old still prefers me over him while my 7 yr old would rather be with dad.

It’s a phase but is there a favorite toy or blanket he associates with you maybe give Daddy a special toy or blanket with your scent and he will calm down or a special peakaboo game you play children are resilient and remember special things or smells maybe if Dad holds a blanket or sweater that smells like Momma he’ll be more comfortable with Dad

Dont force the baby to be with him…leave them in a room together…put some toys in there…let dad start playing with the toys…and boy will slowly work his way to dad.

It’s a natural reaction because he’s not as familiar with dad. Try laying him to sleep on something that has daddy’s scent in it. Through out the day have the little one look at pictures of dad. You also want to have dad call home as much as possible to speak with the little one so he becomes more familiar with dad’s voice. Dad also needs to spend as much time as possible with the little one when he’s home. Since he’s prone to fuss when dad has him, have dad play and talk to him while you hold him until he gets comfortable with dad.