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Baby can only be comforted by Mom
My wife and I have a three week old son. I have since went back to work while my wife is out of work until Jan. I generally take over with feeding, diaper change, and one on one bonding 2 hours before I go to work and when I get home from work.
While at work my son goes to sleep while on my wife's chest, and often sleeps in the bed next to her if not on her chest. This is for the whole entire time while I am at work and late nights. I am starting to notice within the last week that I can no longer comfort him on my chest or lap like I was able to do the first two weeks.
He starts to cry, but a fanatic cry as if he is in pain. At first I thought it was gas. But as soon as I pass him off to my wife, she puts him on her chest and he is off to sleep. Am I losing the battle of bonding with my son?
You spend 2 hours with your baby before you go to work and again when you get back home? You are obviously doing all you can for your child. Bonding by new dads is overblown; I often hear from guys in your situation - totally doing the job but concerned that the "bonding" wasn't happening.
Trying to bond is like trying to fall in love with a girl; you can't push it, it just happens when you spend time together, and you are definitely spending the time with your child. In a couple of months when your son starts smiling at you and gets excited when he sees or even hears you, you will think back to this time and laugh.
Your three week old may be indicating signs of "colic"; crying in babies generally peaks at 6 weeks and is over at three months, and living with the 20% with colic (serious crying for some reason)can be very tough. He calms down when mom puts him on her chest since it reminds him of being in her womb, which is a good thing.
Parenting a new baby needs to be a tag team operation where both of you bring unique strengths. For us guys, knowing we were there when our baby needed us is one key to this bonding thing. Taking on a challenge bigger than ourselves, protecting him from all threats, caring for him, providing for our family, ... This is the essence of manhood and the source the tremendous fulfillment a baby brings when we men do the job.
The other key is how we feel when our babies respond to us with smiles and excitement when they are a few months old. In the meantime, if he does have colic, you will have a bigger opportunity to be there for him. You are definitely winning the battle of bonding. Let me know how it works out.
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