My Baby Doesn’t Like Me

Dear Mr. Dad: My two-month-old baby doesn’t like me. He’s perfectly content with my wife, but when I try to hold him, he gets upset and cries. I’ve backed off a little, thinking that he just needs a little time to get used to me, but that doesn’t seem to be working. I’m starting to think I’m just not a very good dad. Is it too late for me to build a relationship with my baby?

A: There’s not much in this world that can make a grown up man feel more incompetent than a baby can. The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to get past those feelings—and no, it’s not too late. Not even close.

Before we get into the what-to-do part, we need to do something about the way you’re thinking. First, get the idea that your baby doesn’t like you or that he thinks you’re a bad father out of your head. Do you really believe that someone who’s a few months old is qualified to make a judgment about your parenting skills? What other dads could he possibly be comparing you to?
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Three Must-Have New Baby Items

SONY DSC

SONY DSCSo the day has come, and you’re holding that tiny, helpless, unbelievably lovable, and completely dependent-upon-you baby in your arms. Congratulations, and welcome to the journey of fatherhood. Whether this is your first baby, or the third or sixth, that old provider-protector instinct is already kicking in. But between trying to cope with those nighttime wakeups and adjusting to a new pace of life, it’s not always easy to make the right decisions for the newest member of your the family.

Don’t worry, dad. The fact that you want to give your baby the very best means you’re more than halfway there. Three of your most important activities are going to be feeding, schlepping, and swaddling–all of which require the right equipment (and technique). Unfortunately, it’s hard to filter through the dizzying array of products and the equally dizzying amount of misinformation Here’s an intro to the equipment and some info that will help you stay on the right side of each one.

Baby Bottles

You may have heard the phrase that “breast is best” when it comes to feeding your little one. Many studies have shown the myriad benefits of breastfeeding, so it’s considered all the better if your wife is able to nurse. Does mama work full-time? If she can pump, give her encouragement to do so—and kudos for the hard work it takes to make this happen. The key to giving a breastfed baby a bottle is finding a variety that closely simulates the breast. Styles like the line of NxGen Nurser baby bottles are regularly recommended by lactation consultants.

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Breastfeeding: Is There Ever Too Much of a Good Thing?

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife continues to breastfeed our two-year-old daughter even though she’s old enough to eat “real” food. I don’t have a problem with this, but some of our friends and even some coworkers are shocked that she’s still breastfeding. Is there a specific age at which you should stop breastfeeding? Are we committing some sort of social faux pas by trying to do right by our daughter?

A: Oh, boy, are you going to cause a firestorm. Deciding whether to breastfeed a baby and for how long, is something only the parents can decide. But, as you’ve noticed, a lot of people have strong opinions on the topic and they’re not afraid to share them—whether you want to hear them or not.

Let’s start with some background. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that, barring any medical problem, babies get nothing but breast milk for the first six months. Then it’s “as long as mutually desired by the mother and child.” Many pediatricians suggest that starting at six months, parents should gradually introduce appropriate food and simultaneously decrease breastfeeding. At the end of a year, most babies will be weaned. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a child nurse for longer than that—as long as you understand that the kind of nutrition if provides is mostly emotional.
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All Joy and No Fun: How Children Affect Their Parents

Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun.
Topic:
The paradox of modern parenthood.
Issues: How children compromise the autonomy parents have grown accustomed to; how children affect parental decision making, division of labor, and can strain a marriage; the true fun in having children is just sitting back, being passive, and enjoying kids being themselves; much more.

Baby Knows Best + What Works and What Doesn’t in Blended Families

Deborah Carlisle Solomon, author of Baby Knows Best.
Topic:
Raising a confident and resourceful Child.
Issues: The RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers); how to respond to your baby’s cues and signals; how to help your baby develop healthy sleep habits; seeing your infant as a competent people with a growing ability to communicate, problem-solve, and self-soothe.

Patricia Papernow, author of Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships.
Topic:
What works and what doesn’t.
Issues: What makes stepfamilies different? Five challenges for stepfamilies; why ex-spouses are part of the family; how stepfamilies change and develop over time.

Parents report same well-being but more emotions | Futurity

Parents report same well-being but more emotions | Futurity.