What should I do when my baby's crying upsets my significant other?

Q: My husband gets frustrated when our baby cries. What can I do?

A: The most important thing is that you and your husband don't get pigeonholed -- with only one of you taking on the role of baby soother. You're a team and should work together. Your husband will need to accept a certain amount of crying. That's what babies do. But you can help him learn to take it in stride. Perhaps he becomes upset because he doesn't know how to calm your infant and feels helpless. Even though this can be frustrating for you (hey, you're learning the ropes here, too!) remember that it's normal for many new dads to feel this way.

Approach your husband during a non-crying moment in a very uncritical way. Empathize with his anxiety by telling him you understand how stressful it is when your baby cries and, if this is the case, acknowledge that you may be better at soothing the baby simply because you spend so much more time with her. Then offer to teach your husband your tricks for quelling the crying, while also suggesting that he find his own ways. Remind him that the first step toward soothing a screaming baby is to stay cool yourself. You might also try showing him some articles about how normal these crying spells are, or take him to the next pediatrician appointment so he can discuss his concerns with an expert.

Copyright 2009

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