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My infant son does not like his father

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My son cries almost everytime his father picks him up for no apparent reason beside the fact that it is his father. At times he will even cry or appear anxious at the sound of my husbands voice. We began to notice this when he was only about a month old and originally thought it would only be temporary. When he was a newborn he could be comforted by his father and often slept with him, now my husband can’t do anything to him without him sreaming or crying. Our baby is five months old and his behaviour towards his father has not changed. He is normally a very happy baby even smiling and responding well to complete strangers. I wonder if his behaviour is a response to some sort of trauma my husband may have knowingly or unwittingly caused to the baby.

My infant son does not like his father

Answered by on -

A.

There are at least two possibilities. It may be that your son is going through a normal stage where he is more attached to his mother than his father. Especially if you are nursing, he may not want to be separated from you. It would be quite understandable if, wanting a break, you immediately hand him off to your husband when he comes home. Your son may then associate the arrival of his Dad with separation from Mom. It’s not unusual for some children to go through a number of times where they get more attached to one parent or the other. For more information, go to websites that talk about Attachment Theory.

The other possibility is of more concern. If your husband either accidently or on purpose hurt the baby, the baby may be telling you in the only way he can that he doesn’t feel safe. I hope you have the kind of relationship with your husband that he can talk to you about whether he made a mistake, or more serious still, if he feels hostility to his child. Then, at least, you will know what you are dealing with and whether it is workable.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My infant son does not like his father

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My infant son does not like his father. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/02/25/my-infant-son-does-not-like-his-father/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.