Overcoming Challenges: Why Does My Baby Cry When Dad Holds Her?

Overcoming Challenges: Why Does My Baby Cry When Dad Holds Her?

You’re a proud new dad, but there’s one little problem – your baby cries every time you hold her. It’s a common issue many fathers face, but it can still be disheartening.

Understanding why your baby might be reacting this way is the first step to solving this issue. It’s not always a reflection of your parenting skills, and it doesn’t mean your baby doesn’t love you.

In the following article, we’ll explore the reasons behind your baby’s tears and offer practical solutions to help you bond with your little one. Stay tuned to learn more about this common but often misunderstood aspect of early parenthood.

Key Takeaways

  • A baby crying when held by the father is common and not a direct reflection of the dad’s parenting skills. It’s often due to sudden transition, need for comfort, or the father’s anxiety.
  • Unfounded myths and misconceptions often feed insecurities. The father’s capability of comforting the baby is equal to that of the mother and crying does not signify that the baby prefers one parent over another.
  • Engaging in bonding activities such as skin-to-skin contact, diaper change, story time, bath time, and playtime can help strengthen the dad-baby bond.
  • It’s natural for the baby to show preference towards the primary caregiver, most often the mother, especially during early stages of life. However, this doesn’t mean the baby is more comfortable only with the mother.
  • Seeking support and advice from experienced parents, professionals, or joining father groups can provide valuable insights and techniques to manage this situation.
  • Remember, being a dad is a journey filled with challenges. Patience, perseverance, and understanding help navigate this journey more effectively. Each baby is unique and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution in parenting.

It’s not uncommon for babies to cry when held by certain individuals; this can be due to unfamiliarity or a lack of comfort with someone’s hold, as discussed in child development insights at BabyCenter. Strategies to help babies feel more comfortable include frequent, gentle interactions and allowing the baby to see a parent’s face while being held, according to Parents Magazine.

Reasons why your baby cries when dad holds her

Reasons why your baby cries when dad holds her

Understanding why your child may cry when held by their father isn’t only about gaining insights. It’s also pivotal in developing stronger bonds and enhancing the overall relationship between father and child.

Sudden Transition

Babies are delicate creatures. They thrive on familiarity and consistency. After spending nine months in the womb, any transition can be overwhelming for your little one. If mom has been the primary caretaker during the initial stages, it’s only natural for your baby to protest a sudden switch.

Need for Comfort

To a baby, mom symbolizes a secure space. A familiar scent, the sound of her heartbeat, can reassure and comfort the baby. Remember, this doesn’t mean dad is doing anything wrong. Your baby just needs time to adjust and recognize the dad as a source of comfort as well.

Your Anxiety

Babies are intuitive. If dad is feeling anxious about holding the baby, the baby will likely pick up on this and react by crying. Deep breaths, a calm demeanour and practicing baby-holding techniques could be quite helpful.

To help manage these moments, you could try tactics like gradually increasing dad’s holding time or doing specific activities together like feeding or bath time. Keep in mind that each baby is unique and what works for one might not necessarily work for another. Patience, positivity, and persistently trying different methods is the best way forward.

Common misconceptions and reassurances

Many myths surround the subject of why a baby might cry when held by their dad. One frequent misconception is that only moms can comfort a crying baby since they are often the primary caregivers. This idea is not entirely accurate. Dads are equally capable of soothing their little ones. You just need time, patience, and a good dose of understanding to get there.

Another common fallacy is attributing a baby’s crying to the dad’s lack of parenting skills. Such judgments don’t hold water. Building a bond between a father and a baby doesn’t depend solely on the ability of the father to stop the baby from crying. It’s a complex process influenced by many variables. Seeing every cry as a failure might hinder your progress rather than aid it.

Don’t fall prey to these misconceptions. Understanding and managing your baby’s cries is not a competition or a test. It’s a journey where you learn more about your infant’s wants and needs while building your unique father-child bond.

Let’s debunk some commonly held beliefs:

  • A baby crying when held by their father means he is not a good parent.
  • A baby is always more comfortable with their mother than their father.
  • Men aren’t as naturally good with babies as women are.

Knowing the facts and discarding unfounded misconceptions can be empowering. Remember, it’s normal for babies to cry – it’s their primary mode of communication. Also, it’s not unusual for babies, particularly newborns, to favor the person who spends the most time with them, often their mother.

All these insights aim at reassuring you. The primary goal is to develop a deeper understanding of your little one and strengthen your bond. As you recognize and respond to your baby’s needs, you foster trust and attachment. This dad-baby bonding is a progressive process. Cherish the journey – it’s well worth it without a finishing line in sight.

Bonding activities for dads and babies

Your baby’s cries don’t represent rejection – they’re simply part of communicating needs and discomforts. So, don’t let it affect your determination and step up to embrace the bonding activities. Here are some fun and nurturing activities that can strengthen the bond between you and your little one.

Skin-to-Skin Contact

The power of a father’s touch is often underestimated. Lounge around at home shirtless and hold your baby against your skin. Cherish the warmth of the moment as it fosters a deeper connection. It’s a profound way to get your baby accustomed to your scent and voice.

Involve in Diaper Change

Diaper changing time is a golden opportunity for you to bond with your baby. It offers repeated close interaction, building an atmosphere of trust and love. With a little playful interaction, it doesn’t need to seem like a chore!

Story Time

Babies love voices – and your deep baritone can be as soothing as mom’s lullaby. Embrace story time routinely. Make it a ritual to read or tell stories to your baby. Over time, your voice will become something they seek for comfort.

Bath Time

Turn bath time into bonding time. Bubbles, bath toys, and your gentle care can provide pleasurable experiences for your baby. So, roll up your sleeves, and enjoy these bubbly experiences.

Participate in Playtime

Never underestimate the power of play. Stimulate your baby’s cognitive development, motor skills, and more importantly, your relationship, with simple games like peekaboo, or a gentle tickle.

Remember – bonding is about quality interactions. Even simple acts can lead to a blossoming father-infant relationship. Involve yourself wholeheartedly, and watch how your bond strengthens day by day.

Seeking support and advice

Seeking support and advice

Facing issues while attempting to bond with your baby can feel distressing. It’s perfectly normal and you’re not alone. Reach out to your support network now more than ever.

Relatives, especially those with parenting experience, can provide crucial insight. They’ve likely encountered similar challenges and can give helpful tips or techniques. Engage in discussions and be open to their advice. Anecdotal experiences can sometimes bring solutions that medical textbooks don’t cover.

Don’t hesitate to approach professionals either. Health workers such as pediatricians, neonatologists and nurses bring a wealth of knowledge. They’ve seen many parenting scenarios, and have guided numerous parents through challenges just like yours. Schedule an appointment. Bring up all your concerns, no matter how trivial they may seem.

Staying open to advice can help lessen the insecurity you may feel as a new father. Attending parenting workshops or online webinars can be a goldmine of information. Learn more about baby behaviors and coping mechanisms to handle them. Understanding why babies may cry more with one parent can reduce feelings of inadequacy and rejection.

Getting insights from other dads is also invaluable. Join fathers’ groups or online communities where similar issues are shared and discussed. You’ll not only gain valuable advice but also build connections with fathers experiencing the same circumstances.

Above all, remember there isn’t a single fool-proof method when it comes to parenting. Trial and error is a part of the learning curve. Adjust your approach based on what you discern works best for your baby.

Being a dad is a journey filled with hurdles, but remember, it’s also filled with rewarding milestones. Developing the bond with your little one will take time, patience and a lot of love. You will face numerous challenges that might occasionally seem insurmountable – but it’s all part of the parenthood journey.

Just hang in there, and remember, every day is a new day in the world of parenting. It’s a learning experience that will teach you more about your baby and yourself, each passing day.


Your baby crying when you hold her isn’t a reflection of your parenting skills. It’s a phase that many fathers go through. Remember, it’s okay to seek help. Reach out to your loved ones, consult with professionals, or join a fathers’ group. You’re not alone in this journey. Attending workshops and being receptive to advice can make a world of difference. Fatherhood is a journey filled with trials, errors, and countless learning opportunities. So, embrace each day with patience and love. You’re learning about your baby, and equally importantly, about yourself as a parent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is seeking support important when facing challenges in bonding with a baby?

Seeking support helps overwhelmed fathers cope better and learn from the expertise and experiences of others. It provides insights, reassurances, guidance, and solutions that may not be realized in isolation.

Who should fathers reach out to for support?

Fathers can reach out to relatives, professionals – like pediatricians, or fellow dads in fathers’ groups. These avenues offer a wealth of knowledge, perspectives, and advice.

Are parenting workshops useful?

Yes, attending parenting workshops can be a great way to gain practical knowledge about baby care and child-rearing strategies. It can also help to alleviate insecurities.

What are some key elements involved in the journey of fatherhood?

The journey of fatherhood involves trial and error, consistent learning, exhibiting patience, and expressing love. It also entails understanding that each day offers new learning experiences about your baby and yourself.