Advice for new mums: why is my partner scared of looking after our daughter?

Good evening, readers. Did you know that in addition to handing out my usual tips and advice for new dads on this site, I’ve also been providing advice for new mums on the fantastic Mush app?*

Helping new mums with their queries has been extremely uplifting and insightful, so I thought it would be worthwhile publishing the answers on here too. Enjoy.

My partner seems scared to be alone with our daughter. How can I convince him he has what it takes to look after her?

This is a three-part process. First, you need to uncover why he’s frightened. Then, you need to boost his confidence. And then, you need to set him loose in the field with your daughter (note: not literally).

Part one involves questions – query why he seems uncomfortable around your little one and what he thinks you should do in different situations when you’re both with your daughter.

Part two involves praise and ego boosting – tell him that some of his suggestions for what you should do are great and that he’s a brilliant dad who can cope with anything (note: if he seems unconvinced regularly highlight external praise. For example, “My friend Tina is so impressed with how you’ve adapted to being a dad.”)

And part three involves you conveniently going missing when your daughter needs something and then complimenting what he did in your absence.

Don’t panic. I’m not talking about completely throwing your partner or your daughter in at the deep end. Start small by hiding in the bathroom for 20-30 seconds and then increase the time they are alone together as your partner’s confidence grows. If all goes to plan, he’ll quickly get over his fear, allowing him to bond with your daughter and you to enjoy some well-deserved me time.


*If you know about Mush, you’ll be aware of the great stuff it does for new mums. If you don’t, here are the basics. Mush is the #1 social app for mums. It helps mums arrange meet ups with people who live nearby and have kids of a similar age (2 million mum friendships and counting). And it provides mums with a platform where they can get advice from parenting experts, like sleep consultants, weaning experts and me going back to my agony uncle roots to offer advice for new mums.

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