Babies tend to be unpredictable when it comes to who they like. Your newborn might love snuggling in your mom's arms, but will start screaming when your dad takes over. Or your 9-month-old might happily crawl toward your best friend, but makes a beeline in the opposite direction when your grandma shows up. Sometimes there isn't much rhyme or reason as to why your baby doesn't like a certain person, but it can get stressful when that certain person is your significant other. You might even be asking yourself — why does my baby hate my boyfriend? But here's the good news: there are ways to encourage bonding between your little one and your boyfriend. With patience and effort, the two of them might just become the very best of buddies.
You're probably feeling overwhelmed because your baby clings to your chest every time your boyfriend gets too close, but this can be normal behavior depending on your child's age. Separation anxiety is a very real thing, noted Baby Center, and it usually peaks between 10 and 18 months, although it can start as early as 6 months. So if your baby falls within this age range, they might whimper or cry whenever your boyfriend tries to spend time with them alone. It might seem like your baby hates your boyfriend, but your little one is really feeling anxious because you aren't around.
You can ease your baby's anxiety by helping them bond with your boyfriend. Bonding is essential for babies, and many newborns are ready to bond right away, pointed out the Nemours Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to improving children's health. One of the best ways to encourage bonding is through touch — think cradling, rocking, bathing, or even massaging your baby — so you might want to start off by having your boyfriend simply hold your baby and sing a song or offer a bottle. While it might not be smooth sailing right away, over time your baby will grow more comfortable with your boyfriend and you'll get to watch their relationship flourish.
If your baby is a little older, you can incorporate additional activities that will help your little one and your boyfriend grow closer, too. Parents offered ideas like having a dance party, going to the playground, or heading to the park with your baby strapped to your boyfriend's chest. Let your creativity take over and just have fun. Not only will you help your baby and your boyfriend bond, you'll be bonding as a family as well.
You might be convinced that your baby despises your boyfriend, but chances are that the two of them just need to get to know one another better. So the next time your boyfriend comes home, let him hold and rock the baby or go on a long walk together. It might be a struggle at first, but keep in mind that bonding is a process that can take a lot of time and the end result will totally be worth it.