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Help! Baby is too attached to helper

  1. #1
    premama is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Help! Baby is too attached to helper


    I have a big dilemna and was wondering if any other mums had to deal with the same problem...

    I have a helper who is really good with babies. Initially, I thought this was a real blessing. However, my baby is now 3 months old and seems overly attached to my helper - for example, while I'm playing with her, she would smile a little but when my helper comes along, her whole face lights up and she would get very excited and start "talking".

    I tried to brush it off, thinking that I was being very sensitive, but it's now built up and I feel so hurt when I see my baby react to my helper as if she's the mum, not me. I'm breastfeeding my baby and spending as much time with her as possible but since she's my first baby, perhaps my "playing skills" are not as good as my helper. Everytime I read about the special bond the mother should have with the baby, I feel hurt, and every time my baby seems so happy with the helper instead of me, I feel like something is wrong.

    I've tried to tell myself that I should look out for my baby's best interests i.e. if she's happy with the helper, then let it be. But I only wish that I could give her that joy.

    Sometimes, my baby will even cry after the helper leaves her and looks to me for milk - I feel like she sees me as a source of food only (as ridiculous as that sounds).

    I've asked my helper to spend less time with my baby, espcially as I'm still on maternity leave and I can spend more time with the baby at home. But I'll be going back to work next month and I don't know what I should do when I go back to work. I really don't want to have to fire my helper as she's very good and I know that she really does care for my baby and has no "ulterior motive".

    If you have experienced something similar, I would really appreciate your comments.

  2. #2
    yum-mum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Hong Kong

    Hello Premama! I understand how you feel since I am too a first time mother and felt slightly threatened initially when my baby used to cry when I give her the bottle but takes it happily from my helper. I mix breastfeeding with bottle feeding sometimes. What I did was to nip the problem in the bud by making sure that I do ALL the bottle feeds from then on and all the baby changes, bathing etc. Now, all the helper does is to sterilise her bottles and wash her clothes. My baby has no problem taking the bottle from me now.

    It's hard but I assure you that at the end of the day, your baby will love you the most because s/he will recognise you are the mother. That's what I tell myself too since I am returning to work next week!

  3. #3
    Lolipop is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hong Kong

    Hi, I hope I can be some reassurance!

    I have a 3yr old.

    I am a stay at home mum (who works flexi hours from home), and I take my daughter to the park etc a lot, so I have seen a lot of helpers and their relationships with the children (the true side) ... I have to say, i am appalled at how some of them treat the children - not cruelly, but without passion or .. well .. love! Often chatting on the phone whilst half heartedly pushing the swing, frolicking with other helpers and NOT the children. (This is absolutely NOT all of them - I am not generalizing here).

    So I guess, what I am saying is if you have found a helper that obviously loves your baby as much as she does and has bonded so well, then this is a good thing. Children thrive on love and are happier, more confident and socially adapted when showered with more love! (You cant spoil a child with love).

    As long as when you are with your baby it is you who looks after him exclusively - i.e. you give him 100% of your time, then your child will bond with you too.

    Your child will not be as familiar with you - naturally because he/her is with the helper more, but be rest assured, if you give him/her everything you honestly can when you are with him/her then he/her will love you more.


    P.S. Sorry couldnt work out if your baby is girl or boy

  4. #4
    Query is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Hong Kong

    I am in a similar position as I will be returning to work next week and leaving my 3-month old to the care of my helper. At the moment, I feel that my bub treats both my helper and I with equal importance as we share the work of looking after her. Since my baby was born, my helper and I share the work of looking after her because I don't want my baby to feel that I've left her with a stranger or someone she is not comfortable with when I return to work after maternity leave and I also want my helper to be familiar with the ways to care for my baby.

    I too am worried that my baby will be more attached to my helper when I return to work and see me less during the day. HOwever, I am comforted by the fact that my helper loves her and looks after her well and I don't have to worry about my baby feeling too lonely or scared when I'm not there. I would definitely not fire my helper because she looks after my baby well and my baby is attached to her. I would feel worse leaving my baby with someone she is not comfortable with or who might mistreat her.

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    as a mother of two, i can tell you that your children will KNOW that you are the mother! of course it hurts our feelings when the little ones fall down and want a cuddle from the helper and not from you. but, look at it this way.... a child can NEVER have too mcuh love! isn't your child lucky to have another person around to comfort them when their sick, to fix that "boo boo" when you are not able to be around yourself?

    just remember, although your helper may be the one they look for this time, it will be just around the corner when they will only want mummy!!!

    my 2.5 yr old goes through stages, in the car we have a tradition...whenever we stop at a red light, i reach back and hold his hand until it turns green. there is NO ONE else in van that he will do this with and he gets very upset with me if i forget. tonight coming home, he wanted me to sing a special song to him. when daddy tried to sing along, he got very upset... "only mummy sing!!!"

    BUT, around the house, he follows daddy like a little puppy dog...he'll play with the helper quite happily, but if i give him the choice of staying home and playing with her or coming out with me...99.9% of the time he chooses me.

    it will be the same with you too!!!

    chin up! you're the mum and you know it and so does your baby!

  6. #6
    ELT is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Had similar experience. I work full time so baby spends most of his waking hours with the helper. As he goes to sleep at around 8, I really just have 2 or 3 hours with him each day. I don't remember exactly when but there was a short period of time (probably when he's a few months old) when he wouldn't go to sleep without the helper. When we played, his eyes would follow the helper and when she came near, he would just stop everything and give her his biggest smile. It did bother me sometimes that my baby appeared to prefer the helper more than his own mum. I noticed a shift when he's 6 months. My husband and I took him to manila for a short trip. We didn't take the helper so we got to spend some quality time with him. I don't know if it was just coincidence, but since that trip, he started showing preference for me. Now he is 1 year and I don't feel threatened by the helper anymore because he is giving me all the signs that he knows I'm mummy and that he wants me - when i come home from work, he would smile, scream (happy scream) and walk towards me to welcome me home, sometimes even give me big hugs. The sweetest is when he rest his head on my shoulder!

    So you really need not to worry. In fact, I think you should be happy that when you are at work, your baby is going to be with someone whom she feels happy, safe and secured with.

  7. #7
    capital is offline Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004

    This post is so sad. I have no helper, so I can't say from that perspective, but I used to worry the same way when my children were in a dayhome (similar to daycare, except in a private home with one caretaker). What helped me was that because my children were cared for out of the home there was a clear distinction between our home and mom, and the care taker. You could make the same distinction by being the only one (and your husband) who takes care of your child when you are at home, mornings and evenings and weekends, so your helper only does housework or shopping or non child related activites when you are in the home. Treat it almost as if you were taking her out to daycare. You could do all the care, and pass baby off to the helper only when you are out of the house.

  8. #8
    Seb's Dad is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    hi premama
    i wanted to quickly offer in these thoughts:

    1) i run my business from home and i had these very same experiences as you did. it was very tough and hurtful, it is understandable that you feel as you do.

    2) good for you for realising that your helper has no ulterior motive.

    3) the above poster's are are blessed to have a good helper and your child WILL know who the mother is, and that you were smart enough to choose the best helper possible.

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