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Baby looks like FIL

  1. #1
    NewMommie is offline Registered User
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    Baby looks like FIL

    One of the moms in my playgroup confided in me that she's having trouble bonding with her newborn. The reason? Her daughter looks nothing like her or her husband...instead she looks just like her father-in-law! And the problem is, she despises her father in law who never approved of their marriage. He is apparently a grumpy old man and her baby truly does spend most of her time with furrowed brows and frowning - although to be fair the baby is not quite 3 months old. I wasn't sure what to say to her when she told me this - any advice to give her?

  2. #2
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    That sounds difficult. But...I dare say that there MUST be something about the baby that resembles mommy and daddy--even if it's not a facial feature. I was looking at my 4-month-old daughter today and just remarking about how her temples and ears and neck look very similar to my own father's. Her nose and cheekbones remind me of my mother. She has lips like my younger sister. Her hands are similar to my mother's as well and her feet are shaped like my sister's. But, then she also has my mother-in-law's cheeks and eyes. She got my chin and dimples from both me and my husband. Her legs look like mine which means they also look like my father's.

    So, what I'm saying is that she needs to examine her baby and find those things that remind her of herself and her husband and focus on those. Plus, it would be a good idea to choose to forgive her father-in-law anyway and move on. When we hold bitterness in our hearts it's like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die from it. It's not that he deserves it necessarily but for her own sake and the sake of her baby she needs to consciously let go of the negativity. Focus on the fact that without her father-in-law there would be no husband and therefore this little baby wouldn't be here either. Also, check and see if she isn't dealing with other problems such as post-partum depression that might make things worse.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  3. #3
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    I'm on the other side... why should a baby always look alike somebody else ? you baby looks like "himself", and will develop some similarities with you, your husband, his grand-parents through the years because he will spend some time with you all, and will pick up some manners (I can see my mum in my mirror when I cut my hair very short !). You child has both you family genes in his blood, but he is a person on his own, he is not you, or his dad, or any of his grand-parents.
    Not sure what I mean is very clear, but bonding with him and helping him to develop his own personality is the most important.
    ps (not talking about 'you" but "one" generally").

  4. #4
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    newmommie - i can see where your friend is coming from...when i had #1, she came out a splitting image of my MIL!!! I was SO upset - but luckily babies change and as she grew up she "changed" and became her "own" person, though with certain traits similar to different people in the family...tell your friend not to worry - babies change every day, and if it makes her feel better - maybe find someone else in the family that frowns all day, and not just her FIL - perhaps it's something that daddy does sporadically?!? i always relate my eldest daughters traits to people OTHER than my MIL - I just DON"T want to have that connection! though i might be escaping reality - at least it makes me feel better!

  5. #5
    AudreysMom is offline Registered User
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    Tell her not to worry! Babies change. My daughter looked like my MIL at a few weeks old. Then she started to resemble me by a few months old. Literally my carbon copy! At 9 months she started to look like my husband. Now, at 20 months she's the perfect blend of me and my husband! Phew.

  6. #6
    RileyC is offline Registered User
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    Babies change constantly and their features will change as they grow up. I would just tell your friend/acquaintance not to dwell on something so negative and just be happy that she has a healthy son! Life could be a lot worse!

  7. #7
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    Not being able to bond over looks, ... and not over it because of the love a mother would have for a child... 3 months down. Professional help required unless she is that superficial. Sounds like she needs help... emotional support that no one can give or to teach her to get over. Unless she has the patience to wait for change, emotionally and particularly psychologically, I'd say see a professional who will help her over this.

    My daughter looked like my sister at birth (and my husband is definitely NOT fond of her) and while my husband was disturbed by it, he got over it in a second as in the minute she was in his arms. THAT is what a mum/dad in a normal psychological frame of mind would be feeling as the love for a child takes over.

    Wait, yes. But also nudge her to talk to a professional about her feelings.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  8. #8
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    i had a more difficult time bonding with my daughter than with my son. sometimes i felt as if i was telling her how much i loved her in order to convince myself of the fact. i don't know why it was more difficult, my son was love at first sight. my daughter took me a few weeks/months to form the same bond. i was not depressed. i was in a lot of pain and that made everything more difficult. then at 5 weeks i took her to canada (with my son) on my own on a trip from hell (starting with a 36 hour travel time, then getting stuck on the runway and not being allowed to disembark for over 4 hours due to a blizzard).... during the trip, she seemed to cry and scream or sleep and there was no in between. i later found out that she was suffering from lactose intolerance and by 3 months, that had started to clear up and she was smiling and starting to be a happier baby. THAT is what made the difference to me... that i didn't only ever hear her scream.

    looks-wise... she was an UGLY baby! i was terrified that she would be ugly forever, but thank god, as the others have already said, babies' looks change (most of the time) and now, i can honestly say that she is very pretty and occasionally absolutely beautiful (she and my son both have been approached to be models for children's clothing & shoes)...

    so, there may be other underlying reasons that she is having trouble bonding with her baby... but help would be a smart idea.

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