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  1. #1
    New Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    7

    Husband is always away for work

    My husband is always away for work. My son now is 1 year old and has last seen his dad when he was 6 month old. We have limited communication as his work doesn't permit the use of neither Skype or YM. Is letting my baby take a look at his dad's pictures with him enough so that he can remember him? He'll be home in 2 months and I'm hoping that he's going to remember him without having any anxiety when his dad's around.What are other things that you can suggest he prepares before leaving again.He usually stays at home for 2 months and then leaves for 7 months.

  2. #2
    Hi Jackie,

    Your son most likely will not recognize his dad when he comes home this time simply because he was only 6 months old when he last saw his dad. Long lasting conscious memory of specific events doesn't develop until baby is between 14 and 18 months old.

    So, that being as it is, you'll want to prepare your husband so that he will know that your son will react to him as he reacts to strangers.

    This may mean that your son is very clingy to you, initially. He may cry if your husband tries to hold him or gets too close to him.

    Some things that will help your son to warm up to him as quickly as possible will be if you hold your son while you cuddle with your husband, or if you hold your son while you hug your husband. This will give him the sense that mum is okay with this man, so it must be okay for me to let this person touch me and hold me too.

    But it will take time. Your son may not let his daddy hold him the first day he is home. But as your husband spends more time in the home and with the two of you, your son will warm up.

    Your husband can read to him, play peek-a-boo with him and sing to him. Bubbles are really fun too.

    Just take it really slowly and protect your son's feelings by being his primary caregiver. You feed him, you give him his bath, you put him to bed - and daddy can be in more of a support role until your son clearly will go to him on his own and wants to be held by him, etc.

    As for the next time around - if your son will be 18 months old when daddy leaves, then there's a good chance that he will remember daddy when he returns.

    Some things to help him keep the memory would be to record daddy's voice. Have daddy read some books on a tape recorder, or digitally, so that when he is gone, you can play daddy's voice and your son can connect the voice with the face (show him a picture every day).

    I think LJ will have some fun ideas that you could do to help your son keep the memory. You could create a book with one picture per page. Each picture could be daddy by himself, daddy and mommy together daddy and baby together and/or daddy, mommy and baby together. Daddy could record "sayings" for baby - things he would say to baby if he were with baby. Things like...

    Daddy loves (baby's name)
    Daddy loves mommy and (baby's name)
    Remember when we went to the zoo and saw the monkeys? That was a fun day.

    Again, I think LJ will have some suggestions for you, but the more your son sees pictures and hears his daddy's voice when he is away, the better your chances of him remembering daddy when he returns, and the shorter the adjustment time will be.

    Let us know your thoughts.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

  3. #3
    Hi Jackie,

    Kate's had some really helpful ideas for you above already.

    I don't know what job your husband does, but I think you may find this paper helpful: Babies, Toddlers and Coping with Military Deployments.

    It includes ideas such as: preparing your toddler for when you husband next goes (they will have been too young for this last time really), reading books about going away and coming back, your husband leaving a video tape of himself which you can watch frequently, using puppets to talk about feelings and what is happening.

    It must be so hard but you are doing the right thing to help prepare your son.

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  4. #4
    More great ideas. Thanks, LJ!

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