Creating A Parenting Plan For An Infant
Developing a parenting plan can be complicated, regardless of the age of the children involved. Couples who have decided to separate and whose child is still an infant, however, tend to face even more challenges when it comes to co-parenting. Both parents will likely want to take an active role in raising the child, which at this stage, is often more intensive and time-consuming. However, by working with an experienced attorney, couples can work out a parenting plan that is in their family’s best interests and also allows them meaningful time with the child.
The Importance of Routines
Routines are always important for children, as they can provide them with a sense of security and comfort. Routines, however, are especially important for infants, who are unable to communicate their distress in unfamiliar situations . By having a consistent plan in place, a child can enjoy a sense of security in both parents’ homes. These routines can also be specialized to account for the care required of an infant and can be modified as the child ages.
Shorter, More Frequent Visits May be Necessary
Infants often require more frequent contact with people before they become comfortable with them. At a young age, for example, children typically need to see each parent every two to three days. How two parents work this out in a parenting plan will depend on their specific schedules. The child can, for instance, stay with each parent for three days, at which point the parties will exchange custody. Alternatively, if one parent retains custody throughout the week, the other parent can schedule one to two short visits during the week. Coming up with a parenting plan that allows for this much contact can be further complicated when a child is breastfeeding. It is, however, possible to do so by developing a parenting time schedule around the infant’s feeding times, with short, more consistent visits with the child’s father.
Communication is always important for two parents who are attempting to co-parent successfully. It is especially critical, however, for infants who grow and develop at a quick pace. Parents should stay in contact with each other, to share important milestones and communicate about developmental changes. Sending regular photos and videos is a good way to do so and can ensure that both parents are kept in the loop regarding the child’s development. For parents with a contentious relationship, text messages and emails can accomplish the same things, but give the parents a bit more distance from each other.
Shield the Infant from Conflict
All co-parents should do their best to shield their children from conflict. This is equally true for infants, who can sense conflict and uncomfortable situations, even if they cannot verbalize what is happening. Conflict can sour a child’s relationship with one, or both parents, so co-parents are strongly encouraged to avoid fighting in their child’s presence and to avoid interfering with the other parent’s scheduled visitation.
Hire an Experienced Largo Child Custody Lawyer
Having a healthy parenting plan that reinforces your child’s well-being is critical to his or her development and happiness. Contact the dedicated Largo child custody lawyers at Cairns Law to learn more about how we can help with your own custody matter.