Sometimes, pregnancies start at inconvenient times, such as right when a couple’s relationship has come to an end. Other times, the realization that there is a baby on the way can cause a big change in a couple’s relationship. Many long-term relationships and marriages do not survive the strain of pregnancy and the addition of a child to the family.
Although some people will stay in an unhappy relationship to provide the child with a two-parent household, others have to find solutions for sharing parenting time when they have a very young child or even a newborn.
There are parents who just assume that they won’t be able to see their children because of how young they are when they separate from the other parent. However, parents sharing custody is usually best for the children, and fostering a positive parent-child relationship can start in even the earliest week of someone’s life. How can you potentially share custody of very young children?
You will need frequent, shorter parenting sessions
The age of the child and also their health circumstances influence the best co-parenting schedule for an infant or toddler. Very young children need to have a healthy and firm attachment to their primary caregiver. They generally cannot go very far from that parent until they start to develop a sense of object permanence.
At that point, overnight visits with the other parent may be possible, but they will generally need to last no more than a day or two. It is not until children reach school age that they can go an entire week at one parent’s house or the other without the break in visitation having an effect on the child’s development or bond with the parents.
Cooperation is key when raising young children in two houses
Handling shared custody is a challenge at any age, but there are many potential problems that can arise when co-parenting a very young child. Your best option for your newborn or toddler will involve working cooperatively to support them and each other.
Focusing on giving both parents plenty of time with the baby and leaving room to grow in your parenting plan are smart moves for those hoping to share custody of an infant or toddler.