Choosing the Right Visitation Plan for Your Infant

When you child is still an infant, maintaining your sanity as a parent is largely contingent upon establishing a predictable routine that you and your baby can follow. It can seem difficult to do, though, if you and your co-parent aren't living in the same home after separation or divorce.

If you're a man embarking on your first foray into parenthood, then you're likely not going to know about everything that's necessary to take care of a child. It's only with practice that you may begin to understand what certain cries mean, when to feed your baby and how to sooth them. That's why it's important that you not bite off more than you can chew when agreeing to take on visitation with your newborn.

Initially you may find that visits as short as 30 minutes every other day during your baby's first few weeks help you adapt to your new life. It's during these visits that you may want to discuss your baby's sleep and feeding schedule with your co-parent so that you can plan your visits accordingly.

As you become more comfortable taking care of your child, then you may ask to have your child stay with you for overnight visits. When arranging a visitation schedule for your infant, you'll want to be conscientious about the child's mom, especially if she is breastfeeding. You may find that scheduling around pumping times is best. At the same time, if your baby's mom is struggling to pump, then she may be initially resistant to overnight visits taking place because of that.

You may find that you and your child's mother can compromise by having her pump and store milk prior to overnight visits. It can then be used while your child is away. You may also want to discuss the option of supplementing breast milk with formula on the days your child is with you.

Child psychologists emphasize just how important it is for kids to spend equal amounts of time with both parents. They also emphasize that this time shouldn't be sporadic, but instead consistent so that a solid bond between parent and child can be formed.

If you and your child's other parent are struggling to devise a visitation schedule for your infant that both of you can feel comfortable with, a Naples custody litigation attorney can provide guidance.

Source: The Spruce, "What's the best visitation schedule for infants?," Jennifer Wolf, accessed Nov. 24, 2017