Whether you are facing a divorce or you never married your child's other parent, creating an effective parenting plan that best meets your child's needs is essential. This is especially important –and more difficult –when you are co-parenting infants and toddlers. A dedicated family law attorney from Jerkins Family Law can work with you to create a parenting plan that allows both parents to build meaningful, lasting bonds with your child while meeting their developmental needs.
Infants and toddlers need consistent routines, so successful co-parenting requires syncing schedules. Moving back and forth between residences can be stressful for very young children who cannot vocalize their fears, but having consistent routines at both homes gives them a sense of security. These routines can be specified in your parenting plan and modified as your child ages.
Shorter, More Frequent Visits
Infants and toddlers develop "stranger danger" at certain developmental stages, and without frequent, consistent contact with both parents, one may become a stranger to them. They need to see each parent every two to three days. The child may move between homes at this frequency, or, if one parent has the child for a week, you can schedule one or two short visits with the other parent so they remain familiar.
If your child is a breastfeeding infant, creating a parenting schedule where the father can have enough parenting time to bond with his child can be a challenge, but not impossible. You can develop your co-parenting schedule around your child's feeding needs with shorter, more frequent visits with the father. The father should support the mother's choice to breastfeed the child, and the mother should support the father's desire to build a relationship with his child.
Infants and toddlers reach new milestones at a rapid pace, and the other parent needs to know about them. Even if your relationship with the other parent is contentious, you need to communicate developmental changes, especially those that affect your child's safety, such as starting to crawl or learning to escape from their crib.
If you and your child's other parent have a good relationship, sending regular photos and videos of new milestones will keep the other parent updated. If your relationship is more contentious, text messages or letters, kept on topic, can communicate the same information.
Protect Your Child From Conflict
Infants and toddlers need to form a strong bond with both parents, and to accomplish this, you need to protect them from parental conflict. If your relationship with the other parent is less than ideal, set your differences aside and let the other parent build a relationship with your child. Time with both parents provides critical social interaction, allowing the child to become equally attached to both parents. This gives your child a sense of security and is critical to their long-term happiness as they move into the preschool and elementary school years.
Hire a Dedicated North Carolina Family Law Attorney
Co-parenting can be stressful even in the best situations, but a strong parenting plan that focuses on your child's well being can ease some of the tension between you and the other parent. At Jerkins Family Law, our attorneys are dedicated to providing you with the best legal representation. Contact us today.