Having a new baby is a joyous occasion in many families. When you and the baby’s other parent aren’t in a relationship any longer, this can also be a trying time. You and the other parent might want to both build a relationship with the child. This can be a challenge because you have to figure out how to make things work.
Coming up with a child custody plan for a baby is going to take some work. You should remember that the plan you use for a baby is going to change as the baby gets older, but for now, the baby’s needs have to come before your own needs or what is easiest for you.
The baby’s needs
A baby needs a predictable schedule and food. This means that both parents are going to have to try to keep the baby’s schedule consistent for meal times and nap times. This can be difficult to do when the parents aren’t in a relationship, but it is one of the things that must be done when a baby is involved.
The nutrition for the baby is another consideration. If the mother is breastfeeding, she needs to have access to the baby so that she can feed him or her. This is very important in the early months while her milk supply is trying to stabilize. Once her milk supply is established, she can start to pump and store milk for when the baby is with the father.
Working out the schedule
Until the baby isn’t breastfeeding, it is usually best if the child doesn’t spend longer than a couple of hours from the mother. This could mean that you and your ex have to spend time together so that the baby has a relationship with both parents. Of course, this won’t be easy but it might be best.
As the child gets older, he or she can be away from the mother a bit longer. This should be done in increments so that the change doesn’t overwhelm the child. Ultimately, you will have to let the baby lead the way when it comes to how long he or she can be away from the mother.
Make sure that you think about your baby’s needs right now when you are trying to come up with a child custody schedule. It is always possible to change the schedule as the child gets older but don’t try to force a schedule suitable for a school age child on a baby who has very different, and specific, needs.