Newborn and Infant Visitation Schedules—Advice for Moms
Learning How to Share Your Baby
If you are in a situation where you are no longer in a relationship with your baby’s father, think again. You ARE in a relationship with him and it is one that will last a lifetime. Your romantic relationship may have ended, but you will be bound together as your child’s parents for the rest of your lives. For your child’s sake, you might as well make the best of it.
The most important thing to keep in mind when creating a newborn visitation schedule or an infant visitation schedule is that everything you do should be for the sake of your child. You should always keep the best interests of your child in mind when you are making your custody arrangements. As long as your ex is a good person and not a danger to your child, you should make every effort to help facilitate and nurture a good relationship between the two of them.
Studies have shown that children with good (normal) parents benefit tremendously by having both parents in their lives. Your custody arrangements and visitation schedule should provide your child with plenty of time to develop a bond with the other parent.
In the beginning, your baby should be able to see his or her father a few times a week. The visits don’t have to be long—two or three hours a visit is plenty. At this stage in life, the frequency of the visits is more important than the length of the visits. This type of visitation schedule will allow your child to recognize the father and get used to being in his care.
When making your newborn visitation schedule, it’s naturally to feel apprehensive about handing your baby over to your ex. You should try to keep in mind that your baby is HIS baby, as well, and your baby has the right to have a relationship with his or her father. If you really don’t want your newborn going out into the world just yet, you may want to consider having visitation at your home for the first few weeks. If you don’t feel comfortable being alone with your ex or leaving him alone in your house, you can always ask a third party to step in and help.
The sooner you are able to develop a civil relationship with your ex, the better. If you are able to work together and create a visitation schedule for your baby, the judge will typical accept it. This allows you to remain in control of your custody arrangements.
If you are unable to work something out with your ex, the judge (or other officer of the court) will make your custody arrangements for you. This may or may not work out in your favor. You could be given a schedule that doesn’t meet your child’s needs at all or that is inconvenient to execute. This is why it is always better to make an agreement on your own.
If your ex is being impossible and refuses to work with you, you can still submit a proposed parenting plan and visitation schedule to the judge for his or her consideration. This will provide the judge with some insight to your child’s needs and the court an alternative to think about besides the generic custody agreement he or she is likely to order.
Your visitation schedule will change as the needs of your child changes as he or she grows. Patience and flexibility go a long way when creating your child’s custody agreement. Try your best, maintain a positive attitude and focus on the needs of your child. This will help you throughout the duration of your baby’s childhood.
About the Author
Kelly Turner is an advocate of children's custody rights. Kelly recommends Custody X Change for any parents needing help creating an infant visitation schedule.