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Hello, I will answer your question!
The primary developmental need of a young infant is that of forming a consistent bond with a primary caregiver. Regular over-nights with a non-custodial parent would interrupt this pattern of forming a secure attachment. While it is important that the father be allowed to form a lasting bond with a young child, regular over-nights should be delayed until the child has reached approximately age 2 1/2. The ability to control bodily functions (potty training) is a good indicator that the child may be ready to venture into the larger world for longer periods of time. You sound like a caring parent and the fact that you are interested in doing what is best for your child
Hopefully, the judge in your case is well informed by the field of child development and would know this to be true. Unless there were other concerns, I cannot imagine a judge who is unaware of the need to support and protect the primary attachment for your child.
Hello again, I noticed that you have not asked any additional questions of me--of which, I would be more than happy to answer. You are in a difficult position that will require great maturity to do what is best for your child and I commend you for trying to seek out the appropriate answers. Your daughter's feelings will often reflect your own throughout this situation. I can only imagine how hard it is for you to part with your daughter, even for the 4 or 5 hours a day. I hope that things work out well for you and your little daughter.
If you have other questions, please let me know.
Sorry I was trying to type on my IPad. I switched to computer now. The important bonding would be first, with you and secondly, with father. It is the father's decision how much he wants to include the stepmother during his visitations with the child--but this is probably not something the court with see as a primary goal. A few hours on a weekend day seems reasonable for the father to request--maybe 2 or 3 hours in my opinion. Hope this helps.