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PhDconsult, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3
Experience:  PhD in Early Childhood
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I am a single parent (never married) trying to determine parenting

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I am a single parent (never married) trying to determine parenting plan for my 5month old infant. I found very few guidelines on what is acceptable 'shared' time for an infant. One item on the State website said prior to age 5, a few hours a few days a week. Which is what I am doing, father sees her tue/thur for 4-5 hour each day.
However the parenting plan mentions over nights, for the summer and things like that. I cant imaging it is good for an infant to be away from her mother that much, overnights every week. In fact in the last two months she's become clingy after her visit, even though shes used to daycare every day. He is in a household with several other individuals including a new spouse and
My question is what is the general rule (if any) for splitting time for an infant? From a 'well-being' stand point not a legal one. I know it is ultimately up to a judge but what is typically recommended?

PhDconsult :

Hello, I will answer your question!

PhDconsult :

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

PhDconsult :

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.

PhDconsult :

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.

PhDconsult :

If you have other questions, please let me know.

Customer: Thank you. What about the recommended amount of time (hours) a day spent with dad when he does have her? I work full time and he wants her EVERY weekend for 6 hours. by the time I am home in the evening I get @3 hours which I have to share with her older sibling (15).
Customer: Ps. He wants her in weekends so she can bond with a new step mother. Does that matter?
PhDconsult : At this point bonding with stepmother would beless important and
PhDconsult :

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.

Customer: I'm on my iPhone so I understand. I meant to say 6 hours each day. But your answer covers that, basically 2-3 hours for the total weekend.
PhDconsult and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Tina, Just a follow-up to let you know that I am hoping for the best outcome possible for you in court. This stress you must be feeling will pass. Speculation is hard when it concerns your relationship with your baby. Take good care of yourself! If you need further help down the road, look me up. Dr. Tarey