Parenting infants post separation is complex and often fraught with difficulties.
In order to maintain the parental bond with the non-resident parent, the infant child needs to have regular interaction with that parent. Without regular interaction, the child is unable to maintain trust and confidence in that parent and the parental bond is inevitably lost.
Where an infant is solely breastfed, any schedule for time spending will need to be arranged around the child’s feeding schedule. Whilst the father needs to ensure that he is supportive of the mother’s right to breastfeed, it is equally important that the mother not use the child’s breastfeeding schedule as an excuse to keep the child from spending time with the father.
Lengthy separations from either parent can profoundly affect an infant’s adjustment. For that reason, it is important that any time spending arrangement includes short regular bursts of time spending that provide the non-resident parent with the opportunity to engage in nurturing activities such as:
Feeding (when solids are introduced);
Nappy changing; and
Interaction with extended family members
The best way to ensure that the child maintains a strong primary attachment to both parents regardless of the living arrangements is to ensure that any care arrangement has stability and consistency and does not expose the child to any of the relationship conflict.
If you are a recently separated parent with infant children our family lawyers can provide you with sound advice and help you negotiate a care arrangement to ensure you have meaningful involvement in your little ones day to day life.