Factors that you should take into account when sharing custody of an infant

While many couples plan to start their families, a baby comes as a complete surprise to others. Relationships can be challenging to navigate, even with just the two of you involved. Adding a newborn into the mix can make things even more trying, causing you to split.

The prospect of having to create a shared parenting plan with your ex may seem daunting, especially given how it feels like you just brought your infant home from the hospital. You’ll want to consider various factors when crafting a parenting plan for a child as young as yours.

Factors to consider when negotiating a custodial agreement for your newborn

There are a few issues that are unique to the parenting of newborns that you’ll need to account for when coming up with a visitation or custody agreement with your ex, including:

  • Whether they’re breastfeeding
  • Their sleep schedules
  • Parenting skills

Most moms prefer to nurse their babies for as long as possible, as they believe that it solidifies their bond with their child and provides health benefits. Mastering how often your baby might need to nurse and working through supply issues may take some time. Getting your baby on a consistent sleep schedule isn’t immediate either. The longevity of their night’s sleep and naps may grow over time.

It’s not uncommon for new parents to lack confidence in their parenting skills of a newborn. It can be daunting having to try to figure things out on your own.

You may find it best to simply have your ex come over for regular 30-minute or hour-long blocks several times each week as you’re getting your baby on a routine and as you’re both developing your parenting skills. This may allow your ex to bond with your child while also being able to ask questions about how to care for the baby.

Extended visitation options may be ideal once your baby’s on a feeding and sleeping schedule and your ex feels comfortable as an autonomous parent. In time, you might want to expand visitation into overnights and longer custodial blocks.

Coming up with a custodial plan for your newborn

Drafting a parenting plan that allows you two to spend equal time with your newborn may prove challenging. An attorney can help you and your ex broker an agreement that can grow with your child over time, though.

FindLaw Network
Heidi L. Heinrich
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