Co-Parenting an Infant

After giving birth, the last thing on your mind is the end of the relationship with your baby’s other parent, especially when your child is just an infant. However, that is the reality of many new parents. 

During the newborn and infant stages of a child’s life, they are developing secure attachments to their parents. For the sake of the child’s well-being, both parents must be present in the early months of the child’s life and the care they provide must be consistent and stable. 

However, creating a parenting plan for a child younger than 18 months can be challenging to say the least. One factor that typically complicates shared custody and visitation is a breastfeeding schedule. 

A nursing baby must be near the mom during feed times for at least the first several weeks to establish a feeding schedule. During that time, the other parent must play a supporting role by providing the mother with nutritious meals, caring for the child while the mom rests, seeking help from a lactation consultant, and being flexible and understanding overall. 

The following are several tips to follow when making an effective parenting plan for an infant: 

  • The parenting plan must include a set routine for eating, sleeping, and waking. 

  • The child requires frequent contact from both parents. 

  • The child’s needs may change as they grow, so parents should communicate about the baby’s development and adjust the plan accordingly. 

  • If the baby is breastfeeding, parenting time must be planned around the child’s feeding schedule. A breastfeeding mom may pump extra milk supplies for the other parent to share with the child or the parents may choose to use formula as either a primary or supplemental source of nutrition. 

  • Keep a daily communication journal to document your child’s eating and sleeping habits, as well as diapering and other new developments. Not only can a log help establish a consistent routine, but it can also help the parents communicate. 

In most cases, the infant lives with one parent, while the other parent maintains frequent visits (often several times a week). During these visits, the non-residential parent will have the opportunity to feed, bathe, soothe, play with, and put the baby to sleep. Overnight visits with the nonresidential parent can begin once the child is ready. 

If you are interested in establishing or modifying a child custody or visitation order in Chicago, IL, call the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. at (312) 487-2795 or fill out our online contact form to request a phone consultation. Our legal team can provide you with compassionate and personalized legal services! 

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