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Breastfeeding children and custody

If you're a newly single dad, you will want to spend as much time with your baby as possible. The problem is, if your baby is so young that he or she is breastfeeding, it will limit the length of time you can spend with your child.

This circumstance is only natural and temporary. As your child grows older, he or she will be able to spend longer stretches of time with you. Until your child is older, however, how do single fathers organize their parenting time to maximize the moments they get to spend with their breastfeeding babies?

Planning child visits for babies who are breastfeeding

Here are a few things that fathers and mothers can keep in mind when planning child visits for breastfeeding babies:

  • A consistent schedule is vital for helping your baby feel safe. However you plan your visits, they need to honor a consistent sleeping, eating and waking plan for your baby.
  • Your visits should be frequent because babies have a short memory. Frequent contact with the father is essential to establish a bond and relationship with dad.
  • Babies are changing and growing quickly, so parents need to work together so they have a way to communicate regarding various developmental milestones achieved by the baby. As the baby grows, the plan needs to stay flexible and allow for changes.
  • Since babies are sensitive and can feel the fear and anger of their parents, both the mother and father need to find a way to work peacefully with each other and to resolve any feelings of conflict around one another, so that the baby doesn't experience them -- no matter how subtle or under the surface they happen to be.

Choose a parenting plan that works for everyone

Mothers and fathers of breastfeeding infants need to select a parenting plan that allows the father to visit with the child, while keeping the baby's best interests as the foremost goal of the plan. As long as the best interests of the child are the focus, and the parents understand their legal rights and obligations in terms of child custody and visitation, then everything else can fall into place.

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