Advice for newbie single dad

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  • #55247 Report


    Hi all. I’m newly single . My former partner is in the process of moving out of our family home and she’s taking our 6 month old boy with her . Initially she will move into her mums which is 2.5 hrs away and then in time she might move somewhere nearer. I’m gutted, super deflated but I’m trying to own this massive change and do what’s in the best interests of our son. So my questions are

    – what practical steps can I take to be the best single dad I can be – eg join groups to make sure we’re doing fun / interesting stuff together . Is there a checklist somewhere?

    – I recognise an exclusively breast fed 6 month old really needs his mum much more than his dad, so when is it realistic / appropriate to ask his devoted mum to let me have unsupervised time with him and eventually overnight stays? I want to play an organic role in his life, not like a stranger who comes for visits . Is this possible?

    (it seems like she’s going to be reasonable with visiting so I’m keen to preserve this )

    – finally, he’s so young , maybe he won’t have the capacity to process this change negatively but is there any advice on how to minimise any distress he might have?


    i appreciate in advance any help you can give me


    #55248 Report



    I think you should look at having increased time with the child when he turns 1, like unsupervised for the day. and perhaps overnights when he turns 2. I have been single for nearly 3 years. feel free to message me.

    #55253 Report


    Hi, I think moving forward living closer together is going to be the best way to be organically involved in your sons life. I know it’s a long way off but things like taking him to school won’t be possible if you are further away.

    At the moment I can’t see why you couldn’t have some time alone with your son. Just to take him to the park for an hour or something like that? Perhaps his mum would appreciate the break? Also as he’s now 6months old it’s easier as he can have snacks, water, etc when away from breastfeeding mum.

    Must be a terrible feeling but you sound very proactive so there’s no reason you can’t have a fantastic relationship & be involved with your son. I think one of the most important thing is to maintain the cooperative relationship with his mother & make sure you have a good circle of people to support you.

    #55702 Report


    Well done for being the man and ‘owning it’ as you say.  You have just reduced the amount of stress your baby will feel from a stressed out mummy.

    Kids are so resilient, especially babies.  My husband spent little time with them when they were small.  He frequently came in from nights out, throwing up all over the place in front of them and everywhere we went it was just ‘Mummy and her boys’.

    Once they started getting bigger and could fend for themselves more (toilets, bedtimes etc) he took more of a role and they are all over him like a rash now.

    can’t see any reason why you can’t have him over night. Both of my boys were Preemies and couldn’t breast feed.  I had to express, so they always got it, but via a bottle.
    breastfeeding makes us very hormonal as well, so she may only do it for a little while…… I’ve also heard of mother doing half and half….

    #55703 Report


    Ps: at that age:

    Baby Massage Classes are cool and help with tummy aches and stuff later on as well as bonding now.

    Walks in the park

    Touching stuff like Grass on their toes and soft things they like (think that might be more 6mths ish actually)

    Reading to them so they know your voice.  Talk to them all the time!

    sit in the bath together and play with the water.

    other that that – newborns don’t do much 😂

    #55707 Report


    I remember taking my daughter to baby massage, baby signing and free music groups. It might help you meet other single parents. Good luck 🙂

    #55713 Report


    He sounds like a lucky boy to have such a caring dad.

    #55730 Report


    you sound just like me buddy. I hope you are feeling better. I share exactly the same worries as you and like you hope to be involved as much as possible early on.

    #55860 Report


    You can still be involved keep the peace as much as possible for the child’s sake like above baby massage softplay after six months reading bedtime stories generally being around so you get to know your babies personality I know babies don’t do much and it might seem challenging but there’s so much to enjoy x

    #56399 Report



    Well done for really thinking what is best for your son. It will be easier for him to settle to sleep with his Mum until he is 1.

    I hope you can take him to some groups. My girl enjoyed baby massage, baby yoga, music groups, sensory play. In my area there were no single Dads there, but if you’re in a big city there could be. You should have a local children’s centre which has details of free classes. It may be better for him if you take him to a class near his Mum. I hope if you have parents alive they can be involved in his life too.

    My daughter doesn’t have a Dad so she misses out on that. When I asked her why she wants a Dad she said so he can love her. It is little things like the Dads take kids to the park when they are a bit older and push them on the swings.

    You haven’t mentioned financials but to do the best by him will be giving more than the child support agency demands.



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