Hi all, with the father of our daughter we were in a on and off relationship even before she was born. We mostly lived together trying to make it work but in the last couple of moths I have rented room to go to when conflicts arise and I moved in permanently last night. So he wants 8 hours every other day with her and I don’t feel comfortable with that but am also unsure what time she can go without breastfeeding (she is also weaning already so can eat some solid food). He also wants overnights from the moment she turns 1, which feels to early for me because now at 8 months she breastfeeds at bed time and during the night. So I am trying to figure out how often and for how long is adequate for the baby to be under his care. I want to support their bond, but have no idea how to approach this. Any advice is appreciated ! TIA
Firstly, sending you lots of good wishes. It’s hard handing children over for contact at any age, but it must be really, really difficult when they are this young and still so dependent on you as mum, even more so because you are breast feeding.
To start with, I would see a solicitor, they often do a free 30 minute appointment and you will at least feel better understanding where you stand legally. This will also give you the confidence to say no. You have to put your child first. Not cave in to the demands of your ex. If you think 3 or 4 hours is the maximum time she can go right now without needing the option to be fed, then try that to begin with.
If you don’t agree with 8 hours and overnight when she is 1, say no. Put the onus on him to seek access. Let it cost him money to go through court etc. Just stick to your guns and keep her best interests at the top of your priorities. Children are most important, not the demands of their parents.
As a dad and of kids older than yours I’d suggest doing some online research. I’m in week 2 of my separation and my loads spend 2-3 system and every other weekend. Due to her work she only sees them on the weekdays for a few hours in the morning at the house. But research shows at a young age smaller gaps between days are better for the kids. Mine are 2, 4 and 7.
If your daughter is breast feeding at night than point out that overnights are a no go until she is sleeping through with out the need of a feed or waking up to be comforted, Regardless of age.
And as for the length of time during the day again you know her feeding schedule, there is nothing wrong with you saying “for example” 4 hours every other day to start with and as she gets bigger the time can increase. Also IF you both are able to be around each other with out fighting or being uncomfortable, you can always say that he could spend some additional time with her when your around for feeding etc (depends on your circumstances).
just remember that your daughters needs come first, but at the same time she will need/want both her pearents in her life.