What are some considerations for visitation with infants?

When you and your ex are working out the time-sharing portion of your parenting plan, there are a variety of factors that must be taken into account. One of the most important factors is the child's age. As you are no doubt aware, a child's needs change as he or she gets older. And a custody or visitation schedule that is appropriate for a 16-year-old is not nearly the same as that for an infant or toddler.

Of course, a child who is a newborn or only a few months old requires nearly constant care and the time-sharing schedule should reflect this fact. There are some important things that you should consider to help you create the most effective plan possible for a child who is 18 months of age or younger.

For example, because babies have yet to fully develop their capacity for remembering things, your plan should allow for both you and your ex to have frequent parenting time. And since your baby needs consistency, your schedule should contain predictable times for eating, waking and sleeping.

If your baby breastfeeds, that too should be figured into the plan. It may be that overnight visits will have to be put on hold until the baby is no longer breastfeeding.

The aforementioned are just a few of the importing items that require consideration. Clearly, the baby's needs will dominate your time-sharing plans. But the schedule also has to give both parents plenty of time with the child.

Creating an amenable time-sharing schedule for an infant can be complicated, especially for first-time parents who are unsure of what to expect as they learn how to raise a child. As such, it can be very helpful to have the guidance of a knowledgeable family law attorney help you with the schedule. With an attorney's assistance, you can craft a schedule that works in your and your child's best interests.

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