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Newborn and Infant Custody Agreements: Easier Transitions and Making the Most of Your Time

January 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 259

If you are in a situation where you are no longer living with your baby's other parent, you will need to make an infant custody agreement and visitation schedule so that parenting rules will be established and the other parent can have scheduled time to spend with the baby.

Some people, especially first time parents, will find it hard to make a newborn custody agreement and even harder to make a visitation schedule. The key to making a good schedule for your baby is to consider the availability of each parent and set up visitation at times when the other parent will be able to focus on the baby. This will help them make the most of their time together. Sometime this requires a little flexibility as feedings (for breastfed babies) or naps may interfere with scheduled visits.

Newborns and infants will benefit more from shorter (two to four hours) and more frequent (three to four times a week) visits with the non-custodial parent than they would benefit from a longer, less frequent (twelve hours on a weekend day). Since babies are young and learning, frequent visits are important so they have the opportunity to become familiar with and bond with the other parent.

Once you have your infant visitation schedule completed, you may find there are other problems or issues that may arise. Anything that poses a significant problem can be addressed in your custody agreement.

Here are a few tips to help you have a smoother transition:

Have a neutral colored diaper bag that is just meant to go back and forth with the baby. The convenience of sharing a diaper bag will eliminate a lot of hassle. You won't have to drop off the baby's antibiotics because you left it in your own bag, run into the store for a new binky because you are without one, or forget to give back that cute outfit that the baby came in. It will all be in the bag.

Share a car seat. There are a few manufacturers that sell additional bases so you can each keep one in your vehicle and just snap the baby in and go. If you share a car seat, you will save money and since the car seat will always be with the baby, you won't have to worry about having one if you leave "yours" in your car and are in someone else's.

Keep a journal. You can send a notebook back and forth in the baby's diaper bag to record significant things that happen or need to happen (fed her peaches at 4pm, gave him Tylenol at noon, there is gripe water in the bag if she gets fussy). This will allow you to have a good method of communication and you won't worry about forgetting to tell each other something during the exchanges.

Pack a "lovey". Some babies become attached to things like blankets or teddy bears. If your baby has an attachment to a transitional object or is comforted by something, make sure you send it back and forth with the baby so he or she has that security.

After a while, executing your infant custody agreement will become easier to comply with as it becomes part of your routine. You will learn what works best for your baby and how to make the most of your situation as you go along.

You may find that you will have to modify your custody agreement several times as your baby's needs change as they develop and grow. Flexibility, understanding, and a little patience go a long way and will help you get through these times.

After you have made your newborn custody agreement, you should keep in mind that your visitation schedule is the minimum amount of time that the non-primary parent has to spend with the child. Children benefit from having both parents actively involved in their lives.

Allowing your child to spend additional time with the other parent (as long as the parent is fit) outside of the parameters of the schedule will help enhance your child's relationship with the other parent and you.

A child that grows up seeing his or her parents get along and have a positive relationship will be better adjusted than the child who grows up witnessing hatred and constant battles.

When your child is older, it will be easy to take advantage of the opportunities to spend more time with the other parent. The non-primary parent could pick the child up from school, attend soccer games, and have the child an additional day here or there.

As a baby, your child's needs are different and you may have to be a bit creative when thinking of ways to allow your baby to spend additional time with the non-primary parent, such as allowing the other parent to:

Accompany you to the child's doctor visitsParticipate in bedtime rituals, feedings, or bath timesCare for the child while you run errands, shop, or go to the gymBe the first one called when you need a babysitterStop by on occasion to see the baby on their way home from work Pick the baby up from daycare if they are off work before you are

A child can never have too much love. The little things you can do to give your child extra time with your ex will help foster a wonderful relationship between them.

Kelly Turner is an advocate of child custody rights. Find out more about how to create infant custody agreements and learn what to put in your newborn custody agreement.

Source: EzineArticles
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