If the baby is drinking formula from a bottle, overnight stays with the father may be a possibility. Leaving your baby overnight can trigger a roller coaster of emotions, but it may be a good thing for both of you. After that, you can use a breast pump to express milk, and anyone you trust enough to care for your baby overnight can feed your baby from a bottle. Of course some circumstances — for example, medical emergencies — might require you to leave your baby sooner than you'd prefer, but as long as your baby is with someone who is willing to get up to feed her in the middle of the night, she'll be fine in your absence. Recent studies also suggest that an infant forms a hierarchy of attachments, with the parent in the primary parenting role being the strongest. In particular, parental involvement from birth through 7 months is essential, as this is the time frame when attachments form. AAP. They recognize that consistency, predictability of routine and schedules, open communication, and low conflict are essential in helping a child feel safe and secure when transitioning between households. However, several factors mitigate how frequently, if at all, young children should rotate between households: Babies who are exclusively breast fed, those who are fearful and easily upset, male gender, circumstances in which one parent has had only limited involvement with the child before 8 months of age, and high interparental conflict. As a result, toddlers may be very fearful of separation and resistant to going with the other parent. My baby cries when someone new holds her. Moms, don't feel guilty if you fear leaving baby with Dad. When will my baby stop startling and crying at loud noises? But if you're breastfeeding, it's important to wait until breastfeeding is well established, which lactation experts say takes about 3 to 4 weeks. In summary, young children need to have both parents provide nurturance, affection, and caretaking responsibilities to help them develop strong attachments that form the basis of healthy intra- and interpersonal adjustment. As with infants, a toddler senses a parent’s anxiety and reacts to it. wait until breastfeeding is well established, http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/breastfeeding/Pages/Selecting-a-Caregiver-Who-Supports-Breastfeeding.aspx, http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/Soothing-Your-Childs-Separation-Anxiety.aspx, All pregnancy, parenting, and birth videos >. Older siblings, pets, and other caretakers can buffer a toddler’s response to separation from the primary caregiver because they serve as attachment figures. the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information. Many breastfed babies are more likely to take that first bottle if someone other than Mom offers it. Given that more than one-third of children who experience divorce do so by age 3, balancing their need in having a consistent and predictable environment with their need to develop trusting, secure relationships with both parents (i.e., attachment) is essential for a child’s short- and long-term adjustment. However, three months is a very young age feeding wise, I dont think anyone would think it unreasonable for the baby to not be away overnight until he is at leat able to sleep through the night without a feed. After that, you can use a breast pump to express milk, and anyone you trust … Patrick Parkinson: Yes, certainly, and there are many, many situations where Mum will come in and say, ‘No overnight time for Dad because we … Atlanta Psych Consultants, LLC. There is no rule or law that says age four is too young to stay overnight with dad, nor is there anything that says from age four children should be able to stay overnight with the non-resident parent, often still dad. In addition to fostering paternal attachment, the sooner the young child learns to spend the night with each parent, the more likely he or she is to form secure attachments to both parents. Growing awareness that children do best with two parents, whether parents are living together or separated, has led to a trend … Thus, a parent who was actively involved in his or her child’s diapering, feeding, soothing, and playing prior to marital separation is likely to promote a sense of security for the child that predicts successful overnight transitions. What can I do? Situational variables refer to the consistency in routine and schedules between households, and the presence of other attachment figures such as siblings, pets, or a nanny that may transition with the young child. 2013a. Young children who, because of age, temperament, feeding method, or gender, are susceptible to having difficulty spending the night away from their primary caretaker, and in those in cases in which conflict between parents is high, fewer transitions should occur. Which is better for babies: structured activities or free-form play? copyright Atlanta Psych Consultants, LLC. When will my baby start remembering things? Child variables include age, temperament, gender, and feeding method. If the two of you can't come up with an agreement either of you has the right to file a complaint for custody. "In my opinion, if parents separate, the earlier a child can get used to staying with both Mum and Dad, the better. This suggests that infants should have more transitions to the other parent’s home, not fewer. by Kim Oppenheimer, Ph.D. But if you're breastfeeding, it's important to wait until breastfeeding is well established, which lactation experts say takes about 3 to 4 weeks. Whereas maternal attachment is associated with cuddling and soothing her baby, fathers seem to promote their children’s security in different ways. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/breastfeeding/Pages/Selecting-a-Caregiver-Who-Supports-Breastfeeding.aspx, AAP. After that, you can use a breast pump to express milk, and anyone you trust enough to care for your baby overnight can feed your baby from a bottle. A formula-fed baby can be left as soon as you feel comfortable leaving her. Practically speaking, there may be another reason to actively involve fathers in caretaking their children. All rights reserved. By Melody Warnick January 30, 2011 2013b. Determining when young children, defined as under 3 years of age, are capable of overnight visits with their non-residential parent is one of the most controversial areas in the child custody literature as psychologists and child development experts disagree as to the age and circumstances under which these children should spend the night away from their primary caretaker following separation and … Ideally, both parents have been actively involved with their child prior to marital separation and can put their child’s best interest ahead of whatever issues they may have with the other parent. Children of divorce who enjoy a concentrated and purposeful visit with their non-custodial parent will reap the same bonding benefits without the overnight stay.