Co-parenting with an ex is never an easy undertaking. Every family’s unique circumstances and every child’s unique needs must be carefully considered when constructing a parenting plan to better ensure that it is both workable for all and reflects a child’s best interests appropriately.
For example, the very young age of babies and toddlers must be taken into consideration when crafting a parenting plan because they simply process the world differently than older kids and teens do. If their age isn’t taken into account, the social, developmental and familial consequences that may result can be relatively devastating.
Working together for the good of a little one
Even when the personal relationship between a very young child’s parents is contentious, it is usually possible for these adults to work together for the benefit of their little one. In scenarios when healthy co-parenting is possible, the following tips can help parents to construct a parenting plan that reflects the unique needs of their particularly young child:
- Very young children need frequent exposure to care by both parents – exchanges should happen often to help babies and toddlers to feel continually secure in the care of both adults
- If a child is being breastfed, both parents may need to be particularly flexible about finding ways to “work around each other” on a daily or near-daily basis so that the child can get what they need from the breastfeeding parent but also have frequent exposure to the other parent’s approach
- Consistency is key for very young children and transitions can be particularly challenging, so implementing rituals that help kids to better understand what is coming next can be very helpful
With all of this said, every child’s needs are different and every family’s circumstances are unique. As a result, seeking personalized legal guidance is usually a good idea for co-parents who need to negotiate, litigate or otherwise finalize a parenting plan in the wake of a divorce or non-marital split.