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Child custody planning for infants to preschoolers

Young children need stability to thrive. When their parents are going through a divorce, it isn't easy for them to cope with the changes. Finding ways to help them becomes a priority. This can be a challenge in the infant to preschool stage, but it is imperative that you try to figure out what you can do.

Thinking about some of the unique challenges common to these age groups can help parents to have a better understanding of what might work for custody. Ultimately, the child custody order, including the parenting time schedule, needs to be what's best for the children.

Nursing infants

Infants who are nursing will likely need to be with the mother during the early days of their life. This is necessary for the baby to get the hang of nursing and for the mother's milk supply to build and stabilize. Once those happen, the woman can pump milk to send with the baby to the other parent's home. In order to make this work at first, the non-nursing parent might need to have visits at the nursing parent's home so the baby always has their food supply handy.

Primary caregiver

One parent usually takes more time caring for the children than the other. If this is the case with your child, that parent might need to have the child more at first. You can slowly add more time to the other parent's allotment so that the child can adjust to the change without having to deal with such a big change all at once.

Building a relationship

It is hard for children to build a meaningful relationship with a person they don't see often. Your child should have ample time to spend with each parent. Even though children often have one parent whom they turn to more for comfort, they should still be able to count on the other parent to do the same.


Be as flexible as possible when you are dealing with matters related to the schedule. There are times when changes may be necessary. Maybe the child is sick and doesn't need to have to switch homes or one parent's work schedule may change. Being willing to work with your ex can make the situation easier to handle.

It might be possible for you and your ex to come up with terms for custody through dispute resolution methods. This enables you to avoid having to go through a trial and gives you some control over the outcome.

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