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access to newborn

(28 Posts)
Shockedandhurt Sat 27-Oct-12 22:23:49

Hi i am 8 months pregnant and recently split from father. What are 'usual' or recommended access arrangements for a young baby? I am not keen for the baby to go elsewhere so young. He will be staying in a box room his parents. I plan to breastfeec.
Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks

colditz Sun 28-Oct-12 15:27:34

The normal plan for breasted babies is that access is by the hour, not by the day! So your ex should visit every two or three days, spend an hour or two with the baby, then leave. For a newborn, it's not even expected that he should take the baby out as baby will need to be near you and your breasts at all times.

So until you stop breast feeding, it's not relevant where he lives because e baby won't be going there. Good luck x

ballroomblitz Sun 28-Oct-12 23:19:48

I spilt up with ex when I was 7 months pregnant and dd is a month old. First off if you are breastfeeding there is not a chance baby can be away from you for any length of time. Bf is fairly constant for the first while.

I've started mix feeding the past week myself but even if I moved to formula there is no way I will even consider dd being away from me overnight until she is at least 6 months. It took me until my ds was 9 months or so before I felt comfortable to leave him overnight once with my sister but she stayed in my house so he was in his own surroundings.

Do you have an ok relationship with ex? Mine comes down 3/4 times a week and spends time with dd in my house. He's spent the night once on the sofa to help and taken her out once for a couple of hours. I find it tough having him a lot in house even though we had an amicable enough split so if you didn't it might be hard for you to do.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 28-Oct-12 23:34:23

Little and often and with the Mother present is the current advice for BF babies under 12mo. My Ex walked out when my DS3 was 4mo and bf, and expected overnight contact and me to stop bf'ing so that that could happen, even though we had jointly planned to BF until 6-12 months.

He got laughed out of the solicitors office.

They suggest 2-4 times a week, for 1-3 hrs a time, with the Mother present, until the end of BF.

Shockedandhurt Mon 29-Oct-12 09:34:35

Thanks. I have been thinking twice a week for 1-2 hours at my house. I know he wont be happy with this but he chose this route.
Its not amicable at the moment but i hope it to be at one point.

queenofthepirates Mon 29-Oct-12 10:46:37

Best of luck sweetie and do tell the health visitor about your circumstances so they can provide you with any extra support you might need. Big hugs xxx

PS, I had my DD with partner and it's really not that difficult.

GetAllTheThings Mon 29-Oct-12 13:27:10

Thanks. I have been thinking twice a week for 1-2 hours at my house. I know he wont be happy with this but he chose this route

< here comes the man >

Blimey that doesn't sound like much time at all. I appreciate that it's going to be difficult if things aren't amicable, but at the risk of sounding like the cliché monster, the discord is between the two of you, not between him and the baby. The baby deserves a decent chance at bonding with the father, and the father deserves a decent amount of time with his child.

If the father isn't going to be happy about 1-2 hours twice a week ( have to assume he wants more time ) I'd also suggest to him that access will increase as the baby gets older.

Shockedandhurt Mon 29-Oct-12 18:29:13

I would really liked for him to have had some input into the preparation for the baby you know like putting his hand in his pocket for as much as a nappy. I do find it rich that he is so keen to bond when as far as he knows the baby doesnt even have a cot to sleep in. Im sorry if i dont want this 'man' in my home for more than a few hours each week.

GetAllTheThings Mon 29-Oct-12 20:43:24

Well sure, I understand you may not want him in your house v often.

But again he is the childs father, I understand that being a father does include support both to you the mother and financially towards the child.

I think what is important, if you hope it becomes more amicable, is that if you offer fairly brief access now, you make it clear access will increace as your dc gets older.

It is, can be, a job in itself to negotiate a workable relationship with your XP. One picks battles and bites ones own tongue. Sometimes it's futile.

I agree taking a new born away for overnights isn't the way to go. There are opposite views expressed here sometimes.

I was looking after my then three month old ( when my then dp was working ) for four - six hours on my own here and there. But she was mostly formula fed. But then you might be able to express.

The more he sees his child, the more he will bond, the more comfortable dc will be, the more he'll learn about looking after a tiny person, and possibly begin to grasp the financial reality..... maybe.

Like I said I can understand you not wanting him in your house much, and not sending a new born / infant off for the night. But at the same time I personally would not have been happy if I'd only seen my dd for 4 hours a week when she was born.

< rock < hard place

I hope you manage to sort things out.

Good luck. 


angelelle Mon 29-Oct-12 22:16:33

just to don't have to meet him at your place if this is not comfortable for you. A couple of hours a couple of times a week in a cafe is acceptable. Or at a family centre if you prefer although I think it can be hard to get spots sometimes. Anyways, dont feel bullied to allow him into your home if you don't want to and 1-2 hrs twice a week is fairly standard for new borns. Good luck.

crackcrackcrak Mon 29-Oct-12 22:21:42

Well I have an injunction against exp and he's expecting access. I will be suggesting supervised contact at a contact centre. It's mostly because a I refuse to be left alone with him and b, if he takes the baby away anywhere and she cries this isn't fair on her.
I will be offering 1 hour a week because I really have no other options sad

Sassybeast Mon 29-Oct-12 22:32:28

Little and often to start off with, and always with you there or in earshot.

And if he's a 'decent' bloke, he will acknowledge and understand that a tiny BF baby needs to be close to its mum. The contact centre local to us is held in a Salvation army hall - it might be worth making some enquiries locally to see if you can self refer as the waiting times can be long. Good luck smile

Shockedandhurt Mon 29-Oct-12 22:48:05

I think in the future once he has his own place and baby is older we can look at longer access arrangements. There are several concerning issues to me about his current living arrangements. I wouldnt want a dog to go there overnight never mind my baby.
Never thought i would see myself in this situation.
You live. You learn.
Thanks for advice

purpleroses Tue 30-Oct-12 16:59:57

Split when my DD was 3 months. At first ex came round most days and generally took her out for an hour or two. Or babysat whilst I went out. He started overnights (1 a week) when she was about 9 months and weaned.

Best thing is probably to agree where you want to work up to (eg him to have somewhere suitalbe to live, and have child overnight), but ask your ex to go easy on things early on and accept that you don't want the baby away from you for more than an hour or two at a time at first.

But your ex will only really learn to be a dad if you leave him on his own wiht the baby. Maybe you could take it round to his parents some time whilst you go out with a friend or shopping or something? If you're loitering in the background he'll never really feel that he's responsible.

BeingBooyhoo Tue 30-Oct-12 17:07:00

i split up from my EXp 6 weeks before our son was born. for the first week after coming home from hospital EXp came to my house in the evenings after work and spent maybe 2 hours which included 'putting the baby to bed' around 10pm. of course this wasn't really putting him to bed for the night as he'd wake throughout to feed but exp got to bath him and change him and put him in nightclothes etc.

after the first week he would only visit a couple of times a week but that was his own choice.

when he wanted our ds to visit his family (they wouldn't come to my house to see him) i went with them and kept the visit short ( about 90 mins as ds was only 8 days old and i felt like crap!)

Daddelion Tue 30-Oct-12 17:23:32

He can only be a father if he's allowed to be.

And you've got potentially 18 years of dealing with him so it would probably be a good idea to keep it amicable.

And four hours a week doesn't sound very much.

Shockedandhurt Tue 30-Oct-12 17:27:13

I cant send the baby to his parents as i have concerns about drug use within the household. He has been nasty and quite abusive to me today on the phone. Any part of me that wanted to be decent has now evapourated. Its so hard

colditz Tue 30-Oct-12 17:27:42

Four hours is a very long time to a newborn who needs it's mothers breast milk.

GetAllTheThings Tue 30-Oct-12 17:31:50

colditz. That's four hours a week not four hours every visit.

Shockedandhurt Tue 30-Oct-12 17:36:13

Im a first time mum i dont know what to expect. Im erring on the side of caution and this is what i aim to start with. If he can prove himself reliable. Time will tell

GetAllTheThings Tue 30-Oct-12 17:46:08

I think that's a natural response Shocked. And I've no idea what kind of man he is. But the more he looks after the dc the better he'll be at it.

I promise you that the one thing that will wind him up ( and thus you ) is if he feels you are unreasonably controlling his access to his own child.

skyebluesapphire Tue 06-Nov-12 23:15:57

Ask what he wants but make it plain there is more to being a father than seeing his kid a few hours a week.

If he has left you then of course he will only have access a few hours a week, that's the way it goes.... Like suggested, you could use a contact centre or somewhere neutral.

If you have issues over drug use then no way should your child go there and you are within your rights to refuse to want him in your home. My ex doesn't cross the doorstep because he walked out on us. He said he would see DD every day if he could. I said no way, it's not practical or workable and you chose not to see her every day by walking out. Long term, if you don't want your child at his parents house you may have to involve other authorities.

You could always go to mediation with him if he is unhappy with your suggestions. Also make sure that he pays proper maintenance too.

Daddelion Wed 07-Nov-12 06:17:28


'My ex doesn't cross the doorstep because he walked out on us. He said he would see DD every day if he could. I said no way, it's not practical or workable and you chose not to see her every day by walking out.'

That does come across in your post that you're punishing your ex for leaving you.

MrsHoarder Wed 07-Nov-12 06:52:30

Daddelion its not a punishment its a natural consequence. A bf baby cannot leave his mother and its rather unfair on the mother (who for the first couple of months has bleeding nipples etc) to spend the evening (prime clusterfeeding time) entertaining her ex. DH often sees DS for 2 or 3 hours in a day (very rarely without me) and he lives here!

It should build up over time, but a bf newborn needs to be with his mother and to only be parted from her for an hour or so. Every day is not fair on the mother when she has been ditched whilst pregnant which is a spectacularly arseholey thing to do. How is she suppose to get over it if she has to spend a couple of hours every day with the father in her home?

skyebluesapphire Wed 07-Nov-12 09:58:00

MrsHoarder - thanks, it is not a punishment....... It is a natural consequence. Any father who walks out on his family, is walking out on family life and life does obviously change. If my X wanted to see his DD every day, then he wouldnt have done what he did...

My STBXH announced one day in Feb, that he was unhappy and walked out, just like that, no prior warning. He came back for 6 weeks, during which time he was texting OW over 100 times a day. He left again at Easter, called it a Trial Separation...

During that time, he came to tea twice a week, put her to bed twice a week. Each time he did that, it confused DD as in the morning, she would ask where he was.

When STBXH wrote me a nasty letter ending it for good, I stopped him coming into the house as it was too confusing for DD. She needed to know that he dropped her at the door and then left again.

He stopped paying the £700pm mortgage, therefore it is no longer his house. I cannot bear to look at him, for walking out on me and DD. The man who swore he could never leave his DD, no matter what....... I have ended up on anti depressants, and having counselling due to the shock of my H walking out when he appeared to be happy.... I cannot spend time with him, this is why he cant come in the house too.

I told him when he walked out on me, that the consequences of HIS CHOICE of actions, was that he would no longer see his DD every day, he would not see her grow up every day, he would not know what she was doing every day. He chose to move 20 miles away, to be near OW, then complained that it was too far to come and get DD. He chose to cut the maintenance, saying that he had his own rent to pay now, but managed to afford a whole new wardrobe of clothes, a foreign holiday, a laptop, an ipad, etc etc.

He REFUSED to have his DD one day a week in the summer holidays as he could not take the time off work (he is self employed), yet CHOSE to take a week off to go abroad with his friends.

So dont say that I am punishing him, when he walked out with NO prior warning, betrayed me with another woman, and puts his friends ahead of his daughter...

I have never stopped him seeing his DD, I have offered him extra time with her. He agreed to have for for an extra weekend, then backed out of it as he wants to go to an HOUR long training session, 300 miles away, so has chosen that over his DD.

Anyway, rant over........

Back to the issue in hand, OP, you are pregnant, you need to do what is best for you and the father needs to fall in with it. I know of others in your situation and the father sees the baby for a couple of hours twice a week. It seems to be a fairly normal arrangement.

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