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Whats reasonable access for a 6month old baby?(22 Posts)
Just gathering your thoughts on what you would consider a reasonable amount of access that a father could expect to have with a 6 month old baby.
I am interested to hear it from a general point of view, (including overnight stays) and also for over the christmas period.
Assuming not bf, the usual (I'm a divorce lawyer btw) is 1 day at the weekend, poss overnight 1 night but by no means always, plus maybe 3 or 4 days spread out over the Xmas period (which I'd say covers 23 Dec to 3 Jan).
If you're happy for him to have your dc overnight, that's fine but if it went to court a lot of judges would say no overnight contact till at least a year.
I'd be really, really reluctant to allow any overnight stays at all, based on the very strong attachment that 6 month old babies have with their mother (or primary carer). Of course, this applies very much to my own circumstances where no one else apart from me has ever been up with DC during the night and your case may be different. To be honest, I'd prefer just short visits of a few hours at a time rather than whole days apart, but again I'm speaking as someone who has had almost constant contact/supervision from the day DC was born and baby seems much happier with me than anyone else. It depends how much you trust the father and if you think baby would be happy with long periods of contact.
I dont have any real concerns about how he cares for her evelina- he is quite good with her. In fact- he actually tries to impart his detailed knowledge and understanding of her needs with me on a weekly basis. ( I kid you not - its all I can do not to scream. I tell myself that he feels the need to do this- its a way of convincing himself that knows his child like he should).
At the moment, he has her overnight one night per week, and one full day, which is more than enough for me. I'm still on mat leave, and I imagine that when I go back to work, I'll really treasure the time I spend with her, and wont be so keen for him to have her overnight every weekend. His parents were here for the weekend, and Ilet him have her for all of it so they could seeher as much as they wanted. He never actually tells me I'm being fair regarding access, just kimd of sees it as his 'right' to have her that often. If I say that I am being more than reasonable, he simply says 'are you'?
She is a really good baby actually, and as yet, doesnt seem to have any attachment issues- although as you say- this could change. It this a typical thing?
My books say that attachment issues tend to kick in from about 9 to 13 months but then all children are different.
Personally I think you are being very fair, but it does sound as if your ex is quite responsible and reliable (I'm not trying to put down any issues you have with him, just focusing on the baby side of things). My own dh would be completely hopeless with looking after a 6 month baby and he freely admits it and avoids any baby duties like the plague. He found all of them terrifying at this age and only really finds his feet as a father when they are walking and talking.
I think you are being very reasonable at the moment.
Over Christmas (which, let's face it, is absolutely no different to any other time of year for your LO), it would be kind to give the father a bit more access if he has some holiday and wants to see his baby a bit more than usual. But I don't think that you need to give him more than 24 hours at a time unless you are perfectly happy with this and want to, and your baby seems fine with that too.
Thankyou for the replies. I am actually ketting him take her to his family for 2 nights/3 days over the new year- and this involves a short plane journey. I know many mothers would not be happy with this- and although I'm not expecting him to fall at my feet with gratitide- a little understanding wouldn't go amiss. He simply doesn't see it as an issue- is rather possessive of her actually.
I feel for you. You are doing very well. It sounds as though there is a bit of attitude going on on his part. Not easy for you to let go of such a young baby, even if just a short trip. On the plus side, at least he wants to be a part of her life.
I personally wouldnt have been happy letting my ex take my child at 6 months for 3 days somewhere that needed a plane journey, if you are happy to allow that then there is no problem, if you aren't too sure you are entitled to change your mind, its good if your ex wants to be involved like that but if he is that possessive then dont be suprised in the future if he wanted shared care.
Fathers are so important to children and so I congratulate you on your attitude towards your childs father. It can't be easy for you to share your baby's time however I am sure that your child will benefit from the love of both her parents and the secure knowledge that your both working towards her health and happiness. Not to mention knowing her extended family.
I wonder if his defensive attitude is due to the fact that he feels insecure. Obviously he is relying on you being accepting of his needs and that can be hard for anyone to deal with emotionally. Not that I'm suggesting that he is right to behave in this way but I expect it is hard to be an absent parent.
I wish you all the best with the shared parenting of your daughter. That you and her father can continue to put her needs first before your own. You sound like a fantastic Mum x
My 4 1/2 month babe adores both myself and her daddy, why would that change if we separated !?!
My partner has a beautiful daughter with his ex, she of course loves both her parents and having love and time with both of them is invaluable to her! Shes such a happy and confident child
Pingu I think you are being fantastic in supporting your child's relationship with her dad- IME having an equitable relationship for the benefit of a child, post separation is invaluable for a child
I'm having real trouble with ds dad, we've recently split and he's been a nightmare over access. He thinks he can turn up to see ds when he wants and demand what access he has and when. He's putting his needs before ds. Ive never stopped him from seeing ds but feel there needs to be some boundaries! I've written a plan that I'm yet to share with him just wanted peoples thoughts on it! Offering ex: mon 12.30-5.30, Tues 10-3, and Saturday 10-3 on one week then Tuesday 11-4, and Friday 1pm-sat 12pm the following week. I. E. Overnight every fortnight and 3 days every week he doesn't see him. Do you guys think this is reasonable!??!!, ds is 13 months
mine used to be furious when left with her dad at that age. she was fine while he had her, (i used to open the front door quietly and she would be fine, until she saw me then she would make her displeasure known)
How long have you been separated and how close is their relationship? I'm assuming you're not breastfeeding as otherwise it would be completely out of the question.
There is no reason on earth why both parents can't have overnights at 6 months.
Court (cafcass) doesn't advise overnight access away from mothers for at least the 1st year and then they would look into things closer. To think my baby who I carried, gave birth to and have such a close bond with would be taken away from me overnight when they are so small would have broken me. The mothers postnatal instinct should not be ignored as problems could arise - bonding, post natal depression etc. I get the father has rights but he has to respect the mother and their decision. As mum's know their babies better than anyone else fact x
Wow I think you are being very generous/reasonable. My 2yo has never slept away from me - breastfeeding is a big factor in that though. In some ways I would love to have a night off and a lie in but don't feel like ds is emotionally ready. Maybe if we'd done it a six months it wouldn't have been an issue.
There is actually & it's called breastfeeding!
Not all women can express enough to keep their child going for that long, some people want to only breastfeed & not use bottles so there's the most valid excuse a woman would need.
Just been through this tried the overnight lo suffered. Defo little and often for my baby.
As an outsider looking in at the whole picture and not being privy to your life and circumstances, it'd be really nice for your little one to know and feel safe with her dad as she grows up and to do that involves her getting to know him. That, I know, is easier said than done in lots and lots of cases, it's often never black or white.
This is getting very confused by zombie thread been restarted.. gooe can I suggest you start your own thread
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