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How young is too young to stay with absent parent overnight?

(19 Posts)
Puddytatpurr Fri 30-Oct-15 16:11:09

My husband and I have just separated, our son is 11 months old.

My husband has told me he wants our son overnight every other weekend.

I am uncomfortable with this as our son is very clingy with me and I believe he's too young to be away from me.

How young is too young for a child to be away from his mother overnight?

Chasingsquirrels Fri 30-Oct-15 16:16:32

Is he breastfed? If not then there is no reason why he shouldn't overnight.

I know that's not what you want to hear - believe me, I've been there and mine were a bit older. But in the long run and assuming his dad isn't a feckless xxx then it is in your ds's best interest to have a proper relationship with his father, which means his father being as equal a parent as possible.

VimFuego101 Fri 30-Oct-15 16:18:54

If he's not breastfed then I don't see why he can't stay over now. Maybe work up to it by him having him over to his house during the day first, so that he is familiar with where he's going to be staying.

Does he have any contact with his dad outside of the every other weekend? little and often would be better when they're tiny.

PrincessHairyMclary Fri 30-Oct-15 16:25:47

In my experience the court was happy for overnight contact not to start until dD was 3, however we never lived with her dad.

Your situation is different as you have lived together, how much overnight care has your ex done before? If your son is not breast fed and you have no reason to think he wouldn't be safe then he could stay now. Also, being a single parent to a baby is exhausting, you may well find yourself grateful for the chances to have some time to yourself.

sarahbanshee Fri 30-Oct-15 16:30:13

Overnight every other weekend sounds quite reasonable and is likely what a court would order, all other things being equal (eg not breastfed as previous posters have mentioned). I know you don't want him to be away from you but I expect your ex feels the same, and in some ways the sooner your son gets into a routine of overnights with each parent alternately the better.

SurlyCue Fri 30-Oct-15 16:35:47

Im assuming he live with the child until the separation that has just happened? So as long as not breastfeeding then no reason for overnight contact to be delayed. The child has suddenly lost one parent from his home, it is surely in his interests to resume as close as possible arrangement to what he enjoyed with his father before separation.

ffffffedup Fri 30-Oct-15 18:10:45

I don't see any reason (other than breastfeeding) why he shouldn't stay over night with his dad afterall he's absent a parent the other 13 nights a fortnight

NerrSnerr Fri 30-Oct-15 18:19:13

Is he breastfed? If not I would say his proposal sounds fair enough.

Scattymum101 Fri 30-Oct-15 18:49:32

I would say that sounds fair too.
If your concern is just that you don't want him away from you then I think that's more your issue than the baby's ( I mean that in the nicest possible way as I can't imagine what you're going through right now). If your ex is a good parent then your son will be fine and it's important for him to have a relationship with his dad.

My girls (3 and 8 months) have stayed with the grandparents and been absolutely fine. I don't leave them often but I think it's important that I get a break too and they have a good relationship with their grandparents.

What are your main concerns with him staying at his dad's? Did your ex ever do settling during the night? Or is your son very dependent on you to settle at night?

(If you're breastfeeding that changes everything though) x

mrssmith79 Fri 30-Oct-15 19:04:42

The key word here is 'parent'. Unless there's a physical need for ds to be with you overnight (bf, for example), there's no reason why he can't spend overnights with his other parent.

Puddytatpurr Fri 30-Oct-15 22:55:41

No, I'm not still feeding him.

But I am the main caregiver - I'm the one that gets up in the night, I'm the one who gets him to sleep, I change his nappies, bathe him, I do everything and did when we were together.

When Wee Man is very tired, he doesn't want anyone except me. He won't even settle for his dad.

We met up with his dad yesterday and while he was very happy to see him and cuddle him, he wasn't at all worried when we left his dad.

How do I make this site alert me when there are replies? Lol

TurnOffTheTv Fri 30-Oct-15 22:59:51

But if you're not there, it won't matter. His father will be the main caregiver on those days.

SurlyCue Fri 30-Oct-15 23:17:27

I think if you select "watch this thread" you get email alerts when someone posts on it.

Your baby will get used to his dad doing all that stuff for him when you arent there. He really will. Very quickly actually. He wont not sleep or eat. The early it starts the easier it will be for him as well.

NerrSnerr Sat 31-Oct-15 00:31:35

The dynamic will change. He will become the main caregiver on the days he has him. I know it's tough but imagine he was trying to block you from having your child?

daluze Sat 31-Oct-15 12:59:32

I disagree with most of the posters here. Unless the father is present frequently at other times as well, it maybe very hard on the baby. Two weeks is a long time between stays, and every time it will be a new stress. Even nurseries don't recommend to let children one day per week - they need more of the routine. E.g. I once was admitted to hospital overnight when DS1 was over a year old, and although he was at home, with his dad who normally could easily settle him other nights, he was still very upset for me not being at home at night.
I think it depends on a child. But at that age I think more frequent shorter day time stays/visits would be better for a child, as if could become a routine and build a relationship.

AuntieStella Sat 31-Oct-15 13:16:31

If they've only just separated, then the NRP is not a stranger, and it doesn't need building up to in the way it might had there been a more lengthy absence.

I would however agree that the NRP needs contact in addition to EOW.

And the sooner it begins, the easier for the DC (whose right to a relationship with both parents is the top consideration).

SurlyCue Sat 31-Oct-15 13:23:58

I would however agree that the NRP needs contact in addition to EOW.

And the sooner it begins, the easier for the DC (whose right to a relationship with both parents is the top consideration).

Yes i agree with this. One night every other weekend is too far apart for such a young baby. I would say at least one night every week and one night every weekend. And the sooner it starts the easier it will be for baby to settle.

PrincessHairyMclary Sat 31-Oct-15 14:01:56

I agree with you daluze however the courts will probably award overnights as they have lived together.

Chasingsquirrels Sat 31-Oct-15 15:16:48

I also agree with CurlySue. Once every other week is a long time for a child.
My boys did 1 weekday overnight (tea time to morning - dropped at school / childminder by their dad) and 1 weekend overnight (24 hours) as soon as we separated. This meant they were seeing their dad for at least part of 4 days a week. Plus half of all school holidays.
(They were 23m and 5y at the time. At 11m it wouldn't have been initially feasible for ds2 as he was b/f and not eating a lot of food.)

I really do feel for the OP. It's a really hard thing to enable. I sat and cried after they went for a long time, and although I tried not to let them be aware that I was sad they were going I am sure that they would have picked up on some if it. DS2 also went through a long period (a number of years) of not wanting to go, not initially but from around 3-6yo. It was heart breaking, BUT I knew he was happy at his dad's, was well looked after, came home telling me happily about things they had done etc and it was just a leaving me thing (he was very clingy).

They are now 9y and 13y, they still pretty much have the above routine, although we vary it with a few full weekends each every year.

They both love their dad and his extended family, including his new partner and her daughter. They gain from their relationship with him - and he is able to be involved in parenting them, rather than just having them visit.

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