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Child access....advice needed please?

(38 Posts)
MrsHoolie Wed 07-Sep-11 21:12:43

hello.My brother has a 7 week old baby with his ex gf. They split up in the early weeks of pregnancy.
Before the baby was born his ex gf said that db could see the baby one evening a week and every other weekend. Obviously this all went out the window once the baby was born and db saw his DS quite a bit.
Db is now back at work and his ex is saying that because of the baby's routine (bed at 6:30pm) he can see him for 45 minutes on a wednesday night. When he sees the baby at the weekend it's for a couple of hours here and there.
I really feel for DB,he would love to see his DS more and just told me he sleeps next to a pic of his DS so he can remember what he looks like sad.
I have suggested he sees a lawyer to see what the baby's rights are with regard to seeing his Daddy. I think I'm right in thinking the Father has no rights?
His ex has said that he'll have to wait til he's older before he can see him more......but can't say when that'll be.
Please help if you have any experience with this,I feel so sad for DB.

DooLallyDally Wed 07-Sep-11 22:08:28

Me and my exp broke up during pg too. When our dd was born we decided between the two of us that until she was old enough to be in a routine and sleeping through the nights there wouldnt be over night stays with him but he came round 2 evenings a week to feed and bath her then put her to bed and he would also have her on his own for a few hours somtimes 1/2 day every other saturday until she was older and then he started having her every other weekend and dropped the evenings during the week.
Legally he has as much right as she does so they need to work out a plan that works best for everyone including the baby.

MrsHoolie Wed 07-Sep-11 22:12:24

Thanks DooLallyDally. That arrangement sounds great to me. His Ex just doesn't seem to want to involve DB much at all.And says he will just have to put up with what she wants.

DooLallyDally Wed 07-Sep-11 22:18:15

Unfortunately for her, that's just not how contact works, trust me. I've been through Family Courts on this matter. They will do everything they can to make sure BOTH parents see the child as regularly as possible.
The child will probably live with mum being primary carer which siuts most people but your DB is intitled to see his DS.
Maybe he could ask if a couple nights a week she wants to have a long soak in the bath and a bit of 'me' time and he can come over and do the bedtime routine with DS. I know from being on my own with a newborn that kind of thing would have been music to my ears!
Hope it works out for your DB!

DooLallyDally Wed 07-Sep-11 22:22:52

I'm sure everything will work out for the best in the end but if for any reason it doesn't, I would really recommend he gets a good solicitor and trys to get a contact agreement in place as quickly as possible - he shouldnt have to miss out on anything!

buzzsorekillington Wed 07-Sep-11 22:24:19

The baby is very young to leave his mum for any length of time yet, especially if she's breastfeeding. 7 weeks?!

Your brother will automatically have parental responsibility these days, I think, but I think his best bet is to be as amicable with his ex as he can and see the baby perhaps for short amounts of time but as often as he can.

As the baby gets older it'd be more reasonable to ask for longer periods of time together and perhaps overnights, but at this early stage, I think he should not push too hard and make sure he's paying child support.

MrsHoolie Wed 07-Sep-11 22:29:07

buzzsorekillington. He is not asking to have the baby by himself or overnight.He would just like to see him for more than an hour in the week.
His EX is moving the goalposts I feel.
They weren't together for long and there is no bad feeling with regards to their relationship/break up.

WibblyBibble Wed 07-Sep-11 22:30:29

What Buzzsore said. He probably needs more frequent contact to bond with the baby, but really it depends on how amicable things are. At the baby's age, if breastfed, it really physically can't be away from the mother for long periods, and it traumatises babies if they are forced to do this (read about attachment theory). The better option is for them all to spend time together. It kind of depends how the relationship ended, though, as if he dumped her when she was pregnant, I'd guess she probably doesn't want to see too much of him, and really that'd be his own fault (sorry, but my ex did this to me and then was all 'rights' for himself, when it was his own choice to fuck up).

DooLallyDally Wed 07-Sep-11 22:34:16

I totally agree that he shouldnt be taking him out, especially over night which is why I think a couple of evenings etc is a good idea.
It worked for me, just that hour that I could lay in the bath and not worry was bliss. Your DB and his Exp can then build from there as he get older - it worked well for us (until DD was 18mths and we havent seen him since) at the time.

MrsHoolie Wed 07-Sep-11 22:34:33

She's not breastfeeding now btw.Not that it matters as he is happy to see the baby with his ex.

dittany Wed 07-Sep-11 22:37:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DooLallyDally Wed 07-Sep-11 22:38:52

I dont think it matters but at least he can go round and get some practice in making all those ballache bottles as he'll be needing them until his at least 12 months! smile

dittany Wed 07-Sep-11 22:39:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

buzzsorekillington Wed 07-Sep-11 22:39:46

You said he was also seeing him at the weekends?

I don't think she's being that unreasonable wanting to set up a bedtime routine for the child.

He really would be best trying to work with her, and consider that she's going through a lot hormonally/emotionally. It's very early days. I don't think rushing to assert his rights would be the best idea.

DooLallyDally Wed 07-Sep-11 22:41:48

If you actually read my post you will see i offered some advice on going round in the evenings to see DS and only mentioned the solicitor if it did all go tits up. I dont think using a solicitor should ever be a threat but a way to work out reasonable access through a 3rd party and I have been there and done it and never felt threatened by it if its done with good intentions i.e to regularly see you child.

notsorted Wed 07-Sep-11 22:46:42

Best bet would be for him to offer to help her out ie the long bath bit, take baby for a walk round the park so she can catch up on sleep etc. And while he is there do some stuff for her and the baby ie changing nappies, washing, even doing her washing up, checking up if she needs nappies or whatever. I know that sounds a bit strange but at this stage, the way he can show commitment to baby is by helping her, she will be grateful for help and then all will progress more easily because she will value his imput. Lots of new mums find it hard giving the baby to the dad at this stage even when they are a happy couple.
Talking about contact and solicitors is very drastic and is likely to put her back up. Naturally any mum and dad would be feeling very shellshocked and emotional by new baby at this stage, so tread softly.

dittany Wed 07-Sep-11 22:48:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsHoolie Wed 07-Sep-11 22:58:20

Dittany I am not 'staying out of this* as he called me almost in tears tonight asking for advice.
He is not going to threaten her with solicitors,I just said he should get some legal advice as he has seen the baby for 20 hours in the last month and he feels this is not enough and that she is being unreasonable.
She has said he will have to lump it.
I wish she'd had a baby with a bloke who doesn't give a shit as she wouldn't have to bother at all then.
All he wants is to be a good Dad and to bond with his baby.And she seems to want to have the baby all to herself.

Just to add,there is no bad feelings within the families and she has had her parents staying with her since the birth so has had lots of support.

dittany Wed 07-Sep-11 23:04:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

babyhammock Wed 07-Sep-11 23:05:18

Think dittany is spot on

buzzsorekillington Wed 07-Sep-11 23:12:55

That's five hours a week, that isn't that bad. Of course it's distressing for him when he wants to see the child more, but given he's working, what does he expect her to do? Organise the baby around his work pattern?

7 weeks is no time at all: he should let things get settled, be accommodating, help out.

Newbabynewmum Wed 07-Sep-11 23:12:55

I wrote something good. Then mn deleted it. Basically dittany is right.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Wed 07-Sep-11 23:17:17

why does a tiny baby (that's not BF) need to be with its mother all the time?

MrsHoolie Wed 07-Sep-11 23:20:13

He is not throwing his weight around and he IS supporting her. He has done nothing but support her and respect her decisions and choices.
BUT he would like to see his son a bit more.
Some people obviously think his access is reasonable at this stage.
I'm afraid I disagree.
I also don't think she will want him to have more time with his son as he gets older,time will tell. When she goes back to work the baby will be in full time nursery. At the moment he is at work 5 days a week so has limited time to see the baby.

buzzsorekillington Wed 07-Sep-11 23:22:52

So yes, you do expect her to organise her life and the baby around his work pattern. hmm

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