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user1485804886 · 30/01/2017 20:19

Hi I'm new here and after some advice please. Me and my babies father split when I was 3 months pregnant. Our plan when baby was born was always the same:- is breastfeed on demand/Co-sleep etc. He was present at the birth although didn't speak to me or cut cord or anything,instead spent the time messaging his new partner. Since babies arrival (she's nearly 11 weeks) Iv allowed whatever access he wanted at my home. First 3 weeks he came 3-4 times a week then started asking if he could take her out alone etc to bond. Iv said no as obviously she is fed on demand etc and shouldn't imo be away from me. I have since then left him alone in my front room to spend time with her, keeping my 5yo (previous relationship) from going in there and allowing his family to come visit with him too. Anyway he started throwing around mediation a fair few weeks ago stating he would apply for it at 3 months. I sat and thought long and hard and came up with a proposal for him to see her more, little and often building up to whole days/overnight stays and weekends eventually come around 4years old. He's 100% said no to this and wants to start having her for half days from next week, while days from 6months and weekends from 9months!! I breastfed my son til he was 2yo and plan on doing the same with my daughter as he well knows. I can't express no matter how hard I try either. Also this past week he's said he cannot bare to be in the same room as me and feels uncomfortable visiting in my home despite the efforts iv gone to to make him welcome etc. My new partner also makes himself scarce every time he's here. Anyway iv now said as we both no longer want to be in the same room we should go to a contact centre, do mediation and ultimately go to court (it will def end up in court as he won't agree to anything u suggest) where do I stand??? Will I be forced to hand my breastfeeding baby over for weekends/days at such a young age whereby it will affect her feeding/emotional state?im suffering anxiety attacks daily just thinking about it continuously 😢 . I can't see how I could have been anymore reasonable tbh. I don't want him to not see her but I think he's expecting far far too much

OP posts:
FearTheLiving · 30/01/2017 20:25

I think it sucks but it's one of those things you're gonna have to compromise on. I wouldn't want too see my kid for a few hours in my exes house so you can't expect him to either. He is 50% her parent too and I think mediation is actually very sensible. Expecting him to not have his own child overnight because you've chosen to breastfeed isn't fair. At least after 6 months. I think you should think of the positives. He sounds very much like he wants to step up and be a father and that is much more important than her being breastfed until she's 2.

Villagernumber9 · 30/01/2017 20:29

Any court will put the welfare of the child first. If he does go that far, explain that you have tried to come to a reasonable solution but he has turned every offer down.
You are trying to do the best for your child so keep up the good work.
Good luck.

oldwomanlivinginashoe · 30/01/2017 20:40

Breast feeding is recommended by the WHO until at least aged 2, for the benefit of the child. It's not a 'choice', if OP can breast feed, and wants to breast feed, that relationship should not be severed for the wants of a man.

No court will give overnights this young.

Allowing him to have contact little and often, in a place baby is comfortable, to ensure baby's needs are met, is what a court will order.

Courts will start to look at overnight contact from age two, with a dad who has done the little and often in the early days.

Soon, the baby will go longer between feeds. He should be able to take her out for an hour or so just now, most babies are going an hour between feeds at this age.

Mediation sounds a really good idea, and the courts will want you to have tried it.

It's going to be far better for the baby if you can work together through mediation. I'm sorry, but you are going to have to allow more contact than your current plan, it's great he wants to be involved.

oldwomanlivinginashoe · 30/01/2017 20:42

Contact centre is inflammatory as a suggestion.

You need to attend mediation, and keep your child's best interests at the centre.

user1485804886 · 30/01/2017 20:49

It's not that I won't allow more time to be spent with her....iv pushed for more just not to go from 30mins once a week to 4 hours away from me. Iv said 2-3 times a week for an hour a time and from next week half of that outside with her i.e. A walk in her pram. Then slowly build it up all around what she's happy with. I'm not doing it to be horrible to him at all but to give our child what I believe is the best start in life. Iv not left her for longer than 5mins with anyone (I have 2 older daughter 15&17) because as soon as I'm not there she wants me. I don't see that her suffering and crying for me will any good for her and 2.count as bonding time with him. Once a week visiting on a sat was HIS choice. Also regarding the overnights, he lives in a dif county so 40mins drive, at 9months I don't get how one he will feed her and 2 what the heck he would do if she was inconsolable and wanted me!

OP posts:
oldwomanlivinginashoe · 30/01/2017 20:55

If she's unsettled, then them both learning to settle her is part of building that relationship and attachment. He's her dad.

It needs to be more often than once a week for a child of this age.

Two hours sounds reasonable, at this age. Can she not go two hours between feeds?

Overnights, as I said, wouldn't be until two ish, if court ordered.

You do not want to be seen as obstructing contact.

She is his daughter, too. She needs a chance to build a bond with her dad.

Mediation really does sound like the best option here, asap. I'm assuming no abuse etc? Mediation will help you discuss this, and sort a plan for increasing contact between them. At the moment, you're both not helping.

If you went to court, they'd probably ask you to do the SPIP- google it. I think that would also be a good idea for both of you ASAP.

oldwomanlivinginashoe · 30/01/2017 20:57

Whole days from nine months, for instance, would not be unreasonable. She can have food and water in the day, and catch up feed on return. Babies whose mum's work do this.

user1485804886 · 30/01/2017 21:01

Every time she makes a sound he asks if she needs a feed, sometimes she does yes others she just wants to be settled, iv told him what she likes etc and he has been better the last 2 times he's visited. As iv said, iv never said he can only come once a week, if he wants to be taking her out etc then he needs to start seeing her more. Which is why in my proposal it was 2-3times 30-60mins a time building up over that 3 months for the entirety of that time to be out of my home with her. It's not fair to wrench her away without warning or a bond imo. But like I said, he thinks I'm being unreasonable. I would never stop him seeing her, but he needs to do it the right way and integrate himself into her life so she knows him!

OP posts:
user1485804886 · 30/01/2017 21:02

Yes whole days around that age will more than likely be completely possible so long as he's taken the time to do the little and often in between. I'm not trying to cause an issue for his bond with her but he cannot form a bond with a tiny baby in 30mins once a week

OP posts:
oldwomanlivinginashoe · 30/01/2017 21:03

That's too controlling and too slow.

Imagine it was the other way around, and he was dictating how you saw her.

He won't learn how to father unless you let him father.

Pack them off with a change bag for an hour, 2-3 times a week for two weeks, then two hours 2-3 times a week after that. Let them bond.

He's her dad.

Court will say similar.

Attend mediation.

oldwomanlivinginashoe · 30/01/2017 21:05

I can't see in OP where he's said just once a week from now on, but it's hard without paragraphs.

No, it needs to be 2-3 times a week. But you do need to build up the time, and fast. She's nearly 3 months old. Feeds are spacing out, so going out with her dad in between feeds is totally reasonable.

oldwomanlivinginashoe · 30/01/2017 21:16

Honestly, OP, it sounds like you have a good one here. Compromise, and work together for the good of your daughter. Mediation and the SPIP will help.

user1485804886 · 30/01/2017 21:30

He works which is why he said once a week,iv said more often but he can't. Hence why it's take that time imo for her to know him. Please remember iv never said only once per week. And yes her feeds are a tad more settled now so an hour is fine atm, iv taken on board all the comments and have asked him to see her this week outside of my home but with me nearby incase he needs me for her. Il continue along this route for now and more often if he wishes. Apparently mediation have posted out letters today so il wait for that to happen too. Maybe (hopefully) they will help reach a compromise so court is avoided.thanks

OP posts:
oldwomanlivinginashoe · 30/01/2017 21:45

It's harder if he works, but can he not come over after work in the evenings? Doing the bedtime routine is prime bonding time, and will really help cement him as a parent in her eyes. If he finishes work at five, he can be with you by six, and do that bedtime stuff.

It should be more than once a week at this age.

Could he consider going part time when she's so small. Plenty of women go part time when their babies are small, so he shouldn't just dismiss it out of hand. Even if he dropped half a day a week, that could increase him seeing her to twice a week.

oldwomanlivinginashoe · 30/01/2017 21:46

You need to get over the 'not being in the same room' thing, and be adults, though.

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