Overnights for Your Infants and Toddlers Benefits the Children & the Parents

As part of your mediated settlement, an extensive amount of time will be spent discussing your custody decisions and parenting plan. With approximately over 40% of all marriages in the United States ending in divorce, over thousands of children spend at least a few years living in single-parent households. In light of these statistics, it is increasingly common for both infants and toddlers to be experiencing overnights with both parents after separation.

Much literature and studies have been written concerning the benefits and detriments of sleepovers for infants and toddlers. While contradictory findings exist, there is ample empirical evidence that shared parenting produces better attachment, adjustment, and outcomes for children of divorce, including infants and very young children. At Peace Talks, we encourage decisions be made based on the best interests of your children. We believe babies and toddlers need parents who respond consistently, affectionately, and sensitively to their needs. This can be achieved through good planning and preparation.

Parents recognize that infants need 24-hour supervision and are completely dependent on other people to meet their basic needs. Infants require many naps during the day and frequent night feedings. If a baby is being breastfed, early overnights may pose a challenge unless bottle feeding (even with breast milk) can be arranged. The non-custodial parent should be encouraged to be involved with their infants activities including diapering, feeding, bathing, putting to bed, soothing in the middle of the night and cuddling in the morning. Many of these events can only be experienced through overnights. Seeing how your baby reacts to different environments is key to making these transitions between 2 households work and trying to stay on similar schedules for naps and feedings will go along way to accomplish this.

As your baby grows, your parent plan will evolve too. What worked at a year old, will not work for a 2 year old as their demands change quickly. Peace Talks recognizes the need to develop plans that take into account these changes and adjust accordingly. The factors affecting your parenting decisions may include the consistency and daily routines of your toddlers, sleep issues, bottle weaning, and toilet training on into transitions to daycare or preschool. Through mediation you and your partner have the ability to consider all these factors, your parenting style and prepare a parenting that adjusts to your child’s development.

As previously mentioned, many research studies have identified that overnightsare a protective factor associated with increased father commitment to child rearing and reduced incidence of paternal alienation and thus depriving young children of overnights with their fathers will compromise the well-being of children. When appropriate based on the factors mentioned above, Peace Talks supports the regular and frequent involvement, including overnights, of both parents with their babies and toddlers. We encourage you to consider mediation with us as a way of ensuring the parenting plan that is right for your family.

Peace Talks is a collaborative divorce mediation firm that helps spouses file for a divorce in a sane and sensible manner. Peace Talks provides divorce mediation services in Los Angeles and throughout California. We have family law attorneys, family therapists and financial consultants who can help you file for a divorce in a way that is less expensive than the courts in Los Angeles and California. Visit www.peace-talks.com to learn more about how you can have a peaceful and amicable divorce in Los Angeles.

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