The primary developmental task for infants is to bond with Mom and Dad and gain a sense of security in the world around them. This occurs through regular consistent contact (for example, parents meeting their child’s needs through daily activities such as changing, feeding, holding, interacting etc.)
When parents live apart, meeting this developmental need clearly becomes more challenging. As a result, you will need to be more creative in how you share parenting time, as long periods of time away from either parent is not recommended for infants
Things to look for:
- Can experience problems sleeping, may not eat well or display a loss of appetite
- Stress is displayed through changes in behavior temperament, or mood
- Excessive crying, crankiness or irritability
What to do:
- Maintain predictable routines and schedule
- Provide regular and consistent contact with both parents
- Plan transitions and minimize exposure to parental tension
- Help develop bonding and sense of trust by providing consistent regular contact with both parents
Keep in mind that young children are also very responsive to and affected by parental stress. Be aware that even though your little one does not understand what is going on, they will respond to it.
Want to know more about the developmental need of infants?
For additional information, suggested resources and practical tips, check out Chapter Eight of my book PARENTING APART, How separated and divorced parents can raise HAPPY and SECURE kids.
Not sure if it’s the book for you? Take a sneak peek at a sample chapter.