Shielding Your Baby From Parental Divorce

  • In your child's earliest stages, divorce can be challenging for you and your co-parent.
  • Babies can mirror many outward behaviors shown during emotionally difficult moments.
  • Shared parenting is essential, in order to maintain the routine and nurture the development of your baby.

When you are married and you find out that you are going to have a baby, it can be one of the happiest times in your life. You both are going to be a parent. However, there are moments during that time when the stress of the situation can take a toll on the both of you, and by the time the baby arrives, the dysfunction of your marriage may be too much to ignore.

The decision to divorce is not one taken lightly, but with the amount of unhappiness and dysfunction surrounding your marriage, you may wish to act preemptively and contact your family law attorney in an effort to shield your baby from a quickly faltering marriage.

Going through the divorce process with a baby is unlike anything you could have expected in your life. You cannot plan for the emotional upheaval involved with splitting one home into two homes, while balancing the challenges that come with a newborn.

Early development

Since your baby cannot communicate through traditional means, it is important to maintain their routine and anticipate their reactions. According to E. Stephen Edwards of the North Carolina Pediatric Society and Parenting, babies and infants can pick up on a parent’s anxiety and preoccupation, causing them to become agitated, fearful, or aggressive.

With changes in your baby’s environment, this can be challenging, which why it is beneficial for you to maintain an open line of communication with your co-parent. As difficult as it may be to speak to them civilly given all of the emotions attached with the end of your marriage, your baby’s needs come first.

Your parenting time needs to have enough similarities as your co-parent’s, so that your baby learns the important milestones, such as self-soothing, nap time, and an understanding for when their regular time for feeding and bathing is.

Take care of yourself

In order to shield your baby from the challenges that come with the divorce experience, it is important to take care of yourself when you can. Practicing self-love can be as simple as having an honest adult conversation with someone who supports you or understands what you are going through.

Because of how young they are, the baby cannot read past the emotions being presented to them, according to researchers at the University of Missouri. If you behave as if you have depression, as if you have less energy, or as if you have less control over your feelings, your behavior likely will be mirrored by your baby.

They also have issues establishing the fact that things and people that they do not see in front of them, do exist, until they are approximately four to six months old. They have issues remembering and forming close bonds with those that they do not often see.

For those who do not have the custodial rights that they desire, remaining visible can be difficult. This is why it is vital that you utilize the assistance of a family law attorney, who can fight for your rights and fight for what is best for your baby.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

Shared parenting

Many studies have been done showing the benefits of shared parenting, but when your child is a baby, shared parenting becomes a necessity. Both you and your co-parent have to act in the best interests of a newborn during some of its most formative years.

They are reliant on you, and to allow your emotions or past history to dictate your actions is to not put your baby first. The same applies to your co-parent. If they actively are putting their ego, their emotions, their pride, or the past history that you both shared during the course of your unhappy and dysfunctional marriage, then they are not putting the needs of your shared baby first.

If they are doing that, you have to be the bigger person and fight for your child, who cannot fight for themselves. You need to put their early development and what they need first. They need their routine, and they need to be surrounded by the loving and nurturing embrace of parents that love them no matter what their marital status may be.

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