Special considerations for custody plans for newborns and toddlers

Children have different developmental needs based on their age group, among other considerations. Accordingly, this forms part of the factors considered when creating a custody plan.

One of the most sensitive child developmental stages are newborns and toddlers. Below are some special considerations when establishing a child custody arrangement and parenting plan involving children in these stages of development.

Attachment and bonding

In such early stages of development, it is important for children to form a secure attachment with each parent or other primary caregivers. This process plays a critical role in a child’s social, emotional and cognitive development. Hence, parents must develop suitable strategies to bond with their child during these early years.

Considerations for breastfeeding mothers

When applicable, custody plans should address the needs of breastfeeding infants. Breastfeeding is a special consideration because it involves the child’s nutrition, health and the mother-child bonding process. Accordingly, parents should work together to find solutions supporting the mother’s breastfeeding goals, including curating a workable breastfeeding schedule and factoring in breast milk storage.

Strategies to consider

Each family is different and faces unique circumstances that require unique custody arrangement and parenting plan solutions. Nonetheless, they may share similar considerations that aim to further the child’s best interests, including the following:

  • Creating a custody and visitation schedule that minimizes disruptions
  • Including a consistent routine for young children
  • Making plans for a smooth transition between homes

Of course, children’s needs evolve with age. Hence, it is important to prepare for those changes and regularly review and modify the custody arrangement and parenting plan as necessary.

Whether you are in the initial process of creating a parenting plan or are looking to modify an existing one, a careful review of your unique situation can help you achieve your parenting goals.


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