Dealing With A Baby And A Divorce
Babies are a joy but they are also a lot of work. Caring for them can be very difficult. But what’s even more challenging is dealing with a divorce on top of a newborn.
Most people don’t get divorced during or after a pregnancy, but it does happen from time to time. The mother may get physically abused during the pregnancy. The man may decide he doesn’t want to be a father after all. Pregnancy can cause people to change, and not always for the better, leading to divorce.
You may think that dealing with a baby or toddler in a divorce rather than an older child would be easier. While it can be in some ways (such as a baby won’t be asking you questions about the divorce), it’s important to understand that children this young may still get stressed out about the divorce. They may not understand what is going on, but they can still pick up on changes in their parents’ emotions and behavior.
Plus, you need to ensure your baby is getting sufficient care. You may be focused on your emotions during the divorce, but you’ll need to keep it together so you can provide your little one with adequate care and emotional support. Here’s an age-based guide on what to expect.
Birth to 8 Months
Young infants don’t have much control over their emotions. They tend to mirror their parents’ emotions, and a parent going through a divorce is bound to be emotional, angry, and tired. When they see their parents upset, infants tend to get fussier and harder to comfort. They will find it hard to form close bonds with a parent they don’t see often.
8 to 18 Months
In this age range, infants can start to show separation distress. They may cry when a parent is leaving and will be upset to leave a parent overnight. They tend to bond with one parent, which is typically the mother, especially if they are breastfeeding. If you divorce during this time, children tend to forget the other parent. If your child starts asking questions about them, provide short, simple answers.
18 Months to 3 Years
Toddlers are starting to use language more during this time, although they still will not understand divorce. They will not understand why one parent is living somewhere else nor will they understand the concept of time. This can be a frustrating age for parents, as young children will ask a lot of questions, and they may ask the same ones over and over again. Plus, toddlers are learning to express their feelings and strong feelings like anger or sadness can be hard for them to express. Books and toys can help children cope with divorce.
Seek Legal Help
Dealing with a divorce is hard enough. Having to care for an infant or toddler at the same time can be quite challenging.
Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can guide you through all the emotional and legal aspects of divorce. Get started with a consultation. Fill out the online form or call 954-764-4330.