Subject: Shared Parenting for Infants
Question: Dear M. Kay,
I recently read a response of yours to a gentleman named Sean regarding the shared parenting of infatns. I am in the exact same situation, except I am the mother. My baby's father is pressing for overnights and 50/50 shared parenting. I agree with you that such arrangements are not in the best interests of infants.
I am, however, having difficulties finding legitimate research, beyond the attachment parenting website, that supports infants being with their mothers overnight and the majority of the time. If you could refer me to some books, websites, etc. that may help me in supporting my position regarding the negative effects of 50/50 shared parenting for infants, I would appreciate it.
Answer: The attachment parenting website has longitudinal studies. Contact them for further citations. Also go online to the Universities and peruse through the journals. There is more than 40 years of attachment research which indicates negative outcomes for children whose bonding is interrupted.
If for no other reason a child's sense of time is drastically different than an adults. Unfortunately, courts seem more concerned with parental rights than the needs of these children. Until children are viewed as important as adults this probably will not change overnight.
I suggest doing more of what you do with your infant, such as infant massage, sign language, etc...to increase their sense of safety and provide a sense of control over their world at an earlier age.
M Kay Keller