How Breastfeeding May Affect Parenting Time

young mother breast feeding her infant over white background

Arranging a parenting time schedule is rarely an easy task, and when a young child is still breastfeeding, scheduling sufficient time with each parent becomes even more difficult. This situation is becoming more and more common, as more mothers are choosing to exclusively breastfeed for the first months and even years of their children’s lives, simply due to the superior health benefits that result from breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding, however, can make overnight parenting difficult, if not impossible, but also can have a significant impact on daytime parenting, as well. This is particularly the case with mothers who practice “attachment parenting,” which can involve breastfeeding the child on demand, rather than on a set schedule, and continuing to breastfeed the child until the child decides to wean himself or herself.

Infants who are exclusively breastfed often reject a bottle, even if it contains breast milk. Due to the frequency with which infants must be fed, a child refusing a bottle during the other parent’s parenting time can result in frustration for both parent and child. At the same time, it is essential that the non-breastfeeding parent have the opportunity to feed and bond with the child at the earliest age possible. With no current guidance from New Jersey court rulings or statutes on the issue of breastfeeding, child custody, and parenting time, it can be difficult for a court considering the matter to decide what parenting arrangements are in the child’s best interests. While parents who live in the same geographical area may have an easier time working these issues out, it becomes even more difficult when the parents live farther apart and longer periods of parenting time are necessary. It is essential for parents of very young children to work towards keeping lines of communication and contact open to ensure the most beneficial situation possible for their child.

No matter what type of issues your family law case involves, our New Jersey family law attorneys are here to accompany you through every step of the legal proceedings in your case. We can answer your questions, evaluate your case, and go through all of the potential options for resolving your case. At Argentino Family Law & Advocacy, LLC, we have provided experienced legal representation for families, parents, and children throughout many different family law proceedings. Contact our office today at (973) 868-0958 or e-mail us at info@argentinolaw.com and schedule an appointment to talk with us about your case.