NEW STUDY SUGGESTS OVERNIGHT VISITATION FOR FATHERS WITH INFANTS AND TODDLERS IS BENEFICIAL FOR CHILD’S RELATIONSHIPS WITH BOTH PARENTS.
Common wisdom would have you believe that infants and toddlers should spend nights with their mothers, but a new study shows that might just be an old wives’ tale. While studies generally show breastfeeding to be beneficial to a child’s long-term health, a new article published in Psychology, Public Policy and Law implies that bonding with both parents is even more important than breastfeeding.
The study shows that frequent overnight visits with Dad is beneficial for the child’s relationship with Dad, but in a twist, is also beneficial for the child’s relationship with Mom. You would think that an infant spending a night away from Mom would be detrimental, but it actually has a positive effect when that night is spent with Dad. So, when considering co-parenting plans for young children, it could be wise to include overnight visitation with both parents, as it will benefit your children in the long run.
In particular, this information can provide a useful tool for dads going through a divorce with young children. Since studies are available to show that the benefits of overnight visits for young children outweigh the positive effects of breastfeeding, courts might be more inclined to grant frequent overnight visitation for infants. More importantly, such an order would likely be in the best interests of the children and their relationships with both parents.
Maria E. Crabtree, CFLS