The New Mom's Guide to Newborn and Infant Visitation

Becoming a mother is daunting, especially when you're separated from your baby's father. Between understanding your parental rights and fostering a co-parenting relationship, you may not even know where to begin. Let's help you get started.

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Parental rights

The parental rights you have once your child is born depend on where you live.

In some states, you or the child's father must start a court case to determine parental rights. In other states, an unmarried mother automatically gets sole physical custody and sole legal custody. This means the child lives with her and only she can make decisions for them, until a court rules otherwise.

Before hearing a custody case, courts typically require legal establishment of the child's paternity. Some states only require the father's signature on the child's birth certificate, while others require both parents to sign some type of acknowledgment of paternity.

If the mother and alleged father disagree on who fathered the child, they and the child usually have to undergo DNA testing.

Once paternity is established, parents can either reach a custody agreement or proceed through court and let the judge decide custody orders.

Making a temporary schedule

It takes time to get a custody order. In the meantime, make a newborn visitation schedule to temporarily arrange for the baby to spend time with their father (unless the child wouldn't be safe).

Allowing visits early on can help the baby foster a relationship with their dad and help you foster a co-parenting relationship. Also, when making a custody decision, judges often look favorably on mothers who have allowed visits.

Here are a few basic things to keep in mind when making and starting your schedule.

Coordinate visits with the father

If you get along well enough, meet with your baby's father and discuss when he's be available for visits. Select visitation times that are convenient for both parents and don't disrupt the baby's feeding and sleep schedules.

Keep visits short and frequent

Frequency is more important than duration when it comes to infant visitation. This means it's better for the baby to see the other parent four times a week for two hours at a time than for one eight hour visit per week.

Keep track of the father's visits

You should keep track of any missed visits. In addition, you can keep a log of how visits go. This will come in handy when you're trying to figure out a long-term visitation schedule with the other parent or when you go to court.

Sometimes unforeseen events interfere with visitation. Missing one visit doesn't make someone a horrible father. The problem occurs when this behavior becomes a pattern.

The easiest way to create a newborn visitation schedule

Creating a schedule that allows for significant time with each parent is vital to your baby's growth. You should also think about how the schedule could be adapted to suit your child as they get older.

The Custody X Change app helps you build a schedule piece by piece so you don't leave out any important details and can account for all possible situations.

As a result, you get a written schedule and a visual calendar. They meet your family's needs, as well as the court's standards.

Once your schedule starts, you can use the actual parenting time tracker to see how the number of visits scheduled compares to the number of visits the baby's father actually attended.

For quick, reliable and affordable help making a custody schedule and tracking parenting time, turn to Custody X Change.

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Long distance schedules

Third party schedules


Summer break

Parenting provisions


How to make a schedule

Factors to consider

Parenting plans:

Making a parenting plan

Changing your plan

Interstate, long distance

Temporary plans

Guides by location:

Parenting plans

Scheduling guidelines

Child support calculators

Age guidelines:

Birth to 18 months

18 months to 3 years

3 to 5 years

5 to 13 years

13 to 18 years


Joint physical custody

Sole physical custody

Joint legal custody

Sole legal custody

Product features:

Software overview

Printable calendars

Parenting plan templates

Journal what happens

Expense sharing

Parenting time tracking

Calculate time & overnights

Ways to use:

Succeed by negotiating

Prepare for mediation

Get ready for court


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