Baby Hints & Tips

6 Month Old Visitation with Dad

Family of three having quarrelI have a 6 month old son. His father and I are separated. His dad makes no effort to be involved in his life. But had recently asked to have him every fortnight. I dont feel comfortable leaving my son with him at all at his age. Just looking for advice or experiences please.

  • I have a brother that would bend over backwards to see his son. His mother refuses to let him, even after getting lawyers etc involved. He pays her child support every week, puts money into a savings account for his son, provides anything that is asked of him money wise but hasn’t been allowed to contact him in forever. Please, please think of the dad too. I know u have a baby to protect, I’m a mum myself, I’m not saying just hand bub over..but it’s hard being a dad too and always coming off second best compared to the mother. Let him start out small and work his way up to sleep overs and weekends. Just because the two of u failed as a couple ,doesn’t automatically make him a bad or unworthy dad. Give him a chance. Cassie
  • My advice would be start off small give him to him for a few hrs then work your way up to leaving him for longer you do have to put your own feelings aside and think what’s best for your son Shelley
  • At 6 months he won’t be able to have him more than 2 hours and if your breastfeeding I’m pretty sure you have to be there Callie
  • Go to a family relationship centre. You and your ex can come to a suitable arrangement that meets everyone’s needs. Initially, your sons dad needs to build a relationship with the bub. Short, frequent visits would work best for thus, eg twice a week for 2 hours (eg wed night and sat morning). If he is consistent with coming to your house and is respectful and responsible, begin by making him manage your little one for the visit- ie all baby care needs. You might like to take a bath, a nap, read if cook, garden, etc. Apart from breast feeding, dad should feed, settle, change, bath, etcetera. By the time he has practiced this enough that you’re confident dad can care for the bub, a few months will have gone by, and you’ll know if dad is around for the ‘long haul’ rather than just a whim. It will show dad how much work and responsibility a bub is, and then begin him taking bub out for a few hours at a time, gradually extending to a full day. If you can build a positive, respectful relationship with the dad, it will benefit all 3 of you. Jenelle
  • Contact a family access centre, they should be able to give you info on your rights etc. the council might be able to help you too. My son is 5 1/2 months old and there’s no way I’d let him go anywhere without me for more than an hour or so. Anastasia
  • I appreciate that it’s extraordinarily difficult for you but he is the father and it’s his legal right to see his son. Having had recent experience in the family court please trust me when I say the last place you want to be is anywhere near the family court if at all avoidable. To the best of your ability try to work something out with the father that both of you are comfortable with – perhaps starting slowly and building up – that’s how the courts do it. And remember that these things require significant stretching and compromise on both sides. Good luck mumma xx Meneesha
  • I agree, the last place you want to be is family court! I’m in family court ATM, it’s going to trial, I have no lawyer & I am in over my head with all the paper work trying to do it all on my own. Please have a chat to dad & work something out. At that age you won’t be forced to have sleep overs but few hours every week building up to sleep overs. Good luck x Chloe
  • No overnight stays before 2yrs old in my opinion, kids need stability and it’s jot about what the parents want or do not want, it’s about what’s best for the child. Vanessa
  • If he has had nothing to do with baby for 6 months I don’t think he could handle a baby for a full weekend on his own! Men don’t actually think things through. I wouldn’t let my 6 month old go for a whole weekend. Couple of hours here an there at the start with you present so you are comfortable. Lauren
  • I’ve seen first hand just how heart breaking it is for a dad to loose his child purely because him and the mother didn’t work out is all I mean basically. I hope u can sort something out that benefits all involved Cassie
  • If you expect the dad to pay child support and he is capable of care then I think you should let him. Start slow and build it up. Can also give you a well deserved break Michelle
  • I’d tell him he needs to prove himself and be consistent in his life before that happens, it’s a different matter if he had nowhere to live etc at the time but he should still have asked to see his son and stayed involved in his life, it’s a hard situation, hope you’re ok xx Vicky
  • I would never have denied my ex from seeing His Daughter, we couldn’t live together and get on but He is a fantastic father. I finally moved out when She was 10 months old and He had Her equal time to Me, our agreement, no courts involved at all…She is now 15 and has a great relationship with both of us and both Her step parents and siblings on both sides you have to also think about the child, if He is willing and a good Dad then He needs to have Her as well. You can’t just do what you want and what you think is best as there are 2 parents…if you come to an agreement it may work out better, if you deny Him and He doesn’t like it, it could get nasty and you don’t want that for you or the innocent child. Sherree
  • He has as much right to this child as you do if you can’t come up with something fair let someone else do it for you, but my advice is its better you both decide on a fair arrangement because once it goes to court that’s where the issue will stay. Try mediation and although it is hard try and put your feelings aside I’m sure it hurts being a single mum and it is hard. he isnt in a relationship with you now but that doesn’t mean he is not allowed one with his child, you need to come to terms with that and realise it isn’t a bad thing. It’s tough but in these situations he has every right to have time with his child without you. Courtney
  • At that age they recommend small regular visits. Definitely get legal advice. Amy
  • Dad does have a right to see bubs but you have a right to make sure the baby is ok. I would recommend getting a custody agreement in place, which protects your rights and Dad’s rights. This can be done with a mediator (not court) and can be staged (ie start with short day visits and working up to extended periods). You work out how holidays will be handled etc. That way, everyone knows what is happening, what days are for visits and other expectations. Kat
  • My sons dad and I split before he was born. We started off small, his dad would come to visit for a few hours and we built up to me leaving him for the day once he was about 6months and then from there went to overnights on weekends. But in saying that his dad is very good about it all and it also depends if your breast feeding and how your son reacts to him as well. They need to get to know each other slowly. Kerri
  • Don’t set a precedence. Short frequent visits is what is recommended at this age and is what you need to do. Go into mediation with him and sort it out through there Kershel
  • No overnights until 2 that’s the standard. Kelly
  • At 6mths I personally wouldn’t allow it. Maybe if he wants to come to the park with you one day etc. Kim
  • Don’t then. A court will not give him overnight access if he has played no part in his life & I know for a fact that mediators & courts do not approve of a child under 3 to have to be away overnight from their sole carer. It’s too distressing for them, & puts them out of routine. Btw – if he has no interest in being involved in his life then don’t let his threats of trying to gain power by manipulating you over your son get to you. Just politely say, I cannot allow it, he is too you g & you are not a role model to him consistently so contact mediation and we can discuss it. Don’t be afraid of mediation if he does do it, they are pretty good Goodluck, I’m sorry to hear, but completely understand your situation. Tracey
  • Go thru mediation They will organize the type of visits by hearing both sides and then u both come to an agreement and papers will be signed (step b4 court much cheaper) But my sis had similar circumstances and he got to come to the home to visit bubs for 4 hours twice a week for a few months then started got abit more then moved to 5 hrs away from her house then whole day now bubs is 5 he has 1 over night visit a fortnight Kayla
  • Personally i think start with short day time visits maybe with a mutual friend if you can’t be present for personal reasons and build it up to a couple hours then half days and eventually longer day visits. This article suggests waiting till 2yrs+ before doing overnight stays away from the primary care giver (you). Rachel
  • Seek legal aid immediately for your own protection. Then go through family relationship centre for mediation if needed. At that age visitation would be limited, definitely no overnights yet. It’s a hard situation, I have been there. Just remember that you are the mother and have the right to protect your son. He also has the right to see his son but it needs to be done in the right way in the best interests of the child. Good luck! Rebecca
  • I know how u feel. My son is 6 months next week n his father left when I was 7 months pregnant & we haven’t seen him since. Not even a phn call or txt. I wonder too some days if he was to get in contact how would I react. It’s a hard one u really have to trust ur instincts. Good luck xx Lisa
  • Time to seek out legal advice now. If you’re bfing then he can’t have him. If not then it’s possible for an afternoon maybe to start off all supervised. Really to save yourself trouble in the future, seek out an attorney. Melissa
  • Every dad is different, it really comes down to personal discretion and trusting your gut feeling, if has never shown any interest and made no effort to be involved in his sons life until now, well there is a reason behind that, and u have to find out if his child’s best interest are his priority or if its for some other reason eg impress someone ect… but I’d say every fortnight for 6 month old is way too young, good luck with it xo Frances
  • Perhaps there’s a reason why he “makes no effort” – perhaps he is afraid of getting attached only to lose his son? My husband made every effort with his daughter with his ex, and all it got him was a broken heart. She lives interstate now and we rarely see her. We’ve missed out on years of her life because her mother decided to be petty for the first 6 odd years of it. We have two daughters who hardly know their big sister, and the youngest hasn’t even met her. Rachael
  • I’d say you know you partner more than everyone else if you trust him then it’s good so you can have some break if you don’t then let him see his son with you case those days I have heard some sad things that the partners took there children from there mum and run away to deferent countries Jacklin
  • Is it possible that his dad has had a change of heart? I don’t know the situation. But men can feel a bit lost when a baby is really little. Maybe as your son is getting older he sees how he can be more involved and create a relationship? Just wanted to add another perspective…I don’t know what your ex is like, but my husband wasn’t always there for his kids when he was younger – and he regretted it. (we are now married, with a baby and he’s an amazing dad) Sarah
  • I wouldn’t he comfortable with it either!!!!!! Maybe he could have shirt visits with baby with you supervising if you are able to handle that Fiona
  • Get a court order in place Tammy
  • How long have you been separated and how long did he not make an effort for? Have they spent anytime together at all? Not sure why someone would tell you to get a court order considering you haven’t indicated any violence or abuse, just a waste of the courts time if there is no valid reason. Consider your sons best interest but please also consider how you would feel in your ex’s shoes. He is also a parent. If you head to court there is now a trend of trying to award 50/50 custody so be aware of that. Get legal advice if you feel you need to but the first step for any custody agreement if you can’t reach one together is mediation. Rebecca
  • A court order isn’t because of abuse, it’s a legal document stating custody agreements…AVO is for violence!! Sherree
  • I wouldnt personally but im protective Alice
  • Been thru this all. Best to keep a diary of everything and do seek legel advice. Dont do anything you dont want since the child is in your care. The court will not give access to overnight as he has not been in the child’s life. Amber
  • Say no.. Tell him to make more of an effort during the day (weekends etc) and then you will consider overnight. Remember that he is a parent too but first needs to prove to you he can do it, like understanding his sons routines! Kat
  • If he is showing interest in seeing his son even at this age he is entitled. You can start off with daily visits if you’re really uneasy about full weekends but if he is solid with his son then you can ease into over nights. If you don’t mind me asking how old was he when u separated. It is hard when they have no hands on experience at a young age. I can understand your hesitation. It is healthy for him to see his father too tho. Unless if course there are safety issues in which case it’s a different kettle of fish. Tammy
  • First of all I just want to say, I’m thinking of you this must be a really hard time and I can only imagine what you must be going through, it’s not easy caring for a 6 month let alone on your own. Second of all, my suggestion is to sit down and without personal feelings you have about your ex and why you separated etc.. Write down what your feeling, and how you feel about being away from bubs, and how you as his mother feels a father role is really important and that you want them to have a relationship but this needs to be built over time, say everything you feel you couldn’t say to him and then let him read it, then if you think possible see if you can talk about it. I don’t know your circumstances and this may not be possible for him or with him, but atleast you’ve given him an opportunity to understand your concerns. At the end of the day you are ad have been your babies consistent, constant primary carer and bubs is safe and supported in your arms, the dad needs to get to that point before you will feel safe with him having bubs. I’m thinking of you I hope it works out xoxox Natasha
  • If you aren’t comfortable with him having your son due to his age then say so to the father BUT you also need to allow him time to bond with his child. Wether it be in your home, his home or a neutral venue. If you don’t allow him access then the father is within his rights to take you to court which is an expensive exercise and will likely end up resulting in him being granted visitation (unless there are other factors such as substance abuse, violence etc). Even under court orders visitation does not necessarily mean overnight until he is at a more appropriate age (usually not in the first year, especially if still breast feeding). Let him have access to his son, give your son the gift of an involved father in his life and try not to let your differences with the father damage or ruin your sons relationship with his father in the future as your son may grow to resent you for not allowing him to know his father once he is older. Nicole
  • at this age it should be a few hours every 3 or so days. overnights dont start until the child is 2/3 years old and day trips at about 1 for about 4 or 5 hours. I would talk to a lawyer and get a parenting plan in place Tara
  • Contact “Relationships Australia” 1300 364 277 they will have the best advice for you and be excellent support for you and will help you and your ex come to a fair arrangement that takes your situation into account, your ex’s lack of involvement and the young age of your son. Best wishes, I hope it all works out for you. Katie
  • Court can put it in writing for you until baby is older Jessica
  • I didn’t feel comfortable either having my son away from me. Mainly because they hadn’t bonded well yet and that’s a big thing to a young baby. We met up till I felt comfortable to agree to him having him for a day once a fortnight. Our son’s very attached to me so drop off is stressful but he usually enjoys his time with his dad and his other family. Explain to him that he can’t just suddenly have him away from you with out first getting used to his dad. His dad also has to be confident in how to look after him and be able to comfort him when upset. Otherwise it can be quite stressful for bub and dad. Aileen
  • I’m sorry I understand what a lot of you are saying a father has rights also I’ve never kept my kids from their dad but at 6months old for 2 weeks try hell NO baby is to small now 2 and above sure I left my 2 and 3 year old for 2 weeks while I went to see my fiancé before going to Afghanistan coz that was their dad and I felt comfortable but not a baby over night maybe but more than that not right now coz until you have it in court papers he can keep the baby for as long as he likes but it’s your choice just my point of few. Oh my bad every fortnight now that’s different over night sure thing Ally
  • Maybe a few hours, but I think overnight would be really hard for a baby that age to be away from mum Jess
  • If you are separated I would be careful and get legal advice and have in writing visitation. Your baby is too young to be without his mother for long periods and are you bf? Ive read alot of posts from other mums in similar situations and just be careful you dont know what can happen especially without the right legal council. Goodluck Lisa
  • I am going through the exact same thing. Well except my ex left when she was just 3 weeks old. He has been having her one night a week since then. She loves her daddy. And as much of a dick he is he loves her too. I would much rather she have a daddy than not have a daddy. You gotta just bite the bullet and trust that he will protect and care for your child as much as you do. There will be many many more issues along the way but damn I would much rather my baby have two parents that love her to death that she can depend on. Quite frankly you dont have to be friends but you do have to do what is best for your child for the rest of their life. Natasha
  • only if he wants him,i was like that with my son,his 9 now and has no contact at all anymore (which is good for me) it started off once a month when he was about 8months,then once a month turned into once a year,etc…(he made no effort,but i never stopped him from having him) we now have a happy little family and lovess his (stepdad) if u feel uncompfy with it then follow ur heart and move on and be happy all the best Shiloh
  • P.S. I have an 11 month old who’s father also has no involvement, so I do empathise 100%. X Catherine
  • I’m going through this myself right now. He originally had very little to do with Miss 4mo, (we have 3 other kids together) but he came over everyday for a week and she got used to him. She isn’t 100% comfortable as she’s been with me pretty much 24/7 but she’s ok. I almost cried last Saturday cause she she stayed with him and the other kids for 5hrs! Ok so that’s my situation, if you’re not comfortable because he previously had nothing to do with him, and he’s your baby etc etc sorry but dad has every right. BUT no court will make you hand him straight over, straight away. If it’s just that reason, build up tin trust, not only you in him as a father, but your son in his dad. If it’s a case of his dad doing drugs/may neglect him/just in general terrifys you as you think your baby may be in harms way, seek help. He will still have every right for access but if the courts agree with you, it may be supervised visitation instead. Family Relationships Australia is also a great centre you can go to for help Jade
  • If you don’t feel comfortable yet then make this clear to him that it’s a not now not a not ever. Let him visit if you can. As often as possible so he knows who he is Tracey
  • My son is 7 months old im with his father and he is amazing with him and i go out and leave him and i know hes absolutely fine but if we wern’t together i wouldnt feel comfortable sending him somewhere else especially over night… I dont know how well you’se get along or dont but maybe it would be a good idea if he could come to your house and bubs house and visit and spend time with him that way bub isnt in unfamiliar territory it may even get to a point where you go out when he comes or day trips with his dad or something… Baby steps i hope it works out! Nothing harder than having seperated parents Xx Amber
  • Do what’s best for the child!!! Steff
  • No sleepovers to 2 brother in law had to wait till then Amanda
  • Follow your instinct.it would be nice if you can come to an agreement, Maybe when he does see his son you can be there to help. It is his son, you don’t want to be the person that stands in the way of their relationship, your son will recent you for it. Silvia
  • At 6months children begin to fret around strangers and although he is his father if he hasn’t spent much time with him he may begin to get separation anxiety. My advice would be to maybe start with introducing them slowly, rather than just jumping in the deep end. Angie
  • Do supervised, have home come to your home to be with him. Carliah
  • At that age he most decently can’t be away from you over night. But he does have rights if he is on the birth cert. if he hadn’t bothered till now I doubt he would put to much of a fight up if you said no. But if he does make he do it all legally and do a parenting plan no judge will allow a 6 month old to be away from their main care giver over night. If breast fed not longer then a feed. Blair
  • Can you try mediation and work out a compromise? Maybe he can visit in a public setting or something for a few hours so they can bond. I wouldn’t feel comfortable either. .Rachel
  • Ask a lawyer. If hes suddenly asked for more time it looks like it will head that way anyway. Callie
  • Rachael, that’s your situation. Sad, and not the only one but I think making reference to your situation when this mum has asked for helpful advise is a little unfair.. There’s no excuse for him making no effort.. Or they would have already been in mediation. Sorry but I’m tired of mums being judged for using their child as pawn to the fathers. Not all women are jealous & spiteful as not all dads are irresponsible Tracey
  • I split with my husband when my daughter was 7 days old her saw her under my roof under my terms I encouraged their relationship but as she was an infant and I was breastfeeding he saw her through me. I’d suggest mediation with relationships Aust. He has rights so perhaps address concerns through mediation. Belinda
  • If it doesnt feel right to you dont do it, do it with him first. Hope all goes well for you. Jocelyn

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  1. Cj1204 says:

    Hi, I’m new here.
    Hmm OK here’s my story. My ex and I relation was on and off, during my pregnancy. He was and still is a heavy drinker and gambler. I had to get a DVO in place in February this year. Now he has breached his DVO.
    court thus wed 6th of September
    For aggravated assault
    Demaged to property.
    Last week, he threatened me to get 50/50, if I didn’t drop the Case.
    My daughter is 4 1/2 months old.
    I’d this possible for himvto get 50/50.
    He has spent no time with her, I haven’t stopped him at all. He just makes excuses. Probably at the pub. Ha.
    I am breastfeeding.
    Just wanting some advise.
    Thanks

  2. linda says:

    hi not sure if im doing this right as wanted ton start a fresh post really but i found out pregnant just after leaving father after an abusive two years with him he mentally abused and physically on a couple of occassions (never hit me but bruised me by pushing or grabbing but did grab my throat twice. i love my daughter to bits been wanting children for ages and never been so happy so that kind of made th experience worthwhile i guess seeing the positive. the bad is that i have to deal with him but i just put act on for my daughter and he pays maintenance but says only has time to see you for an hour to two hours depending cause has things to do and he comes to my place and sometimes i go out my house as hard for me being around him. he works sun to thurs 1.30pm till 11.30pm and when i suggested mornings he said has hardly any time as it is.he then tries saying things to make me feel bad for him like he is working lots and lives in a shared house so its hard and often pushes to take her overnight to his mothers an hour away. when i said he needs to build up the hours and see her more cause he doesnt know her needs and her personality he says hes her dad and doesnt need to build anything up!!. she is 81/2 months now and ive told him as she co sleeps with me and refuses to sleep in a cot etc and because she is too young to understand it wont be happening until she is 3 and able to understand. i have agreed this friday to take her to his place (shared house) and let him have her for half day during which time he will prob also take her for waalks etc. i will be giving him instructions. am i doing the right thing as i dont feel ready to have her with him away from home for so long yet. he has refused to get own place as says no way he living in a council place even though i tried saying there are some nice ones. love to hear replies, im thinking of going to a mediator to get it all sorted in writing so he doesnt think im being out of order in anyway and to make sure i do whaats best for her 🙂

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