How long into my new relationship with my girlfriend should I wait to introduce my 2 year old?

Your Question

Hi. How long into my new relationship with my girlfriend should I wait to introduce my 2 year old? I’m separated from my ex wife and I am in a committed relationship and want to introduce her now without any emotional damage to the child. 


Hi there,  

Thank you for getting in touch with us about what is going on for you as a parent. You’re wondering how long into your relationship should you wait to introduce your 2 year old. It is good that you are thinking through this process and are aware of the potential impact it may have on your child.  

First of all, we would recommend taking it slowly. The first step we would recommend would be to have a conversation with your child’s other parent to explore how they feel about this. We know this can be a hard conversation to have and may bring up a lot of feelings while doing so. This is part of the process with co-parenting in making decisions on how best to support your child as they develop and grow. This may be more than a once off conversation and it is important to approach it in a way that is sensitive to your feelings, your ex-partner’s feelings, your current partner’s feelings and also your child’s feelings.  

There is no specific duration of a relationship that we can recommend is the “right time” to introduce a new partner to your child as it can vary on so many different things such as how the relationship has progressed and anything that might be going on for your family outside of the relationship. It is important to be in tune and check in with other’s feelings and your own throughout. Some resources have recommended being with the partner for a year while the main thing to consider is how ready you, your partner and your child’s other parent are.  

It is important to consider your child’s age and stage of development as well. When your child is older, they may be more at the stage of being involved in this decision-making process and be able to more verbally express their feelings. You may find this article helpful for further down the line:,become%20comfortable%20with%20each%20other. 

One family also have some helpful resources, such as a step by step process of introducing your child to a new process. You can find more information on their website here: 

If you would like to talk more about this, you can contact ISPCC’s Support Line which can be contacted by email to [email protected] or by phone from Monday to Friday 9am – 1pm on 01 522 4300  

Take care,   


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