People often make a lot of plans when having a baby. They take parenting classes and read extensively on baby care. They also learn how to change a diaper, operate a breast pump, and make their home babyproof. However, most fail to take into account how their pet will react to a baby. Babies are very vulnerable –therefore, it’s natural to worry about a pet’s potentially negative reaction to them. However, you do not have to bring your baby home and hope that your pet gets along with it –a little planning can go a long way to get them along.

You can prepare the animals for a baby’s arrival beforehand and slowly introduce them to make the transition peaceful. The process of this introduction depends on an animal’s breed, type, personality, and pre-existing family dynamic. Follow these Click Pharmacy professional guidelines applicable to most pets to help prepare them for your new family member.

a pregnant woman relaxing in the sofa with their pet dog

5 Preparation tips for the Pets

Make General Preparations

Whether you own a cat, dog, or another animal, you can make some general preparations to prepare them for a baby’s imminent arrival. Cats, and even some dogs, can show signs of jealousy when they do not remain the center of attention. But such issues are easier to resolve with some planning. You can enroll your pet in an obedience class to make them more manageable. You can also remove your cat’s litter box to a more remote area.

Cats often investigate new additions to your home, so you can prepare your baby’s room beforehand so the cats can explore it to its heart’s content until you declare the area off-limits. 

Introduce the Pet to the Baby’s Sounds and Smells

Newborns have only one way to convey their hunger, discomfort, exhaustion, or sadness –and that’s by crying. They make commotion that can be overwhelming to animals. Dogs and cats can become agitated because of all the noise. Therefore, it is vital you start introducing your pet to the typical baby noises or smells before the baby arrives so that they can become accustomed to it. 

You can use recordings of baby sounds combined with some treats to make your animals used to them. This is the same method you teach animals to play catch. Such behavioral modification will make the pets welcome baby noises instead of becoming agitated by them. 

Change your Pet Responsibilities and Routines Accordingly

Many things change when your baby arrives for all the home dwellers, including pets. You may no longer have the time to take your pets for a walk, groom them, or play with them as much as before. Your priority as a caregiver will also primarily shift to the baby. Therefore, it would be better to move some of the duties to someone else in the home or get a professional dog walker or dog sitter. 

Make Some New Rules in the House

You need to put some new boundaries in the house before your baby arrives. Otherwise, your pet may come to resent the kid that has suddenly become the new center of attention. Restrict your pets from climbing the furniture so they may not harm the kid, chew on a baby’s toy, or lap up the baby’s milk formula. If your pet sleeps with you in bed, you may want to change this habit before the baby comes. Put these changes in place as soon as possible, before the baby comes.

Bring some Blankets or Clothes your Baby has worn before Coming Home

One of the best and fastest ways to make your pet familiar with a baby is to make them aware of their smell before coming home. This way, the pet won’t suddenly become agitated because of a new and unfamiliar little person in the house. 

How to Introduce your Pet to the Baby?

Now that you have done all the prep work to prepare your pets for a coming baby, the next step is actually to introduce them to each other. 

Introduce the Baby Slowly and on your Pet’s Terms

Once you have brought the baby home, it is time to introduce it to your pet officially. Dogs are generally very enthusiastic when their owners return home, especially after a few days. However, when you have a baby in your arms, you cannot afford to let that enthusiasm disturb a baby. Therefore, you should greet your pet in the same manner as you always do, making it seem like there’s nothing strange going on.

After a quiet reunion, proceed to welcome your friends and family that may be there to visit. Relax a while until things calm down. Then proceed to show your baby to your pet while practicing extreme care and caution. Keep the baby securely in your arms so your dog doesn’t jump on it, or your cat may scratch it. In fact, make sure someone else keeps a hand on your pet’s leash at all times while making the introduction. If the pet appears agitated, give it a rest and try once more after a few days.

Supervise interactions between the pet and the baby

Make sure to never leave your baby alone with your pet. Even if you trust your pet not to make any rash movements, it is still an animal that doesn’t have human reasoning skills. A baby is very vulnerable; therefore, you should take every precaution possible. 

mother with infant baby sleeping near dog

It may seem like a lot, but your pet and your baby both are members of your home, and you need to ensure they get along with each other. With a little preparation, planning, and patience, you can find a place in your home for both.

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