Preparing Your Pets for the Arrival of Your Newborn
It is said that pets and newborns are inseparable once they get to know each other. However, the introduction might not always be smooth. Especially if your pets have been with you for many years, they may tend to see the arrival of your first newborn as a rival. In this regard, we recommend a few ways to successfully prepare your pet before your little one comes in.
Tips for Preparing Your Pets for Your Newborn
Some pets who are used to being around babies should not have a lot of issues getting used to the changes in the house. Nevertheless, it is always good to get your cat or dog ready in these ways so they and the baby can grow to become the best of friends.
Boundary and Obedience Training
This involves training them on “sit”, “drop it”, “calm”, “stay down”, etc. Pets who get excited may unintentionally harm your kid if they get easily excited, jump around a lot or play aggressively. Therefore, giving them obedience training is a good way to manage any situation.
Similarly, training them on which rooms they are allowed to enter and which they are not is a good practice. Train them to stay away from the nursery until the child and the pet get completely acquainted with each other.
This also includes sleep arrangement. If your pets are used to sleeping on the same bed with you, teach them to sleep in a different space as you and your baby might need the space. Teach them to not immediately snuggle with your baby while sleeping until you baby is used to having a pet around too.
Familiarize Pets with Baby Scent
If your pets are new to babies, get them used to baby scent or take them around babies to access their reaction. That way you can decide the level of training required to keep your baby safe. Additionally, practice with baby items like changing the diaper on a baby doll, walking with the stroller, or swaddling a doll so your pets get familiarized with new activities in the house.
You can also get your pets familiar with your baby smell by keeping them close to the clothing items used on your baby, before bringing them home. For example, get your pets to smell baby bodysuit or towels that have been used on your child without washing them. Place your baby’s towel on your pet’s bed so the scent lingers around. So, when the child comes in, they are familiar with the smell and don’t see the baby as a threat.
This is one of the most important steps in ensuring your baby and your pet stay healthy. Take your pets for a medical check-up before the arrival of the new one. Get them all the right vaccinations and medications needed so they do not have any fleas or ticks. Above all, trim or blunt their claws so they do not scratch and injury your baby.
Once the baby arrives,
- Include your pets in activities. For instance, while taking your baby out for a stroll, take your dog with you. Or while nursing or playing with your baby, allow your cat to stay close and play with them too. They need to understand that they are not neglected upon the arrival of the new one.
- Do not leave food items out and about. It is harmful for the baby and the pet as they both can put things in their mouth without knowing what it is.
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