As you prepare for the arrival of your baby, it is important to make sure that others in your family are also prepared to welcome the new arrival. Pets are an important part of many families, and the arrival of a new baby is a big adjustment for them. In order to keep both the human and animal members of your household happy and safe, check out these tips for preparing your pet for a new baby.
It can be helpful to think of your dog or cat as an older child who, up until now, was your only child. If there are multiple pets, they will still need to be prepared even if they have already been through the experience of adding a new pet to the family. Newborn babies require a lot of attention, and your dog or cat is bound to feel at least a little bit slighted.
Of course, it can be tempting to lavish your dogs and cats with extra attention before the big day arrives. If you can avoid that temptation and instead focus on gradually getting your pets accustomed to spending less time with you, they will be more prepared to deal with the amount of attention that you give to your baby when he or she arrives. In conjunction with spending less time with your pets, it can be helpful if others in the household – your spouse or partner as well as any other children gradually begin spending more time with your pets.
Give your pets advance notice of what babies are like, if at all possible. Have friends with babies come over, and let your pets see the babies. Set up baby’s room, and things like any swings and infant seats that you plan to use, so that your pets will not be startled by any music or movement that they make. Of course, you may have to train your pets to stay off of or out of these things, too, but now is a good time to get them used to those rules. Consider playing videos of crying babies to get your pets used to that sound because whether or not you want to admit it, your baby will cry sometimes.
Finally, when the baby is born, arrange to have a family member bring an outfit or a blanket that now has the baby’s scent on it to your home for your pets to investigate. That way, they will recognize the baby’s small when you come home from the hospital. With a little advance planning and preparation, you can help your pets to adjust to your new baby and keep everyone safe and happy.
Photo by anitapatterson on morguefile.com.