Bringing home a new baby to share the house with your pet can be a big adjustment for your furry friend! So if you’re pet owners and soon-to-be parents, whether it’s your first child or not, there are some ways to help make this transition smoother for everyone involved, before the new baby is born. Here are Tips On Getting Your Pets Ready for A New Baby in the House.
Bringing home a new, little bundle of joy is a truly exciting time for parents, but if there’s already a four-legged, furry baby in the house, this can be a difficult adjustment for a pet. While some of them can become anxious while we’re away from home for a short period of time, imagine how they’ll feel with a new, permanent housemate all of a sudden.
Here are some of the things we can do well before the birth of our human child that will help them to better adapt to this situation:
Training Before Arrival Is Essential
If your pet is exhibiting behaviors you don’t want with an infant or toddler in the house, it’s best to train them before the baby arrives.
Trying to make the adjustment of having a new baby, and beginning a new training regimen, might be just too much for the animal. And if a pet associates new rules and boundaries with a baby, they could be resentful towards the child.
More Than A Simple Set-Up
Most parents will have the nursery set-up long before their nine-months are up, but it’s important to bring out all the gear so that your pet will become accustomed to them long before the baby’s arrival.
Leave out the swings, bassinets, rocking devices, playthings and any other baby equipment you will be using, well in advance of the infant’s arrival, and make sure your pet becomes used to their sites, locations and sounds.
If your critter isn’t already crate-trained, consider giving them their own, separate space, somewhere they can go to feel safe and secure. A place where they can escape if they want to be away from “everything infant,” a laundry room, garage, spare room, almost anywhere the baby won’t be present, will give them a sense of security and some much needed alone time.
While most of the above tips are somewhat centered around canines, they can still be considered for both species, but the following advice is this advice is more “kitty-cornered” and meant mostly for felines:
Cat Box Relocation
If you need to move the cat’s bathroom to an area that won’t be accessible by a soon-to-be toddler, do it slowly. Cat’s don’t take sudden movements like this too well, so take the “baby-steps” (pun intended) approach, and move it just a few feet a day until it reaches its final destination.
It’s probably best for everyone involved if the nursery or whatever room where the baby sleeps is kept is kept off limits for felines who can easily hop into a crib. These curious creatures can also climb onto changing stations and disrupt other baby items.
This one is good for canines and cats, who both have sensitive hearing, particularly when it comes to a baby’s cries, screams of joy, laughter and other noises that can bother some animals.
Using Facebook or YouTube clips, get your critters accustomed to these loud, often ear-piercing noises that can alarm them before baby comes home to stay.
Other Sensory Perceptions
When it comes to cuddling a newborn infant, pets are often used to being the center of attention and may find it odd if you’re suddenly carrying around a constant companion.
There are even some breeds of dogs that are considered especially feisty, like certain terriers, that could need additional training and attention.
Consider carting around a doll in a blanket before their arrival to acclimatise them to this practice. If time permits, after your newborn arrives, if at all possible, think about bringing home a blanket from the hospital that carries your baby’s scent and introduce it to your animal.
With a little patience, some simple planning and preparation in place, pets and babies will be best friends as they continue to grow and share adventures together. And as parents, we can ensure all of our little ones are perfectly integrated while they begin their lives as constant companions.
Over to you! Have you any further suggestions to add? Let us know in the comments below.