Introducing Your Newborn Baby To Your Pets
Sat, April 10, 2021

Introducing Your Newborn Baby To Your Pets

Parents will always want to make sure that their newborn baby is safe, but when it comes to their pets, one can never be too sure about their reaction once you bring home your baby for the first time / Photo by: hannamariah via 123RF

 

Every pet owner may have concerns when it comes to their new babies and their fur babies. Parents will always want to make sure that their newborn baby is safe, but when it comes to their pets, one can never be too sure about their reaction once you bring home your baby for the first time. 

The arrival of a new baby in your family is a significant and joyous occasion. However, for our furry friends, it might be confusing for at first, especially if they are used to having all your attention and time at home. There may also be a chance that they get jealous of your own baby and display unwanted behavior. 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to choose between your human baby and your fur baby. There are several ways you can manage the situation and make everyone’s life easier and happier. 

Prepare Your Pet

It is essential to prepare your pet for the arrival of your baby. Hill’s Pet, an American pet food company, reported on their website that pets, especially cats, can be overwhelmed with the idea that there will be a new member of the family at home. Pet owners and soon-to-be parents can invite their family and peers with young children or babies to visit their home. 

Always supervise these encounters and make sure that any interactions between them are gentle and appropriate. Remember that younger children who are not strong enough to hold the pet comfortably and appropriately should not be allowed to pick them up. Instead, let them play with the pets using fishing rod toys, balls, or a torchlight against the wall. The interaction should be enjoyed by the pet in order for them to have a positive association with children in the future. 

Pet owners can also introduce their pets to babies gradually. For example, consider bringing a stroller out when you are having walks with your pooch to teach your pet that having a stroller while walking is the new norm. Since there are some pets that are sensitive to loud noises, soon-to-be parents can also play recorded baby sounds to get the pet used to the cries that a baby might make once they arrive at your home. 

It is essential to prepare your pet for the arrival of your baby / Photo by: Alena Ozerova via 123RF

 

Set Aside Space for Your Pet

Expect that your pet might not be used to the fuss of having a newborn baby around. As an additional measure, pet owners can establish some boundaries by giving their pets their own space where they can roam away from the baby. Buzz Sharer, a website that provides relevant, informational, and uplifting stories and videos to readers, mentioned on their website that this space can be a pet’s hideaway area. 

Having their own space allows them to feel safe in the house, and it could also be a place where they can avoid the baby if they are not comfortable yet. Giving them their own space can make them feel at home while also understanding that there is a new human around. It can prevent them from feeling stressed and lashing out.

Get Them Used to the Baby’s Scent

Most pets are creatures with a very sensitive sense of smell. Clubpets, Singapore's longest-running pets' magazine, said on their website that pet owners can introduce their fur babies to a baby’s scent by taking an item of the baby’s clothing right before the baby is brought home. Let the pet have a sniff out of it so that they can get used to it soon. 

While holding the baby’s clothing, make your dog sniff it from a distance. It will help them learn boundaries and let them identify that the baby’s item is also your item. This will allow the pet to learn that your baby is not a stranger as they cultivate respect for your newborn. 

pet owners can introduce their fur babies to a baby’s scent by taking an item of the baby’s clothing right before the baby is brought home / Photo by: golubovy via 123RF

 

Sort Out Behavioral Problems

If your pet has existing behavioral problems that you have been enduring for a while, it is now time to get them sorted out. This will likely get worse when the baby arrives because there will be a lot of distractions and unfamiliar routines happening, which can stress out the pet. 

To discourage the pet from displaying rebellious behavior, one should let them know their place in the household. It is not necessary to hurt or punish them, instead, use positive reinforcement because it can condition the pet to obey your instructions before the baby arrives. This kind of discipline will encourage the pet to remain calm and well-behaved when they are around your newborn baby. 

One cannot be too prepared when planning a family. Unexpected things can happen which can cause stress and anxiety, but parents should remain level-headed when they encounter this kind of scenario. Try your best to not give up on your pet if things go south.