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Introducing Pets to a New Baby

Nothing is quite as exciting as the first time parents bring a new baby home. All the planning and purchases have finally come to fruition and you can celebrate a new addition to your family. If you have furry members of your family, they may not understand what all the fuss is about, and it’s important to include them and let them know that they have a new person to love. Following is some advice on introducing your pet to a new baby.

Preparing Your Pet

You can prepare your pet for the new baby’s arrival in a number of ways:

  • If you have friends with new babies or young children, ask them to come over for a visit so you can see how your animals will react around them.
  • Consider how your daily routine will affect your pets, begin to change your routine accordingly. Things includes things like walks, feeding times, and outings to the park.
  • If you have a cat, make sure their nails are trimmed regularly. Additionally, many cats love snuggling up in a crib or bassinet, so make sure to keep the nursery room door closed.
  • As you begin to assemble your nursery, let your animals get familiar with smells associated with a new baby — diaper cream, baby powder, and lotion — so they’re already familiar with these scents before bringing your little one home.
  • Create a space for your pets that’s off-limits for baby. They need their own space too, especially once your little ones are mobile.

After Baby is Born

Many experts agree that bringing home an article of clothing or blanket that smells like your newborn is a great way to introduce the scent of your new baby. Having mom walk in first to greet your animal(s) is recommended, as your pets will be excited to see you after your visit in the hospital. Talk to them calmly and have treats nearby if you can. Have Dad or another family member bring baby inside and keep your dog on a leash in case you need to pull him away . Once your dog seems calm and isn’t showing any signs of aggressive behavior,  you can slowly allow him to see and sniff — but not lick — the new baby.

In the following weeks, watch out for any signs of jealousy or aggression. If you can, take some time with your pet just the two of you so that he knows that you’re not replacing him. If your pet begins to show any unwanted behavior, address it with a firm “no” and be sure to reward all positive behavior.

Pets can be a wonderful addition to any family and when introduced to a new baby properly, and can have an amazing connection with them. This article is a great resource for introducing baby to pets.